A daughters predicament

November 27, 2017
Bo Brock, DVM

Bo Brock, DVM, owns Brock Veterinary Clinic in Lamesa, Texas. His latest book is Crowded in the Middle of Nowhere: Tales of Humor and Healing From Rural America.

Housesitting gone awry finds Dr. Brock in an awkward situation at his veterinary practice.

The dog was a 20-pound brown-and-black mutt with fuzzy hair and one blue eye. It was about a year old with a great personality and an endless amount of mischievous energy. Today all of its energy was focused on something around its fanny.

The client, who was accompanied by her 17-year-old daughter, gave a good history of the dog while we stood in the exam room and watched the dog chew its rear-end and drag its fanny across the floor. She explained that she and her husband had gone out of town over the weekend and left the teenaged daughter in charge of the house and the dog. Upon their return, the dog had become more persistent about chewing on its heinie and would get aggressive if anyone tried to look at it or touch it.

The daughter reported that the critter had eaten its normal food well all weekend and did not start acting weird until a few hours before her parents arrived home Sunday. She said the dog had gone to the bathroom normally when she let it out and there was nothing abnormal in the environment.

I put the dog on the exam table and attempted to lift the tail and get a look at what might be causing such distress. I noticed that the pooch seemed a little bloated as I lifted it and was a bit painful around the abdomen. There was gonna be no looking under the tail with that rascal awake. It showed fangs and growled at even a minor attempt to reach that direction.

After a little sedative and a few minutes of waiting we now had a perfect view. Nothing seemed too abnormal at first glance, but a closer observation revealed something green hanging out of the fanny. This didn't strike me as too unusual, since puppies have a way of chewing on things they shouldn't, and I figured this was a case of impaction due to eating a foreign object.

I gloved up and put a little lube all over everything back there. I began pulling on the green thing and found it to be stretchy. I pulled and it got longer. I pulled a little harder and it got a little longer. After a great deal of tugging and manipulating, the object began coming out. It had become enveloped in an oversized turd, and the exact identification of this strange green stretchy thing was still obscure as I finally got the massive ball of poop out and lying smelly on the table.

The daughter was quick to say, “There it is; now throw it away! It stinks bad!”

The mother quickly followed with, “Don't throw it away until we find out what the heck it is so he won't eat any more of it!”

I began dissecting the poop off of the object until it became apparent to me that this was about to become an uncomfortable situation. A predicament was literally unfolding right before my eyes and I wasn't sure whether to stop now or keep going until the identity of this object was known to all. I stopped for a second and said the item was wrapped up tight in the turd and there was no telling what it might be.

The daughter smiled at this comment, but the mother insisted I keep going.

A few plucks later I was holding a green condom with one hand, realizing that dog poop doesn't gross me out, but a green unrolled condom does.

There was an extremely uncomfortable moment of silence. It stretched into what seemed like an eternity. The daughter looked at me with a touch of defiance in her eyes, and the mother looked at me with a mix of embarrassment and anger.

I'm not sure what they saw on my face, but I can tell you what I was feeling. I was wishing I had sent another veterinarian in to look at this case. I was wishing I would've just thrown the whole turd ensemble into the trash the second I figured out what it was.

The silence was killing me. Someone had to break it and I decided it should be me.

“Well, that was an interesting find.”

What a dumb thing to say, I thought as the last word dripped out of my mouth.

“I'll give you a mild laxative for this critter just in case there's something else working its way through.”

Oh man, it just keeps getting better. With that, I decided to be quiet and hoped they would simply leave.

The mother picked up her purse and asked how much she owed me. I mumbled that we would send her a bill.

I don't know what wound up happening, but judging by the look on mom's face, I don't think the daughter was going to be doing anymore housesitting for a good long while.

Bo Brock, DVM, owns Brock Veterinary Clinic in Lamesa, Texas. His latest book is Crowded in the Middle of Nowhere: Tales of Humor and Healing From Rural America.