There’s no nice way to say it: this weekend Teddy stank. First there was a smell of fish-gone-bad followed by something else, stronger and nastier. Not just a dog odor. I Googled the symptoms and there was no doubt about it: ‘the smell of old fish or an odour worse than anything you might bring in on your shoe,’ apparently equals blocked anal glands.
A dog skudding about on his or her bottom is another common symptom, but for Teddy it was all about the smell – and what a smell. He seemed just as offended by it as we were, constantly turning around, sniffing and getting up to try and get away from it. Thank heavens for scented candles.
First thing Monday morning we trotted off to Zasman Vet where we had the anal gland function explained. Yes, I’m going to pass it on: as a dog squeezes out a normal poo, a bit of fluid is forced from the glands around the anal opening onto the poo (all part of their scent-based communication system). After a period of loose stools (which is what Teddy had previously had), the anal glands don’t get emptied, so the fluid builds up. If left too long, this can lead to more nastiness so it’s not something to be ignored – although I don’t think you could even if you wanted to. Luckily, Teddy just needed the fluid emptied. Our lovely vet asked if I wanted to watch so I could do it myself if need be. Even though it may have been helpful for me and you, dear Reader, I refrained, gagged and chalked up yet another reason to love our vet.