Inflammation of the anal glands in cats: symptoms, treatment and prevention


The anal bags of the cat can be the seat of various affections. Diagnosis is essential to identify which health problem the cat is suffering from in order to treat it with the most suitable treatment. His master must therefore know how to identify the symptoms caused by inflammation of the anal glands. Let’s do a check in.

Anal glands of the cat: usefulness

These small bags located on either side of the cat’s anus secrete a brown liquid whose odor is, for humans in any case, particularly foul-smelling. The anal glands are emptied regularly on different occasions, i.e .:

  • When the cat expels its feces,
  • In case of stress, because it triggers a alert process which inevitably leads to emptying anal glands. This is what we call in this type of case the alert marking. In this way, the cat releases pheromones, the smell of which is perceptible by its congeners. They are thus informed that a danger is imminent, for example. In this type of situation, the anal sacs when emptying themselves send out a kind of coded message intended to save the species.

Thus, the secretions of the anal sacs are pheromones which contribute to the intraspecific communication. These pheromones provide vital indications to other animals in a group, for example on the sex, age, social status, sexual maturity and receptivity of a conspecific.

We therefore understand the importance of these anal sacs for a cat. It is therefore very important to consult a veterinarian as soon as you suspect a problem at this level.

Inflammation of the anal glands: symptoms in cats

Some troubles touching this anatomical area of ​​the cat may be very serious. Every problem leads to symptoms very specific and must be treated appropriately.

A cat’s anal glands can be the site of tumor. We can then spot a mass close to the anus. The cat drinks more than usual and has great difficulty expelling faeces. To find out if an anal gland tumor is malignant or benign, a biopsy is essential. In case of Cancer the cat is subjected to chemotherapy sessions.

But the problems that can be the cause of inflammation of the anal sacs are the following :

  • Thecongestion or impaction : the glands are blocked so that the secretions can no longer be evacuated. Among its many causes are infestation by a flatworm, thickening of secretions, obesity, sudden change in diet, chronic diarrhea or persistent constipation …
  • The sacculitis : it is an infection of the contents of the anal sacs resulting in inflammation. There is the formation of pus in the glands. Sacculitis usually follows an impaction, but can also occur without apparent cause.

In both these cases, the cat tends to adopt the sled posture, namely that he rubs his hindquarters on the ground while moving in order to relieve his pain. The licks in the anal area are untimely. Other symptoms may include decreased appetite, high fever, and listlessness.

Left untreated, sacculitis can degenerate into abscess spotted by the flow of a bloody liquid and scratchings of rare violence. The cat is in pain, and may refuse to eat altogether.

Inflammation of the anal sacs in cats: treatment

After having accurately diagnosed the problem from which the cat is suffering, the veterinarian may have to pierce the abscess but sometimes it can empty spontaneously. In all cases, the professional prescribes a treatment antibiotic and a Pain killer because the animal may be in pain for a few more days.

When a cat exhibits repeated anal gland inflammation, the veterinarian may decide to proceed to their ablation. This is what we call the sacculectomy. But he opts for this surgical intervention only in the most recurrent cases and as a last resort because there is a risk of fecal incontinence if one of the sphincters is touched during the operation.

Prevent inflammation of the anal glands in cats: the solutions

We can completely limit the factors that promote certain problems with the anal sacs. It may be desirable to ask the veterinarian to purge the cat’s anal glands when he deems it necessary. This act should not be performed too frequently as it can lead to inflammation over time.

You must give your cat a perfectly balanced diet and ensure that he drinks enough to avoid constipation and chronic diarrhea but also so that he does not become obese. He must therefore be encouraged to go out into the garden every day or, if he hates going outside, his master must take the time to play with his cat every day so that he can exercise himself. Finally, a deworming should be considered regularly to protect your cat against intestinal worms.

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