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Rat Terrier with Burst Anal Glands

Q: Rat Terrier with Burst Anal Glands PetPlanet Vets PPAdmin pettalk@petplanet.co.uk My four year old rat terrier (male) has been diagnosed with a burst anal gland by his vet. He does not appear to be in any discomfort. The vet gave him an antibiotic shot and took a culture. Any idea on the cause of this condition?

A:Rat Terrier with Burst Anal Glands PetPlanet Vets PPAdmin pettalk@petplanet.co.uk Dear Martha,

The anal sacs or glands are found at either side of the anus and provide a secretion which is squeezed out each time the dog passes faeces. This fluid is part of the dog's personal scent and is thought to be involved in territory marking. In some dogs they become blocked, the secretion thickens up and this leads to irritation, infection and eventually abscessation.
Signs are rubbing the bottom(scooting), itching, chewing the area, pain, straining and discharge. Predisposing factors include soft faeces, recent diarrhoea, excessive secretion (cause unknown), poor muscle tone and obesity.
Smaller breeds appear to be affected more but this may be due to diet and lifestyle, rather than genetics.
Treatment is by manually emptying the glands in the early stages and antibiotics and steroids once they are infected. Really problematical ones can be removed surgically.

Hope that's of help,
Yours, June Third-Carter, vet for PetPlanet.co.uk

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