Filled Anal Glands in Dog
Answered by: Kerry Hackett
Question from: Georgina
Posted on: May 28, 2008

We took our dog (female Malamute, 4 yrs. old) in about 11/2 months ago to the vets because her behind seemed to be irritated. Come to find out her anal glands were filled and infected. After doing a dose of antibiotic she went back and one gland was down and the other was still infected. Since that time she has been on antibiotics 4 times and prednisone 4 times. The vet said that sometimes these situations can turn into a fistula. It doesn’t seem to be bothering her but I am wondering when she is finished medication is it going to come back in full force? I am frustrated because it really doesn’t seem to be fixing the problem. I am not prepared to leave her on prednisone. Is there something we can do for her naturally? We have increased the fibre in her diet and I have been giving her a tbsp. of olive oil once a week.

Anal glands are the two small sacs found on either side of your dog’s anus. They secrete a fluid that helps your dog mark his territory and are activated when your dog has a bowel movement. If your dog is not passing stool easily and on a daily basis, the ducts that open the anal glands can become blocked, which in turn can lead to infection and anal gland abscess. Therefore, the most important thing is for your dog to have regular, easy-to-pass bowel movements. This can most easily be accomplished through a good, homemade diet. Information regarding food may be found in the following books: Richard Pitcairn’s, "Natural Health for Dogs and Cats", "The Complete Herbal Handbook for the Dog and Cat" by Juliette de Bairacli Levy and "The Barf Diet" by Ian Billinghurst. These authors discuss various principles that lead to balanced nutrition, particularly foods that dogs (and cats) have evolved to digest and metabolise, including the ratios between meat, fibre/carbohydrates and fats/oils. Some authors feel that olive oil and bran can help to a certain extent but it’s been my experience that nothing beats a good diet of meat, vegetables, animal and plant-based oils and cooked grain.

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