How Are Pets Diagnosed with Anal Inflammation?
Anal sac problems are diagnosed by examining the perineal area. Your veterinarian will wear disposable gloves and massage the anal sacs to determine whether they are soft and easily compressed or swollen and difficult to compress. As anal sac material is expressed, it is evaluated for color and consistency. Normal secretions are thin, rather like motor oil, and a pale yellow-brown. Dry secretions from impacted anal sacs are thick and pasty brown. If the sac is infected with bacteria, secretions become darker brown with yellow or green-yellow pus. Chronic infections and abscesses cause red-brown secretions. Infected anal sac secretions have a foul odor.
If anal sac material is abnormal, your veterinarian will send it to a laboratory to determine what organism is causing the infection. Among the common causes are
- bacteria, such as E. coli, Clostridium, Proteus, And Staphylococcus,
- yeast (Candida), and
- ringworm (Malassezia).
Diagnosis of Masses in the Perineal Area
Several different cancers can form masses in the perineal area. Tumors develop in male and female dogs, especially in Beagles, English Cocker Spaniels, English Bulldogs, Springer Spaniels, Dachshunds, Alaskan Malamutes, German Shepherds, and Samoyeds.
Apocrine (sebaceous) gland tumors (also called perianal adenomas) are common in male dogs because they are stimulated, in part, by testosterone. These tumors may spread through the pelvic area to the lymph nodes. A different type of cancer, an anal sac tumor (anal sac apocrine gland adenocarcinoma), occurs in females and may also infiltrate and spread through the area.