Anal gland removal 


Dogs and cats have two anal glands that lead to openings located at the 4 o’clock and 8 o’clock position around the anus. The glands are closely associated to the anal sphincter muscles and generally are expressed as the animal defecates. Anal glands produce a fluid with a very strong fishy odour unique to each animal. It is believed that the expression of the fluids helps it ‘mark’ their territory.


Indications for Surgery

Dogs are more likely to have anal gland issues and consequently removal of them.

The 3 most common conditions of anal glands which might raise the indication for removal are impaction, sacculitis (inflammation) and abscessation (infection). Smaller dogs are more predisposed to these problems. However, any dog can be affected.

Common clinical signs include scooting, licking, biting of tail base area, discomfort and abnormalities when defecating.



The Procedure

The surgery is performed under general anaesthetic. Anal sacculectomy is the procedure to remove the anal gland. First the anal glands are emptied by manually expressing them both. A polymer is then injected through the duct into the anal glands, this polymer then sets to a rubbery consistency. The skin beside the anus is surgically prepared and 2 incisions are made over the anal glands. The anal gland is closely associated with the external and internal anal sphincter. It must the very carefully dissected out of the sphincter muscles. The duct is then closed to prevent leakage from the colon into the surrounding tissues and the gland is removed. The skin incision is then closed.

Your pet is given a pain relief and antibiotic injection.

The cost of the procedure ranges from $1600-$2200 depending on patient weight and is all inclusive of required pre and post operative checks, intraoperative and post operative medications. 
NOTE the above price EXCLUDES additional post op checks and medications (which are not typically required) if post op instructions are not followed!



Your pet needs to rest for the next 10-14 days after surgery and wear an e collar is used to prevent any licking of the incision site. Antibiotics and pain relief is also sent home to prevent any infection or excessive inflammation at the surgery site.

Your pet will have some reduction in the muscle tone of the anal sphincter for the first 7-10 days post-surgery. This generally resolves on its own as the tissue heals.



The most common complications following anal gland removal surgery include inflammation/swelling, infection, temporary reduced anal tone and drainage from the surgery site.

Rarely more serious complications can arise such as permanent faecal incontinence, fistula formation and stricture formation. A persistent infections with drainage may indicate that a small amount of gland tissue has been left and a secondary surgery may be required. Faecal incontinence occurs due to the trauma around the anal sphincter muscles.