A post should appear each Sunday!
Sunday April 24th 2022
Poor Isis has a tough day on Thursday.
First she is ambushed and plonked in the sink to have her rear end washed, then she is taken to the vet’s where she has a thorough M.O.T., her anal glands are emptied and, worst of all, a kennel cough vaccine is shot up her nostrils.
The cleansing of her rear end is the culmination of a campaign of deep cleansing: here is the shameful confession of neglectful Human.
Two months ago, when she went for her monthly anal gland emptying, the nurse pointed out to me that my dog’s genital area needed cleaning. She suggested shaving off some of Isis’s hair with clippers. To my shame, the shaved area revealed that my dog was, indeed, far from pristine.
Needless to say, I keep an eye on the visible parts of her; however, I’d forgotten about her urethra. When I examine the shaved areas on the insides of her thighs, I am horrified to find a dark yellow stain.
Fortunately, the stain is easily removed with warm water and cotton pads. There is no redness, nor any sign of infection. I guess our wet weather helps, as when she comes in from the rain, she is always dried all over.
Anyway, that’s how I come to be paying so much attention to her private parts before our vet visit on Thursday.
She isn’t impressed.
I must watch myself in case I make these examinations part of a compulsive – obsessive routine.
This appointment is with vet and practice partner Christian Hughes as Hairy One needs a health check and a kennel cough vaccination. Watching him work with Isis, I can see how the ethos of this excellent practice has been formed. Isis, too, is obviously impressed, and when we enter the consulting room, seagues immediately into angelic mode.
When I attempt to examine her ears, she flattens them so tightly to her head that it’s almost impossible to find the openings. When I’ve managed to lift an ear flap, and am peering inside an ear, she jerks her head away and turns her back on me, so that the procedure becomes an acrobatic challenge.
While Christian examines her ears she doesn’t even twitch.
She is just as composed when he holds her mouth open and examines all of her teeth, listens to her heart, completes all the other checks, and empties her anal glands.
But we are both taken by surprise when she vigorously resists the kennel cough vaccine, flinging her head around to avoid the touch of the syringe. In the end, she has to be positioned between my knees, her rump under the chair on which I’m sitting. While I grip her head firmly with both hands, vet places one hand firmly on the top of her head and administers the vaccine with the other.
“That was very frightening for her,” he says, “Not fair when she can’t see what’s happening.”
He tells me that there is an injectable version, and advises me that when she needs another dose, I should contact the practice a month beforehand so that the alternative vaccine can be ordered.
Like the veterinary nurse, he thinks it would be a good thing for me to clip Isis, and this time I remember to ask the make of the clippers the practice uses. Bev has lent me her clippers so I can check that Isis will tolerate my clipping attempts. Tomorrow I will have a go!
Another task I have is to reduce Someone’s food intake. She’s not much overweight, but we agree that fifteen kilos is an ideal weight, not going on for seventeen!
By the time we return home, poor Isis is exhausted. She just wants to sleep!
Isis came from Aeza cat and dog rescue in Aljezur, Portugal. For information about adopting an animal from the centre, contact email@example.com or go to http://www.dogwatch.co.uk.