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  • Writer's pictureDr. Pamela Dragos

How to Prevent Anal Gland Troubles in Dogs and Cats.


Anal glands are scent glands that help your pet mark their territory every time they poop. Normal anal gland discharge is liquidy and has a fishy odor. The anal gland discharge is released when the poop pushes on the glands on the way out.

Symptoms of Anal Gland Trouble

Dogs with anal gland problems will scoot or drag their butt on the ground, lick under their tail, look at their rear end, circle, whine and cry, hide for no apparent reason or may be reluctant to sit or poop. Other signs of anal gland issues are discoloration or loss of hair under the tail and swelling or redness next to their anus. Cats with anal gland problems rarely scoot, instead they commonly lick the hair from the base of their tail or on the underside of their lower abdomen. Your pet is telling you they are uncomfortable and maybe even painful.

Causes of Anal Gland Irritation

Scooting and other signs of anal gland problems can indicate that your pet has impacted anal glands, severe inflammation such as anal sacculitis, an infection such as an anal gland abscess, food allergies, or rarely, cancer of the anal gland.

Expressing Anal Glands

Close inspection by a veterinary medical professional and an anal gland expression can help determine what the issue may be. The certified veterinary technicians of Synergy House Call Vet Techs can gently and expertly express your pet’s anal glands. Unfortunately, anal gland expression can cause more trauma to this delicate area especially if not done properly. Routine anal gland expressions are not necessarily the solution to chronic scooting because you are not addressing the underlying issues.

Ways to Prevent Anal Gland Issues:

· Feed a fresh food diet high in moisture. (Not kibble or canned)

· Include extra fiber in the diet. (fruits, vegetables, ground pumpkin seeds)

· Keep your pet at a normal weight.

· Make sure your pet gets enough exercise.

· Address possible food allergies with a holistic veterinarian.

· Add probiotics, fermented vegetables or Kefir to the diet.


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