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Why is my Dog’s Butt Red?

Corgi laying on bed with butt facing the camera

Overgrown hair, grooming, faecal contamination, diarrhea, allergies, flea infestations, worms, and breed predisposition are all causes why your dog’s anal region may be bloated, red, and itchy.

But the major problem usually has to do with the dogs’ anal sacs.

Let’s get into it. 

What exactly are anal sacs? 

The anal sacs are two tiny pouches situated on either side of the anus at roughly four and eight o’clock. The sac’s walls are coated with a dense network of sebaceous (sweat) glands that secrete a foul-smelling fluid.

The fluid is collected in the anal sacs and discharged by a tiny duct or canal that opens just inside the anus. The anal sacs are sometimes known as anal glands. Both male and female dogs have these sacs. 

What is their goal? 

Yellow Labrador retriever puppy outdoors sitting in grass

Chemicals in the anal sac discharge function as territorial identifiers or ‘dog calling cards.’ The secretions resemble skunks and are used to deter attackers and warn other animals of their presence.

When a dog has a bowel movement, anal sac fluid is generally pushed out by muscle contractions, imparting a particular odor (or individual scent signature’) to the excrement. This is why they are so fascinated with each other’s excrement. 

Why are my dog’s anal sacs bothering some dogs? 

In dogs, anal sac illness is quite frequent. The sacs are commonly affected (blocked), generally as a result of duct irritation. The secretion within the affected sacs thickens, and the sacs swell and distend. Your dog’s excrement will then be painful to pass.

The produced substance in the anal sacs provides a perfect environment for bacterial development, causing abscesses to form. Bacteria found in the feces can quickly move up the ducts and enter the sacs.

Bacteria are typically flushed out when fluids are produced during a bowel movement. If the sacs are affected, the fluid does not drain regularly, and the sacs get infected. The fluid subsequently becomes crimson, and the sacs finally fill with pus, resulting in an anal sac abscess. 

How will I know if my dog is suffering from anal sac problems? 

Big dog with large lump on one side of anal area

The initial symptom is often scooting or dragging the back along the ground. Excessive licking or biting may occur, usually near the base of the tail rather than the anal region. Anal sac illness is excruciatingly painful.

 When dogs have anal sac illness, even typically friendly dogs may snap or snarl if you touch the tail or anus. If the anal sac ruptures, blood or pus may flow from the rectum. 

What is the best treatment for anal sac disease? 

Impaction is treated by expressing or emptying the sacs. If the impaction is severe or an infection, the afflicted sac may need to be flushed to remove the hardened debris. Because these illnesses are unpleasant, some pets will require a sedative or anesthesia for therapy. 

Antibiotics (e.g., clindamycin, brand names Antirobe®, Cleocin®) are frequently administered orally but may occasionally require installation into the sacs.

For several days, most dogs will need pain relievers (e.g., meloxicam, trade name Metacam®) until the swelling and inflammation decrease. Surgery may be needed in advance.

Sometimes you have to see your vet for anal sac treatment – especially if the problem is bad. If you’re in doubt always check with your veterinarian FIRST before trying any home remedies.

Here are some home remedies that can work if your dog’s but is red and sore due to anal sac problems.

1. Increase fiber

small pumpkin and a slice of pumpkin on a white background.

This will work like wonders for your dog’s anal sac discomfort. Please give her a teaspoon of Benefiber with her morning meal and a teaspoon of crushed flax later in the day. Both dietary supplements soften the feces, which can assist the glands in emptying on their own.

Occasionally, we will feed Maizy a tablespoon of plain, fiber-rich pumpkin.

You might be thinking, “Huh, that’s a lot of fiber for one furry companion,” and you’d be right. Every dog reacts uniquely.

That is why it is critical to begin modestly and gradually expand. Begin with a half-teaspoon of Benefiber each day and gradually increase until you see small stool softening. 

2. Increase moisture

Some dogs are simply unimpressed with their water bowl. A straightforward option is to add additional liquid to their meal immediately. You may also buy a pet drinking fountain. Many dogs instinctively prefer flowing water over a simple, lukewarm, stagnant puddle. 

3. Decrease their weight

Curly white and grey dog sitting next to a bowl of food on a scale.

Anal sac problems in dogs are sometimes a sign of more significant systemic problems. Perhaps this is one of the reasons why chubby puppies suffer more. That isn’t to say thin dogs like Maizy are exempt, but if your dog is carrying a few extra pounds, switching meals or going on a diet may help relieve pressure and allow the sacs to empty more readily. 

Read labels carefully and pick products with real meat as the first component. Have you seen any animal byproducts, cheap carbohydrate fillers, or strange ingredients you can’t pronounce? Put down the box and try a well-known whole-food brand. 

4. Boost beneficial bacteria

Re-fortifying your dog’s anal glands with canine-formulated probiotics can also assist in encouraging them to empty on their own.

Prozyme Digestive Enzyme Supplement and Digest-All Plus are two well-known products. You must follow the directions on the packaging for dosage. 

5. Apply a warm compress

Holding a warm washcloth on the under-tail area can sometimes promote natural drainage. Soak a washcloth in warm water that has been soaked with 1 to 2 tablespoons of Epsom salt or Witch Hazel.

Don’t forget to hold this position for five to ten minutes, twice a day, every day. Wear rubber gloves and a clean cloth each time. 

6. Exercise!

Regular activity promotes regular elimination, and elimination promotes anal sac emptying. Remembering high school algebra class, we may call this the transitive property of anal sac victory. 

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