Monday, 10 October 2011

Day 5: Camp September 2011

The early start was not as difficult as I had expected after such a long day yesterday. The adrenaline fuelled excitement of making sure our last day counted probably helped, although I was sure the tiredness would catch up with me next week. The street dogs were in their usual locations as we arrived at the meeting place for the last time. When we arrived at Giurgiu we continued with our mission of spaying all of the pregnant females in the shelter and Katy also embarked on a special project.
Katy with Tar boy
A dog had been brought in which was covered in tar. We nicknamed him Tar boy. His skin was becoming sore especially around the mouth. He was anaesthetised and Katy spent most of the morning cutting the tar from his coat using only scissors and bathing him in detergent. She did an amazing job as he looked a different dog afterwards. We could say the same about Katy as she had tarry blotches all over herself!

Before dressing was removed

What was under the dressing
We were hard at work when the dog catchers arrived with a small male with a bandage around his elbow. They asked if we would have a look at him. You could smell him long before you could see the dressing clearly. The dirty dressing was saturated with infected wound discharge and bone was just visible at the top. One look and we reached for the anaesthetic, the quickest way to provide a good level of analgesia and allow us to have a proper look at what horrors lay beneath the bandage. The dog was amazingly well behaved despite having such a painful injury. Once he was asleep we removed the bandage to find an open fracture of both the radius and ulna. The surrounding tissue was hugely swollen and infected. We loaded him up with NSAID’s and antibiotics and set to work preparing the limb for amputation. Sandra began the surgery with Aurelian assisting and demonstrating techniques for achieving haemostasis. The dog was entire so he was castrated as well. We were just finishing the procedure when the Shelter owner came to tell us the owner had arrived. He was initially not happy that we had removed his dog’s leg but once the problem was explained he was extremely grateful. The dog had been hit by a car four days ago and the owner could not afford veterinary care for him. He was lucky to have been brought to us.

Our team of Surgeons!

Before the dematt
With all three vets involved with the amputation Katy was free to continue her welfare work and was able to shave a very badly matted dog. The dog must have been so uncomfortable with those tight mats and looked much better afterwards. Hopefully a haircut of that standard should really increase the chances of someone wanting to give him a home.

We were so caught up in our work we almost forgot about lunch. We made some time for this and went to eat overlooking the river Danube. It was beautiful. The camp attendees were presented with their diplomas for making it through a tough week and we returned to the shelter to fit in a couple of final surgeries before it was time to pack up and return to Bucharest. Before we left we inspected our patients for the last time. It really gave us a sense of achievement walking down a row of kennels seeing each dog with a pink ear tag signalling they had been neutered and by us! Our totals for today were 4 males and 7 females which gave us a grand total of 58 neutering operations over the 5 day period (not including the other dogs we treated). Maybe not a huge total in the scheme of things but we are happy each surgery was performed with the utmost care and attention with techniques that would minimise any chance of post operative complications.

We headed back to Bucharest, Sandra, Lidia and Katy talking about how they can put what they have learnt to good use. Me, I was thinking about our next camp, what we could see and the amazing people we could meet.

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