PetMeds® Anal Sac or Gland Problems in Dogs and Cats

Another common presenting scenario in everyday practice presented to the veterinarian is dogs and sometimes cats with chronic anal sac problems. These small glands located adjacent to the anus at 4 and 8 o’clock normally empty their contents with regular bowel movements. However, in some pets, these glands can become clogged, leading to anal itching, scooting and discomfort.  On occasion they can even abscess and even rupture leading to discharge and infection.

Adding fiber to your pet's diet can help with anal sac or gland problems

While no one knows why some pets are more predisposed to this problem than others, it does help to insure regular exercise, as well as adding extra fiber to meals to facilitate anal sac emptying. I will often suggest the supplement Vetasyl or Psyllium husks added to meals from the health food store as a source of soluble fiber. If a pet continues to rub and lick at the anal area, a thorough veterinary exam should be done, including a check for intestinal parasites such as tapeworms, which can also cause anal itching and scooting. Often simple manual expression of the glands by the veterinarian or animal guardian can offer dramatic relief to affected pets.

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10 Comments

  1. My yorkie has a cyst under her neck , I have taken her to the vets and he gave her a test for other problems, he said the cyst is not life threatening.. and will go away, well its been 3 month and its still the same size and hasn’t gone away , she also has some bumps now and hair loss , and just got over eye infection .. she doesn’t complain and is such a sweet little girl. would like to know if you can help in anyway thank you Nancy P.T.L >

  2. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianSeptember 25, 2012 at 4:17 pm

    Notmuch I can suggest from here. May need surgical removal of cyst. Other option would be to work with a veterinary homeopath in trying to treat homeopathically. To learn more see http://www.beyondflatearth.com or my website http://www.doctordym.com Many homeopathic vets offer phone consults.

  3. Which product would be most efficient in helping a 12 year old terrier mix with her scooting?

    Pet Naturals Scoot Bars
    NaturVet Digestive Enzymes with Prebiotics & Probiotics
    or
    Vetasyl?

  4. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianMarch 17, 2013 at 11:23 pm

    I would use naturevet enzymes along with the vetasyl.

  5. which product would be a good pain reliever or anti biotic if anal gland ruptured

  6. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianMarch 14, 2014 at 12:37 am

    I usually use good antibiotic like convenia injection or perhaps cephalexin or clavamox

  7. My cat has frequent anal gland infections with abcesses, Is there something to give him to try ans prevent this?

  8. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianSeptember 12, 2014 at 4:24 pm

    Try and make sure anal glands are periodically checked by vet to make sure not impacted or infected. Also try adding a teaspoon of metamucil each meal, which may help with anal gland emptying. Also can try a pinch of bran to meals as well.

  9. My female yorkie had an anal gland infection about 2 or3 mths ago. She has been straining to have a bowel movement. This morning I think her gland ruptured.What should I do? Do dogs get hemorrhoids?

  10. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianJanuary 7, 2015 at 7:14 am

    No hemorrhoids. Best to take to vet ASAP to check for anal gland rupture and/or colitis/constipation issue

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