Anal Gland Remedies for Cats and Dogs

Posted by Lori (Maryland) on 09/30/2013
5 out of 5 stars

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.

Posted by Lisa (Ny, US) on 02/19/2015

Hi thanks for the post! Just wondering what kind of probiotics you used and how much? Was it a standard one for humans? Thanks so much!

Pumpkin Seed, Coconut Oil
Posted by Charmaine (Ulster, N Ireland) on 09/06/2012

Hi folks, im letting you all know about my 4 1/2 yr old german shepherd who was having big problems with anal glands, vet was reluctant to operate as she said her glands where normal and changed her diet with a medication, royal canine is one of the top foods but alas was not getting rid of the problem and I was squeezing her glands for her on a regular basis.

But this time I came across this site and altho I couldnt get a hold of pumpkin flesh I did get the ground pumpkin seed along with coconut oil in a health food shop and started feeding her with the blended mixture of both and hey presto, a week has past, gone is the offensive dark brown smelly liquid that usually was excreted from her glands and she doesnt seem soo down anymore, loves the taste and will look for more although I think maybe I will decrease the amount I was giving her, this bitch is much happier as well as she isnt smelling the home anymore and this way she doesnt have to endure an operation that may change her character, so people dont knock it till you have tried it, your dogs will thankyou for it xxx

ps thankyou very much for the idea, I very much appreciate your help and ideas.

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!

Posted by Sharon (Ireland) on 05/02/2016

We have a Rottacollie. How much coconut oil do you think she could tolerate? Please and thanks!

Posted by Brenda (Nc) on 08/02/2016

What can I buy to help my female cat that has infected anal glands. I can't afford the vet.

Posted by Theresa (Mpls., Mn) on 08/10/2016

Hey Leanne,

You can use boiled pumpkin or squash or beets even - just make sure they are well broken down.

Posted by Suseeq (Sydney, Australia) on 08/11/2016

Leanne yes, of course.

General Feedback
Posted by Lucille (Mahwah, N.j.) on 08/17/2011


General Feedback
Posted by Peggy (Delbarton, Wv, Usa) on 08/18/2011
5 out of 5 stars

I found the coconut oil at Walmart today. It's not in the typical oil container so you have to look. The unsweetened coconut can be found in the baking isle or a health food store. I have three dogs and they all three love the taste of coconut oil. The post above yours gave the dosage and said to soak the coconut in water, so the dog can easily digest it. As for the oil I just put some on my fingers and they eat it off. I also glazed a few dog treats that I made myself with some c.o. they really like the taste of it.

General Feedback
Posted by Lori (Appleton, Wi) on 10/06/2011

I have a Springer with Anal gland issues. About every 3-4 months I have to take her in to have them expressed. The vet now told me to try 1-2 TBSP of Pumpkin (Not pumpkin pie filling) 2 times a day. I will be trying that after we get over the infected gland issue. (I find the pumpkin in the grocery in the aisle with the pie fillings in). You just need to be sure it is 100% pure pumpkin. Until reading this site today I have never heard of the coconut oil remedy. I will have to look into that also. Thanks for the tips!!

General Feedback
Posted by Bonnie (Littlestown, Pa) on 01/05/2012

You can find pumpkin in the aisle with the pie fillings. At least that is where it is in our store. Don't get pumpkin pie filling make sure the can says 100% pumpkin. There is a big difference. My son gives his dog pumpkin regulary and I am going to try it for my dog. I take her to the vet today to have her glands drained and then am starting with the pumpkin. I hope this helps get rid of the smell...

General Feedback
Posted by Justin (Austin, Tx) on 01/24/2015

Petsmart sells Castor and Pollux, a holistic brand, and they carry a 100% pumpkin puree. That's where I purchase mine. Our dog loves it.

General Feedback
Posted by Donna (Dayton, Ohio ) on 08/01/2016

You can the cold pressed organic coconut oil at any grocery store plus get the unsweetened flakes there too. I am going to use them on my beagle. She scoots a lot too.

Pumpkin, Coconut Oil, Epsom Salt Baths
Posted by Apryl (Aiken, South Carolina) on 01/19/2012

The pumpkin is working for the most part, I've only seen my dog scoot his bottom a few times. It really has worked, but what I'm wondering is should I continue to give it to him everyday, and I have, but only about a tablespoonful. Do you think this is all right? I welcome the feed back!

Posted by Anya (Milton, Canada) on 12/17/2014

If your pet has a ruptured anal gland, see vet ASAP; if your vet is , "out of town" see another vet! Anywhere! OR go to ER ... For animals! Your vet should have provided you with another, even if it's their competition!

First stage swollen , constant licking, scooting, less pooping! If it's at the second stage "saculitis" its infected... with bacteria. Third stage is an abscess (vet will drain); next is ruptured... ( avoid this ) Which means a gaping slash that is guaranteed to get infected in a really serious way... also is extremly painfull!!!

If you got to the third stage, you really need to know your pet better! P.S. if you're too broke to even own a pet try hapar for 1 week if infected, then followed by silica the next week.... If no infection... Just use the silica for up to 10 days, call holistic vet/ doc or health food store .. find out dosage depending on weight... Or look it up, these natural remedies are not dangerous given in excess; better to give more then less. Don't forget a warm compress daily! Apply pressure if you're going to express yourself.... Keep away the crusties - don't wanna block the glands. P.S. ONLY buy Canned pumpkin at PET store... Try the lite, better for overweight, it also has oatmeal = more fibre.. Look up ways to add more fibre for a better stool, the more pushin expresses the cushions for the tushin... Lol

Posted by Denise (Vermont USA) on 04/29/2022 22 posts

Yes, the number of animals lost by taking them to vets needs to be considered.

Posted by Angelina (Queens) on 10/22/2016

My dog is biting his back closer to his butt, and though it's not all day long I know something is wrong, I called the vet and the woman said to bring him in and explained it sounds as if he needs his anal glands cleared, this has never happened before. I keep reading these Post and they say to give your pet pumpkin. The pumpkin they and you are referring to, is it the Libby's Pumpkin?

Posted by Zoey Lover (Huntington Beach, California) on 03/16/2015

After reading about pumpkin and how it can eliminate my dogs anal glad issues, I want to try it but she just had an anal glad rupture and is on antibiotics. I need to know when I should start giving her the pumpkin? Should I wait and let the glad heal before putting extra stress on it? thx

Posted by Samantha (Philadelphia) on 10/02/2015

What kind of pumpkin? In the can? Like you make pies with?

Posted by Anna (Tx) on 10/02/2015

Yes, canned pumpkin. NOT "pumpkin pie filling, " which has added sugar etc. The ingredient should be pumpkin. Just check the label.

Posted by Mccavalier (Mckellar, On Canada) on 05/29/2011
5 out of 5 stars

My understanding in treatment of anal gland abcess is to give low potency hepar sulph first up to 3 x daily until the abcess breaks, then use Silicea to clear it away. I also use a cue tip to keep the hole open until all the pus drains away. In addition I use a warm water and natural soap compress several times a day. This procedure works very well.

Coconut and Coconut Oil
Posted by Denise Ward (Westboro Ma) on 04/29/2017 22 posts

We used to give our dogs everything, never had a problem. I wonder why suddenly it's not ok to give dogs these things. The story about the avocados is telling. The dogs ate the whole avocado and did this every year. I'm sure we had lots of garlic and onion in the food the dogs would get off our plate back in the day...

Coconut and Coconut Oil
Posted by Wendy (Columbus, Oh) on 06/23/2017

Start putting a teaspoon of organic Unrefined virgin coconut oil in her food each time you feed her. You don't have to melt it.

Posted by Rob (Denver, CO) on 01/02/2009

My 7 year old DLH cat, Cowboy has been plagued with AG issues for a couple years now. Initially after suffering an abscess a couple years ago, my vet advised me that it was rather rare for this to be a persistent issue with cats. Being otherwise extremely healthy, I figured once the scheduled anti-biotic dosage was complete we'd be alright. She also advised me I could take him in once a month to have the sacs expressed before an infection set in. I took him back several times to have them expressed but he ended up getting another infection anyway within 6 months.

Unfortunately, it didn't end there. After the third bout of infections, I decided I had to seriously find an alternative to surgery and anti-biotics.

I started searching more diligently for a holistic approach to prevent the build up in the first place. I've always been of the mindset that dealing with the cause is a much easier than dealing the effect later on. Most have suggested that I up his fiber/carbohydrate intake which is completely contradictory to the diet I prefer to feed him.

Once I read all the success stories here @ EC I thought I'd give it a shot and went out and purchased some Organic Pumpkin last night. It was an easy sell for me to give it a try after discovering others have reaped the benefits of pumpkin for not only AG impaction, but also for hairballs.

I wasn't sure he'd even go near it so I initially just put a little dab on his nose to let him lick it off and get a taste for it. I then mixed some into his breakfast this morning thinking it would still be there waiting for me when I got back from work today to discard. Much to my surprise he ate it all. Getting him to even try it was my biggest concern.

I'll report back as soon as I get some definite feedback as to the effectiveness of this apparently miraculous remedy. I just wanted to thank the contributing members here for giving us a glimmer of hope that we can beat this awful condition naturally.

Again, I'll post back when enough time has expired to give a true Yay or Nay on the effectiveness of this remedy. I'm already convinced this will be a huge Yay for us since he's proven he'll even eat it in the first place to give it a try.

Thanks again!

EC: AG = Anal Gland

Posted by Cattis (Auckland, New Zealand) on 05/16/2010

wow, I love earth clinic...big time...everyone is evolving, I'm so glad doctors and vets are loosing their so called power over us.....My dog is having his first ag experience and I think I now can prevent so much discomfort.

Posted by Kerrianne (Canberra, Australia) on 05/03/2014

THANK YOU!! My 5 year old Cavoodle, Napoleon, has had AG problems for the past 3 years. He has had infections approximately 6-8 times every year and been treated with antibiotics. It has reached a point where the vet has now recommended he has the AG's surgically removed. I have been desperately wanting to avoid surgery for my 'best friend' and I think you may have provided an alternative. I am off to get pumpkins tomorrow.

Posted by Allison (Tallahassee ) on 01/11/2018

Wondering how you prepare egg whites?? Raw cooked how many and gizzards are the cooked or raw and any other advice for failing kidneys??? pumpkin???

Posted by Linda (Moncton, New Brunswick ) on 10/11/2008

Hello, my dear sweet old cat Murphy had an infected and impacted anal gland, the my golden. Have purchased 100% pumkin and started the dog on it. Had anyone tried it on a cat? If yes how much per day?

with thanks! Lg

Posted by Kari (Oxnard, Ca) on 10/12/2008

I have not used it on a cat, however we have a cocker spaniel who weights about 20 pounds and we would mix the pumpkin with honey, as per our vet 1/4 cup 2 times a day. Good Luck

Posted by Sherie (Kent, England) on 09/14/2014

Hi , my cat has anal gland issues and is in the vets once a month!! How on earth would I get a cat to eat pumpkin?? And at the moment in England pumpkin is being grown all over the place!! I need to know how to cook it, disguise it and the quantity????.. Please fellow comrades... Sherie

Posted by Om (Hope Bc Canada) on 09/14/2014

Hi Sherie, Kent UK --

Fresh pumpkin, steamed till soft. Then mix a quantity in the food, decrease or increase if needed. If you top the food with Nutritional Yeast from the health food store, it will be easily disguised and add the important vits B. A dab of VCO is always good. You may find more info. on EC on anal gland issues if you do a bit of EC research. All the best. Namaste, Om

Posted by Theresa (Mpls., Mn) on 09/15/2014

Hey Sherie!

Try 1 tablespoon of soft pumpkin and mix well into 1 can of wet cat food. You have to monitor your results from there, as it is all very individual. So he may need to take 1/2 tablespoon more or 1/2 less as you monitor your results.

Posted by Joanne (FL) on 03/12/2022

How much of the 4life transfer factor capsule do you give to a 12 lb cat?

Raw Food Diet
Posted by Kim (Hamilton, Ontario, Canada) on 03/01/2009

My golden's anal sac issues were solved many moons ago by switching to a raw food diet. HOWEVER, my rott mix has been having anal sac issues for about a year now, regardless of diet. We've tried herbal fixes, grain free kibbles, raw foods (several varieties) and have actually settled on a less than ideal kibble. Still corn/wheat/soy/byproduct/chemical free, but my guys generally eat grain free human grade stuff. We're in the process of switching to morning feedings of this kibble and then evening feedings of Orijen again with added pumpkin, coconut and bran. Her issues are severe, and she required expression weekly, with copious amounts of fluid. Quite frankly, I've never seen anything like it. Cross your fingers for us!

Raw Food Diet
Posted by Linda (Burlington, Ontario) on 04/16/2009

Hi Kim: How is you doggy doing with his anal sac problems. I am going through the same thing with my choc lab. I have to get them emptied every two weeks. He is on a high fiber diet, coconut and coconut oil I HAVE TRIED BRAN CARROT AND PUMPKIN. i AM THINKING ABOUT ADDING ENZYMES TO HIS DIET. hAVE YOU EVER TRIED ENZYMES. hAS YOU DOG EVER BEEN ON HIGH DOSES OF ANTI BIOTICS. I THINK THIS HAS CAUSED ALL OUR PROBLEMS BUT THAT IS JUST MY UNEDUCATED OPINION. i WOULD LOVE TO HEAR IF YOU ARE HAVING ANY SUCCESS.

Raw Food Diet
Posted by Cynthia (Chennai, India) on 06/18/2010

Oh gosh, Linda, I didn't think of the antibiotics causing the anal sac situation, but you are probably right. And to think I gave him another course of them out of desperation.

For your dog, since he's already on a raw meat diet, I would suggest that you see if you can find a classical homeopathic vet, or just a homeopath. Lots of homeopaths will take dogs as patients. You could even try an online homeopath since we have Skype these days. My advice: only deal with homeopaths that deal with the whole constitution of the dog. You can tell if he/she is a good homeopath because they will ask all sorts of questions about the character of your dog. Pray it all works out...

Raw Food Diet
Posted by Liz (Grand Island, NY) on 01/29/2012

I am new to this blog. I was just reading your situations with your dogs. I am also having an anal gland problem with my little guy. He is a 3 year old Beagle mix. I have been having to express his anal glands nearly every 2-3 weeks, sometimes weekly. This has been going on for the past 4 months. I started him on canned pumkin and that seemed to be working, but lately we're back to having his glands expressed weekly. My vet has talked to me about surgery. I really hate to go tht way if there are other alternatives to try. I would really love any and all help. Thanks.

Raw Food Diet
Posted by Kristen (Spring Tx) on 01/26/2015

How much does it cost you a month to feed your animals raw food?

Raw Food Diet
Posted by Theresa (Mpls., Mn) on 11/01/2015

Hey Stevie!

You might consider feeding your boy a raw meaty beef rib or neck bone to bulk up his stool to help express his anal glands. You also would benefit to learn how to express the glands yourself to aid your boy when it appears he needs his glands expressed.

Posted by Susa (Lvn, Ks) on 08/20/2010

So glad to read this- we have the same issue... How heavy is your dog? And did you feed the pumpkin once or twice a day? Thank you!

Posted by Sherie H. (Kent, England) on 02/25/2016

Hi there, where can I buy pumpkin for my cat whom the vet is hoping to perform an operation costing me £1000?

Posted by Lisa (Brookfield, Missouri ) on 03/05/2017

How much does your dog weigh?

Posted by Nick (Toronto) on 05/25/2017

My cats been dragging its butt after it poops and it looks liquidity!!! His appetite is good eats and drinks!!! What should I do? Pumpkin?

Posted by Cindy (Reese, MI) on 01/06/2008
5 out of 5 stars

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.

Posted by Brandie (St Louis, MO) on 09/10/2008

I just wanted to say that prunes are NOT related to raisins. Raisins are dried grapes, and the grape seed is what is toxic to dogs. Prunes are dried plums. Since plums have a large pit, before drying they remove that pit. I dont think there is any problem feeding a dog prunes. I'm not sure if you will see this, I noticed that it has been quite a while since you posted, but I thought I would tell you anyway.

Posted by Liondogsden (Big Spring, Texas) on 12/30/2011

Raisins are dried grapes, grapes can ferment into wine that is why they are toxic.

Prunes are from prune plums when dried they are prunes and not related to the grape family.

Posted by Lisa (Canberra, Act) on 08/09/2015

Curious about if Cherries can substitute for prunes?

Homeopathic Gunpowder 3x
Posted by Dharma (Phoenix, Az) on 04/17/2007
5 out of 5 stars

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.

Homeopathic Gunpowder 3x
Posted by Sue (Otago, New Zealand) on 05/14/2008

I also have a german shepherd with an anal fistula. It was the size of a pea and growing - opening fast. The vet put him on some over-the-counter drugs, (Very very Inexpensive) about $20 worth, and it closed up like magic. Since then he has been on a low dose of prednisone for about 2 years, I am now wanting to get him off that so have started weaning him very slowly and at the same time changing his diet to include coconut oil, kelp milled flaxseed, acv, yoghurt and a few other bits and bobs. So far so good. Every time I googled "Fistula" up popped thousands of sites on Crohns Disease in Humans. It appears to be very similar, so in the end I searched for natural cures regarding Crohns disease. If you want the name of the drugs I initially used to HALT and SHRINK the fistula, I will find out for you.

Homeopathic Gunpowder 3x
Posted by Ruth (Wichita, Ks.) on 01/06/2009

Tell me about the radionic analysis....

Question on dog anal glands. I am going to try the pumpkin and coconut. My Murphy (Shi-TZU) has very small openings on his glands. I feed him raw diet meat and veggies. His stools are solid, but I'm guessing it is because of the small openings that the glans need expressing so often. Can't be expressed from the outside. Tech or vet has to go in internally. Poor little guy. Now only 3 weeks apart and had a litlte infection last time. Hoping the coconut and pumpkin work on him. He loves the pumpkin right out of the can!

Homeopathic Gunpowder 3x
Posted by Saida (Fort Collins, Colorado, Usa) on 02/03/2010

My 9yo German Shepherd has severe perianal fistulas. Atopica (cyclosporin) helped at first but it came back. Now it is really bad, he is on Protopic (topical immuno-suppressant?) and it doesn't look like the fistulas are healing. The treatment is very expensive!

For Sue from Otago, New Zealand: Could you please give the name of the drug you used? Thank you!!!

Homeopathic Gunpowder 3x
Posted by Shelly (Garden Valley, Idaho) on 07/16/2011

I am also interested in finding out the name of the inexpensive over the counter drug used to cure the perianal fistules. Sue from Otago, New Zealand, I hope you are still checking in and will send the info.

Homeopathic Gunpowder 3x
Posted by Sharlynn (Sprague, Washington) on 09/01/2011

Yes Sue please would really appreciate the names of those meds.

Homeopathic Gunpowder 3x
Posted by Diana In Tx (St. Hedwig, Tx) on 03/27/2012

My cocker spaniel has been scooting for a few months. The vet said he just needed his AG expressed. That hasn't worked. Then they thought he might have worms. So they de-wormed him, he's back to scooting. When I took him to the groomer last week she pointed out that the glands in his neck (like our lymph nodes) and on the back of his legs were huge like maybe he was going to get sick. Do you think this is due to the AG issue? Should I start giving him pumpkin and coconut?

Homeopathic Gunpowder 3x
Posted by Betty (Lead Hill, Ar) on 02/21/2015

Dharma mentioned acidophilus that did not work on the fungal infection. Saw mention of S. Boulardi acidophilus of this as being good for candida said to flush it out. Worth a try. May have to order on line.

Homeopathic Gunpowder 3x
Posted by Theresa (Mpls., Mn) on 02/22/2015


There are many strains of acidophillus and using just one strain may lead you to a brick wall. Variety is the spice of life :-)

Coconut and Coconut Oil
Posted by Sue Ann (Beachwood, NJ) on 11/17/2006
5 out of 5 stars

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 Nan (Covington, La) on 07/29/2011

Will sweet potoatoes work as well-my dog likes them and they are included in a lot of dry dog food?

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