If They’re a Big Enough Pain in the Rear-Get Rid of those Anal Glands

Question:

My four-year-old male cat has had anal gland problems since he was a year old. Our vet has expressed them several times. He now wants to remove them as he got blood out (for the second time in two months). I have heard he could loose control of his bowels. He is my best friend and don’t want to lose him. I myself had cancer and he helps me keep going.

 

Dr. Nichol:

The subject of anal glands, while a fact of life for all cats and dogs, may be a bit odious for the breakfast table. You’ll want to finish your tea and crumpets before reading further.

 

Ready? Situated on either side of the pet’s anus are glands that produce a most vile smelling fluid. Lots of species have them; the skunk’s being the most reviled. Unlike their striped cousins, cats and dogs have little influence over this rear end accessory. Fortunately, most peacefully coexist with their anal glands. Normal activity in that neighborhood of the body puts occasional pressure on them and they pass their fluid into the area of the anus.

 

But alas, anal glands aren’t your pet’s friends. If the fluid stays bottled up inside it gets thick and congealed or even infected. Many pets lick the area; some scoot on the floor. That rear end dragging may be amusing to watch but it’s a sign that your pet is uncomfortable and needs to have his anal glands emptied.

 

It takes us only a minute and the cat or dog feels better in a hurry. It’s quite simple; you too can master this fine art of pet care. On the other hand, if reading this is causing you an unpleasant physical reaction, you can be rid of the whole mess and have your cat’s anal glands surgically removed.

 

I understand how important this boy is. If the surgery is done by skilled hands, recovery is quick and healthy physical functions never miss a beat. With your cat’s anal glands causing him such a frequent pain in the rear end, I say go for it.

 

 

 

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Anal Gland Odor can seem to last a Lifetime

Question:

My indoor cat, who is quite nervous, gives off a noxious odor from his anal glands frequently. It used to be only when frightened, but now my bedroom reeks every morning. The vet found no problems with his anal glands – not even full. He’s a great cat and we can’t give him up, but we need to find a way to coexist without gas masks!

Dr. Nichol:

It is said that nothing lasts forever. But I’ve been practicing veterinary medicine for nearly thirty years and the vile, repulsive, horrid, repugnant, nasty, foul, and disgusting odor from those useless anal glands can become a part of one’s life until death-and beyond. These are the same structures that make skunks such unwelcome holiday guests. You have my sympathy.

 

Anal glands serve no useful purpose and can be surgically removed. It’s a routine procedure that I have been delighted to perform many times. Ask your veterinarian to rid your cat and your home of this scourge so you can move on with your life. Pets should be seen and not smelled.

 

 

 

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More on Anal Glands

Question:

My nine year old cat has a constant problem with plugged anal glands and has to be taken to the vet often.  Is there anything I can do to help her relieve these symptoms?

 

Dr. Nichol:

Your cat is lucky you’re paying attention. The pain and itch of impacted or infected anal glands causes afflicted cats and dogs to lick and drag their rear ends. It’s miserable. Your veterinarian can continue to express (empty) your cat’s anal glands but that is not a cure.

 

All dogs and cats have anal glands, one on each side of the anus. The walls of the glands produce a foul smelling fluid that normally leaks out in small amounts during bowel movements. An evolutionary vestige made famous by their distant cousin, the striped kitty (skunk), these structures are useless and unnecessary in pets.

 

Anal glands can become infected and even cancerous. Some cats and dogs squirt some of the vile secretion when they get agitated. This isn’t fun for anybody. Your veterinarian, that saint, can surgically remove your cat’s anal glands and rid both of you of this pain in the rear. Be thankful that our species missed out on this piece of equipment.