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How Do You Know When Or If A Cat's Anal Glands Need To Be Expressed?

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
I'm not even quite sure what it means to have their anal glands expressed, but I have heard it sometimes needs to get done. So how do you know if it's needed or not? Is it based on age?
post #2 of 6
I've lived with cats for many years and never had to have this done, so it's not necessarily something to worry about. (I had a dog once who had impacted anal glands, but I had never heard of cats having this problem until I began to lurk on this site.)

Anyway, you'll figure it out pretty quickly if your cat needs help; some of the signs are scooting and a *highly* unpleasant smell!
post #3 of 6
Scooting and the smell. The smell is very foul. Never try to do it (express the anal glands) at home, unless you have already been trained by your vet how to do it.

A trip to the vet is always needed, when anal glands are blocked. And should not be put off, because they can become impacted, and infected, sometimes even requiring surgery.

As was said, it's not all that common, but some cats are prone to it. Usually as a cat has a bowel movement, the anal glands are naturally expressed during the movement.

My Jennie has had some trouble that way, I think because of some constipation troubles, though since I've changed her to almost all canned food diet, things are much better.

My Bibbs (rb 3/05) had a terrible time with blocked anal glands, and I used to have to bring her in regularly to have the vet express them. The vet showed me how to do it, but I wasn't very good at it and preferred to let the vet do it.
post #4 of 6
That is an excellent question...
scent sac issues are not very common in cats but they do happen.
A thread about my Dexter scent sac issue is linked below.
http://www.thecatsite.com/forums/sho...ght=scent+sacs

To answer your main question, if a cat scoots, licks the anal area frequently or you notice swelling, or a unusual scent in the anal area, have a vet take a look see.
I can tell when Dexter's scent sac fluid is becoming to thick to express on it's own, when his energy level becomes depressed and his anal area looks a bit swollen on the plugged side.
Hopefully you will never encounter this frustrating problem.
post #5 of 6
Cleo needs to have this done a couple of times a year. I'll catch her scooting on the carpeting, and licking at her bottom, and I know it's time to take her in. My vet has offered to teach me how to do it, but I'd rather let Cleo associate the discomfort of the procedure with the vet instead of me.
post #6 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pookie-poo View Post
I'd rather let Cleo associate the discomfort of the procedure with the vet instead of me.
I have our vet's tech do it for the same reason.
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