Anal sac disease is the most common disease entity of the anal region in dogs. Small breeds are predisposed; large or giant breeds are rarely affected. In cats, the most common form of anal sac disease is impaction. The anal sac plays an important role in a cat’s survival in the wild, serving as her calling card wherever she goes. Cats usually don’t have problems with their anal sacs, but once in a while those pockets can cause problems that result in pain. Cats have anal glands which produce fluid into sacs that are located on either side of the anus. Anal sac disorders involve impaction of anal sac fluid, inflammation of the sac(s), and abscess of the sac(s), which can lead to anal gland rupture.
These small pouches store an oily, foul-smelling fluid that is secreted during defecation, but can also be released to mark territorial boundaries and ward off predators. The anal sacs--more appropriately the anal sac damage cat glands--are sometimes impacted or infected by bacteria. The symptoms associated with anal sac disease in cats depends on the severity and nature of the problem. In any case, anal sac disease is a painful condition and will make even the gentlest feline display aggression. The first sign a cat owner will notice is scooting, rubbing, licking or anal sac damage cat of the rear portion of the body.