Rectum? Damn Near Killed ‘Em

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Abigail

Exhausted doesn’t even begin to describe how I feel today. Staying perky definitely helps if you have had a good night’s rest.

As I’ve written before, I don’t have kids, although I would love to someday. I do have two dogs, and while I am not a parent yet, dogs can be almost as much work as a little human.

Sometimes life throws us a curb ball, an unexpected emergency arises you weren’t prepared for. Last night at about 10:30 I was brushing Abraham with a flea comb after dowsing him with Advantage II. I remember being surprised that Abigail hasn’t had any flea issues this year, but my boyfriend and I decided it best to brush her out as well. While doing so I noticed blood all over her bum. Again, I don’t have kids, but I found myself in total parental freak-out mode.

My hands are shaking as I was trying to be careful with my little 5-pound girl, yet she seemed aloof and not in pain. I was desperate to try and find the source of the blood, hoping that it isn’t coming from her rear. As a child I recall owning dogs that ended up dying of parvo, a contagious and deadly canine virus spread through poop. One of the symptoms is blood on the butt and in the stool.

There is no clean way to describe this without sounding gross, so here it goes. There was a bloody hole to the immediate left of her anus. I know now what I didn’t know then, that her anal gland had become infected and had ruptured. I never heard of this previously, and didn’t even know it was possible. But, my boyfriend and I found out all about it after hauling shivering Abigail to the emergency animal hospital.

I would highly NOT recommend Googling “Anal Gland Rupture” and clicking on the images. If not for the awful pictures, most of the related articles sound like something meant for posting on an adult site. You get how-to videos on YouTube such as Express your little dogs anal glands –Up Close and Personal or How to Express a Dog’s Anal Gland: 7 Steps (with Pictures) and How to Empty Your Dog’s Anal Sacs- For Dummies. Ever popped a pimple? Just think of the same method only NOT on your face, but on the other end.

Sitting in the animal emergency room until past 1:30 a.m., and hearing little Abigail scream out in pain as they cleaned out her infection wasn’t what I was expecting for a Wednesday night/Thursday morning and a 5:30 wakeup call for work.

When you are a parent, you deal with fevers, kids falling and scraping their knees, the chicken pox, and juggle the everyday life mini hiccups. If you have a kid that is furry and the four-legged kind, you deal strange anal gland infections, not expecting to spend all night in the emergency room instead of asleep in bed. $230.70 later including antibiotics, pain medicine, and a strange protective collar that makes her look like a space alien the unexpected night turned out to be not as bad as it could have been. The doctor listened to her heart and confirmed that she does not have a heart murmur, so at the very least the little butt-explosion situation was repairable.

Sometimes life throws you a mild case of WTF to let you know that you can get through it, deal with it, survive it, and walk away with more gratitude as a result.

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