Helpline Advice: Anal Glands

Misty

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...

  • Nibbling or licking base of tail, paws and back end to relieve irritation
  • Scooting bottom on floor
  • Swelling of the area
  • Strong odour from the area

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.

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 High Fibre Lite, or our OSCAR Pinnacle Plus. These foods are ideal if your dog needs joint care as they all contain glucosamine. Pinnacle+ is especially as it's also packed with glucosamine, chondroitin and MSM for optimum nutrition.

For cats, we recommend OSCAR Adult Complete Turkey Lite.



This general advice is designed to help you choose the right food for your pet family. If you'd like to ask the experts directly then please call free on 0800 195 8000.

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