Last Modified on Apr 24, 2016
Anal gland problems occur when our pet's feces are too soft, and while passing through the glands, do not empty them completely. If the glands produce too much liquid, it can thicken and clog they will become clogged. Dogs and cats have two anal glands beneath the skin near their anus. You will know that your pet is having a problem when they begin to lick themselves frequently and attempt to drag their bottoms along the floor. Luckily for you, this is a situation that you can look after at home! However, if the glands have become infected, which would include signs such as, the glands themselves appearing red or discolored, the animal experiencing severe pain, developing a fever, loosing their appetite and becoming lethargic, it is at this point that you need to get some immediate medical help.
How to Clean Your Pet's Glands: Here's how you can clean out the glands yourself. Enlist the help of another person to help hold the pet and make sure that you both change into some old clothing and wear some disposable gloves. Use an old blanket or sheet to lie underneath the animal as the material that is removed from the anal glands will be smelly and can cause stains on carpets etc. Clip away any long hair beneath the tail so that you can see what you're doing. With one hand, lift the tail way up over the animal's back so that you can expose the glands (these will be located at 5 and 7 o'clock positions on the anus). You will be able to feel if they are full. The ducts that will actually empty the glands are located a little bit higher at 4 and 8 o'clock. In a milking type fashion, use your thumb and forefinger to squeeze the glands in a C-shaped sweeping movement. The fluid will probably be a dark brown to clear color, however if it is yellow or blood tinted, it is likely that your pet has an infection and should see a veterinarian immediately.
After you have finished, sooth your pet's anal area by applying a warm, wet cloth to it. Once the cloth cools, warm it again with water and repeat the process for at least ten minutes at a time, three times per day.
In an effort to eliminate problems of impacted glands, there are a few changes that you can make to your pets regular diet. Increase their fiber intake by adding a fiber supplement to the food. You could also offer your pet some fresh vegetables such as Carrots, Cabbage or Celery. However, you should be aware that increasing the fiber in your pets daily diet will in addition to helping them express or clear their anal glands, also increase the size of their droppings.
Remedies for Anal Glands
The Popularity of Anal Glands Remedies - Full List
|Coconut and Coconut Oil||2||2009-03-11|
|Homeopathic Gunpowder 3x||1||2007-04-17|
|Pumpkin Seed, Coconut Oil||0||2012-09-06|
|Pumpkin, Coconut Oil, Epsom Salt Baths||1||2010-09-07|
|Raw Food Diet||1||2008-04-27|
[YEA] I have an update to another post about this issue. To date, I have been giving my poor old dog 1/4 large carrot chopped up over his dry dog food, a half tsp. of this glucosamine powder with Omega 3 6 9 also.
No anal gland stop ups ever so far on this routine every day!!!
Replied by Cathi Watson
East London, South Africa
Replied by Betty
Lead Hill, Ar
Replied by Angela
Posted by Kathryn4 (Lanham, Maryland, USA) on 03/05/2013
[YEA] My old beagle mix dog would get this all the time. Drove me crazy. What works finally is always give him 1/2 of a chopped up carrot over his food. I also give a squirt of the salmon oil so he won't scratch anymore. I had tried apple for many eyars but noticed his glands would always get blocked anyway. Switched to carrot and it has been much much better! Let us reduce the vet's salary:).
YEA (2) 100%Posted by EVELYN (TAMPA, FLORIDA) on 03/11/2009
LOVE THE WEBSITE IS VERY UPLIFTING TO KNOW THERE IS A CURE FOR THIS PROBLEM THAT POOR DOGS AND CATS CAN FIND RELIEF AT LAST THROUGH THE TESTIMONY OF OTHERS IT REALLY TOUCH MY HEART BECAUSE WHEN OUR ANIMALS SUFFER WE SUFFER WITH THEM TOO I JUST STARTED TO USE THE COCONUT OIL AND PUMPKIN ON MY POMERANIAN THANK YOU FOR THE INFO
Replied by Terri
Replied by Belinda
Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia
Replied by Mary Ann
New Delhi, New Delhi, India
Replied by Lorayne
Sun City, Az
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Replied by Stephanie
Douglasville, Georgia, Usa
Replied by Linda
San Francisco, Ca, Usa
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Replied by Lisa T
Posted by Elaine (Edmond, Oklahoma, USA) on 06/04/2008
[YEA] My little chihuahua would yip whenever he would have a bowel movement. His stool was also hard and light in color and hard to pass. Thank God for this site it saved me a vet bill. I remembered reading about coconut oil for people. I went to the kitchen and got a small amount on my finger, pried his mouth open and smeared in his mouth. I thought he would really protest, but he seemed to like the taste. Sure enough the next day he had a very healthy bowel movement. It turned out he had a swollen anal gland. I put witch hazel and hydrogen peroxide on it. It ruptured, drain and his fine now. I LOVE THIS SITE!
Replied by Peggy
Delbarton, Wv, Usa
Replied by Apryl
Aiken, South Carolina
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Replied by Julie
Bridgwater, Somerset, England
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Posted by Sue Ann (Beachwood, NJ) on 11/17/2006
[YEA] I read an article in a natural dog publication I receive about giving a dog with anal gland iissues unsweetened coconut and coconut oil (both can be purchased at a health food store). The coconut bulks up the stool with fiber and the coconut oil softens the bulked up stool a bit. For a dog about 30 lbs., you work up to 1 teaspoon of the coconut oil, and work up to 2 teaspoons of the unsweetened coconut. The coconut has to be soaked in water until its wet so it can be digested more easily. I only began this remedy 2 weeks ago, but don't notice my dog "scooting" as much as he used to.
Posted by Tttailor (Worcester, Ma) on 08/18/2012
My Toy Fox Terrier has the same problem and I switched her food to Science Diet WD which is a precription diet food from her vet. She no longer has any problems. I did try switching her to an organic dog food and her glands flared up a few months after the change. Went back to Science Diet and not messing with her food again!
YEA (2) 100%Posted by Tony (California) on 05/23/2014
[YEA] The first time I found out about anal glands I went to the vet and the wanted to do surgery. It was so bad that he was bleeding out of his butt. I said no to the surgery and they put him on antibiotic. And then had to see the vet again. It was costing too much and he was not getting better. Some one here mentioned that garlic was bad for dogs. Wrong! In desperation to make him better I cruched and put three cloves on his food, since he would not eat it I called my other dog who was healthy and will eat anything and he cleaned up the ill dogs bowl. The next morning the ill dog did not wait for the competition and cleaned up his bowl. I kept both dogs on this routine of garlic in the morning and at night neither one had any ill effects, and the infection cleared up. I do not do it on a regular basis because I have an inside dog, but I know of people that regularly feed their dogs garlic to keep fleas away.
Replied by Selma
Replied by Br
YEA (1) 100%Posted by Sandi From Texas (Caldwell, Texas, Usa) on 06/17/2012
In May of 2008, Sue from Ontaga, New Zealand posted her vet had prescribed a medication that healed her dog's fistula and that she was going to find out the name of the drug. I cannot find another post from her. Am I just overlooking it.... has anyone heard from her.
I am in a desperate situation with my dog and am going to try several of the ideas from this website, but would still like to know what Sue got from her vet.
EC: Here's where you'll find her post: http://www.earthclinic.com/pets/anal_gland_issues.html#HOMEOPATHICGUNPOWDER3X
Replied by Peggy
Delbarton, Wv, Usa
Replied by Lori
Replied by Bonnie
Replied by Justin
Posted by Keira (Sydney, Australia) on 10/26/2014
Three years ago my 8 yr old female cat Missy developed anal scent gland discharge. The vet gave her 2 courses of antibiotics to no avail, & it was back & forth to the vet for the gland squeezing till the vet taught me how to do it. The vet wanted to do surgery on her, I declined. I'd never had any problems with previous cats so I figured it had to be something in her diet. There was already one brand of cat biscuits she couldn't tolerate as they would trigger urinary tract infections which I treated successfully with cranberry tablets. Normally she ate cat biccies & tin cat food. I took her off cat biscuits completely- usually she would eat more of them than the tin food. Within a couple of days of no cat biccies the problem completely cleared up & has not returned. A couple of months later a new grain free cat biscuit brand came onto the supermarket shelves, which I tried & which didn't cause any problems. Missy continues to eat cat tin food & the grain free cat biscuits & there have been no more problems.
YEA (1) 100%Posted by Dharma (Phoenix, Az) on 04/17/2007
[YEA] Hi, About 20 years ago I spent thousands on antibiotics for my Borzoi's anal gland infection. I finally had a radionic analysis done and the homeopathic, Gunpowder 3x was prescribed. It can be highly antiseptic/antifungal. Since then I have seen that in animals if antibiotics do not work it is often fungal. For whatever reason gunpowder 3x has saved more than 1 animal from dangerous surgeries and amputation.
I do have a challenge I am working on and would like some advise if any have suggestions. What would you use for a deep anal fistula in a German Shepherd? What is generally used is an immune suppressant such as cyclosporin and it works well at close to $300 a month forcing many owners to have to make terrible choices and with cyclo it is evident that the animal feels awful and soon will begin to limp and become very weak. This is common in Shepherds and is quite a challenge.
I have tried the standards such as Silicea, Arnica Calc Sulph. Some temporary relief from Glyconutrients mixed with Three Lac but then it fights back and gets considerably worse. I thought primal defense or Ohira's would do it but not so.
Replied by Sue
Otago, New Zealand
Replied by Ruth
Replied by Saida
Fort Collins, Colorado, Usa
Replied by Angelina
Redondo Beach, Ca
Replied by Shelly
Garden Valley, Idaho
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Replied by Diana In Tx
St. Hedwig, Tx
Replied by Betty
Lead Hill, Ar
YEA (2) 100%Posted by Maria (San Francisco, CA) on 03/31/2009
[YEA] One of my dogs (I have 2) has had problems with her anal glands since she was a puppy so, I learned to empty her glands myself. I can't afford relaying on Vets and their assistants for that. They just look after money: Veterinary is a big business. Just that.
Occurred twice that my dog's glands got impacted and when I pressed it, pus came out from there, she was also scooting her but a lot so... I treated her with homeopathy. On the first day: I gave Belladonna 6X , 1 pearl each 2 hours (at least 15 min. apart from meals, water or treats), direct on her mouth. She was kind of quiet but eating normally.
On the follow day I started with Silicea 6 X, 1 pearl each 2 hours again apart meals. Within 3 days she started to come back to herself and in 5 days she's good as "new" but the treatment is supposed last for total 10 days.
When they are nervous or agitated for any reason I give Flowers of Bach, which is usually the "Rescue Remedy" (3 drops on their mouth) Few hours later they're fine.
Replied by Cynthia
Replied by Mccavalier
Mckellar, On Canada
Replied by Betty
YEA (1) 100%Posted by Lori (Maryland) on 09/30/2013
[YEA] As I read through the article on anal gland issues and then comments, I didn't notice anything on probiotics. My dog had several instances with impacted anal glands including them getting infected. The vet prescribed an antibiotic. But the second time he prescribed an antibiotic, the infection went away but came right back (like a child's ear infection would). So I thought about my kids and decided to try a probiotic. It worked great. In fact, it worked faster than the antibiotic. And now I add it to his food about once a week. He was already getting a healthy Merrick brand food, carrots and a little olive and or coconut oil. I have to be careful with olive oil and coconut oil. More than just a little and they will actually cause the impaction. My dog also can't have any steak fat or too much apple.
Replied by Lisa
YEA (2) 100%Posted by Cindy (Reese, MI) on 01/06/2008
[YEA] A few years ago, German shepherd was very smelly and vet had to express his anal glands. After the 2nd trip to the vet in less than a year, plus the fact that the dog greatly dislikes going to the vet, did some research on Internet and found out someone recommended prunes. I give my 88 lb dog 2-3 prunes per day and have had absolutely no problems since. Was concerned that prunes might be in the same family as raisins (which are toxic to dogs) and possibly toxic but have not been able to find definite information. If there is a problem with giving dogs prunes, I would appreciate if someone would post something to that effect.
Replied by Brandie
St Louis, MO
Replied by Liondogsden
Big Spring, Texas
Replied by Jes
Jackson Heights, Ny
Replied by Lisa
YEA (9) 100%Posted by Opinion02122 (Attleboro, MA) on 08/21/2014
My dog just started with anal gland problems. I spoke to two different vets and was told a teaspoon of pumpkin a day will do the job. My dog is a 27 lb. Cavachon. The size of the dog I'm sure has an impact on how much to give, so check with your vet. Also, make sure it's 100% pumpkin and not pie filling. Check the ingredients!
Replied by Gabbysue
Haltom City, Texas
Replied by Alex