Meet Rigby. You might remember him from his last adventure at MAVH after he ate a bag of chocolates! Rigby was a rescue Sheltie with a myriad of medical disorders, some of which we could only manage with daily medications. So when he started having problems with his anal sacs, I had to do something that would cure him from this ailment. That’s when I knew surgery would be the best option for my precious Rigby.
For those of you who know what anal sacs are, you have probably experienced their characteristic odor often described as “fishy,” “metallic,” or just plain gross. For those of you who don’t know, let me first give you a little medical background on anal sacs. The anal sacs are two small pockets containing very foul-smelling material, lined by cells whose only job is to produce an oily semi-liquid substance that is stored there. Their purpose is only hypothesized- possibly to help pass stool or as a scent for dogs or cats to mark their territory. Regardless, it is evident that domesticated dogs and cats do not need them! So when a medical problem arises with them, especially when it becomes more chronic, it is wonderful to have a solution.
Anal sacculectomy is the medical term for surgery to remove the anal sacs. This procedure is performed routinely at MAVH by our own Dr. Franklin, who did a fantastic job working on Rigby, which could not have been easy with Rigby’s concerned veterinarian mom watching over his shoulder! Rigby’s recovery time was quick and he was back to normal that same night after surgery; well as normal as could be with the “cone of shame.” The hardest part for me personally was keeping that E-collar on him- Rigby was pretty good at giving you his sad eyes. But in two weeks, his sutures came out and he was back to our normal routine of eating and playing ball nonstop! Then, I never had to worry about Rigby having anal sac problemsever again!
-Dr. Kelly Altendorf (Rigby’s petmom and veterinarian)