They are as big as peas and can also cause big problems for cats: the anal glands. The reason: “Anal sacs can become clogged and inflamed,” explains veterinarian Silke Burda in her dissertation. “This disease, while not life-threatening, can lead to a serious worsening of the overall condition with symptoms of pain and typical behavior (sledding).”
But where are the anal glands? “They are present in cats at 8 o’clock and 4 o’clock next to their anus,” explains Julie Schell of Bow Bottom Animal Hospital in Alberta, Canada. The glands “are lined with cells that produce a brown or gray-brown secretion of glands that smell very intense.”
Anal glands for individual scent
And that smell can be smelled in the box. Because: When a cat empties, the glands are expelled by the pressure of the solid intestinal contents and thus empty. “Every cat’s scent is unique. It helps them get to know each other, ”says Schell.
But emptying the odor glands doesn’t always work. There are several reasons. For example, diarrhea: the stool is not strong enough to empty the glands. Constipation can also be a trigger. If cats defecate too rarely, the glands may become inflamed. Or the secretion does not drain: Then it thickens and finally clogs the anus.
“When the anal tubes are blocked by inflammation, infection, cancer, or hair or fecal plugs, the attached sac continues to fill,” Schell explains. “Eventually, painful abscesses and ruptures can occur. This can lead to a secondary infection and even more pain. ”In addition, germs can multiply in the glands. It can also lead to severe inflammation of the anal glands.
Typical symptoms of inflammation
Cat owners should therefore monitor their cats closely. There are several symptoms of anal gland inflammation. The classic thing is the so-called “sledding”, which is done by many affected dogs. The velvet paw then slides on the floor with its bottom. Other characters can be:
- Redness around the anus
- Intense spotting of the subsequent shock
- the cat is sensitive to touch in this area
- stool pain
- the cat does not eat
- Swelling to the right and left of the anus
- the cat “stinks”
If the inflammation is not treated, a fistula may form around the anus. A brownish-yellow, stinking secretion flows out of the fistula.
A vet massages the anal glands
In the case of anus, cat owners should take their velvet paw to the vet as soon as possible. The anal glands are carefully massaged there. Because it is very painful for a cat, a short anesthetic is given.
The drained gland is flushed and treated with an antibiotic and an anti-inflammatory drug. If an abscess and fistula forms, the flush must be repeated several times.
Cat owners can definitely prevent inflammation of the anal glands. “Normal anal bags in cats should be about the size of a lens or grain of rice and should be pliable and soft when palpated,” says veterinarian Schell. To prevent this, it is important to keep your cat’s fur free of tangles, feces and dirt, especially in the anal area. Some longhair cats may require the care and professional shaving of their anal area to allow proper drainage of the anal canals. ”
Obesity promotes gland problems
In addition, cats should be fed healthily – and should not be overweight. “Obese cats have a higher ratio of fat and muscle. “The often excess fat surrounding the anal sacs prevents the anal sacs from contracting normally to allow drainage,” Schell said. Her tip: feed the cats twice a day with a spoonful of canned pumpkin (no sugar!). “It adds to their diet.”
Alle für Futtermittel zugelassenen Antioxidantien, bis auf Ethoxyquin (E324), sind ebenfalls als Lebensmittelzusatzstoffe zugelassen.
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