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Anal Sac Problems in Cats

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Anal Sacculitis (Anal Sac Infection)

This condition complicates impaction. Signs of infection include the presence of blood or pus in the anal sac secretions, swelling on one or both sides of the anus, and the presence of anal pain and scooting. You may notice the cat licking the area more than usual. These signs also occur with anal sac abscess.

Treatment: The anal sacs should be expressed and emptied daily, after which an antibiotic may be put into the sac through the opening. This procedure is difficult and should only be done by a veterinarian. Your veterinarian may show you how to do some of the care.

You can help to resolve infection by applying warm wet packs to the anal area for 15 minutes three times a day for seven to ten days. A systemic antibiotic may be prescribed by your veterinarian, in addition to the topical antibiotic.

Anal gland infections seem to be more common in overweight, inactive cats. Weight loss and increased exercise may help prevent recurrence. Some cats do well with a change in diet, as well. Cats with recurrent anal sac infections may benefit from a dental diet such as Hill’s Prescription Diet t/d. Cats with recurrent anal gland infections may need to have the glands removed.

Anal Sac Abscess

An abscess is recognized by the signs of infection and swelling at the site of the gland. The swelling is red at first, then turns a deep purple. The cat may have a fever until the abscess is opened and drained. You may notice the cat licking at the area more than normal.

Treatment: An abscess is ready to drain when it becomes soft and fluidlike. At this point, it should be lanced by your veterinarian so that pus and blood will drain out. The abscess cavity must heal from the inside out. Keep the edges apart by flushing the cavity twice a day with a topical antiseptic such as dilute (tea-colored) Betadine solution for 10 to 14 days, and applying warm wet packs to the anal area for 15 minutes three times a day for 7 to 10 days. An oral antibiotic is normally administered.

WebMD Veterinary Reference from "Cat Owner's Home Veterinary Handbook"

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