Originally Posted by Artful Badger
I have a foster cat that is butt dragging too. A few months ago I took her in and they found her anal glands needed expressing. That helped for a bit but she started up again. I finally got the vet (at the shelter) to look at her again and this time she had only liquid in the glands. Yet she's scooting at least once a day. She did it the night she got home from the vet!
Could it possibly be parasites after it was once anal glands? I can have them check a sample. Do you have an idea of which parasites cause this? I have experience with lots of normal parasites as a foster mom but this butt dragging seems pretty unusual.
Thanks for any insights.
Yes, parasites could be the problem even though you got the anal glands expressed.
Just in case you wanted to know, anal glands are sacs that sit just under the skin near the anus. There is one on each side that is connected to the anus via canals or ducts. Since cats don't use these glands very often, fluid tends to build up and can overtime lead to bacterial infections, abscesses, or even ruptures if it is not expressed. These glands are rarely emptied by the cat because the gland's fluid is used to scare away enemies, similar to the way a skunk would, and indoor cats usually have very few enemies. When the sacs are full, they can cause discomfort and then lead to scooting and/or licking. Some cats require their anal glands to be expressed more often than others and cats will often scoot after the expression due to the irritation of the procedure. Should problems continue, despite efforts, the sacs can be surgically removed. As with any surgery, there are risks involved and possible side effects, many which are temporary, so you would want to consult your veterinarian if it came to this option.
Parasites are found in the intestines and can be passed in the stool as it travels through the rectum and exits the anus. Roundworms and tapeworms are the most common types of parasites that you can readily see. Others parasites like hookworms, coccidia, and giardia (just to name a few) are so small, that examination under a microscope is the only way to easily diagnose. Even though some of these parasites are more common in kittens and debilitated cats, I wouldn't rule them out without proper examination. Many parasites will cause discomfort and prompt scooting and/or licking and lead to other symptoms including loose stool and many others if left untreated.
So, I hope I helped to explain the difference between the two and show how, yes, you can have both. Personally, I would have a stool sample checked. Then, if it's free from parasites, I would talk to your veterinarian about having the anal glands expressed more frequently or any other ideas to try and help with the scooting. I hope I was able to help!