A Prostate Exam in the Parking Lot
By Dr. Anndrea Hatcher
Olive Branch Parke Veterinary Clinic
Yellow is a huge, elderly Labrador. He was laying on the sidewalk in front of the clinic door. No amount of cajoling, pushing, pulling or bribing with treats would convince Yellow to set one paw inside the clinic and he was too big to carry.
His owner was getting a little frazzled, so I said, “Don’t even worry about it. I can do everything I need to out here, except get his weight. We’ll tell people we are having a sidewalk sale.”
So I brought out my otoscope, opthalmoscope, stethoscope, and thermometer and sat down on the sidewalk with Yellow and did a physical exam. My vet assistant, Jamie, and I experimented with new Yoga positions figuring out how to draw blood for Yellow’s heartworm test.
Yellow’s owner was concerned that Yellow was taking longer to urinate than he should. Since Yellow is an old, un-neutered male dog, just like old, un-neutered male humans, sometimes trouble urinating can be a symptom of prostate disease.
By this point, Yellow had had enough of the veterinary exam and vaccinations and had wandered into the parking lot. Now whenever a vet approaches a dog’s hind end, the dog does the sensible thing and sits down. Well, I was dressed for a business meeting I had attended earlier that day and was feeling pretty spiffy in my knee high boots, calf length skirt and pretty purple shirt. When I approached Yellow, I put my knee under his belly to keep him from sitting down. My skirt got caught up and pushed up my thigh revealing a runner in my hose I wasn’t aware I had. I had one hand restraining Yellow and the other gloved hand with a finger three joints in his derriere exploring for his prostate when I had several instantaneous thoughts.
“What on earth do the other people in the parking lot think I am doing to this dog?
“Is that a breeze I feel in my nether regions?”
“What a strange job I have.”
“Crud, it has started to rain…..”
“Good! His prostate feels normal.”
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