Anal Gland Abscess and Rupture in Dogs (Our Personal Experience)

anal gland abscess and rupture in dogs treatment

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Has your dog suddenly developed a big, red lump near its bottom? Is the swelling growing alarmingly fast and turning into what looks like a pus-filled abscess?

If your pooch is in pain or is showing signs of being incredibly uncomfortable with its backside, you might be dealing with an anal gland issue.

Here’s what happened to our dog when she had the sudden onset of an anal gland rupture (including photos of the timeline and healing process).

dog looking sad after anal gland rupture

Anal sac issues are fairly common in dogs, and require immediate medical attention if an abscess develops and ruptures. Without treatment, the infection can spread rapidly, leading to significant damage to the anus and rectum.

There’s a lot of advice out there on how to deal with anal gland problems – leading to some confusion and overwhelm. 

We’ll share our own experience and personal journey of an anal gland rupture scenario – and what we wish we had known beforehand!

Health Warning: The following contains explicit images of our dog’s anal gland abscess and rupture, which may be unsettling for some readers!

What are Anal Glands?

Most people don’t know that dogs have two glands in their anus, called anal sacs or anal glands, which are located under the skin near where the rectum meets the anus. 

These glands produce a smelly liquid that is normally pushed out of your dog’s body when they poop, but sometimes these secretions build up inside their body and need to be expressed manually by the vet.

A large number of dogs will have some form of issue with their anal glands during their lifetime. 

dog scooting from anal gland issues

Symptoms of an Anal Gland Abscess in Dogs

The following is a list of symptoms associated with anal gland abscesses in dogs:

  • Red, swollen bottom
  • Scooting (dragging their bottom along the ground)
  • Pain when pooping
  • Quickly reaching around to try and lick their bottom
  • Excessive licking
  • Trying to poop more often, or straining
  • Foul, fishy smell
  • Wound near their anus
  • Sitting down suddenly
  • Discharge, or blood around their bottom
  • Low energy
  • Drinking lots of water
  • Loss of appetite
  • Whining, or needing to be close to you

However, not all of these symptoms need to be present to confirm an issue.

For example, one of the most common facts about anal gland secretion is that it has a foul, fishy smell.

When our dog started having issues this smell was the first thing we looked for, but it didn’t smell foul at all. This led us on a wild goose chase, believing that it couldn’t have been an issue with her anal glands!

That’s why it’s so important to get professional advice from a vet as soon as possible.

Timeline of our Dog’s Anal Gland Abscess and Rupture

Our pup’s journey with an anal gland abscess and rupture was a total rollercoaster ride! Here’s the day-to-day of how everything played out:

Day 1

We first noticed that our beagle was scooting around the floor a lot more regularly. I mean, she is partial to this every now and again, but on this particular morning it was fairly constant. 

We checked her backside and all seemed fine, nothing unusual at all. 

Towards the evening, she began drinking a lot of water, almost twice as much as she normally would. She also became quite needy, wanting to stay close to us. 

Then there was the sudden sitting and reaching around towards her bum.

Just before bedtime, we noticed a very slight swelling on the left side of her anus. She was walking around quite gingerly and being a little cautious when jumping up onto the couch, but all else seemed fine. 

Our initial thoughts were that she may have been stung by an insect whilst out in the yard all day.

Day 2

The morning after was a little shocking, to say the least.

We couldn’t believe just how aggressively the swelling had grown overnight. From almost nothing to a whopping great big abscess.

picture of anal gland abscess in dogs
Anal gland abscess on dog

Our pooch was clearly uncomfortable and understandably reaching around to her butt to try and figure out what on earth was going on.

We called the vets immediately and they booked us in for the afternoon. 

Our dog did not suffer from any loss of appetite (she’s a beagle!) and so was eating as normal, however, she was really struggling to poop. She was in and out constantly, trying desperately to go but was having a lot of trouble.

Soon after breakfast whilst inside the house, she sat down suddenly – causing the abscess to burst!

This left a small bloody puddle on the floor which had us in a little panic, but she seemed to feel a lot better. Again, this did not have any foul smell whatsoever.

anal gland rupture red bloody liquid

After our visit to the vets, they confirmed that this was an anal gland abscess and rupture, and recommended a course of antibiotics, anti-inflammatories, and pain relief for the next 10 days, no other treatment was deemed necessary. 

They warned that the wound would get worse before it starts to heal, which was very reassuring considering what was yet to come…

dog fresh ruptured anal gland
Immediately after anal gland had burst

Day 3

Our dog was miles better on day 3 and was able to have pees and poops way easier than the last couple of days. 

She couldn’t resist the urge to try and lick her backside, so we placed an Inflatable Collar on her to prevent this from happening, which she took to really well.

We also had to frequently replace blankets and towels on her bedding as the wound was seeping everywhere. 

Naturally, she was still scooting along the floor which meant the wound and abscess were being aggravated. To our horror, we then saw the following…

anal gland rupture on dog
The size of the open wound was shocking!

Having never experienced anything like this before, you can understand how dog parents may react when they see this happening to their little fur-babies! 

It was heartbreaking, as the rupture looked horrendously painful. However, the truth is that she did not seem like she was in any pain and was actually far better than she had been. 

Now, your first thought will be that there is absolutely no way this wound can heal without stitches, after all, it was huge! 

A quick video consultation with the vets provided further reassurance that this was to be expected, and that the medication and anti-inflammatories would help with the rupture healing process.


anal gland abscess rupture home treatment
Using inflatable collar to help with healing

Days 4-14

Over the coming days, our pup was finally getting back to her usual, playful self – even though the sight of her rupture made us wince every time she turned around! 

We’re pretty sure that the medication had a large part to play in her comfort and the healing process.

At around day 10 the rupture had completely healed. Naturally, our dog found the scab a little irritating and would rub her bottom along the floor at every opportunity.

She was supervised outside where we have rough flooring as this was very likely to open up the wound again.

anal gland rupture healing on day 10
Rupture almost fully healed by day 10

How to Treat an Anal Gland Rupture in Dogs

Treating an anal gland rupture is actually a really simple process, and far less stressful than the discovery itself!

Here are the things to watch out for:

1. Don’t Express Their Glands

If you normally empty your dog’s anal glands yourself, you’ll want to make sure you definitely do not try this if looks like there’s an infection developing. Your dog will find this incredibly painful and you may end up making matters far worse.

2. Try not to Panic

It is likely that once the abscess has progressively formed it will rupture or burst naturally at some point when your dog sits down. This may cause some distress to you both, but try not to make a big deal out of it. Dogs can sense panic in their owners!

3. Find Reassurance

Once the abscess has burst, your dog will (more than likely) be in less pain as the pus will start draining out and relieving some of the pressure. This is a good thing for them.

4. Get Professional Help

Your dog will need a visit to the vet where they can flush out the wound, and prescribe anti-inflammatories, pain relief, and antibiotics to help make your pooch a little more comfortable to assist with the rupture healing.

5. Keep the Area Clean

We were advised to use warm water and hypoallergenic cotton wool pads, keeping the open wound clean by dabbing around the area very gently. This is particularly important after they have had a poop to try and keep the area as sterile as possible

6. Prevent Licking

Do your best to prevent them from reaching and licking their rupture, or any of the pus stains left on bedding.

7. Get an Inflatable Collar

Use an inflatable collar if you think your dog may make matters worse by reaching round to their bottom.

dog wearing inflatable collar for home treatment of anal gland issues
Inflatable collars are an ideal home preventative measure

READ: Are Inflatable Collars Beagle-Proof?

Anal Gland Abscess and Rupture Healing Process

Most anal gland abscesses and ruptures will heal after 10-14 days, so long as there are no complications. 

If possible, try to prevent your dog from scooting along the floor once the abscess has burst as this may agitate the wound further, causing delays to the healing process.

Just as we have experienced, the wound will initially look far worse before it gets better. We were utterly surprised at just how quickly an anal gland rupture can heal!

Here’s the overall timeline (in photos) of the healing process:

anal gland abscess and rupture in dogs healing process
Healing process days 1 – 14

3 Ways to Prevent Anal Gland Abscess and Rupture in Dogs

Preventing an anal gland abscess and rupture in dogs may not be as easy as you’d like to think, but there are certainly ways to improve your dog’s chances:

1. Keep them in good shape

Just like humans, dogs can quickly become out of shape if they don’t get enough exercise. Overweight dogs can also find it more difficult to empty their anal glands due to weakened muscles around their bottom.

2. Good diet

Feed them good quality dog food filled with additional fiber to encourage stable digestion and healthy stools. Bulky and firmer poop will help with emptying their anal glands naturally, as the anal sacs are more likely to fill up after a few days of diarrhea. 

NOTE: Dogs that scavenge and pick up things they are not supposed to (such as eating dog poop) are more likely to have soft stools and issues with their anal glands.

3. Regular checks

Take your dog to the vet every two or three months to see if they need to have their anal glands expressed. This normally costs around $30 / £25 and is a fairly easy process. 

Can you empty Anal Glands yourself?

Ideally, anal glands should be expressed by a vet or a trained professional. Trying to empty anal glands yourself when there is no need can lead to inflammation or further issues in healthy dogs. Some dogs may also come to rely on it and will stop emptying their glands naturally.

If your dog has ongoing problems then you can ask your vet to show you what you need to look out for before bringing them in.

How Much Does it Cost to Treat Anal Gland Rupture in Dogs?

There is not an awful lot the vets can do once an anal gland has ruptured, other than to flush it out. Usually, a course of anti-inflammatories and/or pain relief along with antibiotics is prescribed for around 10 days. 

The average cost of a vet consultation with these prescribed medications is in the region of $180 / £140.

If the rupture is left untreated or complications arise, then surgery may be required to remove the anal glands. Discuss these options with your vet. 

Emergency Vet

If you’re unable to reach your own vets and need to get hold of someone urgently about an anal gland tear or rupture, and the actions you should take, you can now speak to a licensed vet around the clock.

Also, having the right type of insurance can alleviate the worry of covering any unexpected associated costs.

Your Dog’s Anal Gland Rupture Will Heal!

If you’ve never experienced an anal gland rupture in your dog, then count yourself (and your pooch) extremely lucky!

These issues can be fairly common, and although the discovery might leave you feeling helpless as an owner, in most cases there’s not much that can be done to prevent it. Just be sure to give your pup the extra kisses and cuddles they truly deserve.

We wish your pup all the best, and hope this article has helped to reassure you that your pooch will be back to their usual (cheery) selves in no time!

Further Reads:
Ideal Gifts for Beagle Lovers!
Recent Posts

We have owned and cared for many beagles over the years, and understand how challenging it can be to find reliable information when you need it the most. At The Barmy Beagle, we create original content through writers with personal experiences, to ensure you have authentic information at your fingertips, making life as a new or existing beagle owner a little bit easier, and far more enjoyable.

50 thoughts on “Anal Gland Abscess and Rupture in Dogs (Our Personal Experience)”

  1. I can not say thank you enough for writing this and having the pictures! I’ve had dogs for the last 15 years and have never had to deal with this. I currently have 2 female dogs and 1 male dog. before these 3, I had a female dog also. Those dogs have been anywhere from 35-65 lbs and very active, just have never had to deal with an anal glad issue.

    Well tonight my 2 year old, 8 lb, maltese/shih tzu mix scared the crap out of me. I came home from work and my fiance showed me a very swollen area near my dogs anus. Looked very similar to your picture like it was pushing on the anus a bit. I picked him up carefully and held him for a few minutes before carefully putting him down on our couch. Less than a minute later he yelped and my fiance noticed a lot of blood. I immediately rushed him to the sink to clean him up. He’d been hiding under our couch all night and didn’t greet me at the door when I came home like he always does. After he got cleaned up he did seem better. He stayed very close to me, but at least wasn’t hiding under our couch. Went to the bathroom better than he had earlier in the night. I did notice what looks like a very large hole for such a small little guy where the swelling had been. I was so worried I just wanted to cry.

    He definitely seems to be feeling better, but still not 100% himself. He’s eating and we haven’t noticed any excessive water drinking. I’m going to do my best to keep him clean tomorrow. I’m thinking diapers, possibly an inflatable cone if he won’t tolerate the diapers, and an antibiotic spray for the area until the vets open on Tuesday, because of course this happened on a holiday weekend.

    Thank you so much for the article and pictures, and for the reassurance that it shouldn’t take long to heal once he gets some meds. Seeing the spot where it burst really worried me. I can’t wait to get him back to his old self!

    1. Thank you so much for sharing your experience. I’m genuinely relieved that our article and photos could provide some guidance and reassurance during such a distressing time. Wishing your pup a swift recovery and a return to his joyful self!

  2. Hi there, My little 4 pound Pomeranian named Koko had an anal gland abscess rupture yesterday. (Side note: she’s not overweight but is rather inactive) The day started out normal, absolutely nothing different than any other day. She was sleeping in my office on her bed, like she does everyday while I’m working. My husband came in the front door and Koko got up, ran a few feet to bark at them (like she always does), and then suddenly dropped her butt and started scooting aggressively on the floor. It being an odd behavior for her, I immediately investigated and found a large lump just below and to to the right of her anus. I went to feel it and BLAM!! It burst and a bunch of brown-ish liquid goo came out. I took her straight to the sink and started running warm water over the area to clean it and as I’m doing so Koko is making the saddest sounding whine-cry. As soon as the rest of the goo popped out of it she stopped crying. So I rinsed it out thoroughly, dried her off, and put a tiny diaper with a pantyliner pad in it onto her to catch the drainage. It’s been draining all night, but I just change out the pad and the wound stays clean. She can’t get to it because of the diaper and there’s no mess in the house from leakage because the pads are catching it all. I’ve opted to not take her to the vet because I can do everything they can do at this point. I’ll give an update about the progress in a week if I can remember.

    1. Oh bless little Koko, she would have been wondering what on earth was going on back there, I hope she has a quick recovery. Please do consider taking her to the vet for some anti-inflammatories and antibiotics, even if she currently looks like she is not in any pain. This will reduce the possibility of any complications and will assist with her recovery.

  3. This article was sooooo informative. My little had an abscess and instinctively I applied a warm compresses. It burst and looked just like the pictures provided- so I did not panic.
    I called the vet and have an appointment 2 days from now….I hope that is soon enough.
    Thank you for taking the scare out of it all

    1. We are so happy to hear that this post helped you keep your cool after your pup’s anal gland abscess ruptured, that’s no easy feat! Hopefully your little one is getting all the fuss they deserve and is on the way to a swift recovery

  4. Hi, It sounds like you are pretty experienced with this (I know not a doctor) but for advice. My pug after 5 years with no issues has an anal gland issue and as everyone else stated, the licking the rubbing and it bled and I did see some pus so took her to the vet today and they said ” they tried to drain it and couldn’t because it had probably ruptured and they gave me antibiotics and told me to soak her bottom in epsom salts for 3 days” They said I should have her be sedated so they can put in this tiny little catheter or stent (don’t remember what word they used) which I am all prepared to do. The only symptom she has that I didn’t see anyone else mention is theres a small (size of a thumbnail) hard lump under the abcess. No one else here has said anything about their vet stating to do this surgery. Am I being hoodwinked into unnecessary vet expenses? Should I wait and see what happens? last time they told me to have an $800 surgery for a lump on her eye, I waited since it had already started getting smaller by the time I took her to the vet and it finally went away on its own so I just want other peoples thoughts.

    1. Hi Barb, sorry to hear that you’re going through some additional stress with your pup’s anal gland rupture. It’s extremely difficult for us to give you any real guidance on her specific issue (as we are not veterinary professionals). Not sure what the small hard lump may be as never heard of this, but a normal abscess and rupture (without any complications) should heal in around 10-14 days, so it depends on whether you think she is comfortable enough to wait it out and see?

  5. Thank you so much for sharing this… we are currently dealing with a situation, of course on the weekend. Uhg. We have decided our fur baby should be ok until we can get into the vet tomorrow. I was feeling good about our decision plus we know if we change our mind we can always run to the ER later. Your story and pictures have made me feel even more settled. Thank you

    1. We are experiencing the exact same thing and of course it started Saturday, late in the day. Today it seems to have ruptured (now Sunday morning). At first glance (because my dog didn’t show any signs at all of a problem, but it must have burst and I caught her licking the area) I was clueless about this condition, horrified and panicked thinking maybe an insect burrowed under her skin or that she caught herself on a fence or got bit by something. I held a warm cloth to the area to clean it, it was very bloody and oozing. I am so grateful for your article and great closeup photos and the timeline! No question, with your description/photos, my Hayley is experiencing exactly what happened to your pup. Hard to imagine how nasty the “wound” looks and that it was caused by an internal abscess. Thank you so very much!

  6. Your time line is a reassuring godsend to me after my gorgeous boy’s anal gland ruptured 3 days ago. My situation literally mirrors yours. I too assumed he had an insect bite as he displayed no signs of discomfort. It went from nothing to a plum sized abscess in about 7hrs and then burst. Even after taking him straight to the vet, getting it cleaned and meds, I’ve still been a devastated wreck. But your account,of your experience,with pics of your little ones healing process means everything to me. I can gauge his progress without having a complete and utter breakdown now!!
    One question, in between his lulls and signs of discomfort he just wants to play and run. Is this OK or shall I try my best to keep him calm and still. He’s a typical hyper Boston Terrier, so it’s proving a challenge.
    Thanks again for your invaluable article, which I’m glad I stumbled across. Xxx

    1. Hi Clair, we are so very glad to hear how reassuring you found this post! Hopefully, your boy is already miles better now, but gentle games and playtime should have no effect on the healing – let him have his fun! The real thing to watch out for is scooting or reaching round to lick the wound, try to avoid this wherever you can. An inflatable collar at night (when he is not supervised) is the best way to help with the latter. It will be fully healed in no time!

      1. I’ve just experienced this with my longhair chihuahua and we are both still traumatised. The photos of the healing process has helped enormously along with your description of medications and that it will look worse before it gets better. My baby’s gland ruptured six days ago and I’m taking her back to the vet tomorrow just to have her checked over again, I hate that my baby is in discomfort and pain and she’s just not herself. Thank you for sharing your experience

  7. Thank you!!! I read so many articles as this was happening to my senior Brussels Griffon…but this was by far the most helpful and really helped us get through it!

  8. Thank you! This has been the best information that I have read. It is a holiday weekend and I have to wait to get my got into the vet so this information gives me some comfort and knowing not to panic if the infection turns into an abscess and bursts. Thank you!

  9. Makayla Windham

    Hi! I just wanted to thank you for posting as much detail as absolutely possible. I stumbled across this article when researching about my dog’s random abscess that grew on her butt seemingly overnight when I’d NEVER seen it before (and I lay very close attention to her for this reason). After reading the article, it definitely helped me prepare a little bit more than what the emergency vet had given me to help her (our normal vet was short staffed and wasn’t able to get us in within the timeframe they opened and I had discovered it). I wondered though if you had any advice on how to encourage a dog with a healing anal gland wound to poop. My dog will only pee, and I’ve given her pumpkin and a softer diet to help soften her stool so poops are less painful, but all she does is slam her butt into the grass the moment she feels the feeling and refuses to go. I’m kind of at a loss because we’re on day 3, VERY soon to be day 4 of her healing process and she’s not passed a single bowel movement even though I KNOW she wants to. Any advice on how to help my poor baby?

    1. Hi Makayla, thank you so much for taking the time to tell us how helpful this post was – it makes a world of difference hearing this from our readers! Pooping can be a terrifying prospect for your pooch right now, and if she can stop herself from going then that’ll be the easier option for her. No doubt, she will begin to feel rather uncomfortable if she hasn’t been for several days. And it’s highly likely that your dog is restricting her movements due to the wound, which can be slowing her metabolism down. The most effective way to get dogs to poop after an anal gland abscess/rupture is by taking them on a short walk (on the leash) somewhere they normally associate with pooping. Coupled with a fiber-rich diet, movement and light exercise is the best way to start regulating her bowels again, and it shouldn’t be too long into her walk before she has to poop, voluntarily or not! Hopefully that’ll work for you and your pup, please let us know how she gets on?

  10. Louise Latanowich

    I’m so glad to find your post, so informative and reassuring. Just came back from urgent care and thought my dog was dying, butt first. Never had that problem with other dogs so really didn’t know much about it. Our little unicorn got a pretty severe ruptured gland and they sent us home with antibiotics, anti inflammatory and pain medicine but it looks like so much more should be done. So thank you for educating us, I fell so much better knowing others have been through this and will wait patiently for his recovery

    1. Hey Louise,

      It’s terrifying experiencing an anal gland rupture for the first time, right? The wound looks like it’ll never heal on its own but dogs are just amazing! We are so glad to hear you found the information here useful, thank you so much for taking the time to comment.

      TBB Team

  11. Thank you for this post!
    Did you use some kind of cream/ointment during the treatment? If so, did you put it inside “the hole”?

    1. You are very welcome! Our vet did not advise using any ointment, only to clean the area (very gently) with water-soaked cotton pads, especially after she had been for a poop. The anti-biotics should take care of the infection.

  12. Our chihuahua/pekingese had a rupture a couple of days ago. We didn’t know what it was. I finally suspected an anal gland rupture and got online to research. I am so glad to have found this site! Everything here (your whole post, pictures, descriptions, remedies, comments and replies) has been so informative and helpful! Thank you, thank you!!!

    1. Hey Marsha, thank you so much for your kind comments – we really appreciate it and are so pleased to hear that you found it helpful! Hope your little fur-baby is well on their way to recovery!

  13. Hey guys, Jeremy here once again, so sorry to do this!. Just wanted to update. Last night our girl started looking uncomfortable once again, getting up and down, sniffing her behind, licking etc one week after the last vet visit as normal so I lifted her tail to take a look and at that exact moment green/yellow puss started leaking from her backside..! I just thought ohh you poor thing not again off to the after hours vet we went. I showed the vet a video I managed to film of the puss draining and she said ohh my that is bad.. drained the glands which also had blood in them, said the infection is most certainly back. Gave her a needle for pain and also antibiotic injection along with a two week course of two different types of antibiotics. Took a swab to send off to the lab Monday to see which strain of bacteria it is. So the last two vets have managed to miss the infection and pass it off as nothing unfortunately. Really hoping this long course of antibiotics will clear the infection and be done with it but the vet said they may need to be surgically removed. Really hoping not!

    Thanks guys, hoping this may help someone in future

    1. Jeremy, your posts have definitely helped! Thank you for sharing the problems your dog has had, and the follow-ups! Our dog is having a problem now, and your posts have been very helpful!

  14. Jeremy again here, just like to update my last comment from a few weeks ago. Since the initial burst gland , things were going well, then 1 week later our pup started looking uncomfortable again (on a Sunday of course when things are more expensive) so I took her to a different vet where they said healing appeared very good but not sure why they had to express her again. Fast forward another week later (yes, Sunday again) and same thing happened, she was scooting, sniffing and licking. Took her to yet another vet who said everything appears normal, there wasn’t anything to express this time and maybe it was just the fur where they clipped growing back being a bit uncomfortable or possibly some healing twitches back there. Hopefully this might give someone a bit of peace of mind in the event they too experience a similar thing.

    Thanks again Barmy Beagle

    1. Ours was still scooting for some time too, no doubt it’s a traumatic experience for them, and understandable that it doesn’t quite feel right back there during the healing process. So long as they’re not scooting on particularly rough surfaces and aggravating the wound, it’ll soon be a distant memory! That’s incredibly helpful to know, thank you so much for providing an update Jeremy!

  15. Thanks for this, it really helped on the night it happened to us. Our 10yo shepherd had what looked to be hot spots on her behind but as we now know these were actually anal glands. One night she started licking something off her bed and we smelled that familia smell, that’s the moment she had actually burst..! In pain at 2am we called emergency after hours vet who gave her antibiotics, codeine and cream. It’s been two days now and she slept through last night th God so not in so much pain but her bum is swollen, I’m hoping this subsides soon!

    1. Hey Jeremy,

      Hopefully your shepherd is over the worst of it! It’s terrible for any dog to go through a burst anal gland, let alone a senior dog. Thank you for letting us know this post really helped to reassure you everything would be ok. Hugs and kisses to your poorly pup!

  16. Thank you for this post. My elderly dog had this develop quickly over the weekend. The vet tried to clear out his anal glands but the abscess came anyway and quite rapidly within 24 hours of compresses.

    We knew it was likely going to happen as we were told to expect one, but wasn’t prepared what to expect. With each compress it kept growing so large! It was heartbreaking to see him in such distress right before rupturing, all the blood and sizable hole in our beloved dog after the fact. The poor guy seemed instantly better once it ruptured, however like you described. Even with it actively still draining, he seems so much more comfortable and was even playing this evening. It’s a relief to see his appearance is normal progression and he will continue to improve like your dog did!

    He’s in good physical shape and ideal weight, has great bowel movements so this caught us completely off guard. The vet says that impacted anal glands and abscesses can happen for many reasons including old age or even allergies.

    1. Hey Sara,

      Thank you for your message! I agree, it can be completely heartbreaking watching your poor pup going through this, especially at old age. I’m glad the vets gave you some indication of what to expect, hopefully the photos of our dog’s healing progress will help further reassure that it shouldn’t be too before the wound closes up. So happy that he is being playful again!

  17. Thanks so much for documenting this! My poor girl had an abscess that ruptured (I assume because there were a couple of small bloody spots on the floor) a few days ago but I was clueless until last night when another spot appeared and I looked closely and noticed the awful swelling. She didn’t show any signs like scooting or anything. Got to the vet today and they drained and cleaned the anal sac and sent her home with some pain meds and antibiotics but no cone of shame or anything like that and no further special instructions for me. There seems to be a small hole about the size of a dot from a felt tip marker that I assume was created by the vet. We’ve got a recheck scheduled for ten days from today. I have no clue what caused it as her stool seems normal sized and consistency. A real mystery.

    1. It can be fairly tricky finding the root cause of the abscess unless you have any real level of certainty. Perhaps your vet will be able to identify the reason when you go back for a checkup in ten days? It’s good to hear that she didn’t show any signs of discomfort, hopefully she has a good (and quick) recovery!

  18. I’ve been looking for a something like this since my dog got an abscess yesterday. It ruptured while I was at work. I took her to the vet where they flushed it and medicated her. She woke up yelping at 1:00 this morning (she’s not what you’d call a stoic dog) and while the pain med helped, it broke my heart to leave her to come to work today. I was looking for a timeline of healing to help put my mind at ease and this post was perfect. Thank you!

    1. We are so sorry your pup was in pain this morning, it’s an awful thing to go through. We are fairly certain that she is far more comfortable now than before the rupture, and although pretty terrible to look at – it should heal soon. Thank you for your comment, we love to share our experiences to help others feel reassured!

  19. What brand inflatable collar did you use? My dog has same issue and his patience is wearing thin with the plastic collar. I thought he was on way to healing but it filled with blood today and ruptured again. I need a collar option that is easier to get on and more comfortable for him.

    1. Hi Pam, we’re so sorry to hear that your poor boy is going through another rupture. We have tried so many different types of collars, the most important factors come down to getting the right size with an adjustable strap. You may find this post helpful, and we would recommend something similar to these inflatable collars. They keep inflated and last 10x longer than the ones with a hook and loop. Let us know if you need any other info, we wish your pooch a speedy recovery!

  20. Thanks for all the informations!

    What scares me the most is how fast it can progress, it came out of nowhere. He didn’t show any discomfort or symptoms at all. No pain, no scooting… I’m aslo getting him more active.

    Thanks again for everything!

  21. Hi there, my boy is having an reoccurring anal gland abscess. It happened exactly like how you described, the abscess happened so fast, seemingly overnight. Ever since his last incident, I’ve been careful with the area, I clean him with wipes after he does his business, I take pictures every week. So the new abscess really took me by surprise. I took him to the vet before it popped, the vet gave me some antibiotics and cream. And it popped right now, do I need to go back to the vet?

    1. Hi John,

      We are so sorry to hear that your poor boy is going through this again. I would most definitely give your vet a call, it’s likely he will need to go back on the antibiotics for a minimum of 10 days, but go by their advice. How long ago was the first one? It might be worth discussing with your vet whether he needs regular anal gland expression to try and help prevent a recurring abscess. We wish him a speedy recovery.

      1. Thanks for replying!

        The first abscess was on June 14, the vet open the abscess and clean him up, he told me he found only a little bit gland secretion.

        I took him to get his gland checked and expressed on July 14, the vet again found very little juice, but there was a little bit pink on the tissue. The vet told me it was okay, so I didn’t think too much of it.

        I learned how to express anal gland externally myself. So I did one on August 3, I got 5, 6 drops of anal gland content, but that was it.

        The most recent abscess was on the 11th, his glands weren’t impacted.

        He’s doing better now, I still can’t figure out why. I’m experimenting with his diet, I’m lowering his fat intakes and added more fibers.

        1. Hi John,

          It’s tough to know exactly what’s causing a recurring anal gland abscess. Sometimes we may tend to over-express, which itself can lead to further complications. It’s best to have monthly/bimonthly checkups with your vet so that they can assess whether expressing is necessary.

          You’re doing all the right things with his diet – obesity is high on the list when it comes to issues with anal glands in dogs, lack of sufficient exercise can also be a factor.

          We send our best wishes to your little boy!

        2. My little dog had an abcess just like the pictures you show. I thought it could be cancer ( I’m an RN,) so of course I had horrible images in my mind. It was just as horrific and painful as others described , it burst at the vet’s office, was flushed and she got antibiotics, pain meds and steroids. It’s been three weeks now and I am hyper vigilant watching her butt!! All the time while we walk! I think we have both suffered equally over this and I never ever want to go through this again! Your article was excellent and I thank you for the pics and information.

          1. Hey Jeanette, I totally get your paranoia with her butt now, we do exactly the same! We always assumed it would happen again as they can have recurring issues with their anal glands, but if it makes you feel any better – it hasn’t! Thank you so much for letting us know our article was helpful, and wish your little one a quick recovery!

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