What Causes Anal Swelling & Soreness in Male Cats?

Closely observing your cat can help you detect ailments early.
Closely observing your cat can help you detect ailments early. (Image: young woman with a red cat image by amlet from Fotolia.com)

Early detection of anal disease in your tomcat is essential to his well-being. Even though anal disease may be treatable, there's always the chance that it's of a life-threatening nature. The anal glands, also known as anal sacs, can cause problems in male cats. Recognizing abnormalities in your cat's behavior and in the appearance of his anal region, can potentially safe his life.

Perianal Fistula

Perianal fistula is a condition that's common in unneutered male cats that carry their tail low, or have sweat glands in their perianal area. The condition is characterized by inflammation and irritation of the perianal region, rectum and anus. Your pet companion may display symptoms, such as diarrhea, constipation and loss of appetite. Treatment may include applying a warm compress, cleansing the wound, adjusting your cat's diet, undergoing surgery and administering anti-inflammatory medication.

Anal Gland Impaction

Secretions from your tomcat's anal glands help him mark his territory. Sometimes the ducts of the anal glands become clogged. This condition, known as anal gland impaction, causes your pet companion to scoot around the floor on his rear end. He may also lick the area profusely. While scooting, foul-smelling secretions may be released and your cat may injure his anal area. To avoid this, have your veterinarian drain the anal glands by applying pressure to them.

Anal Gland Infection

If blood or pus emerges from your cat's anal gland while emptying them, they're most likely infected. A cat with infected anal glands may be in pain and have swelling around the anus. Additionally, he may scoot around the floor on his rear end and frequently lick the area. This condition is common in overweight cats. Treatment can include daily drainage of the anal glands, followed by an injection of antibiotics directly into the sac opening. Dietary changes and warm compress applications may also be recommended.

Anal Gland Abscess

A tomcat suffering from an anal gland abscess has all the signs of an infection. Additionally, he may have a fever and the swelling may turn from a red to a purple color. Treatment can include lancing of the abscess so it can drain, rinsing of the anal glands with a topical antiseptic, warm compress applications and administering an oral antibiotic. An anal gland abscess can affect the muscles and nerves in your pet companion's rectal area, which can trigger incontinence.

Anal Gland Cancer

A growth on your male cat's rectal area can be an indication of anal gland cancer. Even though not common, this type of cancer spreads quickly and is often malignant. Symptoms of anal gland cancer include lethargy, constipation, loss of appetite and extreme thirst. Treatment may include removal of the growth and radiation. Close monitoring and follow-up veterinary visits may also be recommended.

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