Commonly called 'anal glands', the anal sacs are two small pouches located on either side of the anus at approximately the four o'clock and eight o'clock positions. Numerous specialized sebaceous sweat glands that produce a foul smelling secretion line the walls of the sacs. Each sac is connected to the outside by a small duct that opens just inside the anus. The secretion acts as a territorial marker - a dog's 'calling card'. The sacs are present in both male and female dogs and some of the secretion is squeezed out onto the feces by muscular contractions when the dog defecates. This is why dogs are so interested in smelling one another's feces.
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These glands secrete fluid every time your cat has a bowel movement. Sometimes, these glands can get impacted or infected. To treat this condition, your vet will express the glands, lance any abscesses, prescribe antibiotics, or perform surgery. You might also notice swelling or redness around the anus. Additionally, look for reddish or bloody discharge from the anus, which might also have a bad smell. Some cats have digestive symptoms, too, so check for vomiting, diarrhea, or constipation. Finally, watch for behavioral changes, such as irritability or refusal to sit.
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This post may contain affiliate links. Read more here. Updated: October 22, Unfortunately lots of dogs have problems with their anal glands.
This pair of small glands is filled with oily fluid that has a similar smell as the odor a skunk releases. Some also believe that they contain pheromones, which are chemicals dogs use to communicate. This can lead to swelling and infection, or even abscesses.