Anal Gland Problems in Dogs can affect all ages and breeds leading to blocked or infected anal glands. These two small glands are located on either side of the anus, and are scent glands used for marking territory and recognition.
They would normally empty naturally when the dog has a bowel movement, but when stools are too thin or soft, then they may not express fully and can become impacted, which may lead to an infection if left untreated.
Blocked or impacted anal glands may be caused by –
Constipation from lack of fibre or roughage in the diet.
Infrequent bowel movements, especially common with inside dogs that hold on, rather than soiling indoors.
Overweight and elderly pets
Natural treatment recommendations –
Increase exercise, and reduce weight, if overweight.
Feed natural diet, high in fibre from pulped or minced raw vegetables, soaked or sprouted grains with fresh meat & bones.
Flaxseed oil may also be added to the food daily to help lubricate the bowels.
If constipated, add psyllium husks to the diet and a good probiotic supplement to promote healthy gut flora.
One or two of the following internal therapies should be given to help cleanse the digestive tract and can be used to help if infection is present –
Fenugreek seeds soaked in warm water overnight can be mixed into food, including the liquid.
Aloe vera juice is excellent for constipation and as a general detoxifier. (Ensure it does not contain benzoic acid or other toxic preservatives)
Homeopathic remedies can be given to help with chronic problems.
Herbal extracts are also recommended internally, to help prevent or assist infected glands –We use a combination blend containing – Golden seal, Astragalus, red clover, dandelion & calendula.
External therapies help to relieve inflammation and can often assist in the discharge of blocked glands –
Hypercal tincture can be used if they become infected. – Add 10 drops to ¼ cup warm water and wipe around the area three times daily.
Before manually expressing glands it is recommended to apply a hot (not burning) compress to the area to soften their contents. This can be made up using diluted herbal tinctures or teas from Calendula & hypericum or golden seal & red clover and applied with cotton balls.
Wipe the area clean after expressing contents and apply compress soaked in a solution of witch hazel extract, golden seal & calendula. This solution can be made up and kept in the fridge to cool, which provides further relief. This solution may also be sprayed onto area if preferred to help relieve swelling and redness.
*Note – Manually expressing anal glands should be regarded as a temporary measure, the aim should be to make the necessary lifestyle changes, so the glands will empty naturally as nature intended.
Natural support for anal gland issues – Click here