On Christmas Eve 2011 Odie Allan Sanchez was very excited as he was set to spend the break with me at my parent’s 100 acre property in NSW. No leash, hanging out with the farm dogs and Hans Sausage, chasing cows, rolling in poop…. You know the good life!
What he didn’t expect, (nor I for that matter) was that he would wind up in a country vet clinic undergoing an operation to fix a soon to burst Anal Gland. A WHAT? I hear you say, yep you heard correctly ANAL GLAND. Now I never knew this but these little glands are realllly important. Most people, (myself included), would never think about their dog’s anal glands until there’s a problem with them. For those of you that are wondering, (and come on you have read this far so how can you not be), these glands are designed to provide lubrication when a dog passes a stool, and they also give each dog its own unique scent. They are sometimes more affectionately known as ‘scent glands’.
Now Odie is a bit of a lazy chap and spends pretty much all day under a blanket chilling out and snoozing, so for me to realise he had a ‘full’ rear end and was in pain was difficult. To be honest the first sign I knew something was wrong was when I let him out of the car after our journey to the farm and he yelped when he tried to poop. I assumed he had been bitten on the bum by an ant, (who doesn’t think pooping right next to an ants nest is the best idea ever)?
Just hours after the initial Yelp his right butt cheek had swollen and he found walking difficult. He would walk a couple of steps, sit, try again, and sit. THIS WAS VERY UPSETTING!! I phoned the Vet who I had caught just in the nick of time as he was leaving for his Christmas holidays and before I could even get Odie’s symptoms out of my mouth he blurted, ‘IT’S GOTTA BE HIS ANAL GLANDS..’……. “Ummmmmmmmmmmm excuse me?”I said, horrible images running through my head. This was followed by “YEEEEEEEP, you had better bring him in pronto, that little bugger would have to be in pain”. Great, am I the mother of the year or what? I thought hanging up the phone and racing out the door almost forgetting to even grab Odie on the way out.
When I got to the clinic it dawned on me that I was taking my teeny tiny Chihuahua to a Veterinarian that helps deliver lambs and calves before breakfast and it was probably a while since he had seen a dog a small as Odie. The ‘that’s not a dog, this is a dog,’ jokes were already running through my mind and I almost got back in my car set to forego Christmas and take my little Chi back to the Gold Coast. But when I entered the clinic I was happy to meet Joe, a kind, no nonsense bloke who was so nice to Odie and promised he would take very good care of him.
Odie had to be put under anaesthetic and basically have his butt check sliced open in order for the Veterinarian to fix his gland but as soon as he woke up it was if he was a brand new dog. (With a really trendy shaved backside and a gaping hole in his butt cheek no less).
Every few months now I make sure that I take Odie to the clinic for a check up and to make sure his ‘glands’ are in check and I think if you own a small dog you should put it on your to do list as well.. Here are the signs to look out for in your dog.
Signs the Glands Are Impacted
If your dog’s anal glands fail to express properly, they may actually become impacted and make your dog very uncomfortable. Watch for these signs:
· Your dog begins scooting or dragging his rear across the floor.
· Your dog keeps licking or chewing near his rectum.
· Your dog’s stools have become soft and mushy.
· You’ll likely notice a foul or “fishy” odor coming from your dog’s rear.
If you notice one or more of these signs, it may be a good idea to take your dog in for a check-up or end up watching your dogs butt blow up like a balloon and have them not be able to walk more than a metre before sitting down and wincing in pain. (Broke my heart).
Love and Licks Brooke, Hans + Odie