Dog Anal Glands And The Curative Power Of Pumpkins
Caring for dogs as pets or for security purposes demands a better understanding of the crucial health and dietary needs that they require. A healthy dog is the one that is free from diseases and is well fed with nutritious foods and health supplements when needed. Some of the most important yet highly overlooked factors that directly affect the survival of a dog are the dog anal glands.
What are dog anal glands?
The anal glands in dogs are also known as anal sacs that resemble small pouches located between both the internal and external anal sphincter.
Anal glands are on the sides of the dog anus and contained in the anal sacs whose primary function is to discharge the liquid from inside on the onset of the dog defecation. Anal glands discharge a brown liquid that emits a foul smell because it's a secretion from the scent gland.
Failure to excrete anal sacs exposes the dog to anal gland impaction; defamation that occurs due to the thick fluid held in the anal glands that are malfunctioning.
Dogs affected by anal glands disease will cower and sooth its tail between the legs, hence raising an alarm that all is not well. The dog anal gland may end up emptying itself, or the anal sac may end up getting infected or inflamed. On the extreme end, the sick gland may become an abscess if not treated on time.
Why do dogs get anal gland issues?
The immediate solution after realizing that your pet is suffering from an impacted dog anal gland is contacting your local veterinarian. If not resolved timely, an anal gland infection may develop and become a serious health issue, this condition could be extremely painful. This situation will not be only a nuisance to your dog but also a threat to your peace of mind as a dog parent.
The leading cause of an impacted anal gland is a failure to expel anal sac fluid during bowel movements. However, several other important factors need to be considered so make sure to keep an eye on your dog's diet or strange behaviors like butt scooting and contact your vet sooner rather than later.
Causes of anal impaction in dogs
Dog gland inflammation
When the stool excreted by the dog is too hard, it may lead to the inflammation of the two small anal glands. When the inflammation occurs, the dog will start dog scooting by rubbing their bum against the ground due to the painful irritation. Often, the remedy for this is cutting open the dog infected gland to stop an abscess from occurring.
Anal gland dysfunction
The problem occurs at the sphincter when the dog does not release the fluid contained in the anal sacs. Make sure to check your dog's rear for inflammation as this could signal an impacted gland, it's a good idea to take your pup to the vet as soon as the first signs are observed.
Anal gland abscess
A gland abscess is extremely painful when it affects the anal sacs of the dog. An abscess is an opening that occurs abnormally to either of the rectums of the dog. When the abscess has not raptured, the dog develops a significant and excruciating swelling on the rear side, at this point, a visit to the vet is your best option from stopping this issue to become a more serious threat.
Anal gland tumors
Tumors are not common amongst dogs, but anal gland diseases can result from the tumors. The tumor occurs as a growth on the anal glands, and sometimes they develop at the lymph nodes. The best remedy for a tumor is usually surgical removal carried out by the vet.
Are you aware of your pet’s bowel movement?
Raising a pet like a dog demands attention on all the factors that affect its health and dietary requirements. This means that you should be familiar with the various types of bowel movements that occur in dogs to spot things that could become a health issue later on:
• A dog that is healthy releases a normal poo that is firm and slightly moist. The poo has a mild smell.
• A dog suffering from diarrhea, however, releases a runny and soft poo. Persistent diarrhea is never a good sign so make sure to visit your vet if this happens.
• A dog suffering from impacted anal gland, however, releases a hard stool, and it is most likely dry.
Anal sac disease in dogs
If you treasure your dog, then you should beware of the anal gland disease, symptoms, and risks. You should identify the signs and visit the vet before this becomes a bigger problem. Also, addressing this issue before it develops could save you and your dog a lot of grief, as with any other illness, it is best to act sooner rather than later.
The anal sacs and anus inflammation
The disease of the anal gland in dogs starts small and develops into an impacted gland over time. When case the glands retain the built-up fluid, they will most likely develop into anal sac disease, and the glands could become infected.
The glands may be inflamed, and with time, they could develop into an abscess. The treatment starts from draining the glands and checking on your dog's diet, your vet will decide if prescription medication is needed. In extreme cases, the vet could perform surgery to remove the impacted gland.
The stinky and itchy bum as anal disease symptom in dogs
The smelly and itchy bum is a nuisance to the dog and the owner as well, the two small sacs might be impacted at the same time. The dog feels uncomfortable, and the accumulated fluid tends to irritate the skin. Some of the symptoms of impacted dog glands could include a few of the following:
• A bad and strong smell
• Frequent biting and licking of their rear end
• Occasional constipation
Facts about dog anal glands and anal gland problems
• Anal gland problems are more prevalent in small breed dogs
• Frequent expression of the dog's anal gland in an infection
• The most common and observable sign of dog anal gland disease is scooting
• The primary purpose of the anal gland is to emit some scent
• The anal glands are located internally; hence they are sometimes hard to identify
Are you a DIY pet parent?
When expressing your dog anal glands, you will most likely see some liquid that is brown dripping from the sacs. The liquid will have a definite foul smell and thick appearance.
Pumpkin + dog + anal glands = happy dog
Knowing the dietary requirements of your dog is a key element to keep your pet healthy, this includes natural foods or supplements that could prevent health issues like impacted anal glands.
Pumpkin is a recommendable source of fiber that can be fed to the dog and may help prevent constipation amongst other things. The pumpkin absorbs water to a great extent, and this makes the stool of the dog moist, hence reducing the chances of inflammation.
When to consult a vet
Anal gland problems could become a serious issue when they affect your dog. It is crucial to consult a vet any time you observe some of the symptoms mentioned above to avoid complications. It's best to call your vet earlier before the illness might cause more serious damage. When it's starting a simple change in diet might suffice to put your dog health back on track.
Also keep in mind that as the illness develops, the need for vet care increases along with the potential costs, acting late might also cause your dog the need much longer to heal from this disease.
Benefits of pumpkin fiber for dogs
The benefits of pumpkins in humans and animals can never be underestimated. When the pumpkin season approaches, it is essential to conserve a good stock for both your dog and your own diet. Pumpkins are a great supplement for animals like dogs as they provide fiber and digestive enzymes needed for a healthy digestive system.
The best part of the pumpkin to feed to your dog is the seeds due to their high fiber content, whether is raw or roasted this will surely benefit your dog's diet when you use it frequently to help with digestive or defecation issues.
Pumking benefits for dogs
The fiber from the pumpkin contributes significantly to additional proteins, fiber, and carbohydrates to your dog. The key benefit of the fiber added is to slow digestion and absorb water hence preventing mild diarrhea. It can equally help in preventing constipation amongst pets.
The pumpkin fiber also keeps the dog feeling full, therefore helping in losing weight over time. Fiber also works magic in bulking the stool, hence preventing anal gland irritation and chances of anal diseases. This will help in reducing the chances of infection, and frequent visits to the vet.
In essence, the pumpkin seed fiber promotes a healthy anal gland functioning, hence preventing anal gland irritation and diseases.
Omega fatty acids
Pumpkin seeds contain omega fatty acids that provide excellent benefits to your dog. The omega fatty acids promote healthy skin and coat, proper functioning of the joints, brain development and healthy heart.
Anal gland disease results from the inflammation of the anal gland. Feeding your pet with pumpkin seeds prevents the inflammation of the anal glands, by boosting the digestive system and regulating the defecation process.
Prevention of allergies
Pumpkin seeds contain magnesium that helps to relax the respiratory muscles and opens up the airways. They help to prevent environmental allergies when you use it as part of your pup's diet.
Intestinal parasites may trigger anal gland diseases and complicate the entire situation. Pumpkin seeds are known as a source of the cucurbitin amino acid that naturally deworms pets.
Besides the recommended veterinary deworming, a natural deworming can reduce the parasites in pets like dogs and cats and may as well prevent intestinal inflammation and frequent visits to the vet.
Supplement of vitamins and minerals
Pumpkin seeds contain several vitamins like vitamin A that supports vision and vitamin C that supports joint health and boost the immune system. The seeds also contain zinc that improves the coat appearance and the skin of your pet.
Act as antioxidants
Pumpkin seeds contain beta-carotene and vitamin E at high levels. These are powerful antioxidants that slow the aging process of your pets.
The oils found in the pumpkin boost the urinary system and help in preventing urinary diseases.
Natural Ways To Eradicate Anal Sac Disease in Dogs
Increasing fiber intake
Pumpkin helps to soften the stool hence helping the glands empty themselves. Baby carrots and sweet potato may also contribute significantly to reducing anal gland disease.
Adding more liquids to your dog's daily routine helps to prevent anal gland constipation. A drinking fountain may work effectively in ensuring continuous water intake, as many pets prefer moving water as opposed to drinking from a bowl.
Checking on the weight of your dog
Vet research has revealed that dog anal sac issues may be as a result of sagging sacs. The pudgy pups struggle the most with this problem, but it does not rule out the illness in skinny dogs. It is, therefore, crucial o check on the dog's diet to maintain an adequate weight.
Boosting the beneficial bacteria
Canine-formulated probiotics might help in promoting the anal glands to empty on their own. Ask your vet or do proper research making sure the probiotics supplement selected is natural and does not contain harmful ingredients.
Applying a warm compress
A warm washcloth, when applied beneath the anal region, has proved to work positively in draining the anal sacs naturally. The washcloth should be soaked in water that contains one to two teaspoons of Witch Hazel or Epsom Salts. You do this by holding the washcloth against your pup's anal region twice a day in a span of five to ten minutes, use protective gloves to avoid bacteria contaminating your own hands.
Regular exercise encourages the natural emptying of the anal sacs. Exercise keeps pets active and may promote a healthier digestive system, the anal sac is not likely to accumulate a lot of water when your pet is on the move. Active pets are less likely to need frequent vet visits. Sedentarism in pets is known to cause many health problems.
Dog Breeds Prone to Anal Gland Problems
Anal gland problems amongst dogs affect any breed regardless of the size or age. However, small dogs are more likely to get affected, and some specific breeds also tend to contract anal gland diseases at a higher rate than others.
Anal gland problems, according to vet research, rarely affect large breeds of dogs. Smaller dog breeds like beagles, basset hounds, chihuahuas, cocker spaniels, toy poodles, miniature poodles, and Lhasa Apsos, to mention a few, are more likely to fall victim of anal gland diseases. It is advisable to be on the lookout in any breed or size of the dog to ensure the disease does not accelerate unnoticed, always take your pet to the vet when in doubt.
Jason M. Collins