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As a veterinarian, people ask me all the time about what these things are.

“It might be a problem with Alfie’s anal sac’s” I say

“what the heck are they?!!” they reply with a puzzled look on their face, as if I have just insulted them.

Well, these glands with a horrible name, are also in a horrible place- right next to the bottom. And to the bane of vet’s worldwide, they don’t simply just get on with their job of being a scent marking sac…. oh no, they often regularly decided to get ‘bunged up’ with sludge, a bit like leaves in the gutter… and who’s job is it to clear the gutter…. oh its mine, Mr Veterinarian! 😉

Anyway, on a more serious note, these glands do have a role, and they can get some problems. I’m sure every dog owner and every vet has stories to talk about these glands!

Check this recent thread on the Pet Doctor Forum to see what they are in more detail.


when pets have operations, they often are sent home with big collars on…

people often know that their friend’s pet has seen the vet, because they see them wandering around with a bandage on their leg, and a huge white collar around the top of their head.

“can your dog eat with that huge thing on?” you ask them? “it makes your dog look like an alien!”.

Well, what are they for, and why?

This recent thread on the Pet Doctor Forum explains in some detail what they are used for and why. But what do you think of them?

Would it be better to use something else to do this function instead of a collar? If so, what?!!

Feel free to comment on your thoughts- on the comments page of this blog. (Or see the thread link above, and get involved in the conversation there….)

so, whats all the fuss about?

Well its about this

I am a tub of peanut butter

I am a tub of peanut butter

and THESE…..

salmonella salmonella_bacteria

well Dr Matt, nice pictures, but what are they?!!

Ok, the pretty artistic things are not aliens, but are infact Salmonella bacteria. One factory in the US accidentally somehow contaminated the peanut butter with the latter! And it appears now that peanut butter is in many things, NOT just in your grandma’s sandwiches.

One thing its in is in PET FOOD.

If you have a pet, what to do? Well, check this online pet/veterinary forum discussion yesterday on the very same topical issue…what are the peanut butter recall implications on pet food? (If you post a few questions, perhaps someone will answer it if you have any further questions).

what do people think about fleas? Have you ever seen a flea?


Electron Micgrograph photo (courtesty Bayer) of a flea biting a pet

Electron Micgrograph photo (courtesty Bayer) of a flea biting a pet

There is an interesting discussion on a pet/veterinary forum here, where a member of the public asks if “flea control is just a big scam” or if its really needed.

What do you think? As a vet, I must say its essential against some different diseases (the posts on the forum above explain it well).

Anyway- I hope you like these images! Fleas are so small but they can jump about 30x higher than their body length…amazing eh… thats how they can jump quickly from one pet to another!!

well, my blog is regularly getting 100 hits a day now, just to tell my regular followers!

So some of you must like my images and content at least…. thats good. Please keep letting me know by email or with your comments, if you want me to blog on any certain topics etc

Im always interested in new technology and its role in the pet world.

Will your vet next time be performing text message surgery when you take them your pet?

Médecins Sans Frontières surgeon Dr. David Nott (working in the Congo) recently performed a life-saving amputation of a young boy’s gangrenous left arm after receiving step-by-step text messaging instructions from a colleague!

The young boy was spear fishing when he had most of his left arm ripped off by a hippo.  A’ forequarter amputation’ is no small operation, even in a big hospital as it entails the surgical removal of the entire upper extremity, and 2 other bones- the scapula, and clavicle.

Dr. Nott had never performed such a surgery, but luckily, his friend in the UK had, so he sent his friend, Professor Meirion Thomas, a text message…. Thomas replied almost immediately with 10 steps Nott should follow to carry out the procedure and then signed off with “Easy! Good luck.”

Amazing world eh.

pets- I guess they like the lead up to Christmas just like the rest of us. Lots of food! yummy yummy.


I have started to see pets in Christmas clothes, like the picture below, what about you, seen anything pet and christmas related?

Check out here for a dog xmas clothes website!


If you are looking for some good pet-related Christmas cards, check these out. Have a great weekend!

a number of pet related news issues this week in Hong Kong….

First, there is a probe into an illegal dog slaughter house in Hong Kong. Some dogs, some knikes, and some bones, and other items were found this week in a flat near Tseung Kwan.

Also, pet food….. bit of a pandora’s box. Lots of unlabbelled pet food in Hong Kong from China etc, how much of it has melamine in? It has emerged that cyromazine, a derivative of melamine, is widely used in animal feed in China, so could it be in some of the Hong Kong pet food also? who knows. Best to stick to known brands which clearly identify their contents and say clearly where they are made, I say.

And on a lighter side, a couple of months ago (if you missed it in the news)…

A squeamish Hong Kong animal lover was rushed to hospital by ambulance after being bitten on the finger by his pet hamster. The 20-year-old rang 999 after the hamster nipped him on his finger at his home as he stroked him in the city’s Tin Shui Wai district at 3 am in the morning!

An ambulance was sent to take him to hospital where he was treated and later discharged after minor treatment, a police spokesman said.

Hello everyone! As you know, as well as having great fun running my bespoke artwork site, (selling paintings of pets and people copied by hand from your photos), Im also a veterinarian day to day ocassionally- this was what I spent 5 years at University in England training to become.

So, today I want to talk a bit about my work as a veterinarian. Lots of problems that pets get are because of silly things that their owners do, much like as in the world most of the problems are created by humans, fighting and killing each other and starting wars and so on and so forth.

Well, with pets its a similar story im afraid. In the wild, animals tend to eat certain foods, depending on what type of animals they are.

Carnivores like dogs tend to mainly eat meat (I guess a wild dog example could be something like a wolf or a jackal?). Anyway, they must eat meat, and scavenge for other things. Certainly they dont have a luxury diet.

Anyway, as pets, as well as eating dog food, lots of people like to give dogs treats also. One thing people give is rice (which I dont think wild dogs would eat much of?!!!!).

grrr! Im   WILD!!!!

grrr! Im WILD!!!!

Here is a painting of someone’s dog, just as a sideline!!

Okay, so eating Rice, NOT GOOD. Why?

Well, it makes your urine a bit alkaline and then this pre-disposes dogs to getting STONES in the bladder.

Obviously thats uncomfortable, and so then the dogs have a problem going to the toilet. Owch!!

So, as with all of life- practice balance in all things!!

Don’t give your pet too much HUMAN FOOD ie food for people, as otherwise by mistake you could give it a few medical problems.

Have a great day! Matt.