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Tales from the Tail end

I was chatting with our tech yesterday about vet school. I was reminded about when my friend/classmate and I were doing breeding soundness exams in bulls for our third year reproduction class. I was doing an exam on the bull, checking for abnormalities of the prostate, and preparing for semen collection. I was standing behind the bull, and was shoulder deep in his rear end - then he coughed. Imagine a pasture bull, eating wet grass, the pressure from his cough blasted his feces past my arm to the wall behind me. Fortunately, I had turned by head at the right second and missed the getting feces directly into my face, but I got an ear full instead, as well as allll the way down my left side. There was a Serena shaped silhouette on the wall behind me. Funniest day of vet school as my friend says!

Why I was telling this story was because I got another ear full yesterday. Except, I work in a small animal only practice. Every veterinarian at some point is Christianed with this... while expressing the anal sacs of a dog. This tiny dog, a little Shih Tzu, had a full right anal sac. I express using my right hand being right handed. I checked the left side easily, nothing there to express, as I massage the sac with my index finger and thumb on the outside. Now, being right hand dominant, I have to rotate my wrist around so that my right index finger is pointing to the right, and my thumb rotated down so I can get the right anal sac. My paper towel is ready to catch the contents, but like a newbie again, I’m mistakenly standing directly behind the dog. That little dog’s anal sac had soooo much pressure in it, the contents flew past me and some of it landed in the sink a foot behind me, and some of it blasted me across the face. Hmph. Good thing I had my mouth closed. Finishing the job, I turn to the sink rinse my face and my hair. Clean up the dogs back end and let the owner know the significant findings.

I still smell anal sacs, so I spritz myself with some sunshine spray, and finish my next appointment.

Later, I still smell anal sacs so head to the restroom. Scrub my face again, and look up to see some brown gunk inside my right ear. Ugh...

You haven’t worked long enough in veterinary practice until you shoot yourself with anal sac juices! My poor husband wanted a kiss when I got home. Hubby, love you, but I will kiss you after I shower!

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