This is what you probably don’t want to read about; your pet’s anal glands. This topic can be a little disturbing but there are thousands to millions of pets suffering from anal gland issues today. This article aims to explain what is normal and not-so-normal about our pet’s anal glands, and to describe a few supplements which may help.
Fact: Cats also have two anal glands, just like dogs,
and can develop the same issues as dogs.
Fiction: All pets need their anal gland manually expressed by a veterinarian.
As you may have discovered above, both cats and dogs have two anal glands. They are located on each side of the anus and are fluid filled sacs used to mark their territory. The fluid within the sacs has a distinct odor, similar to a skunk’s spray, and is released each time the pet defecates. The scent is their own identity, which is why dogs typically greet each other by sniffing the rears. Some pets do need their anal glands expressed (or released) by a veterinarian because they are having some issues with their anal glands, but most healthy pets do not.
What are anal gland disorders?
- Impaction: This is where the anal sacs have too much fluid inside of them, usually caused by a decreased expression or release. Treatment is generally just a manual expression of the impacted glands, performed by a veterinarian. Pets with recurring impaction issues may need to consider diet changes and/or supplements.
- Infection: Usually following an impaction, anal sacs can become infected, where bacteria decide to take up residence in the gland. These usually require veterinary attention to start antibiotics and cleaning of the gland.
- Abscess: An untreated anal gland infection can lead to an abscess, where the anal gland and the surrounding tissues becomes very inflamed. They eventually swell to the point of rupture. These abscesses can be very dangerous and require immediate veterinary attention.
Fiction: All pets can benefit from anal gland support supplements.
Fact: Anal gland support supplements are all very different,
and it is important to pay attention to each’s ingredients.
Where do Anal Gland Supplements Come into Play?
Supplements are mainly helpful for preventing anal gland disorders and diseases. For pets with impactions, infections, abscesses, or any other anal gland disorder, prescription treatments are likely necessary. After the disorder has been healed, then a supplement may be helpful for preventing further instances. Most anal gland support supplements will contain fiber to help bulk up the stools, causing the anal glands to evacuate regularly. Other supplements will add in vitamins and other natural ingredients that may help with inflammation and general digestive health (Glandex and No Scoot). It is important to talk with your pet’s veterinarian about starting an anal gland support supplement because they may know which product will best compliment your pet’s disorder and diet.
Have you tried other anal gland supplements? How often does your pet need to visit their veterinarian for anal gland issues? Did the supplements help. Please leave us comments below. Thank you.