Chihuahua anal sacs disorders
Even though every single dog breed is predisposed to developing anal sacs disorders, Chihuahuas and poodles. l sacs expression few times annually; however, Chihuahua owners have to be even more cautious. Anal sacs are organs positioned on both lower sides of the anus (8 and 4 o clock). They have glandular function and produce specific fluids entering the gut via small ducts. Once these ducts are obstructed the fluid inside the anal sacs accumulates which leads to inflammation, the formation of abscesses and perineal fistulas.
The exact cause of obstruction and inflammation remains unknown. Experts claim that excessive production of glandular fluid, diarrhea and soft stool, poor muscle tone, inappropriate diet, and obesity can all contribute to anal sacs disorders. The illness gradually changes from anal sac impaction, through anal sac saculitis to anal sac abscess and perineal fistulas. The first condition can be managed with a simple expression of the sacs and topical antiseptic solutions which is the reason why regular checkups for Chihuahuas are necessary. The later conditions may require a bit more invasive approach.
One of the most obvious signs is swelling in the area around the anus, especially in developed stages of the disease. This swelling can be due to anal sac disorders, but other conditions causing this aren’t excluded. Seeing your Chihuahua scooting across the floor is another remarkable sign of anal sacs inflammation. Moreover, the dog might lick or bite the area around the anus and have hard time defecating. In cases of perineal fistulas little ducts open inside the muscles and skin around the anus through which purulent discharge leaks originating from an abscess inside the anal glands.
Diagnosis and treatment
Every case of anal sac disorder in Chihuahuas should be checked by a veterinarian. The procedure consists of physical and rectal examination which sometimes must be performed under sedation depending on the level of pain the dog is experiencing. Sometimes when recurrent infections are apparent the vets perform cultural examinations to identify the exact type of bacteria causing the problem.
Treatment greatly depends on the stage of the anal sac disorder. As we mentioned before, impaction can be treated by applying pressure on the glands and evacuating the accumulated material. This should be regularly repeated because once a dog develops such condition it will most likely happen again. In cases of inflammation and saculitis, besides expression, the veterinarian will also apply an ointment containing antibiotics and corticosteroids inside the anal sacs. Additionally, oral antibiotics may be prescribed in the course of 1-2 weeks.
The formation of abscesses inside the glands is resolved with surgical procedure while the dog is under sedation or general anesthesia. If the abscess hasn’t ruptured, the vet will surgically open the mass and evacuate the liquid and inflammation material and apply antibiotic-steroid ointment. In most cases, the dog will have to take oral antibiotics for a few weeks to prevent recurrent infections.