Cat Anal Glands
Tapeworms can cause itching of the anal area as they pass out the anus. Your cat may lick the anal area, or “sleigh-ride”: slide along on its rear end with the back legs lifted. Cats have anal sacs located on each side of the anus that is equivalent to the skunk’s scent glands and were probably used by your pet’s ancestors to spray enemies or to mark territory. The fluid has a sharp, pungent odor.
Cats seldom have problems with these sacs. The anal sacs are normally expressed when your pet exercises vigorously or moves its bowels. If the secretion in the anal sacs is not emptied by exercise or defecation, impaction, and infection can occur. Your pet will lick the anal area and “sleigh-ride” or scoot along the ground. If an infection occurs in one or both sacs, the area adjacent to the anus will become red, swollen, and painful. When the abscess ruptures, pus or blood-tinged fluid may drain from it. An irritation of the anal area can also develop from diarrhea. The fluid is acidic and can scald the anus.
Problems Related to Cat Anal Glands
Impaction – Impaction occurs when the cat is unable to express its anal glands regularly. This results in the development of a waxy and hard sludge-like formation in the glands. The impaction is treated by cleaning the glands by using sedation. Oral and topical antibiotics along with painkillers can also help to get rid of the disease.
Anal Gland Infection – The anal gland infection are similar to the skin abbesses. They burst when they get matured and spread to the adjoining areas. Veterinary consultation is required for treating it. Antibiotics or lancing and flushing with the help of an antiseptic solution can be administered for treating the disease.
Cancer – Cancer may occur in case the anal glands are constant victims of skin abscesses and infections. In chronic cases, the glands are removed with the aid of surgical treatments. Removal of the anal glands is quite safe as it has not proved to have an impact on the health of the cat.
Cat Anal Glands Treatment
If the anal sac becomes infected, your veterinarian should treat it. But you may also try to treat an impacted anal of a cat at home. Cover the anal area with a tissue or gauze pad when expressing the anal sacs. If the secretions get on your rug or clothes, the smell can be very difficult to remove. Place your thumb and index finger at the 3 o’clock and 9 o’clock positions outside the anal area. Squeeze firmly toward the center. The anal sac contents should exit from holes in the anus.
Anal irritations from diarrhea can be treated by bathing your cat with a medicated soap and applying calamine lotion, white petroleum jelly, or antibiotic ointment.
Anal sac infections can be treated by flushing the sac with sterile water and antibiotics. Your doctor may hospitalize your pet for a few days or may treat the animal on an outpatient basis. Anal abscesses need more vigorous therapy. Chronic anal-sac infections are best treated by removing the sacs surgically.
See more: Cat Allergy Causes and Remedies