If you have recently noticed your dog scooting his or her butt on the floor or noticed redness around the rectal area of either your cat or dog, it is a an almost definite sign of anal gland issues. What are anal glands and their role? These are 2 pea-sized glands located around the rectal openings of cats and dogs. Cats use these to mark their territory by secreting anal gland fluid. Similarly for dogs, they use them for marking their territory by releasing pheromones on to their stools. Not only that, they are used in identification, whereby dogs get to know each other through using them as ‘scent glands’, (that’s why your dog is always trying to sniff another dog’s butt) so as to exchange information about their age, sex and others.
Anal glands are filled with fluid which is usually foul-smelling because these are full of toxins. So remember that if they are clogged, your dog or cat is harbouring toxins in them! Normally, this fluid is secreted naturally when your pet defecates but if cases such as inflammation, infection, presence of tumours, low fibre diet and obesity, or if your pet has a hypothyroidism or a food allergy, he or she will find it hard to express that disgusting anal fluid.
So what happens if your pet is unable to express his or her anal glands regularly? This might sound scary but impaction, infection or even rupture of the glands may occur. And not to mention an expensive visit to the vet. So does this mean you should bring your pet to the vet now? If you notice a smelly fishy discharge, you might want to make a trip to the vet and get the anal glands manually expressed. Your vet might recommend regular expression to keep the glands nice and clean. However, it is always better for your dog or cat to naturally express them and as a pet parent, you can do the following to help them:
- Increase the fibre in their diet
- Maintain a healthy weight range (dogs with Cushing’s and hypothyroidism are prone to weight gain)
- Consult your vet to design a suitable diet and at the same time, figure out any other underlying problem, if any
- Do not overdo anal gland expressions. No matter how it done, they do cause some degree of inflammation and tissue damage which could create scar tissue and further problems when done unnecessarily
- Non-drug option : Glandex® is an oral supplement specifically designed for your dog’s anal gland problems with guaranteed results. This supplement can be consumed by cats too. They contain pumpkin seed and apple pectin to help solve your pet’s anal gland problems naturally!
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