Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Ahren clinic

Day five started out a little rough. Steph and I headed to Ahren clinic with the three dogs in the cab from the last post. The Ahren clinic, unlike the San Theresa clinic is downright dirty and smelly. I feel bad saying this, as the vet who runs the place is great - Fernando. But, it is. I think it is a matter of him not having much control of the women who work there - they do not clean like they are supposed to. This photo of this Doberman Pincher was taken the day before when the dog was recovering from surgery on the only "bed" the clinic has. You can see how unbelievably skinny he is. When Steph walked in the next day, Day five, the dog was dead in this bed. He was in the recovery room and there were feces and urine everywhere from the dogs who had stayed there overnight. Steph told the women to get the dead dog out of there and to get cleaning so we could bring the dogs in from the cab and put them somewhere clean while they waited for surgery. Steph noted that I had the "blog quote of the day" when they started cleaning and I said "I've never wanted to actually smell chemicals more in my entire life" (as this is usually a repugnant smell to me - not this day).
The second picture is of Steph preparing a dog for surgery by shaving the area that will be cut open. By Day five, she and I were assisting almost as full-on vet techs by shaving the dogs, administering sub-cutaneous shots and preparing needles with Ketamine and a host of other meds and applying flea medication. This last photo is of "Mama" who we named this because she was brought in off the street by police officers who found her aborting her pups across the street. So, she was basically unhealthy and her body was forcing her to birth the pups before they were viable. She is resting here in the clinic prior to surgery. Fernando performed this complicated surgery which required removing two more pups and then spaying Mama. She spent the night in the clinic that night and we gave her antibiotics and pain meds before she went back out on the street the next day.
A note on this - putting her back on the street seems cruel and inhumane. But, this is the situation. The clinic has no room for her (in fact we had just made room for another street dog that day who had been hit by a car and needed surgery), and she has no owner. The shelter in Huanchaco is not an option because it is not really a good place for dogs needing to recover with 40 other territorial dogs around. So, giving less than ideal options, the best that could be done was to fix the immediate situation, make sure she would not get pregnant again, give her meds, and send her back out. I've come to think about it in this way - how many US vets take in street dogs with no owners and give them all the care they need without someone to pay the bill? At least Fernando provides this service and Mama will go back to the life that she already knows, but will be healthier.

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