or Connect
TheCatSite.com › Forums › Our Feline Companions › Cat Health › Anal Gland Issues & Canned Pumpkin
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Anal Gland Issues & Canned Pumpkin

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
My cat seems to have issues expressing his glands when he goes, so I have had to take him in to my vet to have them manually expressed 3-4 times in the last two years. My dog's holistic vet told me that it can be damaging and unhealthy to have the glands manually expressed so often and it is best if he could manage to do it by himself.

So I spoke to my cat's vet and he said adding more fiber would help. He recommended canned pumpkin or psyllium husk.

I occasionally use canned pumpkin for hairballs and it seems to help, but I never wanted to use it on a daily basis. I'm not sure how I feel about that.

Has anyone found canned pumpkin or psyllium to help with anal gland problems? My vet says it's safe for daily usage, but has anyone ever read contradicting info (i.e. not healthy for cats to have canned pumpkin/psyllium on a daily basis long-term)?

I'm very cautious and don't really want to give something every single day since we know too much of a 'good thing' can be bad as well.

Thanks!
post #2 of 13
I would use a gentlier fiber like benefiber ... Psyllium can cause major gas and pain if not taken with enough water... Pumpkin is found in several foods thus should be fine for daily use..
post #3 of 13
Thread Starter 
Thanks, Sharky!

He eats raw (3 meals/day) and I add a few spoons of water to his food right before serving. I was hoping that would be enough water IF I were to use psyllium. Is it?

If pumpkin is the safer way to go and has the same outcome, I will do that instead. Has any of your kitties ever had anal gland problems?

I never heard of Benefiber before, so I searched it up. It seems like the main ingredient is wheat. Unfortunately, my cat can't have anything that has wheat -- he suffers from some food allergy issues, too.
post #4 of 13
Adding canned pumpkin (plain, not pumpkin pie filling) will help. Also, you can try something like Miralax, which many folks on the CRF group use with their renal failure kitties. Upping the amount of canned food in his diet will also help, especially if you feed almost exclusively wet with little dry.
post #5 of 13
Just a FYI... One they changed the fiber... but wheat dextrin that they are stating qualifys as gluten free would NOT contain any wheat allergen
http://www.wisegeek.com/what-are-som...upplements.htm

my personal fave is guar gum
post #6 of 13
Thread Starter 
Here's an update and some questions.

Ok, so since I made this original thread, I have tried both psyllium and canned pumpkin (on different days, of course).

I tried giving him 1/4 tsp psyllium for a few days and that seemed to bulk up his stool nicely instead of him pooping out rabbit-like pellet poops like before. He even stopped scooting.

Then I tried canned pumpkin (1 tablespoon/day) and that seemed to make his constipation worse and his poops even smaller.

This doesn't make sense to me because they are both soluble fiber...shouldn't they have the same effect? Am I giving just the right amount of psyllium yet too much pumpkin and so it worsened the constipation?

(I thought psyllium might contain, gram by gram, much more 'fiber' than canned pumpkin, hence the difference in dosage. Please correct me if I'm wrong.)

Edit - This is what I found online regarding fiber content:

- Psyllium Whole Husks = 4 – 4 ½ grams of fiber per 5 gram serving (1 tablespoon)
- 1 cup canned pumpkin = 7 grams of fiber

So it does seem like psyllium really contains more fiber per spoon than pumpkin. So if I give 1 tablespoon pumpkin, it should be nowhere close to the fiber content of 1/4 tsp psyllium. But why does pumpkin worsen the constipation while psyllium helps?


I'm really confused. Thanks!
post #7 of 13
Pumpkin can have both effects depending on the dose. It sounds like 1 tablespoon is too much for him. You could try 1 teaspoon.

I use Natural Moves from petAlive.com which contains psyllium plus a few other ingredients. Our boys get 1/4 capsule in wetfood when they get constipated but this is not on a daily basis. I had to find the right dose for them since the recommended 1 capsule was way too much.

Are you feeding wet and dry or just dry?

Our Leo had for a while a hardtime with his anal glands, but feeding him half wet and half dry plus using the fiber solved the problem.
post #8 of 13
Thread Starter 
LoveWhiskers, thanks! I was thinking of reducing the pumpkin amount since like you said, it might be too much fiber and doing the opposite of what I'm trying to achieve, but now I'm not so sure (see my edited post above).

However, I will put 1 teaspoon to the test meanwhile. I would stick with psyllium since it seems to work, but he's reacting to it (allergies).

I'm feeding raw with water added right before serving.
post #9 of 13
I wonder how inulin fiber would work with animals. It is clear and flavorless and can be easily mixed in canned food. It does not contain wheat. It is in FiberSure or Metamucil Clear and Natural.

I have always used baby food yellow squash - same as pumpkin, no salt or other ingredients except the squash.
post #10 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dusty's Mom View Post
I wonder how inulin fiber would work with animals. It is clear and flavorless and can be easily mixed in canned food. It does not contain wheat. It is in FiberSure or Metamucil Clear and Natural.

I have always used baby food yellow squash - same as pumpkin, no salt or other ingredients except the squash.
Hmm, I have never heard of inulin fiber, but I shall ask my vet about it the next time I speak with him.

When you use baby food squash, how much do you give per kitty?
post #11 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by KatGoddess View Post
Hmm, I have never heard of inulin fiber, but I shall ask my vet about it the next time I speak with him.

When you use baby food squash, how much do you give per kitty?
About a teaspoon and mix it in her canned food. The reason I like using the squash is because you are buying a smaller quantity, so I don't have to throw so much out. And with pumpkin you have to check the ingredients. Beech Nut baby squash is just squash and water - no salt or flavor additives.
post #12 of 13
You are very welcome!

I wonder if there is another component in pumpkin that causes this correlation, I will ask our holistic vet next time we see her.

I am hoping your baby just needs a little "help" for a few days and then he will do OK on his own.

I am glad your baby eats the pumpkin, our boys don't like it.
post #13 of 13
I am currently experimenting with psyllium as a solution to blocked anal glands, too.

Like yours, my vet was leery of psyllium because of the necessary water intake. Jennie gets 1/4 cup of water added to every meal (she is on an all canned grain free diet) so that is not at issue.

My biggest concern with using psyllium is the size of the stool. I mean, the whole point is to bulk up the stool so it will clean out the anal sacks when she poops.

But it can back-fire if a cat has chronic constipation, because the large stool can cause a megacolon. Jennie does have some trouble with constipation if I vary her diet from her usual Wellness grain free canned chicken, but as long as her diet stays the same, she is able to poop okay most days.

So I started Jennie on 1/4 tsp of pure psyllium every four days. This was not effective, she started scooting already, two weeks after having her glands expressed.

So I have increased the psyllium regimen to two days in a a row, every four days. I've only just started this, so we will see how it goes.

I have discussed with my vet having Jennie's anal sacs removed, if the problem continues. My vet does not do this surgery but another vet in the practice does, so that is an option.

What I have read about the surgery is mostly promising, though there is one possibility that fecal incontinence can result. I, of course, would not like that, but I would discuss this thoroughly with the surgeon before hand of course.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Cat Health
TheCatSite.com › Forums › Our Feline Companions › Cat Health › Anal Gland Issues & Canned Pumpkin