those glands again



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


Wednesday March 16th 2016


It’s a month since Hairy One’s anal glands were dealt with so off we go again to RSPCA Newbrook Farm.

Our appointment is 8.05 a.m. Yes, 8.05. The things we do for our pets.  Because Isis now knows what is going to happen to her and trembles in anticipation, Chris, the staff nurse, advised me to take the earliest appointment so that Hairy One would have less time to wait.

We arrive early so I park in the car park to see if I can persuade Isis to walk up to the hospital in a dignified fashion. She makes a good start by jumping briskly from the car. But unfortunately one sniff informs her of exactly where she is and she sets off determinedly in the opposite direction. However reluctant they are, most dogs can be persuaded to walk the walk. Not Isis. Short of dragging her every inch of the way, there is no possibility of getting her in motion.


We climb back into the car and approach the automatic gates. I press the button and a disembodied voice enquires whether I am a Blue Badge holder. I explain, truthfully that I have a boot full of newspapers for the centre and we drive up to the disabled spaces.

By now it is almost time for our appointment. Cautiously, Isis gets out of the car but, of course, refuses to move another step. Oh Isis! I stagger in with her in my arms and white hair up my nose and explain the situation to the reception person. Thankfully, it will be O.K. next time to tell the voice that I have a dog who refuses to walk and is too heavy to carry for more than a couple of metres. (We will still bring newspapers, of course.)

On the way to the consulting room the recalcitrant animal is weighed. She scores 14.2 kilos, that is, within her ideal weight range. Good.

There is little doubt that the glands need emptying as she has been worrying her back feet for about a week and has barbered a toe or two. I wonder whether she needs to come more often than every four weeks but the vet thinks that more frequent visits would be too upsetting and Isis needs a three week break. Very sensible.

Isis stands very quietly while the glands are emptied and this time does not lunge at the vet. She wears a muzzle, of course – Isis, I mean, not the vet – as I feel that 8.10 a.m. is much too early for bloodshed.

Polymath, who does not give up easily, has repeatedly opined that I should find out more about Isis’s sight, see if it’s possible to discover what she is seeing, why certain light conditions frighten her and what might be done to help. The vet explains that the only way in which a person’s perceptions can be understood is through self reporting: there is no way to ascertain what a dog can see. The problem might be caused by the damaged retinas or by the holes in the covering at the back of the eyes letting in sudden bursts of light. Perhaps some kind of blinkers  ……………….?

Now that Isis is so much calmer I must persist with the Doggles and see if they can help at all.

As soon the muzzle is removed, Isis is her usual happy self. No problem now with being in the reception area or returning to the car. I unload the newspapers and off we go. The day’s ordeals are not over yet, of course. But she can have her breakfast before her rear end is shampooed.

Who’d be a dog?


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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