ONLY - Surgery? NO Surgery?
Only is an all-around, honest, sled dog. She has
been a stable force in our kennel. She is a
consistent ﬁnisher in the Race to the Sky, Wyoming
Stage Stop and multiple other varying-distance
ﬁnisher - including competing in the well-known
Iditarod. Only loves her job and is all business
while in harness.
A slight inﬂammation was noted on the right side
of her face. The next the day it evolved into an
obvious, problematic mass on the side of her
neck. Only did not demonstrate pain upon
palpation. She remained eager to run/work with
the other dogs for spring training runs.
Terry diagnosed her with a salivary mucocele. Although Terry is a licensed veterinarian, he is
essentially retired. He maintains enough meds and supplies to service his kennel without the ability
for any complex surgery.
He contacted a veterinarian friend to consult with the intent the mucocele would need to be
surgically excised. We were not too excited about this option because removal of her salivary gland
would limit her ability to run. The veterinarian who was contacted did not return our call. We
would ﬁnd out days later he had been out of town.
Marie Koepke, a CARE Instructor and Young Living Essential Oil distributor, was visiting. We called
Candace M Hoke, ND, to assist with intervention. Terry basically said, “Well, you can try.”
We sent pictures to Candace of Only. We also assessed the dog’s ting vita ﬂex points. Based on this
information, Candace provided direction to apply oils for the physical ailment, but also noted Only
was upset about something.
We started by layering essential oils of thyme, cypress, Thieves™ blend, and peppermint to the site
as well as the place where the webbing meets the pad of the foot and nail beds. By the end of the
day, swelling increased by several inches greater than what is noted in the photos. The dog’s head
was like a volley ball. The swelling was very soft with pitting. Stoic and shy, Only still did not illicit a
pain reaction. Her muzzle circumference was over 14
inches (normally it is 9). Her neck measurement was
31 inches (normally 15)
Terry was distraught. She did not seem to be in any
distress nor had any airway issues but her head and
neck were HUGE. It looked terrible.
By morning, the swelling had decreased and was
indurated. Terry opted to insert a needle and syringe
into 2 points of the area to attempt to extract any
content. He hoped to allow drainage. A purulent,
milky drainage immediately ﬁlled the syringe. Terry
I called Candace. She concurred with extracting ﬂuid
and enabling drainage.
The ting vita ﬂex assessment had changed.
Subsequently, JuvaFlex™ blend was added to her
protocols. Candace coached us to continue oils,
especially Cypress, to “Flush that garbage (the
mucocele) from her salivary gland.” Again, Candace
reiterated the dog was upset about something. We
explored possible causes but she closed the conversation with “Terry has some making up to do
because she (Only) is pissed!”
I did not share the latter part of Candace’s assessment with Terry, but thought about what she had
said. I was unable to identify a precipitating event or issue that would upset this dog. Only is a
stoic, hardy, honest dog that is slightly spooky, but has a school-girlish admiration for Terry. She
smiles and visibly relaxes when she hears Terry’s voice. How on Earth could she be upset with
Terry? The only change I had noted in her routine was that Terry had placed a female as a running
mate instead of her usual co-worker, Gus.
Within the following day, the swelling decreased with copious amounts of drainage noted from the
two needle ‘stabs.’ I had used soap with a couple drops of Thieves™ to wash the area. Within that
time and during an oil application, I mentioned to Terry the possibility Only was upset about
something and shared Candace’s opinion. Terry laughed and stroked Only’s chin.
I mentioned I had noticed he had not been running Only next to Gus. Terry responded, “Jean, I have
been running her in the other team. I pulled her from Gus’s team to help ME train puppies with the
other females. I needed a steady, seasoned dog with those puppies.”
I shared our conversation with Candace that night and that she had asked, “Is Gus important to
Terry?” I had replied, “He is the number one stud for the kennel.”
Candace stated, “Well, that’s it. Only thinks she is not worthy. Terry has got some serious making
up to do.” I mentioned it to Terry - he laughed.
By the following day, the swelling was further diminished and Only was pretty cheery. We continued
oils. In the evening, I walked Only from the kennel on the way to the house for the night. When I left
the gate, a friend drove into the yard. Only spooked and ran back into the kennel. During the ﬁnal
oil application that night I asked Terry if he noticed where Only went when she returned to the
Terry remarked, “Well, she did not go to her spot!”
Me--“Where did she go?”
Terry--“She went to the boys and didn’t go to her spot.”
Me--“Did you notice which boy?”
Me--“It was Gus.”
Terry looked at Only and said, “Oh baby doll, are you missing Gus? I didn’t mean to take him away.
I needed your help with the pups.”
The following morning upon washing the area, I swiped a clear gelatinous blob from one of the stab
sites (the site was slightly opened since the swelling had decreased.) I showed the blob to Terry. He
affirmed that the blob was the mucocele . It was what he would have expected if he had removed
surgically. The appearance was a textbook picture.
Only was running in the team next to Gus within the next couple of days and has not had problems
The picture below on the right is of Only the third day after intervention was initiated. The picture
on the left is of Only and her pal, Gus, after a training run.