Sophie had been doing something strange the last few days - rubbing her lower back on the bars of her crate (the doors are left open and are used as dog beds). Because we are barely holding our ground in the Flea Wars, I assumed she was scratching her lower back - a spot she cannot reach any other way, being shaped like a beetle. Yesterday, I noticed to my horror that she had scraped all the hair off her tiny heiney, and looked like a baboon.
That was only the start of my horror. Today, her little butt was swollen and distended. Yup, dog people are already nodding wisely - impacted anal glands. Called vet. At first they said they had nothing today, but as I described her pitiful state, God bless them, they squeezed me in (no pun intended, dog people).
$85 dollars later, one gland was successfully expressed, the other is still bulging, she's on an antibiotic and the beloved standard, Prednisone, and we will go back on Thursday morning to express the other, if it doesn't take care of itself. Tonight I will place Her Royal Heineyness on a towel beside me on the couch, and apply warm compresses to her tiny backside. Fortunately, after many years of working in corporate legal departments, applying warm moist towels to a dog's ass seems like career advancement.
Oh, and the dying cat decided he's not dying yet, and I can't look into his alert, interested little face and hurry him along, because he may be right.