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Feeding Wet Food = Anal Gland Issues?

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
I have never had a cat with anal gland issues, until now. Oh, the joy of Gigi!

Gigi had to have her anal glands expressed and the vet mentioned that she needs more dry in her diet so her stools will be more firm and therefore will express the glands on their own.

Does anyone have a cat that has anal gland issues? What do you feed them? I'd really hate to reduce her wet food since she *loves* it and she does well on it. I've heard about increasing the fiber by adding a fiber supplement, but not sure.

I was even thinking about going raw with her since I have read that anal gland issues are not an issue with raw feeders, since if the anal glands act up you can just increase the bone meal (think I read that right?).

I really don't want to go through another vet visit. Gigi seriously looked violated when the vet finished with her.

Any insights would be appreciated!
post #2 of 15
What are her stools like now and what *exactly* (brand, flavor, wet, dry, etc) are you feeding her?

How old is she?

Firm stools naturally express the anal glands. In a healthy cat, loose stools are caused by incompletely digested food. Some pet foods contain a lot of stuff not found in a cats natural diet. Some cats digestive systems can handle the "unnatural stuff" and some can't. We might be able to suggest food ingredients for you to avoid based on what you are currently feeding.

You could also try adding a digestive enzyme supplement to her diet. They contain the enzymes your cats body may not be producing enough of and which are needed to help digest the "unnatural stuff" .
post #3 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Russian Blue View Post
I have never had a cat with anal gland issues, until now. Oh, the joy of Gigi!

Gigi had to have her anal glands expressed and the vet mentioned that she needs more dry in her diet so her stools will be more firm and therefore will express the glands on their own.

Does anyone have a cat that has anal gland issues? What do you feed them? I'd really hate to reduce her wet food since she *loves* it and she does well on it. I've heard about increasing the fiber by adding a fiber supplement, but not sure.

I was even thinking about going raw with her since I have read that anal gland issues are not an issue with raw feeders, since if the anal glands act up you can just increase the bone meal (think I read that right?).

I really don't want to go through another vet visit. Gigi seriously looked violated when the vet finished with her.

Any insights would be appreciated!
I have one cat with issues with anal glands .... her s likely was TOO much insoluble fiber from a corn and by product based dry food ... She had them expressed and now eats a grain free, measure free feed dry with either raw , homemade or canned food in meal setting ..... Her rear coat was brittle prior to the expression and now after a few weeks is magnificent like the rest of her( good food only took 3 weeks to give a better coat ) ... NOTE: this cat has only been in my care for 10 weeks ...

I would suggest do researching bone meal prior to thinking about using it ...

I also have a dog with anal gland issues and the vet nearly 8 yrs ago said Metamucil( if fiber is needed I suggest talking with the vet about a a soluble fiber like benefiber , he he it made things WAY WORSE ... in her case the answer was a low grain diet of homemade food or a no grain raw works very well( or at the very least a simple dry and canned food... the homemade works best ) ... she gets a simple diet of chicken : organs , bone , meat with some veggies and a supplement( which is rotated for proper balance and needs ) ... Digestives and probiotics can often help but the more research I do the less I would use them long term...
post #4 of 15
I will start by saying I do not know anything about anal glads.
I will also say that cats do not need fiber. I also do not believe there is ever a reason to feed dry food
All that said I would recommend that you contact this vet
http://www.catinfo.org/
Dr Lisa will charge a nominal fee and she is a nutritionist that will come up with the answer for you. tell her Ken and Sneakers sent ya!
best of luck
post #5 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by optionken View Post
I will start by saying I do not know anything about anal glads.
I will also say that cats do not need fiber. I also do not believe there is ever a reason to feed dry food
All that said I would recommend that you contact this vet
http://www.catinfo.org/
Dr Lisa will charge a nominal fee and she is a nutritionist that will come up with the answer for you. tell her Ken and Sneakers sent ya!
best of luck
Beware of ANY medical professional who does a ONLINE or Phone consults without seeing your animal ( or yourself ) or working with YOUR vet( or doctor ) ...
post #6 of 15
I have a cat with anal gland issues as well. He's 7 or 8 years old. I am feeding Orijen (the chicken formula) dry and Wellness grain-free wet. He gets a little less than 1/4 cup of dry and about a tablespoon or 1.5 tablespoons of wet twice a day. I had his glands expressed a month and a half ago and I think he has to have them done again as he is leaving smelly goopy presents on my carpet and farting gas that would scare a skunk away. So I'm not sure grain-free is the answer because he has been fed grain-free for as long as I've had him, which is since August 2008. This time, I think it was because I added a bit of EVO duck which was too rich. (I have a kitten who needs to put on weight hence the EVO duck). However, the other times, he's been fed his regular diet. Good thing I work at an animal hospital where eventually I will get discounts because if he needs his anal glands expressed regularly, it will cost. Of course, I could learn to do it myself but yuck....
post #7 of 15
Thread Starter 
Thanks everyone for your replies.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mschauer View Post
What are her stools like now and what *exactly* (brand, flavor, wet, dry, etc) are you feeding her?

How old is she?

Firm stools naturally express the anal glands. In a healthy cat, loose stools are caused by incompletely digested food. Some pet foods contain a lot of stuff not found in a cats natural diet. Some cats digestive systems can handle the "unnatural stuff" and some can't. We might be able to suggest food ingredients for you to avoid based on what you are currently feeding.

You could also try adding a digestive enzyme supplement to her diet. They contain the enzymes your cats body may not be producing enough of and which are needed to help digest the "unnatural stuff" .
Gigi is turning 3 in April. She's never had a problem with loose stools or having problems with any foods. For dry, she currently gets a combo of Orijen and California Natural. Wet, she gets a mixture of high end canned foods ( mainly Wellness).

I've been reading up on cat nutrition for a good 5 years now, so I know the majority of pros/cons for each food type. I just never had to focus on the anal gland issue before.

Her anal glands have only been a problem twice this past year. We only had to get them expressed this last time.

When we took her in for her yearly physical, the vet said she was in excellent health (perfect fur, weight etc.).

Quote:
Originally Posted by sharky View Post
I have one cat with issues with anal glands .... her s likely was TOO much insoluble fiber from a corn and by product based dry food ... She had them expressed and now eats a grain free, measure free feed dry with either raw , homemade or canned food in meal setting ..... Her rear coat was brittle prior to the expression and now after a few weeks is magnificent like the rest of her( good food only took 3 weeks to give a better coat ) ... NOTE: this cat has only been in my care for 10 weeks ...

I would suggest do researching bone meal prior to thinking about using it ...

I also have a dog with anal gland issues and the vet nearly 8 yrs ago said Metamucil( if fiber is needed I suggest talking with the vet about a a soluble fiber like benefiber , he he it made things WAY WORSE ... in her case the answer was a low grain diet of homemade food or a no grain raw works very well( or at the very least a simple dry and canned food... the homemade works best ) ... she gets a simple diet of chicken : organs , bone , meat with some veggies and a supplement( which is rotated for proper balance and needs ) ... Digestives and probiotics can often help but the more research I do the less I would use them long term...
Thanks for the info, Sharky. As I mentioned, I'm just at the beginning of my research on how to tackle this. I found a holistic vet so may make an appointment to discuss raw/homemade food decisions. I know Gigi will take to it, she literally eats everything.

Quote:
Originally Posted by optionken View Post
..............
All that said I would recommend that you contact this vet
http://www.catinfo.org/
Dr Lisa will charge a nominal fee and she is a nutritionist that will come up with the answer for you. tell her Ken and Sneakers sent ya!
best of luck
Thanks Ken for the suggection. I know the site well.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sharky View Post
Beware of ANY medical professional who does a ONLINE or Phone consults without seeing your animal ( or yourself ) or working with YOUR vet( or doctor ) ...
Good advice and totally agree. I'll be sticking with my local vets.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SweetPea24 View Post
I have a cat with anal gland issues as well. He's 7 or 8 years old. I am feeding Orijen (the chicken formula) dry and Wellness grain-free wet. He gets a little less than 1/4 cup of dry and about a tablespoon or 1.5 tablespoons of wet twice a day. I had his glands expressed a month and a half ago and I think he has to have them done again as he is leaving smelly goopy presents on my carpet and farting gas that would scare a skunk away.
...................Of course, I could learn to do it myself but yuck....
It sounds like we have fed the same, but Gigi hasn't shown any signs of digestion problems (just the current anal gland issues). With your cat, it seems something is not agreeing with his system that you will need to eliminate. It really ends up being a lot of experimenting to figure out which food will be right for their systems!

I have two cats - Gigi and Steve. Gigi loves wet food and will only tolerate dry food. Steve, loves dry food and will only tolerate wet. Gigi needs to gain weight and Steve needs to lose weight.

As you can see total opposites and it's a real balancing act at feeding time!
post #8 of 15
I posted about Tofu's anal glands issues about a month or so ago. He eats a predominantly wet diet and needs his glands expressed or the scooting starts. I hate it and the vet trips to have this done are so stressful for him.

My dog is on a wet diet, too, because of a medical condition, and ever since we started her on it 2 years ago, her glands have needed to be expressed monthly. I'm not even kidding. She starts scooting on the same day every month.

I'm glad I'm not the only one who has noticed a correlation between a wet diet and anal gland issues. I've been meaning to add some canned pumpkin into their diet as per someone's suggestion to try and see if that helps any, but other than that, honestly, I don't know.
post #9 of 15
I would think the pumpkin would help. You want to make his stools harder so his glands express themselves. What a connundrum! Try the pumpkin and see how it goes...
post #10 of 15
Cleo also has anal gland issues. I take her to the vet about twice a year, for blood work for her CRF. I usually have the vet express them while she's there. I can tell when they start bothering her, as she usually starts to scoot across the basement carpet (yuck!) Sometimes, I'll get the tell-tale smell when I pick her up. My vet has tried to teach me how to do it at home, but I'd rather have Cleo associate the discomfort with the vet! Cleo eats only canned renal food.

I've tried canned pumpkin for loose stools, but Cleo actually prefered babyfood peas. They both have approximately the same amout of fiber.
post #11 of 15

Below is some recommendations on trying to prevent anal sac impactions in cats. In addition to these recommendations some of the literature suggested that overweight cats have more of a problem with anal sac disease so trying to get her weight down may also be helpful in that area. Please call me if you have any questions.

AG impactions. Possible reasons are mild dehydration, some type of dietary sensitivity that's causing the AG orifices to swell and not allow emptying as the AG normally would during defecation, constipation, and the cat's anatomy. canned-only, high protein, low carb, fish protein free diet; poultry based is often best. Wellness, Instinct, Evo 95 or Fancy Feast Classic often work well. Adding a little fiber like Metamucil 1/4-1/2 tsp BID or plain canned pumpkin (not too much) may help bulk up the stools a little.

 

I had this emailed to me from the vet.

post #12 of 15

Thanks so much for this information.  I just returned from the vet and my poor little girl had to have her anal glands expressed.  I have owned a cat before and was not even aware of this condition because she never had any problems associated with hers.  My vet also recommended adding some plain canned pumpkin to her diet.  She also has a urinary tract infection right now and I am convinced that all the licking she was doing in her gland area may have transferred some bacteria into her urinary tract.  I have fed her Wellness grain free canned chicken & turkey flavors and either Nature's Variety dry or Orijen dry (only 1/8 cup a day) but I have stopped feeding the dry altogether. Right now the Wellness is all she is eating and I am trying to find other brands canned food that I can get her to eat as well.

post #13 of 15

Hi posiesmom welcome to the cat site! 

 

The thread you are responding to is a few years old so you may want to start your own about what your cat is going through.

 

It is great you have decided on a wet diet it is much better for cats especially those who have urinary issues (see www.catinfo.org). Some other good brands of cat food are hound and gato, nature's variety and tiki cat (chicken only flavours). If you would like some less expensive options the fancy feast classics are also good.

 

A properly balanced cooked or raw diet is also a good option and you can take a look at our nutrition and raw feeding section for more information.

post #14 of 15

Thanks Franksmom!  I appreciate your response.  I will start a new thread. smile.gif

post #15 of 15

I know it has been over a year since posiesmom posted on this topic, but if she is still having issues I just wanted to share my experience.  One of my cats had to have her anal glands expressed and it seemed to be quite traumatic for her.  I tried getting her and my other kitty on a raw food diet, but I could not get them to eat any of the brands I tried.  I was explaining this to a girl at the pet store and she suggested the Rad Cat brand.  She had some samples and the kitties are going for it! I have just bought more and am hoping we can keep this up.  Just thought I'd share in case you were having any problems.

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