The first step is to check the anal sacs when any pet has a history of scooting. The anal sacs can be emptied in one of two ways
Bacterial infections cause damage resulting in inflammation, pain and itchiness. This condition, similar to, but more painful than hemorrhoids in humans, sometimes leads to unusual levels of fear and aggression in pets. Left untreated, an anal gland infection can abscess. Pain associated with an abscess can become very intense as pressure and inflammation increase. If this stage of the disease is left untreated, the abscess could rupture and drain through the skin. When this occurs, the pain is somewhat reduced; however, the abscess usually reforms and the process starts over again. If the abscess proliferates and drains into deeper tissues, the situation gets much worse.
By contracting the muscle surrounding these scent glands, cats and dogs can release the contents with their feces or independently to mark territorial boundaries. Many of our domesticated pets have lost the ability to squeeze the muscles surrounding their anal glands and release the contents. They have to massage them with their tongues or scoot on the ground to empty the contents.
Anal Sacs Problems in Dogs (and Cats) | petMD
Anal Sac Disorders in Dogs | petMD
Do not have your pet's groomer empty the anal sacs. Although many groomers offer anal sac expression as one of their services, this is not a grooming procedure. Anal sacs that are not self-emptying indicate a medical problem that your veterinarian can help you solve.For pets with chronic anal sac problems, some veterinarians recommend surgically removing the sacs. While removal prevents anal sacs from becoming inflamed or abscessed, it may not address the cause of the problem. If your dog was scooting and developed anal sac inflammation because of an itchy bottom due to food allergies, your dog will still scoot after the surgery unless his or her diet is changed.Your veterinarian will submit a sample of the anal sac material to a laboratory for analysis when the surgery is done. Analysis of the material ensures your pet is on an antibiotic that kills the bacteria which caused the problem.To find the anal sacs, lift your dog's tail, and look in the four o'clock and eight o'clock positions around the anus. Normally, sacs are barely visible because they are soft and compressible, but the opening of a single tiny duct that travels upward from each of the sacs may appear as a light dot. If the anal sacs appear obviously swollen and visibly large, or if they are hard, your pet has a medical problem and it should be addressed by your veterinarian. All dogs have two anal sacs just under the skin below the anus. Anal sacs are round little pouches approximately pea-sized in small pets and grape-sized in large pets. They secrete a thin, yellow-to-brown, foul-smelling material that is automatically dripped onto your dog's feces as he or she defecates. This material communicates information to other animals.Both anal sac inflammation and anal fistulas cause pain and a foul odor. Both may cause pets to lick or chew the area obsessively and to snap if the area is touched.