sugar soap and anal glands



Posting days: Sunday and Wednesday and, sometimes, maybe, extra ‘news flashes’!


Wednesday November 17th 2015


Isis is extremely bored. It’s only Monday. She must wait for another whole day for her next supply of cardboard boxes from the Co-op. Only three torn off box sides remain. Not much for a dog.

I’m upstairs when I hear the first clunk and shoot down to discover that she has commandeered the narrow box which contains my five foot long-handled roller. Having retrieved it, I return upstairs. Drag. Thump! Thump! She must be playing with Chicken Wrap.

But when I return downstairs I am horrified to discover the cardboard sugar soap box torn open and lying empty on the rug. Alongside it are the two polythene packets from the box. One was already opened. The other she has torn into with her teeth. Also on the rug  are two piles of sugar soap. Isis lies on the futon looking miserable. Big, damp patches surround her muzzle.

Horrors. Hurriedly, I read the information on the pack. Non-caustic. Thank heaven for that. Sugar soap is mildly abrasive, it says, and splashes on skin or in the eyes must be rinsed off with water.

There are large spots of water around her bowl so she must have had a drink. I soak cotton balls and carefully wipe her lips. She is not unduly grateful. I keep a close eye on her but she seems fine. Phew.

Tuesday and off we go for our 8.40 a.m. appointment at RSPCA Newbrook Farm.

No  wonder Isis has been attacking herself with such venom. The poor little creature’s anal glands are hugely distended. I recall how Ellie, my previous gentle little dog, stood still looking pained when her glands were expressed. Unlike the safely muzzled Isis, who  growls and snarls menacingly as she attempts to remove her persecutor’s hand.

But she is not one to bear grudges. Once her ordeal is over and her muzzle released she approaches the vet,  sniffs him, and offers a faint wag.

The warm and cheerful young vet demonstrates with his thumb and index finger the size her anal glands should be and the size which they are: at least five times bigger.

He also reassures me about the sugar soap incident. He thinks that as Isis has not vomited, she will probably have diarrhoea. Sigh.

The good news is that  since her last weigh-in Isis has gained almost a third of her body weight. In April she had moved up from just over 9 kilos to 10. 50. Now she is 13.30.

I wonder aloud whether I should reduce her food intake. But the vet is sure that I shouldn’t even think about it unless she is pushing 14 kilos in a couple of months. She is now, he declares, what he would designate ‘a slim dog’.

Later, in the park, Bev. and Gr. who have been feeling Hairy One’s ribs with concern since soon after she came, are very pleased.

Unlike poor Isis who returns home for her breakfast only to have her nether regions assaulted with shampoo and many warm water rinses.

Wednesday. Up at 7.05 this morning. Half an hour later Isis is still snoozing and looks somewhat bemused at the early rising. But I’m determined that she will have a good walk before I go off to town for my dental appointment, so we’re in the park by eight and meeting dogs we’ve not seen for ages.

Back home I congratulate myself on my efficiency. Isis has been walked and fed and I’m ready to go. Just before I leave the house, I check my hospital letter.


All that early rising effort. The b. appointment’s next Wednesday, not today.

It’s raining again. Another damp and dark British November day. I return to bed and switch on the radio. Mmmm. Wonderful. Isis soon joins me and we snooze until twelve. How delightfully decadent. Must do it more often.


Isis came from the Aeza cat and dog rescue and adoption centre in Aljezur, Portugal. For information about adopting an animal from the centre, contact or

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2 Responses to sugar soap and anal glands

  1. Amber L says:

    That last part sounds heavenly 🙂 Glad you checked your letter! Can’t tell you how many times I’ve done that…


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