Ears and Rear – No End in Sight

Third in a series

scratching dog
We’d put an end to those ear infections, whatever it took, but unless we controlled Chase’s scratching and rubbing, the population of normal organisms in her ears would explode all over again. And then we had those odious anal glands. This sweet girl’s name was Chase but it could have been “Rubber” or “Scooter.”

Allergies in dogs are often caused by airborne pollens, molds, and house dust mites. Veterinary dermatologists believe this unseen assault occurs more by skin penetration that by inhalation. I could have suggested an air filter mask for Chase but she’d benefit more from a daily moist towel wipe-down. Anti-itch medications would also help.

Way back in veterinary school I rode a motorcycle, partly because I couldn’t afford a car but also because I was a thrill seeker. Becoming a family man cured me of that but I remember one event that taught me empathy for the rear end maladies of the pets I was learning to treat.

One crazy hot and humid summer day I was doing 75, zipping along I-96 in Michigan, when I noticed an unpleasant sensation. The saddle of my Triumph Bonneville was veritably frying my rump. As I skidded onto the shoulder it became immediately clear that the canvas bags holding my cloths had slipped, and now resting on the muffler, had caught fire. I was in the hot seat. An undying empathy for rear end disordered pets was formed that day.

We have an occasional quiet day with time for a little friendly banter. I shared this narrative with Amos, our faithful and committed nurse, but rather than receiving these deep thoughts with a sympathetic ear, he reacted was such hysterics that I feared he would embarrass himself. No respect.

On follow-up a week later Miss Manners reported Chase rubbing her head somewhat less but the poor dog’s scooting continued. My otoscopic exam revealed less discharge but the redness in her ear canals persisted. A digital rectal exam brought her anal glands into sharp focus: another victim of her allergies. I felt her pain. Ears and rears. Antibiotics were started; sedation to irrigate those vestigial nuisances was scheduled – soon.
Next week: Surgical treatment for self-trauma gone wild
For help with behavior problems, you can sign-up for a Zoom Group Conference on my website, drjeffnichol.com.

Dr. Jeff Nichol is a residency-trained veterinary behaviorist. He provides consultations in-person and in groups by Zoom (505-792-5131). Each week he shares a blog and a video to help bring out the best in pets and their people. Sign up at no charge at drjeffnichol.com. Post pet behavioral or physical questions on facebook.com/drjeffnichol or by US Post to 4000 Montgomery Blvd. NE, Albuq, NM 87109.