Nutrition for anal glands
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Thread: Nutrition for anal glands

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    Senior Member wolfsnaps's Avatar
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    Nutrition for anal glands

    I had this question come up from a customer and I am curious.

    The dog has impacted anal glands. The dog has been on Science Diet its whole life (2 years) and it has been eating the Light formula for the past year. High in fiber, right?

    The Vet told the man that the dog needed a high fiber diet to help with the anal glands. But since the dog has BEEN on one and this happened anyways, isnt it better to give the dog a better food with more meat in it?

    The guy ended up getting Natual Balance and is going to use mucinex ( I think thats what he said, its been a long night!) as advised by the vet.

    I told him I wasn't sure on this and to do what the vet ordered but he wanted to know about better quality foods and I am pretty convincing when it comes to which foods are better

    SO does it matter with anal gland issues what you feed your dog? I am just convinced that a healthy life is greatly determined by the food you eat.

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    Senior Member Binkalette's Avatar
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    Re: Nutrition for anal glands

    Basically I think that whatever you feed them, they just need to have firm stools on it. Fiber would help with that.. I would rather give a dog some canned pumpkin every day with his meal to firm up his stools than use something artificial.

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    Senior Member Kina_A's Avatar
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    Re: Nutrition for anal glands

    Like Binkalette stated, they just need to have very firm stools. My vet recomended that I up the fiber as well in her food and suggested that I use pumking.

    I have issues with Kina and her anal glands when she has had bouts of diarrhea. What I find help give her firmer stools is raw gradded carrots in her food. I also giver her baby carrots as treats!

    I could never get the level of pumpkin just right (that and now I think it was because she wasn't on the right food), and just ended up having more diarrhea, so I resorted to carrots! Now I finally found a food that doesn't give her diarrhea, but I still add carrots to her food every other day or so just to make sure she's nice and firm to help with her anal glands.

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    Senior Member phoebespeople's Avatar
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    Re: Nutrition for anal glands

    From what I have read, firm stools will help to naturally clear anal glands, to some extent. However, I don't think pumpkin, or any sort of dietary fiber will make the stools hard enough to have any effect. Only a meal of mainly RAW bone, like turkey necks or chicken backs will have any beneficial effects.
    I think this is another example of the inadequacy of a kibble diet. If you feed your dog kibble, you will have to have your dogs anal glands manually emptied from time to time. This is one of the many reasons why people choose to feed their dog a RAW diet. Dogs are supposed to ingest a certain quantity of bone, their digestive systems require it and are made for it. From their teeth to their anal glands, dogs need RAW bones.

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    Senior Member dieterherzog's Avatar
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    Re: Nutrition for anal glands

    Nutrition is only one part of the equation when dealing with anal glands: there's also physical activity and lifestyle involved. You need to make sure the dog gets lots of exercise to AVOID constipation and the problems that come with being sedentary - they need to be stimulated both physically and mentally in order to maintain proper gland functions (just like humans). Also, you need to make sure that your dog gets to go out when he needs to - that means that he isn't forced to hold it in because that messes his bowels and glands tremendously.

    My dog had SEVERE anal gland problems when we first got him and he was on Nutro Mini Chunks. It had to be squeezed monthly or the whole place would reek and he would scoot like crazy. We switched him to Acana and the problem got much better - but time and again, it would flare up if we fed him something that his tummy couldn't handle (since we rotate kibbles and not all "holistic" kibbles are of equal quality). The doctor thought it was allergies and wanted to put him on Science Diet for allergies. Pumpkin, coconut flakes, coconut oil and bran hardly helped. Hi anal gland problems are particularly exacerbated when he gets into things like Snausages or bad treats with grains. And mind you, we fed grain-free top of the range kibble - I think the only grain free kibble we haven't tried is Horizon Legacy.

    That's when I decided to switch him to raw as a last resort. No problems so far (fingers crossed). Sometimes when I get a light whiff of that fishy smell, I add 1/4 tsp of wheat bran to his vege mix, toss him a whole chicken wing and it gets better. Putting a hot compress soaked in chamomile tea for 10 minutes also helps the glands to soften up.

    So my point is that it's not only hard poop that plays a role - the glands can act up due to many reasons. Diet is of course a big factor, but just getting enough exercise and being able to defecate in a timely manner is also important.

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    Senior Member Wynpyp's Avatar
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    Re: Nutrition for anal glands

    Quote Originally Posted by phoebespeople View Post
    From what I have read, firm stools will help to naturally clear anal glands, to some extent. However, I don't think pumpkin, or any sort of dietary fiber will make the stools hard enough to have any effect. Only a meal of mainly RAW bone, like turkey necks or chicken backs will have any beneficial effects.
    I think this is another example of the inadequacy of a kibble diet. If you feed your dog kibble, you will have to have your dogs anal glands manually emptied from time to time. This is one of the many reasons why people choose to feed their dog a RAW diet. Dogs are supposed to ingest a certain quantity of bone, their digestive systems require it and are made for it. From their teeth to their anal glands, dogs need RAW bones.
    I'm sorry but I don't agree. My dog eats kibble and does not have issues with his anal glands and his stool is very firm. I also don't give him any raw bones.

    I do believe that feeding raw is great, however, saying that kibble fed dogs will have issues is wrong.
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    Re: Nutrition for anal glands

    Quote Originally Posted by phoebespeople View Post
    From what I have read, firm stools will help to naturally clear anal glands, to some extent. However, I don't think pumpkin, or any sort of dietary fiber will make the stools hard enough to have any effect. Only a meal of mainly RAW bone, like turkey necks or chicken backs will have any beneficial effects.
    I think this is another example of the inadequacy of a kibble diet. If you feed your dog kibble, you will have to have your dogs anal glands manually emptied from time to time. This is one of the many reasons why people choose to feed their dog a RAW diet. Dogs are supposed to ingest a certain quantity of bone, their digestive systems require it and are made for it. From their teeth to their anal glands, dogs need RAW bones.
    I don't completely agree either. I know 2 dogs that eat raw and have anal gland issues. They said their dogs actually had less anal gland issues on kibble because kibble poop is bigger thus pressing on the glands and emptying them. The poop from raw was so tiny for those 2 dogs that it doesn't push on the glands to empty them so it doesn't help that much that they're hard.

    But I do agree raw is an awesome way to feed and if the gland issues were from food intolerances/allergies then it does help but if it's just anal glands that always act up and needs to be emptied by poop, raw doesn't help that much.

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    Senior Member Kina_A's Avatar
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    Re: Nutrition for anal glands

    Quote Originally Posted by phoebespeople View Post
    I think this is another example of the inadequacy of a kibble diet. If you feed your dog kibble, you will have to have your dogs anal glands manually emptied from time to time. This is one of the many reasons why people choose to feed their dog a RAW diet. Dogs are supposed to ingest a certain quantity of bone, their digestive systems require it and are made for it. From their teeth to their anal glands, dogs need RAW bones.
    I dont' agree with this either. I've had Sadie for over 10 years and have never had issues with her anal glands, prior to learning about good quality kibble she was on some of the worst kibble out there!

    My vet informed me that part of the reason that Kina has had issue with her anal glands is because of the loose stools, and the way that her behind is formed and she is too lazy to express herself. The vet informed me that if her stool was firmer and larger it would help her express them herself. And since I have done that, it has helped with the her situation.

    Not everyone has the time and energy to feed their dogs a raw diet.

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    Re: Nutrition for anal glands

    Did your vet also tell you that repeated manual expression of anal glands could lead to damage that is going to make it so they have to have their glands expressed manually for the rest of their lives? Fiber content in most foods should be between 3-5 %, and I don't know how fiber is suppose to firm up poo. When people are blocked they recommand a good bran muffin to clear things up. The only fiber I know of that is a constipator is Oatmeal. Supplimenting a tablespoon of old fashioned oiats could in he r food could help bulk up her poos.

    http://www.dog-health-guide.org/analglanddog.html

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    Senior Member Kina_A's Avatar
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    Re: Nutrition for anal glands

    Quote Originally Posted by Dog_Shrink View Post
    Fiber content in most foods should be between 3-5 %, and I don't know how fiber is suppose to firm up poo. When people are blocked they recommand a good bran muffin to clear things up. The only fiber I know of that is a constipator is Oatmeal. Supplimenting a tablespoon of old fashioned oiats could in he r food could help bulk up her poos.
    http://www.dog-health-guide.org/analglanddog.html
    Actually, fibre is good if you are constipaded or have chronic diarrhea. When you have diarrhea it works by soaking up the water in stools as well as adding bulk to it. When you're constipaded it works by taking water out of your colon and adds bulk to your colon making it easier for you to poop!

    I've only had to have Kina's anal glads elimated once, and it was due to the fact that she had chronic diarrhea. It's been almost 3 months now and I haven't had to have them expressed since. When she does get diarrhea now I make sure to up the carrots to bulk up her poop so her anal glands don't get impacted.

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    Senior Member Hallie's Avatar
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    Re: Nutrition for anal glands

    I got a high fiber diet recommended to me as a solution for anal gland issues as well. I tried higher fiber foods and also did pumpking and other naturally high fiber foods and supplements. In the end I just switched to a high quality high fiber food and I haven't had any issues since. Firmer stools won't cure anything it will just force the anal gland liquid out more effectively but in most cases the problem lies within the size of the anal gland opening in which case firmer stools wouldn't do much. I noticed that with a low quality food (like pedigree or iams) Hallie's anal gland 'incidents' increased and were more extreme regardless of the fiber content, once switched to a better food she did much much better.
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    Re: Nutrition for anal glands

    Both Betsy and Norman had their anal glands removed when they were younger. They are not biologically related. In retrospect I wish I had worked on changing their diet (I was buying their food at the Veterinary Hospital) instead of having the surgery. I am not sure what the answer is...but I think it had to be food related! I know the higher quality food reduces waste so maybe that is the problem.

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    Senior Member Kathyy's Avatar
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    Re: Nutrition for anal glands

    I have two senior dogs. The 16 year old needed her anal sacs expressed monthly when on high quality kibble like Wellness, Canidae and Pinnacle. The 9 year old has never had any problem with the sacs and he was always fed the same stuff.

    The 16 year old was diagnosed with kidney disease over 2 years ago and a couple months after that I started cooking for her. The grainy food is extremely simple with few minerals and vitamins added. Her poop is usually firm but by no means hard and is of moderate size. I have expressed those sacs 4 times in the over 2 years she has been on home cooked food.

    The fiber content of the kibbles and the cooked food are similar but the ash content of Canidae is 8% and her cooked food is more like 2%. I don't know what is the secret but both of us are much happier about the whole thing! Just figured the ash content today, never looked at that before. Most kibbles don't have that listed on DFA, don't know if it is on the bag or not. It could be that, it could be one of the ingredients bothered her in kibble or just that simple is better for some dogs.

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    Senior Member opokki's Avatar
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    Re: Nutrition for anal glands

    Natalie had anal glad issues too...I found a few brands of kibble that seem to prevent this, in her anyway. Timberwolf Organics Black Forest and Pinnacle Chicken & Oats. I fed her Timberwolf for a long time but the price went up so high that I switched to Pinnacle.

    I've had her on lots of different brands trying to find one that worked. And although her stools were firm with all of them she still ended up having a problem within a few days to a few weeks depending on the food.

    I think the type of fiber makes a big difference and I also think the calcium content might have some benefit too. Both brands that work for Natalie have 5% fiber and higher calcium content than other brands. She hasn't had a problem in years until she ate some of Sookie's puppy food...then it was bad. She leaked all over the couch and all over me. Now that all the dogs are on the same food she has no issues.
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    Re: Nutrition for anal glands

    Quote Originally Posted by Kathyy View Post
    I have two senior dogs. The 16 year old needed her anal sacs expressed monthly when on high quality kibble like Wellness, Canidae and Pinnacle. The 9 year old has never had any problem with the sacs and he was always fed the same stuff.

    The 16 year old was diagnosed with kidney disease over 2 years ago and a couple months after that I started cooking for her. The grainy food is extremely simple with few minerals and vitamins added. Her poop is usually firm but by no means hard and is of moderate size. I have expressed those sacs 4 times in the over 2 years she has been on home cooked food.

    The fiber content of the kibbles and the cooked food are similar but the ash content of Canidae is 8% and her cooked food is more like 2%. I don't know what is the secret but both of us are much happier about the whole thing! Just figured the ash content today, never looked at that before. Most kibbles don't have that listed on DFA, don't know if it is on the bag or not. It could be that, it could be one of the ingredients bothered her in kibble or just that simple is better for some dogs.
    What "grainy" food are you cooking and feeding your dogs? Norman has chronic allergies and I am looking for some food with little or no vitamins added.

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    Senior Member Kathyy's Avatar
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    Re: Nutrition for anal glands

    Sassy cannot eat much meat so half the bulk of her diet is low phosphorus glutinous rice. Since kidney dogs could easily have pancreatic issues I choose not to feed fat for calories. Be interesting, just use 300 calories of fat instead of the rice!

    If you use human vitamin and mineral supplements you avoid the liver, flaxseed and nutritional yeast dog supplements are filled with. Of course you must know how much is appropriate for your dog! I use B and E vitamins, multimineral and fish oil supplements that were meant for human use.

    To work up a menu yourself check out the steps on this thread from another forum.http://www.dogster.com/forums/Home_P.../thread/640881

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