Anal sacculitis

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Anal sacculitis in a 4-year-old desexed Burmese male cat. Courtesy Dr Jim Euclid
Anal sacculitis in an 8-year-old male Domestic shorthair. Courtesy Dr Jim Euclid

Anal sacculitis is an inflammatory process of the anal gland in cats.

Most cases usually present following asbcessation and rupture, with a characteristic ulcerative lesion in the perineal region adjacent to the anus.

Infection often accompanies impaction, or may be present by itself. Infected anal glands can rupture to the surface much like any other abscess. In this case, veterinary treatment is essentially the same, usually by lancing, debriding, flushing with an antiseptic solution, and administering antibiotics. Although infections are often mixed, Propionibacterium spp has been reported in one cat[1].

Treatment in cases of chronic anal sacculitis or anal impaction involves either antibiotic therapy, or anal sac removal (which can require specialty surgery).

Sometimes, infection may lead to anal sac abscessation. Abscessation is rare and usually rupture spontaneously by the time the owner has become aware of a problem.

A differential diagnosis would include anal gland adenocarcinoma[2].

Often treated with long-term (2 - 4 weeks) broad spectrum antibiotics (e.g. cefovecin) and topical bathing with chlorhexidine or betadine solution.


  1. Dahms PA et al (2017) Draft Genome Sequence of Propionibacterium avidum Strain UCD-PD2 Isolated from a Feline Anal Sac. Genome Announc 5(12):pii: e00034-17
  2. Mellanby RJ et al (2002) Anal sac adenocarcinoma in a Siamese cat. J Feline Med Surg 4(4):205-207