Anal Glands

What are anal glands?

The anal glands produce scented material which is expelled with a stool. They are positioned either side of the anus. Many dogs and some cats experience anal gland issues.

The glands may become inflamed, overfull or infected. Symptoms include an obnoxious smell, licking the area or elsewhere, pain and distress, and scooting. Scooting (rubbing bottom on the ground/floor) can also be caused by fleas, worms, skin inflammation or a messy bottom. Anal gland inflammation can cause general irritation. The gland can also become abscessed and burst out through the skin.

How can a raw food diet help my pets anal gland issues?

The health and function of the anal glands and the gut is linked. Gut health is heavily influenced by diet, lifestyle (stress/anxiety), medications (including flea/worm treatments) and aging.

Providing a well-planned raw diet* can make a significant difference to gut and anal gland health. Addressing and supporting any stressors or challenges is also beneficial.

Firm stools help to expel anal gland contents. Stools on a raw diet should be firm nuggets, passed without significant straining.

There are often recommendations to increase the bulk of the stool with pumpkin, psyllium husk, Metamucil etc. We generally avoid vegetables (especially starchy ones) whilst trying to optimise gut health, as they can influence digestion.

How long will it take?

Anal glands issues can take some time to settle after a diet change, possibly months, as the sac can be very stretched, with damaged tissues and/or residual infection. Sometimes the anal gland position reduces the ease of emptying.

Our goal at Raw Essentials is to see lessening of the severity and frequency of symptoms, as we optimise nutrition and gut health through a raw food diet.

It is important to keep your vet informed of any dietary changes. We are happy to work alongside your primary vet.

*A well-planned raw diet: At Raw Essentials this means a combination of meat/bone/organs/tripe in prey proportions, from multiple prey species, including wild prey. We exclude all grains, starches, additives and preservatives from the diet. Check out our Feeding Guides, come and see us In Store or Contact Us for further information and help.


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