scritch, scritch, scritch, scritch ……scritch ad infinitum



A post should appear each Sunday!


Sunday September 5th 2021


Oh dear. What a week. Poor Isis.

The clouds begin to gather last weekend. It’s a bank holiday weekend.

Of course.

It would be.

Isis is miserable and very irritable. She begins dive bombing her rear end and tearing little clumps of hair out of her tail. Each attack is accompanied by an angry sound track: ‘Nyaff-nyaff-grrrr-yank!’

By Monday the nyaff-nyaff-grrrr-yanks have escalated to such a degree that we are both well strung out.

This is all very puzzling. The vet found poor Hairy One’s anal glands so full last time we saw him that we decided to revert to having them emptied once a month as we used to, instead of every six weeks. Her next appointment though, isn’t due for well over a week.

So as soon as her veterinary practice reopens on Tuesday morning, I’m on the phone asking for an appointment. There is none available that day, and I am advised to ring at eight the next morning to request a same day appointment.

When I ring, we are told that Isis can be seen at two-thirty.

Yes,  the nurse tells me, the glands were very full.

For a while after we return home, Isis is a happier dog. But the next day she begins scratching herself. On Thursday evening, I administer her anti- flea (and anti every other known parasite, according to the blurb) medication.

I am surprised that she continues to scratch on Friday, but assume the medication takes a while to work.

I groom her regularly, of course, since she’s so hairy, and there’s never been any sign of  infestation – although, of course, some mites are invisible to the naked eye.

For weeks now, of course, grasses have been shedding their seeds so it’s been necessary to de-seed Isis every day. She doesn’t like it if I just pick out the seeds with my fingers, and is apt to utter a snappy ‘nyaff!’.

So a degree of deception is called for here. Having her head, ears, face and whiskers gently stroked with a very soft baby brush, is a different matter altogether. She interprets this as petting. She squirms sensuously and wags her tail. As long as I’m very careful, she doesn’t appear to register the sneaky seed picking.

Despite all this, I have only spotted two tiny scabs.

Last night and during the early hours, there are several muffled grumbles from downstairs. She’s probably been scratching on and off all night; this morning, her skin  very pink indeed.

I need to examine her more closely, so I give her a bath. I am horrified to find that there are now five or six scratched and very inflamed patches of skin.

It looks like a return of the severe dermatitis she had in August/September last year.

(She has attacked herself twice over the last twenty minutes, so now she’s wearing her Elizabethan collar).

Poor Isis.





She already has an appointment for her booster next Friday, but the dermatitis needs attention before then. I’ll ring the practice at eight tomorrow morning.


Oh Dog! The vet’s receptionist will think I have Munchausen Syndrome By Proxy!


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


This entry was posted in a vet visit, crisis, Isis at home, Isis gets bathed, Isis is sad, oh dear, poor Isis, self-damaging, self-harming, something's not right, strange behaviour, these dogs!, who'd be a human? and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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