"My dog has a big lump on his left
backside," said the healthy and trim
82-year-old Mr Neil Archer.
"Will you make a house-call and see what's
wrong. He is a very aggressive dog who
guards the house well. A 10-year-old
male mutt, " said Mr Archer whom I had not
seen for over 10 years since I met him at
the Singapore Turf Club.
It is much easier for doctors to make
house-calls but not veterinarians as the
aggressive canine patients would be much
harder to manage at its own home territory.
Many owners prefer house-calls and may think
that all veterinarians should be able to
control any fierce dog. "Just one look
and the dog would shiver." But
veterinarians do not have the magic and some
of the younger ones had been mauled by
aggressive dogs while doing house calls.
Singapore was having one of its heat waves
in 2001. It was real hot on this May
14, Sunday afternoon. Visions of
struggling with the canine client and
everybody getting bitten formed in my mind.
For all you know, the dog might even escape
out of the house. He was said to be a
good jumper, having grown up with kittens.
It sounded as if an operation might be
needed and it would be futile to make house
call for this sort of canine condition.
A big swelling could mean lots of things.
The dog transport service brought the
cross-bred to the clinic. The lump was
as big as the biggest orange, located on the
left side of the anus. It was a
swelling with 2 irregular hard lumps of over
1-inch-and-a- half-circle edge. It was
discovered 3 weeks ago and the dog was
irritated by it as it would not go away.
If it was a perineal hernia, it would not have an
encircling rim of hard tissue although one could
not rule this out. This hard tissue rim
could be nature's effort to seal up the swelling
and fluid such as blood.
Butch was tranquilised after his heart was
checked to be in good condition. He
was having a good appetite but nobody knew
whether he had trouble passing stools or
He was well looked after judging by his
excellent body condition and coat. No
signs of skin disease except for the big
pigmentation near the big left backside
swelling. Dogs do lick at big
swellings trying to get its size reduced.
15 minutes later, Butch could not stand up.
He was put on the table and the tail
area was clipped. A small half-inch
incision (see red spot on image) near the
left side of the anus was made with a
scalpel. Over 200 ml of pinkish fluid
with no smell, spurted out like a fountain
spout. The swelling deflated.
It was a haematoma. An artery must
have burst and the blood must have clotted
to consolidate into the hard tissue and
It appeared to be a traumatic injury.
"Is there another dog in the house?"
There was a 2 year-old male Dalmatian who
was hyperactive, jumping onto Butch all the
time. Was it attempting to mate with
Butch? Could it have caused more than
a haematoma? Butch might still have a
perineal hernia. The next 2 days would
reveal any more swelling but for this hot
afternoon, his discomfort had been
alleviated and the swelling was reduced by
This procedure definitely could not be done
by a house-call. It was good that the
drainage of the haematoma was done 3 weeks
later as the bleeding would have stopped by
the back pressure. Any earlier
incision would cause considerable blood
The grandfather, son and grown up daughter
came. Therefore, Butch was not so
worried at being alone at the veterinary
clinic. The family was a close one as
you seldom see 3 generations bringing a dog
on a Sunday afternoon to a veterinarian.
Butch himself could be considered 70-year
old in human years and was certainly a
member of the family.
Would this be the end of the story?
Would the bleeding recur again as the big
blood vessel must have originated from
inside the abdomen and had ruptured in this
big herniated area.
There are sometimes surprises for the
veterinarian. This case was not resolved by
drainage of the blood as the swelling
returned the next day. An operation
was needed to remove the hard
and the gap was stitched up.
It was not the typical perineal hernia case as
there was no intestinal tissues or abdominal fat
falling into this gap as to be expected in a
perineal hernia described in standard veterinary
text books and in a following case.
A big spherical
like swelling of the size of the biggest
orange you can see at the supermarket, left
of the tail and anus in a 10-year old male
Cross-bred. There were 2 hard lumps at
one edge of the swelling giving an
impression that the intestine with stools
were prolapsed. A curved edge of
around 3 inches could be felt under the skin
at another area. It would appear to be
a perineal hernia but the palpation revealed
A small incision withdrew over 200 ml of
pink fluid and the swelling collapsed to 20%
of its size. The next day, the big
orange swelling re-appeared in full bloom.
What was it? It was not the typical
perineal hernia described in all veterinary
textbooks. The big swelling was a
fibrous capsule with two finger-like ends
containing lots of pink fluid. What
caused it is unknown. Could be the frisky