Risk factors for postoperative complications following bilateral closed anal sacculectomy in the dog

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To report the complication rate for bilateral closed anal sacculectomy in the dog and to evaluate potential risk factors for the development of postoperative complications. To identify breed groups at risk of requiring anal sacculectomy.


A retrospective review of medical records of dogs undergoing bilateral closed anal sacculectomy between 2003 and 2013.


Sixty-two dogs were included in the study of which 32·3% developed mild and self-limiting complications including 14·5% dogs that experienced postoperative defaecatory complications. No dog developed permanent faecal incontinence. Dogs less than 15 kg bodyweight were more likely to develop postoperative complications. Dogs that used gel to distend the anal sac were more likely to have postoperative complications than those that did not. Previous abscess formation, recurrent disease and pretreatment with antibiotics had no significant effect on postoperative complication rates. Cavalier King Charles spaniels and Labrador-type dogs were over-represented within this study population.

Clinical Significance:

Anal sacculectomy is a safe procedure with a relatively high rate of short-term but self-limiting, minor, postoperative complications. Smaller (<15 kg) dogs are more likely to experience postoperative complications but the risk of permanent faecal incontinence is low.

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