Pet Health: Anal Gland Problems

Take your dog or cat to the vet for a health check if they are showing any anal gland symptoms.

Created: 24/02/2015 Updated: 27/08/2021 - Shelley Audis-Riddell

cats, dogs, health, Health & Wellbeing, kitten, puppy, senior

What is an anal gland problem?

Dogs and cats all have 2 anal glands, which sit on either side of their anus. The role of the anal gland is to secrete a brown oily liquid as the stool passes. This brown oily liquid, holds a unique scent for each dog and cat. A bit like fingerprints in humans. The scent is used as a form of communication to identify each other and mark territories.

Symptoms Of An Anal Gland Problem:

  • Swelling of the area

  • Strong odour from the area

  • 'Scooting' their bottom on floor

  • Nibbling or licking base of tail, paws and back end to relieve irritation

If your dog or cat displays any of the symptoms associated with anal glands, it is important to take your pet to the vet for a health check.

Close up of a Border Collie

Why do dogs and cats develop anal gland issues?

Anal gland problems are seen more frequently in dogs than in cats. Problems develop when the anal gland is not properly emptied as the pet defecates. This may be due to your pet's stools being too small or too soft. When this occurs the fluid inside the anal gland sac becomes thick and blocks the gland. This is known as 'impaction'.

How Can OSCAR Help?

Dogs and cats with anal gland issues need to be fed a diet with a high fibre content. This is because the fibre helps to increase the volume of the stools, which will then pass against the anal gland and stimulate secretion of scent.

We recommend feeding dogs our OSCAR Adult Care Complete High Fibre Lite,or OSCAR Adult Care Complete Pinnacle Plus

For cats, we recommend OSCAR Adult Cat Care Rich in Turkey

It's certainly not a 'nice' subject to discuss but the care and well being of our pet families is priority to us all. With the right food and help from OSCAR we can get your dogs and cats feeling better quickly.

Do you need further advice?

If you need any further advice, please contact the OSCAR Helpline Team on our freephone number 0800 195 8000 or email helpline@oscars.co.uk.