Anal Gland Excision/Removal

Animal Doctor provides Anal Gland Excision/Removal surgeries. We accept referrals and provide second opinions.

Description: A cat or dog has two anal glands associated with their anus. Surgical excision of one or both of those glands is necessary if a mass is found, or chronic, resistant infection or irritation is experienced.

Symptoms & What to look for: A hard swelling felt in the anal gland area, may be visualized associated with the anus, which can be painful. Leakage of anal gland fluid, chronic inflammation, infection with discharge, chronic scooting or licking the anus, and a bad smell. Leakage from the anal glands/anal area, infected discharge, chronic scooting or licking, swelling associated with the anal glands (4 and 8 o’clock position), difficulty or straining to defecate, or a decreased appetite.

How does it happen? Anal glands can have chronic infection, inflammation, or masses associated with them due to age, breed, chronic allergies (food, environmental, or seasonal), and occasionally genetics.

Animal Doctor Anal Gland Excision


Animal Doctor Provider


Animal Doctor Anal Gland Excision

What questions do we ask?

  • Where is the swelling? Describe any discharge or odor associated with the swelling.
  • Any scooting or licking of area?
  • Has this happened before?
  • Any changes in appetite, thirst, urination?
  • What type of food are you feeding? Any recent changes?
  • Any vomiting or diarrhea?
  • Any changes in activity level? Lethargy?
  • Any changes in diet recently (brand, canned vs. dry, treats)?

What are the steps we take to treat your pet?

  • We obtain a full medical history and perform a thorough physical examination, including a rectal exam to palpate the anal glands.
  • Blood testing, fecal testing, and occasional x-rays may be indicated based on the physical exam findings.

Animal Doctor Anal Gland Excision/Removal potential treatment plans?

Oral medications

  • We may prescribe oral antibiotics and anti-inflammatory medications when indicated.
  • Oral allergy medication, such as Apoquel, may be recommended.
  • An oral steroid (such as prednisone) may be prescribed as well.


  • Injectable antibiotics and pain medication are often given during and after anal gland excision.

Topical Medications/Treatments

  • We do flush anal glands with topical antibiotic ointment to help treat infections.

What are the risks if anal gland conditions are left untreated?

If there is an anal gland mass, these are most often malignant, and can grow very large, take over the bone in the pelvis, lymph nodes, and internal organs. This can, and will, ultimately cause pain and lead to death. Chronic infections and inflammation can also lead to scarring, difficulty defecating, and pain.