Well, we just got back from the vet's office. In an earlier post, I talked about the anal gland and weight issues that we have with one of our two cats. Butterscotch is losing weight, but her anal gland problem seems to be occurring more frequently. At $35 a pop (that's just for the expression, nothing else), we can't afford to keep taking her to the vet to have them expressed, especially on a bi-weekly basis. So, we made an appointment to take her in and have the techs teach us how to do it. Believe you me, I don't really want to have anything to do with the hind end of a cat, but if it saves us a ton of money then I guess I am going to have to suck it up and do it. It was definitely an interesting lesson.
I learned that there are two ways to express a cat's anal glands. The external way, and the internal way. The external method consists of pinching and gently massaging the gland until some smelly stuff comes out. In this case it was a clear liquid. The vet techs explained that a lot of times (in cats) the stuff that comes out is more the consistency of toothpaste. Yeah, sounds great! They did demonstrate the internal method which seems a little better to me, because it is really difficult to grab hold of that little gland from the outside. I won't bother explaining the internal method. I'm sure most people can figure that out all by themselves. If you really want me to though, just let me know, and I will.
I am really scared to do it myself the next time, but just like making sure a child gets their shots, Butterscotch's anal glands have to be expressed. If not, then they could become infected, and that would be a really expensive problem. I will be sure to post an incredibly detailed (and graphic) update after we finally do the deed, so be sure and stay tuned! Trust me, you'll be happy I explained all this if you ever get a cat and it ends up having the same problem. In other words, you'll thank me later.