Anal Sac Disease in Cats

Overview of Anal Sac Disease in Cats

The anal sacs are glands located near the anus (rectum) that produce secretions that are normally expressed during defecation. The secretions from these glands are normally pungent (in fact, very smelly) and straw-colored with brown flecks. Anal sac contents may also be expressed in times of fright (producing a terrible odor in the area). Anal sac disease is uncommon in cats.

Below is an overview of Anal Sac Disease in Cats followed by detailed information on the diagnosis and treatment of this condition.

Types of anal sac disease

Watch to Watch For

Diagnosis of Anal Sac Disease in Cats

Diagnostic tests may be required to confirm the diagnosis and exclude other diseases causing similar signs. Tests may include:

Treatment of Anal Sac Disease in Cats

For simple impactions and cases of inflammation, expressing the anal sacs may be all that is necessary. If the anal sacs cannot be expressed while your pet is awake, then anesthesia may be necessary to express and flush the anal sacs. Other treatments may include:

Home Care

Be aware of your cat’s normal defecation habits and stool appearance so that you can notice any changes, and contact your veterinarian if you notice any signs of anal sac disease. See your veterinarian for follow-up appointments to ensure the problem is adequately treated.

Some veterinarians suggest increasing fiber (thus bulk) to the diet to prevent anal sac impaction. This may produce a bulkier stool and the sacs may be more likely to be expressed naturally.

In-depth Information on Feline Anal Sac Diseases

The anal sacs are located at the 4:00 and 8:00 positions around the anus, embedded in the muscle of the anal sphincter (the muscle that closes the anus). Related glands produce a pungent yellowish secretion during defecation.

Anal sac diseases include:

Anal sac impaction

Anal sacculitis

Anal sac abscess

Anal sac tumor

Veterinary care should include diagnostic tests and subsequent treatment recommendations.

Diagnosis In-depth

Diagnostic tests that your veterinarian may wish to perform include:

Treatment In-depth

Follow-up Care for Cats with Anal Sac Disease