My Dog Has Blocked Anal Glands

Friday 27th June 2014 @ 9:22 AM. (NZST)

My Dog Has Blocked Anal Glands

Friday 27th June 2014 @ 9:22 AM. (NZST)

Erin Dowler

Erin Dowler

Dr Erin Dowler - Veterinarian

Question:

Hi, I feed my 5 year old Fox Terrior/Maltese cross raw meet 3- 4 times a week. The rest of the time she has chicken or dog roll. She would get at least 4 bones a week, every morning I give her 4 Hills dental biscuits. She seems really healthy and has a lot of energy but keeps getting blocked anal glands which at times become infected so has had quite a few doses of antibiotics which make her lethargic. Is there any change I can make to her diet that would help this problem? Linda.

Hi,
 
Blocked anal glands can be a big problem for dogs. There are many factors which can affect them, with diet being one of these. When dogs poo, the anal glands are expressed so if the stools are too hard or too soft, they may not express properly. Adding original flavour Metamucil (approx. ½-1 teaspoon morning and night for a Fox Terrior/Maltese) may be beneficial, however it sounds like the general diet may need to be examined.
 
Raw feeding needs to be well-planned and balanced to avoid potential health problems. The theory of raw feeding involves having a low stomach pH so that the food can be digested. Due to this, the advocates of raw feeding are strongly against mixing raw feeding with other diets. They actually list anal gland problems as a potential result of inappropriate raw feeding. I always recommend that raw feeding is done through Raw Essentials. They have a vet called Lyn who may be able to assist with formulating a diet to assist with anal gland expression.
 
If you do not want to go to solely raw feeding, I would recommend changing to one diet to test whether this results in an improvement. It may be beneficial to try a diet with a ‘novel protein’ (a protein your dog hasn’t had before) and low/no grains or alternatively a hypoallergenic diet. This is because allergies can also affect the anal glands. Your veterinarian should be able to guide you further about an appropriate diet.
 
Surgery is available to remove the anal glands, but it is not undertaken lightly, so you should discuss this with your veterinarian due to the potential risk of incontinence. This is usually considered a last resort.
 
Hope this helps!
 
Erin Dowler (veterinarian).


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