Hey here's an off shoot story for you gutastrophe - we got a Golden as a puppy, 1 year after my cancer and colon resection. She had the delightful habit of licking her rear end. Our Vet told me that Goldens can get impacted anal glands and that they were very uncomfortable. I was instructed to express these anal glands while giving her a shower. Oh sure, I was gonna do that.....I joked, crimeny my life revolves around rear ends! I tried that but she didn't like that one bit. Vet eventually talked me into having them removed so she had this extremely painful surgery. For 2 long weeks she whimpered in pain and I had to feed her out of my hand, b/c she couldn't bend over her food bowl. Yes I do baby this dog....LOL But I truly felt like I failed her. We never skipped her pain med dose and after 2 weeks she was much better. She no longer had that awful habit. Then a friend told me - you do realize that once the anal glands are removed, your dog can have accidents don't you? I said what? My Vet never told me that.....and naturally thought, oh sure, again, I am surrounded by anal issues! The good news is she never had accidents but I also felt tricked into this surgery. I told the Vet that also - explaining that I myself had surgery in that area of my body and it is hell to recover from. He just sighed and said there are many, many blood vessels in this area - humans and canines.
One more thing, she also has had a very nasty habit since we brought her home - if I don't keep the yard picked up, she tends to eat it. So sorry for that lovely detail but again, I think only I could end up with a dog like this! She especially loves rabbit poop......her favorite snack.
Okay back to human speak! LOL
Sometimes I do feel like my world revolves around these issues a bit too much and I joke - if I could only give up food! he he