Friday, March 09, 2007

How would YOU like to have YOUR anal sacs expressed?

Our poor dog Owen had to go the vet yesterday, she had a very unpleasant experience. If you don't like gross things, you may not want to read the rest of this post, consider yourself forewarned.

For the last couple of months we've noticed her periodically licking her behind area...furiously licking. We didn't think much of it, dogs do strange things sometimes. Until one day I noticed it was a little inflamed. I called the vet, they said it could be that she can't "express her anal sacs on her own"...waaahhh? Apparently they have these sacs that emit a "territory marking" scent when they use the doggy toilet. Most dogs do it automatically, a fair amount of dogs can't do it themselves. Owen is one of them.

So treatment involves reaching inside the anal area (yes with your finger) and putting pressure on one or both of the anal sacs to expel the stuff (gas like substance I guess?). The first thing I inquired about were the consequences if this doesn't get done, wondering just how serious it is and how soon I needed to get Owen to the vet. Well, according to the vet, these anal sacs could rupture. "So," I inquired, "will I see a little blood or something if that happens?" Actually, I'd see ANOTHER HOLE!!!

I was in the waiting room when the vet performed this procedure for Owen. Suddenly I heard some intense yelping. "Was that Owen?" I asked. The girl said it was and that although it's not painful for dogs, it's pretty uncomfortable. "Well...," I asked, "wouldn't you be uncomfortable if somebody did that to you?"

This procedure will have to be performed whenever we see the symptoms, for Owen that would be the furious licking. Other dogs may bite or scoot along the floor in hopes of solving the problem themselves. I was informed at the vet that some owners prefer to do this "expressing" on their own, while others bring them in to have the vet do it. After no discussion at all, James and I both came to the same conclusion that we'll gladly put up the $12 to have someone else put our poor dog through this miserable process.

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