Week 3: January 26-February 2, 2015
This week was a mixture of the routine, excitement, and disappointment. Basically, your average week working in an animal hospital. The main skill I had opportunity to practice was anal gland expression. From taking anatomy, I know the location of these malodorous glands, but I’ve mainly been observing or restraining for the procedure. This week, I felt confident enough to step up and try the technique myself. I started by expressing glands on anesthetized patients so I would get the feel of where the glands are and what they feel like full on an animal that wasn’t struggling. I then was able to practice applying the correct amount of pressure and squeezing technique and feel the glands emptying and observing the discharge, again at my leisure since the animal was asleep. I then moved on to patients that were awake. I found I like to equate the procedure to milking a cow in that I start at the bottom of the gland and “milk” the discharge out by applying pressure with my thumb against my index finger on the inside of the rectum. I try to exert the least amount of pressure as possible to prevent injury to the animal, but I’ve encountered a few glands that were “plugged” and needed a little extra work. After those expressions, I like to wash the perianal region with cool chlorhexidine to ease any discomfort. This procedure is the epitome of, “it’s a tough job, but somebody has to do it.”
Hey, ya'll, you're lucky I didn't post a picture of a dog getting it's anal glands expressed. That's how much I care about you keeping down your lunch. For the rest of your life. Instead, here's a picture of a dog scooting, a common indication that it needs it's anal glands expressed. Should I say anal glands again? Anal.
I love our lab equipment...when it works.
Puppies help, too.
IT'S SO FLUFFY I'M GONNA DIE!!