Blaming A Big Stink On The Dog

Dr. John Kaya
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Wednesday - March 17, 2010
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Experts extol the many health benefits of owning a pet. Studies have shown that the time spent petting and cuddling your furry family member helps to reduce blood pressure. Taking long walks keeps the little critters in shape and helps to slim the waistlines of their human counterparts. Even the mundane chores of feeding and cleaning up after a pet give many a sense of worth and accomplishment.

In return, the unconditional love that is expressed by the little darlings often brings happiness and a decrease in stress. Though these are some of the common rewards associated with pet ownership, there are times when owners come up with very creative benefits.

Enter Jim and Dora with their cute, lovable Labrador Buddy.

After the initial pleas-antries, I asked Jim and Dora the reason for the visit. You see, at first glance, Buddy seemed to be in perfect health. He jumped with enthusiasm when I entered the exam room and gladly took the tasty treats that I offered.

“Well, Doc,” replied Dora, “we just wanted to have you do a complete physical on Buddy and see if you find anything wrong with him.”

“OK, I’ll just start as I usually do, at his head, and move toward his rear.” Out of the corner of my eye, I thought I saw a little chuckle from Jim after my comment. “Are you sure there isn’t something in particular that you want me to look at?”

“Nope, you just do what you need to, Doc,” smiled Dora.

And so I did. As veterinarians, we usually go through a routine when we do our exam. This way no body part is forgotten. Starting with Buddy’s head, I noticed nothing abnormal except for the excessive slobbering that comes with just having finished a yummy dog biscuit. His ears looked and smelled (yes, I smell the ears) fine and he had a very healthy coat. Buddy’s heart sounded great and his lungs were clear as a whistle. He’d put on a little weight since his last visit, as do most of my patients, and I’m sure the treat I gave him didn’t help.

It was when I palpated his abdomen that the reason for the exam unfolded.

“Oh, Buddy, not again,” cried Dora. Jim just smiled at first then burst out into laughter.

“What’s the matter?” I asked.

“Don’t you smell it, Doc?” chortled Jim. “Honey, I told you it wasn’t me.”

It was then that I noticed that Buddy passed some gas.

“Oh, you mean Buddy’s fart. He must have released it when I pushed on his belly. My patients will do that sometimes.”

“Sometimes?” expressed Dora. “He does it all the time. Well, that’s what my husband wants me to believe. I know Jim just lets loose and blames Buddy for the foul stench.”

This time Jim laughed so loud I couldn’t help but chuckle with his infectious merriment.

“Well, I can’t comment on Jim’s condition, but I can say something about Buddy. If he is truly passing gas as much as you say he is, then he may have a problem.”

An exasperated Dora looked at me and said, “You’re singing to the choir, Doc, singing to the choir.”

I then explained to Dora and Jim that flatulence of the magnitude that they were describing could mean that Buddy has a problem like inflammatory bowel disease, food hypersensitivity or an intestinal motility disorder. We set forth a plan of action to see if we could help Buddy. Before proceeding, I did warn Jim that if we eliminated Buddy’s gas problem it may mean that he would no longer be able to blame Buddy for unexplained noxious fumes.

Pets do so many good things for us. Heck, they even take the blame for some of our actions. I thought blaming the dog for eating homework was bad ... but, well, Jim took it to a whole new level.

Don’t worry Buddy, I’ve got your back. That’s just how we roll on the wild side.

Pet tip: Excessive flatulence can be a sign of something wrong with your pet. Seek the advice of your veterinarian.

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