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Old 10-13-2008, 08:05 AM
galapas galapas is offline
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Default Foul Discharge

We have a cat, about 7 years old, and every once in a while she emits an incredibly foul smelling discharge from her anus. She is an indoor cat, so it's not caused by something she's eaten. Does anyone have any ideas what could be causing this problem and how we can resolve it? She is slightly overweight as well. We have another cat that is four years old and she never has this problem.

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Old 10-13-2008, 08:22 AM
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MissDolittle MissDolittle is offline
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Texas
Posts: 2,813
Default Re: Foul Discharge

Hi galapas, welcome! It sounds like your cat might have a problem with the anal gland. Cat anal glands problems rarely happen. The glands can become impacted or infected requiring them to be emptied. An antibiotic is needed if they are infected. Cats who frequently get this condition should change their diet and consider a dietary supplement with natural fiber.

Cat anal glands are two small sacs situated just below and to either side of the anal opening. They manufacture and secrete a fluid that is used to mark territory. When the anal glands are healthy, the anal glands do not have much of a smell to humans, although other cats can smell them well. That’s part of how cats recognize each other, from the scent of the fluid produced by the anal glands, which is unique to each cat.

Symptoms of Cat Anal Glands

Cat anal gland problems are rare. Symptoms of anal gland problems usually include a bad smell. The glands can become impacted or infected, causing them to produce a thicker than normal fluid that has a bad odor. Cats may lick the area excessively if they are experiencing discomfort. Your cat may also “scoot” across the floor on her bottom with her tail up.

Diagnosis of Feline Anal Gland Problems

Impacted and infected anal sacs are two problems that may occur. Your vet will be able to diagnose them just by examining your cat. No special tests will be needed.

Rarely, cancer can develop in the anal sacs. Cancer of the anal sacs is diagnosed by a biopsy. A needle is used to extract some cells from the tumor, and those cells are then examined under a microscope.

Treatment of Feline Anal Gland Problems

Treatment of anal gland problems is usually pretty straight forward. If the glands are impacted (backed up), they can be manually expressed (emptied). Your vet can do this, and he or she can show you how to do it so that you can do it yourself in the future if needed. Your vet will show you how to use your fingers or a thumb and forefinger to gently apply pressure on either side of the anal opening - on the outside of the glands. Press inwards and upwards and you should see the fluid being expressed.

If your cat frequently has problems with her anal glands becoming clogged, your vet may recommend changes to her diet. A high fiber diet may be recommended in order to make her stool more bulky. This will cause her stool to help express the anal glands when she defecates. You might also try a herbal dietary supplement like AnalGlandz to treat infected anal glands in cats naturally.

If the glands are infected, antibiotics will be prescribed for your cat. Infected glands will probably need to be expressed manually until the infection has cleared up.

Cancer usually occurs in only one of the anal sacs. If your cat has cancer of an anal sac, she will need to have the tumor surgically removed. The surgery has a high rate of success at curing the cancer.

Treatment of Perianal and Anal Sac Tumors
Kurpensteijn, J.
Licensed Wildlife Rehabilitator (Texas)
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