Anal Gland Problems

Surgical removal of these glands is possible if problems with impaction and infection continue to occur.

Posted: Wed Dec 18 00:00:00 PST 2002

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Anal gland problems do exist in cats, but it is infrequent compared to dogs. As we have shifted our pets to premium-quality foods containing no fillers, it seems that some pets need a bit more fiber than others to create enough stool volume to enable evacuation of the anal glands. In a few pets, the anal glands become a source of enough difficulty that the pet is better off without them.

Because cats and dogs have been domesticated for so long, they have lost the ability to voluntarily empty the glands; recurrent impaction or infection makes the pet miserable. Cats really do not need anal glands, so surgical removal is always an option. The surgery is uncomfortable for the patient during the healing process, but it cures the problem. If dietary changes with added fiber combined with annual expression of the glands do not alleviate the problem, consult your veterinarian about a surgical solution.

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Reader Comments

janet    bethlehem, PA

5/25/2010 4:12:17 AM

good article thanks

Carol    Rosenberg, TX

9/16/2006 8:22:27 PM

How safe is the operation to remove the anal glands? I have read that this procedure could cause fecal incontinence. Has this operation been improved? What do you do when the glands keep getting abcesses, but you don't want incontinence?

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