Best 30 bucks I ever spent.

One thing you don't want to see two days before you leave on a trip is your cat dragging his raw ass across your rug. OK, granted, you probably don't want to see that ever, but two days before a trip it's extra-special, in that "Great. WTF is wrong with the cat's ass and how can we get him to the vet before we leave" kind of way.

We managed to take him to the vet this morning and now I'm waiting to go pick him up. It turns out he had to have his anal glands expressed.

Before I read that article, I had no idea what anal glands were, or why they apparently needed to be delivered somewhere overnight, but that's how it goes. I'm always learning new things about cats that make me think I don't want to know anything else because there's nothing left to know that won't cost me a fortune and/or turn out to be totally disgusting.

This wasn't too rough on the wallet, surprisingly. I think my wife said it cost $30 extra. From reading a few things on the web, I found out that you can learn to perform this procedure on your cat yourself. Dear god in heaven, why?? Why would anyone want to do this? Trust me, If I can pay someone else to root around in my cat's ass and fix a problem, then that's a bargain at any price. Although I could definitely live without having deep and meaningful anal gland conversations over lunch.

I think if I were a vet, I'd have to charge a minimum of $15,000 for anything ass-related. I realize I probably wouldn't get much ass-business, but one or two cat butts a year and I'd be on easy street. I really think vets should charge by the relative grossness of the procedure and the size of the animal. For instance, if you have a giant dog with a giant ass problem, that's gonna cost you a lot more, ass-wise, than a ferret's tiny one. That's the price you pay for wanting a pet with a giant ass.

They should also charge by how smelly your animal is overall. If it smells disgusting, there should be a stankification surcharge. They could just have a line item multiplier on the invoice:

080-54: Anal Gland Expressed $30.00
080-887: Smelled like that dude at the Phish Concert (x3)
Total: $90.00

Speaking of smelly asses, I'll try to keep you all updated on my Nerdfest 2008 conference. Picture 8,000 sweaty geeks in one giant hotel complex. You'd think they charged extra for the soap and water or something.

It's always good for a laugh or two.



  1. Ugh...When I was growing up our cat "Elvis" had anal gland problems....and my mother refused to learn the procedure (which seriously who would want to learn how to do this yourself!!?!?) He was in and out of the vet for his whole life with his ass problem and even though money was tight I know my mom never minded handing over that check to the vet. It would just crack me up though because the vet was always encouraging my mom to watch when it was going on so she could learn how to do it herself. "Um, sorry Dr. but isn't that what YOU went to vet school for?" ANYWAY....keep an eye out for more ass draggings.....they are sure to come! Love your sight....you should add the "kitty porn" story to your fav posts or start a fan's favorite posts section. It's freaking hilarious....my eyes were watering so badly from laughing my co-workers were looking at me like I was crazy. It's great!

  2. Anonymous4:11 PM

    They only charged you $15? What about the $50 for the "visit and examination" and the $25 surcharge for "fitting you you in before your vacation"?

    So you're not an "ass-man", eh? Good to know...

  3. I saw an episode of Dirty Jobs where he had to express the anal glands on a dog. SO, I skipped the link, I hope you don't mind....I am already familiar.

  4. I have had cats for years, and have never run into this problem. I agree with you though, if I can pay someone to do it, I'm all for it!

  5. Jdub -- thanks!

    Kristina -- Yeah I left that out. It was $130 all together.

    Nicole -- I want to skip it, but it's too late.

    Ann -- us too, and this is a first. I think because he's a fatass.

  6. Ok, so my comment is about the article in the link. "Franny" said her son noticed an odor of infection on the cat's ass. I'm pretty sure that my first lesson for my three boys is to always keep your nose as far away as possible from a cat's ass. By the way, our now deceased cat had gland issues as well. He would have to be put in the Hannibal Lecter kitty mask to take care of the problem. Smart cat.

  7. My dog, a 1½ year-old Lhasapoo (yeah, I know what it sounds like and yes, it's appropriate a little too often), has the same anal thing. I understand that the groomer he goes to includes an anal probe as part of the service, but that's all I know and will know if I'm lucky. You are a gifted writer, JV, to turn even this topic into laughter!

  8. Anonymous6:34 PM

    What a chucklicious blog! Just found it today so lots of catching up to do.

    We have 25 cats-no need to get your glasses or adjust your monitor, you read it right. So far I've only witnessed one of my fat asses, Pippin, doin' the booty scoot boogie but thankfully no anal gland expression was necessary cuz with 25, I have to do a LOT of my own armchair vet work.

    And yeah, I can totally relate to that ready to leave on vacation when a "catastrophe" rears its ugly head. Those also only happen after 5pm on weekdays, from Saturday to Sunday night or on any major holiday. Guaranteed.

  9. I thought they did that scootch-ass thing because they has worms. A whole other ass problem, I guess.

  10. My groomer does it for my dog too. I pay forty bucks to have my 90 pound dog clipped, washed and his ass glands expressed! That's a hell of a deal. I don't know why they can't just express themselves!

  11. i am sitting over here with tears literally streaming down my face because i know exactly what you are saying and how you are feeling... my dog has to get his ass squeezed too.... it is discusting but hey, you gotta do what you gotta do... thanks for the laughter!

  12. Ok, I worked at a vet clinic for a few years and expressed a few anal glands in my day. It really isn't that difficult/terrible (as long as you don't squirt anything on yourself).

    Every once in a while the male doctors with big hands would have to ask someone with smaller hands to do their dirty work on a cat or very small dog, so really the animals with tiny assholes should cost more. Not to get too graphic or anything.

    Also this is my first time commenting so I will add that I love 15 minute lunch!

  13. Great post...luckily I have not been subjected to this-my parents made me give away my pets before it got to that I guess. Now as an adult, I am owner to one A.D.D. pup who had no ass issues-only mental issues! Lucky me.

    P.S. Good job keeping to a "3 mouse click" length!

  14. Anonymous8:56 PM

    Ok, you're not going to believe this, but my vet does it for FREE! She said, "Anytime he needs it done, just bring him in."


  15. I think your vet has a weird fetish of some sort. She probably like stinky feet too.

  16. I learned the feline anal gland lesson the hard way.
    We were driving to the vet, not even out of our parking lot and the cat decided it was a good time to unleash her anal venom. The smell was so horrific my husband started to puke. I had to kick them both out of the car. I didn't know what else to do.
    And you are right, you can't put a price on ass dealings. I'd pay anything they asked.

  17. Anonymous10:06 PM

    I think ferrets should be on the high end of the scale because even on a good day they stink to high heaven. In our local pet store you can easily smell them two aisles over.

  18. Anonymous1:47 AM

    May I kindly point out to the less cat-ass experienced among us... the alternative to *NOT* getting this anal gland crap taken care of (if your kitty-cat has this problem) is a RUPTURED anal gland. Ready for the mental image? Picture two assholes where there once was only one. Enough said.

  19. I took my cat to the vet this very morning to have her glands expressed! Now she is back to being Tinkerbell, instead of Stinkerbell.

  20. You know, you'd think since nature gave them the glands, there would be a better way to "express" them. I had a cat who would give herself abscesses chewing herself, trying to express them.

    Much more than a $30 charge on that one.

  21. Anonymous3:01 AM

    Dude, that's sick. I actually had to read the link though, because, well, I'm just weird and like to know things, even though I plan to have absolutely no use of this knowledge in the future.

    I remember when I was a kid and my parents would talk about having to express our dog's anal glands when they were bathing him and I vowed to only have female pets from that day on! All I knew, until now (thank you) is that they were squeezing something in the back end and that was enough! I was truly hoping it was left to the male animals only. Damn!

    If it ever happens to my female cats or dog, I will pay the vet too, or try to talk someone into it for fun.

  22. JV, absolutely had to comment on this one. I'm a 3rd year vet student and just learned how to do this unpleasant job over the summer. I am in wholehearted agreement with charging based on the grossness/stinkiness of the procedure relative to the size of the animal. (Gags at thought of cat bite abcesses...) And don't get me started on the cows. (Although to be fair, I'd rather smell a cow barn than male cat pee.) Just remember to be nice to your vet hahaha! :) Have fun at Nerdfest!

  23. Yuck! I'm with you. I take our dog to the groomer for this particular procedure. Gag. You couldn't pay me enough....

  24. I know that pain but more often than not the dog would end up popping them herself . . . either on the carpet or on my dad. Ick.

  25. LOL I agree with you wholeheartedly. A friend of mine expresses her own dog's anal glands... and for the life of me, I can't figure out why. She's actually quite wealthy, too! *shrugs* Just don't give my vet any ideas about charging more for the pooch. Although we do bathe her regularly, I just can't stand dog stankiness.

  26. Great... Now, I have one more thing to worry about with my cats.

    But being the cheapskate that I am, I'll probably learn to do the procedure myself if it ever comes to that. After all, I also started brushing their teeth after having to pay hundreds for solving my eldest's tartar issues.

    Glad you take it all with humour!

  27. Anonymous4:03 PM

    As if on cue, as I was reading your post and my cat did the booty scoot across the rug. Let me tell you, the butt-juice that my cat produces is some of the most gag-inducing stuff I have ever smelled.
    While I am in the medical field, I let my vet take care of this. He has earned the name Dr. Beefcake for how fabulous he really is (especially when dealing with the toxic butt juice!).
    Thank you to all the vets out there! ;)

  28. Anonymous5:11 PM

    JV - I have to check something out with you. My husband claims that no man actually loves or even likes cats, they are merely tolerating them, and it is a daily struggle to keep from giving in to the urge to find out what happens when you put one in the dryer and turn it on. Any comments?

  29. We have three. One of them I actually really like and would miss if he wasn't around. But he's more like a dog.

  30. oh my gosh....
    my father constantly talks about our female dogs anal gland problems
    to everyone
    to dinner guests
    to friends...

    and he learned how to do the procedure, so the vet is totally out of the picture
    so horrible

  31. Oh my word. I could not stop laughing on that one. Never heard of that!

    Now that my girlfriend moved in with me a few months ago, we have THREE cats to contend with. I had two, which is always entertaining to watch. Add a third, and you have an instant rodeo! No, more like a boxing ring. Funny stuff.

  32. Anonymous6:23 AM

    I found you via the lovely lass at widelawns. I just read your first month's posts... you made my otherwise shitty night at work quite wonderful.

    I will be reading your archives, you have a terrific wit and style. Your wife is lucky :) You really put us in the moment. Thanks so much.

  33. Just discovered your website via Officer Smith. Hilarious post!! :) I will be back to read more!

  34. This makes me think of a recent tv commercial for a carpet cleaner in which the son says "Mommy look, Toby can do a new trick!" while this huge dog is dragging his butt along the carpet. She looks and screams TOBY NO!!!!!!! haha Fun stuff. I like your writing style. Its so pleasant and easy to read. I especially enjoyed your Mr. Smooth entries. My friend did also.

  35. my part wolf dog used to need to get her anal glands squeezed out monthly. THE GROOMER DID IT AT NO EXTRA COST!!! One time he did and i was nearby and he came over to SHOW me what the stuff was. Oh my god, it was so gross and rank, I almost vomited...am kinda feeling the same way now. I instantly decided that i would so pay him more than twice what i was if he demanded it. he did get a bigger tip from then on. it is just soooo foul.

  36. Is having your glands expressed sort of like having your ass kicked???

  37. We once had a cat whose butt smelled worse than anything on the planet, so we had to have his glands expressed often. ICK. Maybe people doctors should charge more for the ick factor too.....LOL

  38. We had a cat that had this problem, too. We finally took her to the vet because we couldn't deal with the Stench of Death that would get all over (ON MY MY PILLOW, EVEN!!!!) The vet did the business as I described the horrific odor to him, and then HELD THE COTTON BALL HE USED RIGHT UP TO HIS G-D NOSE!!! He tried to wave it in my direction and asked "Is this it?" I almost vomited right then and there. To this day I can't decide if he was just being an ass, or if he really couldn't smell it from 80 feet away and thought he needed to hold it to his nose. Maybe it was because I was 6 months pregnant at the time and so had Super-Human Smell Power.
    At any rate, it was awful and I sympathize.

  39. The wiley little buggers just KNOW when your about to go away... (or are 2 days out from your wedding and suffering pre wedding stress!)
    We usually have expensive abcesses courtesy of "Saturday" the cat next door, my Austin is a lover not a fighter.

    However after reading this post today, I learned something about my animals that I always put down to "ITCHY BUTT" figuring they needed worming again.... now I wonder??

    Mr J.V I love your cat posts!! They are right up there for me..


  40. I particularly enjoy the drawing that they hasten to advise is 'not to scale'. Which is good. I don't think I'd want a cat with an anus that looks like the fuse end of some sort of cluster bomb.

  41. Oh it's a cluster bomb alright.

  42. "Dude at the Phish concert"

    Spot on.

    Do you know how you can tell if a hippy has broken into your house?

    They are still there.

  43. Anonymous1:37 PM

    You raised the price from the original $15? Now my comment looks like I can't read.

    Sorry, I like to come back and read others' commments... ;)-

  44. my old dog used to have anal gland expression problems. he would leave big oily spots of the grossest smelling analjuice all over the carpet. it didn't stain, but my vomit did when i was cleaning the buttshake up. grody.

    even anal glands need to express themselves.

  45. Anonymous3:57 PM

    That's funny stuff.

    And so is this:


    eBay item # 190191835610

  46. Anonymous4:44 PM

    Now I think I understand what my Uncle Earl was talking about having an anal probe during the time the aliens took him.

  47. Scoop, your uncle earl's vet was an alien?

    Kristina, I went and checked the actual invoice. Sorry about that. Apparently butt squeezing doesn't come as cheaply as I thought it did.

  48. Hey upstate broad - what a coincidence - I met my husband when he responded to a personal ad that said SWF with 2 cats - my grandmother says no man will be interested in a woman with 2 cats because all men secretly hate cats. Are you the man to prove me wrong?

    He answered - he was a single guy living alone with - gasp - a cat! :) It was true love. We met in 1997, married in 2000, and well working on the happily ever after part.

  49. LMAO!! I have two little dogs. (Dogs have anal glands that have to be emptied too!) I use to spend a butt load (that was cute) of money to have them groomed and their anal glands fondled. I finally asked what the break down was on the things I was being charged. They let me watch the anal gland discharge procedure. That is NASTY! The stuff that oozed out on that woman's hand was very much worth having someone other than me do it!!! And the stuff smells awful. It must be what they put in gas bombs! You don't want that stuff on your carpet that is for sure!!

    Cheers to the poor people who squeeze the glands in my doggie's butt!

  50. One of my favorite posts yet.

  51. Anonymous11:27 AM

    See, in delightful Britain, it costs £40 just to see a vet, no matter whether there is actually anything wrong with your beloved pet or not. Although, now I come to think of it, our dog is a bit on the stinky side... Maybe there's a surcharge that we have been missing?

    Anyway, this post made me laugh out loud, so thanks!

  52. Oh, you're gonna love this one. I worked as a Veterinary Technician for about a dozen years. For a breif time I worked for a real prima donna, who always had to have her clothe, nails and hair "just so" (ESPECIALLY her hair, long flowing curly locks of ebony that she spent the first hour, and every break between appointments, primping.) Instead of deoderizor in the office, we had scented candles. She considered a vital piece of vet office equiptment to be the hot-wax manicure machine. Get the picture?

    So anyway, one day this enormous Great Dane, about the size of a small draft horse, comes in with impacted anal glads (the same problem as your cat). I hold the dog (from the front end, because I'm the smart one...) while the vet leans over the dogs back to try to express the glands outward and away from her body. Usually that maneuver produced a disgusting smeary splatter on the office wall. But THIS particular day, the angle or something was messed up, and the glob of goo fired upwards and landed -- you guessed it, all over her lucious curls. I nearly gave myself a hernia laughing. She ran around the office flapping her hands like an epileptic monkey, screaming intelligable sounds of horror, then dissappeared into the bathroom for the next 20 minutes with her emergency kit of hair products. (To not much avail -- trust me, you can't get that smell out without a fire hose and a gallon of bleach.)

    I didn't charge the client for the visit. It's hard to find that quality of entertainment for free. Oh, and I booked them another appointment with the same doctor for the following month -- never can be too careful with those anal glands....

  53. Anonymous11:05 AM

    omg. you dredged up a buried memory and solved a childhood mystery involving bates brand corded bedspreads. i had to blog about it.

  54. Dude,

    You are so funny. Thanks.

  55. The last time my little dog had his glands expressed (it happens once a year at least) the vet squirted herself in the eye.

    I waited to laugh until I was outside.

  56. Anonymous1:42 PM

    LMAO (no pun intended!)

  57. hahaha... i knew someone who had to put their cat on prozac. the things we do for our pets!

  58. Anonymous11:33 AM

    My sheperd used to have anal gland problems. One thing the vet said was to increase the fiber in her diet to harden her poo so that the gland would naturally evacuate with each bowel movement. She was a very picky eater, so I added baby carrots to her meals and that seemed to help.

    I did express them myself a couple of times. I was just sure to wear gloves and while I was doing it, I covered the entire area with paper towels to minimize the spread of goo. She didn't mind having it done, I'm sure she felt much better after they were expressed.


    ohhh man, thanks for the belly laugh!

  60. I used to express anal glands (of all sizes) for a LIVING.


  61. Pare, by all rights, you should be a rich rich man. Or woman.

  62. Anonymous3:34 AM

    Ugh...had to comment because my dogs are overdue for their grooming appointment and my male doggie just had an episode. Poor Topper has had continual anal gland probs. since he was a young dude. So much so that we have affectionately named his involuntary expressions as "AL". Short for Anal Leakage. I know, I know...TMI, but this is some nasty stuff. If you don't get those glands expressed, soon enough they tend to express themselves all over your furniture. Or worse, your clothes. Worst...smelling...stuff...EVER! Poor doggie! All that being said, I am forever grateful for those vet techs and groomers who have to deal with this, um, shit on a daily basis. I am not enough of a woman to bring myself to do this even though I do own a DVD (on schnauzer grooming) that shows me the procedure. I will admit that I did fast forward through that entire section.

  63. I linked to this post as part of my Friday cat blogging. Hope you don't mind.