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March 2013 Ask the Vet

Q: My 1 1/2 year old Schnoodle has anal gland problems.  Is there anything I can do to prevent her from leaking this foul smell?

A: Anal glands are scent glands located around the dog’s anus which produces a strong smelling, oily secretion.  (The anal glands are located at 4 o’clock and 8 o’clock around the anus.)   They are supposed to empty when the dog passes stool and the anus is stretched.  The most common form of anal sac disease is impaction; other diagnoses are infection, abscess, or neoplasia.  Clinical signs are related to pain and discomfort— scooting, licking and biting at the anal area and painful defecation.

Overweight dogs and small breed dogs are at greater risk.

Anecdotally, a diet that is enhanced in fiber and produces a larger quantity of stool may help the problem of unexpected leaking.  For a diet with increased dietary fiber, try Wellness Small Breed Healthy Weight dry kibble.

In addition, your veterinarian may teach you to express canine anal glands manually when full.  Ask at your next wellness check up.

Q: My cat that is eight years old is peeing in her litter box every 15 minutes when she is awake. But only a drop. She seems to feel like she has to pee. And her poop is very small compared to my other cats. What can I do to help her?

A: Your cat is exhibiting signs of lower urinary tract disease.  Different types of urinary diseases occur in cats:  FIC (feline idiopathic cystitis), urolithiasis, and urethral plugs are the top three.  You should schedule an appointment for a health check.  After a diagnosis, your vet can help you with nutritional goals and possible environmental enrichment and behavioral management.

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