Anal Sac Abscessation

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Infection of the anal sac to form an abscess, may occur following Anal Sacculitis or Anal Sac Impaction. Fistulous tracts may arise from the abscess and rupture to the skin.


Can occur in any age, breed or gender of dog however small breed overweight dogs are most commonly infected. Cats can also be affected.


Anal sac abscessation is diagnosed when there is noticeable swelling of the anal sac with a purulent exudate, inflammation of the surrounding perianal region, pain and fever. Rupture of the anal sac can occur with this condition producing a draining tract.

History and Clinical Signs

See Anal Sac Disease - General

Microscopic Examination

On microscopic examination of the fluid following anal sac expression, polymorphonuclear leukocytes and bacteria will be seen.


Incision of the sacs and drainage plus lavage with an isotonic solution or 0.05% chlorhexidine. Hot compresses can be useful when applied twice daily for 15 minutes prior to surgery. The incisions should be left open and broad spectrum systemic antibiotics given until results of culture and sensitivity are back. Common organisms are Escherichia coli, Streptococcus faecalis and Proteus species. If the condition becomes chronic, it is best managed by an anal sacculectomy.



Anal Sac Abscessation Learning Resources
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Small Animal Dermatology Q&A 21


Hall, E.J, Simpson, J.W. and Williams, D.A. (2005) BSAVA Manual of Canine and Feline Gastroenterology (2nd Edition) BSAVA

Foster, A. Foil, C. (2003) BSAVA Manual of Small Animal Dermatology (2nd Edition) BSAVA

Merck & Co (2008) The Merck Veterinary Manual (Eighth Edition) Merial

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