My betrothed, K, inspired by this blog no doubt, felt compelled to start his own. Called Pinin’ for the fjords (bone up on your Monty Python), it encompasses all his interests, of which there are quite a few. Check it out!
Monthly Archives: April 2010
On Monday Pablo and I had a surprise visitor–a census taker. Even though K and I had completed and mailed in our form as soon as we received it (good citizens that we are), the census man wanted to do it all over again. Who am I to argue with the efficiency of our government? I invited him in. Sad to report, but Mr. Census Man took absolutely no notice of Pablo, who could not comprehend why the man wasn’t making a fuss over him. Then, when I asked Mr. Census Man if pets were included as household members, I was told no. This is discrimination, folks, pure and simple. I propose that for the 2020’s census there should be a category to record pets. The information could be used to help animals in countless ways.
Yesterday K was juiced by Pablo. His first juicing, K was understandably confused and thought Pablo had soiled himself. A quick sniff around Pablo’s hind quarters revealed the truth. A pug’s anal glands can sometimes fill and leak a foul, foul liquid, one that leaves behind an unbelievable stench. If it gets on clothes, it clings to the fabric with the tenacity of a barnacle. I’m convinced that the car odor in the Seinfeld episode (the one where Jerry ultimately abandons his car because the stench won’t go away) was not BO but pug juice.
Pablo used to juice on a regular basis when he was younger. Now he rarely does, which was why yesterday’s episode caught me by surprise. If the anal glands become engorged, they have to be physically expressed. A vet or groomer will usually do it. The only other option is to express them yourself–and personally I’m not going there!
Pablo occasionally has fits where he wheezes and can’t seem to catch his breath. It’s very scary when this happens, and I always feel helpless when he has an attack. Today I found out what causes this. Its fancy name is Pharyngeal Gag Reflex, or reverse sneezing. Luckily, the condition isn’t serious.
What causes an attack? Usually some irritant–perhaps pollen, household chemicals, mites, or car exhaust fumes–tickles the soft palate and throat, causing a spasm. The animal tries desperately to inhale more air but has trouble doing so since its trachea has narrowed. While all breeds of dogs can experience reverse sneezing, smaller dogs and dogs with short snouts are especially prone. Poor pugs fit both conditions so it’s no wonder Pablo is often afflicted.
The good news is that most cases resolve on their own and don’t require treatment, although massaging your dog’s throat or covering its nostrils sometimes helps. And, if the underlying cause is mites or an allergy, then treating those conditions will usually stop reverse sneezing.
I’m happy to have this mystery cleared. Next time Pablo starts sneezing backward, I’ll know not to panic. Now if only there was a simple solution to all that shedding!
In a visit to Cape Cod last October, Pablo had his first experience with the ocean. He took to it like a duck to water. Or should it be pug to water?