We took Ocean to have her nails done. She’s a squirmy thing and she doesn’t like getting her nails cut (I have yet to meet a dog that likes that particular aspect of doggie life). We thought we’d be in and out in less than twenty minutes…well, we got a little surprise.
Before we go any further, I should explain that, in the past, we tried to do our dogs nails ourselves and it was a disaster. We tried everything, and I mean everything, from a nail clipper to a horse file (Lobo was 175 lbs at one point…a horse file seemed to fit). We tried sneaking and filing them while they slept, we tried holding them and clipping, we tried tempting them with cookies, we’ve tried bribery with cheese…nothing worked. The last time, Ocean squirmed as I pressed on the clipper and I cut her nail too short. She bled…and I cried, my husband cried, I even think Groucho the tree cried. The resulting trauma almost sent both my husband and I into therapy and we decided right then and there, that it was a job for professionals. So, now, Ocean goes to get her nails done.
That’s where our very patient vet comes in. He cut her nails in seconds while she licked his ears, then examined Ocean from head to fluffy tail and pronounced her healthy until…(get ready for something horrible) he checked her bum.That’s when he discovered a little surprise. Apparently, Ocean has an anal gland issue. Anal. As in…a gland inside that area.
I innocently asked why (Oh WHY on the Good Lord’s green earth!) would an animal have a gland in that area and (get ready for more horror) I was told it was designed to contain liquid. The mere thought made me want to vomit over our very patient vet but he wasn’t done. He went on to explain why dogs want to contain liquid there and…Well, it’s better if we move right along here. The explanation is worse than even I can recount and I’ll spare you, gentle reader. Suffice it to say that dogs have an anal gland. Ocean’s problem is that her gland wasn’t working properly and (get ready for even worse horror) it needed to be emptied.
Oh. Sweet. Innocence.
Our vet proceeded to empty the thing (Mental note: never, ever become a vet)…which made the tiny examination room smell like the world’s largest sewer. My husband decided he needed to leave immediately, I felt nauseous and even the vet lost his patient smile. The only one unaffected, was Ocean. In fact, she was curiously sniffing her behind wondering what all the fuss was about.
Don’t dogs have a sense of smell that’s like a thousand times more sensitive than ours?