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Anyone have experience of anal gland/anal sac infections in cats?

(9 Posts)
GoneAndDone Mon 18-Jan-16 12:02:56

My approx 13 year old female cat has had three anal gland/anal sac infections in the past 8 months. The latest one was pretty severe with an abscess forming on one side.

Our vet mentioned the possibility of referring her for surgery to remove the anal glands. This would be done at a specialist animal hospital (probably at the Royal Vet College).

I've read mixed experiences of this online but obviously people are more likely to write about bad experiences than operations that went perfectly well. But I've read it can cause incontinence, at least temporarily and possibly permanently if things go wrong at all. And of course she's getting older so anesthesia is always a bit risky. She also has hyperthyroidism, well controlled by medication (T4 levels have been in the middle of the healthy range for over 6 months now).

I'm feeling torn about this because on one hand, the constant infections are becoming an issue - I hate for my cat to suffer, and it's obviously massively inconvenient to have to take her to the vets (she hates going and needs sedation for treatment) so regularly. But on the other hand, the operation sounds risky and would be really stressful too (apparently after care is difficult?) especially as we live over an hour away from any of the specialist hospitals and I don't drive...

I'm planning to try a fibre supplement in her food (Protexin Pro Fibre) to see if that might help... She is also a bit overweight so I will be stricter with her diet in general (I know all about this from previous experience). Is there anything else I can do, that's less drastic than surgery? She's currently on antibiotics for the infection. She never had anal gland issues until last summer which makes me think it's not impossible to find a way to stop them from happening, if that makes sense.

cozietoesie Mon 18-Jan-16 23:52:38

Thankfully I haven't had experience of the problem but there are some vets who post here so keep an eye on the thread just in case they see it and comment. smile

Lonecatwithkitten Tue 19-Jan-16 08:23:38

Has she had her anal glands flushed under anaesthetic and antibiotic instilled directly into them? This is very successful in my hands for treating stubborn anal gland infections.

GoneAndDone Tue 19-Jan-16 10:22:53

Thanks for responding.
Yes, that's the treatment she's had. It seems to work initially and then the infection comes back.

cozietoesie Tue 19-Jan-16 10:49:04

I'm wondering with her age and other issues whether her immune system is starting to go woogly. (Your reference to a sort of 'it started so it must surely be stoppable' - I paraphrase.) I know that my own boy's residual cat flu was just about OK until he reached 17 and then it arrived back.

Perhaps try to boost the immune system a bit, maybe with some probiotics or something? Does she eat well?

cozietoesie Tue 19-Jan-16 11:16:12

Sorry - a parcel arrived while I was typing so that post may be a little disjointed.

GoneAndDone Tue 19-Jan-16 11:29:44

Yes, that's possible. The Protexin fibre supplement I bought has probiotics actually so it should be good. She loves her food and gets a good quality one.

Obligatory photo of the little madam attached. wink

cozietoesie Tue 19-Jan-16 11:34:34

And Boy does she look like one! smile A cat of very decided ways I would guess?

GoneAndDone Wed 20-Jan-16 09:40:42

Oh yes, very much so!

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