14 Sept 2020
Please be aware that today’s literary diarrhoea contains information about bits of my dog you may not want to read about. Maybe not reading over a meal would be a good plan.
On a visit to the vet today, we had some very good news about the health issue she developed prior to our little holiday to Kalbarri a couple of weeks ago.
The lump in her neck was diagnosed as a possible infected salivary gland, and treatment of antibiotics and anti-inflammatories were prescribed for a couple of weeks to see how she goes. They could not do a proper examination of her mouth at the time, because she turned from a sweet little cuddly piece of perfection into that kid from The Exorcist movie. It scared even me.
So, two weeks later, her glands have returned to normal size and the hope is that whatever the issue is has been resolved. But the vet made the interesting comment to me that, in 99% of cases in dogs the size of my little demon, this condition results in surgery. So we are, in fact, extremely lucky (I’ll leave it to you to determine whether it was luck or just very good pet ownership by me to find the lump in her neck nice and early…).
Now this particular vet telling me this, happened to be the one who dealt with my dogs ‘other’ problem a year or so ago.
She had a bum problem. Anal glands, in fact. These little highlights of creation exist either side of a dogs bum, and exist to secrete a scent when a dog poos. That’s it. I don’t think this aromatherapy tool serves any other purpose, but it’s a good reason why dogs shove their noses up other dogs bums. The scent gives them all sorts of information about gender and availability for procreation, probably.
These wonderful little glands are cleaned out in the act of pooping, and in bigger dogs with bigger poops, there is rarely a real problem. Sometimes the glands need to be manually ‘expressed’ – squeezed by someone who has no concerns about shoving fingers up dogs bums. This alone is good reason to never argue with how much a vet bill costs.
And occasionally, rarely in fact, in little dogs like my little princess demon, there’s a chance one may become infected. If not diagnosed in time, this will cause the dog a lot of dramas – a L.O.T. of dramas, and form an abscess. Which will eventually burst through the skin to drain itself, forming a new little hole, conveniently alongside the dogs bum hole.
Are you still with me? Haven’t rushed off to bring up your lunch yet?
This anal-gland-rupturing through the skin happened to my little princess four times, all on the same side. So the decision was made that her anal glands needed to be removed and I was warned that this was not a pleasant operation. I was, in fact, warned that it could be up to two weeks of hell.
I was unaware of how bad hell is. I know now. It was horrible. I still suffer from a post-traumatic stress reaction to memories of that two weeks when my dog had a bucket on her head, no sphincter control in the back end, and uncontrollable diarrhoea. (*shudder*)
Anyway – apart from sharing my trauma with you, the reason for this is to tell you that, in the bum department, we were quite unlucky. Some dogs have issues with their anal glands needing to be expressed regularly, and I heard from another person whose dog had to have the glands removed but had no issues with sphincter control or diarrhoea issues.
We were just unlucky.
Spoiler alert, the dogs bum is fine now. She farts more than she used to, but otherwise all control resumed effectively. This just makes her fit in even more in our family.
Our 1% chance of not having any further issues from a blocked salivary gland are, I suspect, balanced quite nicely with our unlucky bum issues.
And here’s the magnificent leap in topics for the day. I read somewhere about Western Australia’s fortune in the COVID battle – we are lucky to be so far away from everyone else, we are lucky that our border closures worked, and we are lucky in our lack of community transmission. The article I read queried whether our happy state of virus control is due to good management or whether we had just been smacked on the arse with a rainbow?
I hope that rainbow doesn’t disturb any anal glands.