Sunday, May 3, 2009

Delicate. Very.


Okay, Dear Readers. Right here, right now, if you are not a 100% bona fide dog person (Dog Person, but I didn't want to be cutesie) thank you for stopping by. Don't read any farther. Further? Move along. It was great to see you.

Your writer has faced some gritty facts of life of late. Things over which I have no control, no power. No amount of screaming or ranting, bargaining or pleading on my part could change anything.

Easy and Spice are the two darling senior dogs who joined the whippet waggle after my sweet friend died of brain cancer. Easy has recurrent thyroid cancer. I'm an RN. Bill is an MD. Plus, I've had animals all of my life. I know that disease and dying is all part of this marvelous, miraculous life.

But. I noticed yesterday morning that Spice was uncomfortable when she pooped. "Hmm," I said. I examined her and found a large, hard mass at the base of her tail, extending to her anus. My first thought was loud, angry, and unworthy of repeating here. It involved a lot of ugly words aimed at Whoever is In Charge. I thought I was looking at a malignant rectal tumor.

Oh. Dear. Lord.

Eventually, my brain fired up some synapses, crackled up some rational thought, and made a little sense. A mass that size doesn't just appear overnight. It wouldn't appear outside of the pelvic bone. Think again, brain. Think! Another gentle palpation produced the facts that, (a) this mass was hot, (b) it was excruciatingly tender, and (c) uh-oh, holy pus-filled horror, stand back, Stanly, this was an anal gland abscess of alarming proportions.

I called my Dear Vet.

Calling your Dear Vet on a Saturday in Kentucky right as the Derby horses were parading in the paddock at Churchill Downs isn't nice. Calling your Dear Vet on Derby Day with the Mother of All Anal Gland Abscesses? Ish. Fortunately I had some lovely antibiotics left over from my own tooth abscess. "Yes," she said. "That would work. And give her an anti-inflammatory. And some hot compresses will make her feel better. I better see her on Monday, or call back if you need to for any reason."

I love my vets.

Here's the thing. Who would have ever thought that a gigantic anal gland abscess, nicely coming to a head, would be the good news?

You just have to laugh.

And hug your hounds. Especially the sweet ones with stinky pus butts. Poor thing's been through too much. But it's not cancer.


  1. Only a animal love could understand that.

    You have some beautiful dogs and lucky dogs!

  2. That´s right! Sometimes what is a tragedy for someone else is "not that bad" for us.

  3. we're glad she's going to be okay, but eeeeewwwwww on the rest of it. okay, our mom understands that humans will do anything for us dogs, and rightly so. but still, eeeeewwwwww.


  4. Gotta love that wife of mine! Fortunately RNs do compresses, doctors don't....or won't?

  5. Good ol' Poke and Stick(s)-after all you ALL have been through,it's a miracle that's ALL poor lil Spice has! PS-I vote for "farther" but I could be wrong!

  6. What a relief! Poor Baby Spice. But I am happier for you that it wasn't more trauma. I think I would have had to come if something else bad was wrong. I will if you need me. I have air miles.

  7. Martha and P(again)May 3, 2009 at 12:35 PM

    (above is Martha and ran away w/out our name!)

  8. Aw, poor Spice! I hope she's feeling more comfortable now. What a scare that must have been for you. I know from experience that once you're traumatized every little bump in the road seems like utter disaster til you sit and look at it rationally. I'm so happy for you that it isn't something more serious.
    Sheila & (sort of Spice lookalike)Lady

  9. I totally understand you, so glad it was not cancer!! I know how happy I was the first time Xsara pooped normally after her ulcer. No blood in the poop made me so happy - never thought I would get so excited over poop! Hugs to your hounds.

  10. Patience
    Thank DOG!!!
    I got scaiwed weading this , but I'm so glad I kept going..I'm sending lots oand lots of healing smoochies fow his sowe little butt.
    Stinky abcess is faboolous!!!
    smoochie kisses

  11. Francarrich from WWMay 3, 2009 at 1:55 PM

    Oooohhh, that sounds uncomfortable for Spice & pretty revolting for you, especially when it bursts! Mind you, Spice will feel much better afterwards so we have to hope that it all clears up soon (without too much "fallout" for you to cope with!)

  12. I have never been so excited about a broken butt in my life. I know all about Tanner's STINKY gross broken butt and STILL I am excited!

  13. See, Muzzer is such a dog person that her FIRST thought was anal glands, only after you mentioned the C word did she get panicky. Me. Oh, I love those hot compresses.


    Teka Toy

  14. Oh Dear Spice, Dear Writer, Dear Bill, Dear Waggle, Dear Vet, Dear Readers, Dear Lord, we love your blog.

    All's well that ends well.
    We're happy to hear there's gonna be a happy ending.

    Hopin' the back end responds to all the good treatment and humor.

    the delicate Miss Fergi (Farfel calls me that, but I can be pretty tough)

    PS - I find that sitting on my back end, on the warm pavement, in the middle of a walk, does something good. I like the feeling, anyway.

  15. Oh poor Spice. So glad that it wasn't anything more than that though. Pippin thinks this would be most undignified to have to deal with.

  16. Oh Lordy, I so shouldn't laugh because it must be dreadful for Spice but...Oh Patience, you have such a way with words!

    Fingers crossed that Spice is all well again very soon.

  17. Sure is good news that is an abscess!
    Thankfully Spice has you to take care of it!
    Kisses and hugs

  18. Phew, that was close. Glad for happy endings. The welcome home scenario is great. You know you are home when your are striped with welts.

    May the gods of all smile upon you dear Patience. You have earned a little sweet time.

  19. she couldn't be in better hands

  20. I found your post on Patti's site, so glad to have found your blog. You see I'm a hopeless dog lover and right now belong to a lovable lab named Augie doggie...I look forward to seeing your future posts.

    I'm so glad your sweet Spice is okay and will feel much more comfortable.

  21. People say that God only gives you what you can handle but sometimes you just have to put your foot down and say, okay...enough all don't have to think that highly of me.


  22. oh, what else can happen? So very glad this story had a good ending. whew!!!! :)

  23. georgie and gordyMay 3, 2009 at 10:40 PM

    When Georgie got her first sebaceous cyst I thought it was a tumor. What a relief to find out it was just a stinky old zit type thing. When it drained-ooooeeeee!

  24. Phew! What a relief!!

    But that must really hurt. Talk about a pain in the a__ __! The poor dear.

    Hope Spice feels better real soon.

    I am sending her all my
    Love and Koobuss Kisses,

  25. I am new to this dog blog and I must say that post was most interesting. I laughed, then I almost cried, and in the end I sighed a great deal of relief. I love the name Spice and I am so glad all is well. I am adding you to my blog list so I can keep up. Feel free to check on my silly dog at

  26. Some times Vets have good news. And this was great news.

    What a relief!

  27. Whew - my hearts sank then rose again.

    One of my rescues, Oliver, came in with broken, stinky, sore butt. When I held the hot compress to his back end, he would ever so gently sit right down on it - made the job so much easier!

    Here's to a speedy recovery for Spice.

  28. Poor Spice ~ and poor Patience! I must be a Dog Person...because I read this while eating my lunch and not so much as a twinge! :0)


  29. Yeah, Mom's a dog person 'cause she didn't flinch either. Emmy had something on her behind last summer and Mom thought that might've been the same thing but it went away. Could've been an anal gland thing but she's just as happy it disappeared on its own!



  30. Poor Spice! Thank doG she has you to look after her! We hope her hiney feels better soon!

    Love ya lots,
    Maggie and Mitch

  31. Written with such realism, I think I can smell it! What a pain in the, well, you know. Glad she's on the mend!

  32. The crazy old bat says, bring that thing to a head and get it drained. She is very odd about everything to do with pus. We know that everything will turn out well.

  33. ouch! and ik! poor little thing - i hope she feels better soon. and you were right, a non-dog lover would have found that a tricky one to read...

  34. Now my dad once heard somewhere that the word lucky usually is used when something bad has happened (but less bad than the worst case scenario), and I guess this is luck allright.

    And some of the comments above had me laughing out loud..


  35. Thank you for sparing ALL if the gory details.....and 'laugh'...well you do have a strange sense of humor these days! But of course it has been a hellacious number of months so I get it!

  36. Haa rooo! Mom is definitely a dog person...with SEVEN of us, she beter be! read your post without a twinge and LAUGHED!! Probably because she has been throught the exact same thing with Moon, one of my angel sisters!
    Hope Spice is feeling much better soon. We are sending healing husky vibes your way!
    Get well soon, Spice!
    Skye & the Moondance Huskies

  37. OMG yes, I love Madison's groomer. She is a wonderful woman who "maintains" these issues on a regular basis. We are so glad that your dear hound has a resolvable behind problem.

  38. Today is Wednesday -- so we're hoping that Spice's discomfort is all behind her now -- and that you will have some respite from these surprises!!

    Wirey love,

    Jake and Just Harry

  39. Oh whew! I hope all went well with Spice's vet visit. My sissy had one of those once (not quite as bad) and it burst and was appropriately stinky and gross. In other words, awesome.

    I hope there are no more surprises in store for you. Not even of the anal abcess relief variety.

    wally t.

  40. Phew! So glad it all "turned" out ok......ooooops sorry whatever we write seems to have some obvious reference to the 'er' problem.

    So glad it wasn't anything serious though!

    Jeannie and Marvin xxxx


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