Darwin Animal Doctors


Archive: May 2017

  1. Supporter Spotlight – Stacey Marye

    This month, the Darwin Animal Doctors would like to shine the spotlight on one of our long-term supporters, Stacey Marye.

    Stacey, a mother of two, is a school nurse at the Gillen Brewer School, a school for children with severe learning disabilities. Stacey got involved with Darwin Animal Doctors a few years ago when she met some of the team at a comic con and bought a set of “A Piggy’s Tale” comics for her school library. At this point in time, Stacey was unaware of the impact that the comics would have in her school, and that she would have on the Darwin Animal Doctors team.

    After watching students read Piggy’s story to one another and seeing their love for the three-legged superhero and his adventures, Stacey contacted Tod, author of “A Piggy’s Tale”, human of Piggy, and Darwin Animal Doctors’ president. Stacey explained to him the effect that the comics had had amongst the students. The children loved Piggy, and so Tod and Stacey thought up the wonderful plan to organise for the children to meet their superhero. In February of 2016, thanks to the hard work and organisation of Stacey, the students at the Gillian Brewer School got a wonderful surprise.

    Piggy had come to visit and spend time with the children, sharing his story and courage. Piggy also helped to run humane education workshops – one of the first times that the Darwin Animal Doctors’ humane education curriculum was officially trialled in schools. The students had an amazing day and were insirped by Piggy’s strength and his superhero abilities, despite only having three legs.

    After that, Stacey began volunteering with the Darwin Animal Doctors; speaking to teachers who were interested in bringing the curriculum or graphic novel to their schools or libraries and promoting humane education in general. Stacey also volunteered her time at the New York Comic Con, alongside some of the dedicated children from her school.

    Stacey continues to be an advocate for humane education (and Piggy!) and animals in general and is known to always jump in to lend a hand whenever she can. Piggy has since returned to the Gillen Brewer School, loving the opportunity to work with such courageous young children, and share with them his love for life.

    Thank you to Stacey, and other supporters like you, for your continuing support of Darwin Animal Doctors and our veterinary and humane education efforts; We couldn’t do it without you.

    For the Animals!

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  2. The story of a street dog

    Santa Cruz, Galapagos

    On a Friday morning, a man came into the Galapagos clinic while the team were finishing up a surgery. He mentioned that he had a dog with a swelling on his flank and asked the Doctors some advice on what to do. The Doctors asked the man to bring his dog into the clinic so that they could take a look at him.

    The man returned that afternoon with a dog. Upon questioning the man, the he told the team that the dog wasn’t actually his, but was a street dog. The kind man said that he had seen the dog walking around with the swelling on his flank and thought it best that he was checked out by someone knowledgeable.


    After a general check-up, the Doctors determined that the dog seemed to be in quite good physical condition, except for the swelling. Dr. Daphne needed to take a sample of the lump to see what was causing the swelling. As Dr. Marijke and Sacha held the pup, Dr. Daphne took a sample of fluid from the swelling. After draining the swelling, the pup was already looking much better. He was given antibiotics to ward off any infection and a deparasite treatment. The Doctors suspected that the swelling might have been from a worm cyst, and asked the man to return with the dog for a check-up in a week.


    The man returned to the clinic the next week to let the team know that the dog was doing much better. The dog had been returned to the now found owner and was in good shape. He would be old enough for a castration surgery within the next weeks, so the team and the man made an appointment for the surgery, and a follow-up check-up.

  3. National Animal Rights Day at LUSH Anaheim

    Sunday, June 4th is National Animal Rights Day! Join Darwin Animal Doctors in celebrating with Lush Anaheim on Sunday, June 4th from 1-5pm as a proud Charity Pot partner! For more information, please visit Lush Anaheim’s Facebook invite here.

    Stop by Lush Anaheim on June 4th to chat with us and learn more about our commitment to ensuring every animal has the love and care they deserve! #DarwinAnimalDoctors #AnimalRightsDay #CharityPot

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  4. Oso

    Santa Cruz, Galapagos

    It was a busy Wednesday morning; Dr. Marijke and Dr. Daphne were still finishing the last sterilization surgery and there were still many people outside waiting to be helped. Amongst those waiting, were two families; a father holding his baby, and his two other children each holding a puppy in their arms, with the mother of the puppies waiting beside them.

    The family had come in for deparasite treatment for each of their dogs, and so as per usual procedure, Sacha was preparing the files for the patients and getting their history before one of the veterinarians was able to come out and see them.  When weighting Oso, one of the puppies, Sacha noticed that the puppy didn’t really want to stand up.  The pup’s temperature and gums looked normal and the family reported nothing in the history that may have caused any issue. Sacha reported the incident to the Dr. Daphne who then came out to check on the pup.

    The little girl had now laid Oso down on the ground, and the pup would not stand at all. Dr. Daphne took the little pup inside, who was now breathing superficially and very lethargic. Dr. Daphne put Oso on an IV line and fed him some puppy milk to help with his lethargy. After a few hours, Oso was able to hold his own head up, but was still not able to stand.

    The Doctors believed Oso to have a head injury, but the family were adamant that nothing could have caused that. While observing the young children holding the puppies, the veterinarians had noticed that they were not particularly careful in the manner in which they held them, and wondered if Oso may have been dropped at one point. However, the question still remained why Oso was not able to stand. The Doctors had tried everything – from removing the IV catheter, to supporting his weight, but the little pup would not stand.

    When the family returned that afternoon, Dr. Marijke began to ask them some questions once again, trying to work out what could have happened to cause the symptoms. After a few more questions, the family told Dr. Marijke that Oso may have fallen from a motorbike.

    Dr. Marijke referred the information to the rest of the team and the Doctors determined that this would explain his symptoms – poor Oso had a head injury from the fall, as well as a dislocated shoulder. The little pup would have to stay in the clinic to be monitored for the next few days.

    “Oso is really sweet and cute. He doesn’t like being alone, he prefers being around people. So instead of having his spot further in the back he is now laying next to my desk and loves to lay at my feet.” reported Sacha.

    Oso was given the close care and attention he needed until he was fully recovered from the incident. He was even allowed to sleep in Myra’s bed the last two nights, after being heard crying during the evening. He has now returned to his family, a happy, healthy little pup.

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  5. Princessa

    Santa Cruz, Galapagos

    One Tuesday morning, just as the Doctors had stabilized an emergency hit-by-car case, the team were about to sit and catch their breath as the clinic gates burst open and in came an entire family carrying their dog. Dr. Daphne quickly noticed that one of the dog’s hind legs was broken, and came to the family’s assistance.

    With the family in tears, explaining how Princessa had been hit by a car and had injured her leg, Dr. Daphne checked the dog over for any other issues. While the broken leg was a concern, after being hit by a car, a dog can have many other injuries which are less obvious – but more life threatening. As mother, father, grandparents, auntie and children continued to express concern over the leg, Dr. Daphne discovered that the dog was also slipping deeper into shock from the car accident and was breathing very rapidly. While the leg was not in a good position, it was not bleeding, and so stopping Princessa slipping further into shock was the first priority.

    Dr. Daphne and Dr. Marijke rushed Princessa inside in order to stabilize her before dealing with the broken leg. The Doctors put Princessa on an IV line to give her some fluids and monitored her as she slowly recovered from the shock.

    After some time Princessa was stable enough to start working on her leg. The Doctors needed to set Princessa’s leg into place by first re-positioning it, and then holding in the corrected position with a cast. The whole team would be needed for the procedure; Grady monitored the anesthetics while Dr. Daphne first wrapped the leg in a special wrapping and gauze. Then Dr Daphne and Sacha folded the very thin casting material to be thicker and thereby strong enough to support Princessa’s leg. Once the casting was ready, Dr. Daphne and Sacha began applying it. The team worked together brilliantly, as each team member supported the leg, moved or applied casting, and monitored poor Princessa. Once the casting was dried and cooled, the final touches were added, and Princessa came out with a beautiful pick cast.


    As the time came for Princessa to be picked up, her whole worried family – mother, father, auntie, grandparents and children – arrived to pick their beloved dog up. The family waited and patiently listened as they were explained the pain medications that Princessa would need to be administered over the coming days. Princessa, who was already looking much better, then went home with her family looking pretty in pink.

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  6. Max

    Santa Cruz, Galapagos

    Early one Monday morning, as the team were just about to sit down to breakfast, a man entered the clinic with his dog, Max. Having come from a farm and usually treating his own animals, Max’s guardian had given the pup an antibiotic injection in the gluteus muscle about a week earlier.

    While not entirely sure the previous issue that Max had, the guardian, affectionately known as “The Cowboy”, reported that Max’s initial issue had disappeared since the injection. However, he now had a new problem. Max had been limping since the injection and was not able to put his paw on the ground.

    Unfortunately, while administering the antibiotic injection, the Cowboy had hit a nerve, causing significant damage. It takes a long time for nerves to heal – if at all – and there is no medicine which can help the process. This meant that for Max, the team would just have to wait, hope and see if the nerve would heal. To make sure that during this time Max wouldn’t further injure himself by dragging his paw on the ground, and to help the healing process as much as possible, Dr. Marijke, Grady and Dr. Daphne put their heads together to develop Max a specialized splint.


    The Doctors were able to build and apply a unique splint so that Max could walk, and not damage his leg any further. The team will continue to monitor Max and hope that he will improve.

    Please remember, that while instructions for administrations or uses of medications may seem simple, there are often complicated side effects and considerations that must be taken into account. Whenever possible, please only have a medically trained professional administer medications to your animals.

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  7. Canela

    Santa Cruz, Galapagos

    Early one morning, two adults came running into the Galapagos clinic carrying Canela. The poor pup had just been hit by a car and was breathing very quick. Grady started examining Canela straight away as Dr. Marijke and Dr. Daphne joined to help care for the struggling dog.

    The car accident had caused the little pup’s lungs to implode, which pushed air into her chest. Air in the chest is a big problem, as it seriously impedes one’s ability to breath. When air sits in the chest cavity, there is too much pressure around the lungs in comparison to the pressure in the lungs. As the lungs inflate and deflate in a careful balance between these pressures, it becomes extremely difficult to breath. That is why Canela was breathing so quickly and superficially.

    Grady and the two Doctors would have to do a thorax puncture on Canela in order to remove the air in the chest cavity and restore the pressure balance. With some care and additional research, the Doctors performed the puncture. As Dr. Marijke held Canela, Dr. Daphne performed the puncture with a large needle, and Grady pulled out the excess air via the tube and the syringe connected to the needle held by Dr. Daphne.

    After the puncture, Canela was already breathing much better. However, the time of concern had not yet fully passed. As Canela was breathing so superficially for a reasonable period of time, she would have a reduced oxygen level in her blood. In order to counter this, Grady set to and specially built Canela an oxygen chamber. She put Canela in a big dog carrier crate and mostly covered it in plastic, leaving a little window open. She then connected the oxygen machine so that oxygen would flow into the carrier, making the oxygen content of the air in the carrier higher than normal. Canela stayed in the chamber for the rest of the afternoon, with regular checks from the team of Doctors. Her breathing continued to improve, until she was ready to go home in the evening, with the agreement to return for a check-up the next day.


    On her return the following day, Canela was looking much better. Her breathing had restored and her strength as well. She will continue to be monitored on her improvement, but is well on the way to recovery. Thank you to the whole team in Galapagos for your quick response and ingenuity!

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  8. At Los Angeles Veg Fest 2017

    Van Nuys, CA

    Last Sunday, Darwin Animal Doctors attended LA Veg Fest 2017 and had an absolute blast! Our representatives connected with hundreds of caring, compassionate people who believed in our cause to provide free veterinary care services and humane education programs worldwide. From educators to advocates, Darwin Animal Doctors informed everyone we spoke to about our life-saving work carried out across the globe. We gathered support to continue serving animals in need and spread the word about how supporters could volunteer their time, locally and abroad.

    A huge heartfelt THANK YOU to all the people who donated to Darwin Animal Doctors on Sunday and to Lisa MacMillan, the Towards Freedom team and everyone at LA Veg Fest 2017 for putting on such an incredible event full of compassion and action for the animals. We look forward to attending next year!

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  9. Cooper

    Santa Cruz, Galapagos

    One evening, while the Doctors were sitting and having dinner, a neighbour came into the clinic, calling for a veterinarian. The Doctors all stopped what they were doing and ran downstairs to help.

    Cooper had a lump in his throat, a small wound on his face and was panting very badly. The poor pup had been hit by a car. The lump in his throat had been there some time, the Doctors soon discovered, but Cooper’s face needed some attention.


    Dr Daphne and the team cleaned the wounds on Cooper’s face, and stitched up those that needed some extra help healing. He was given some antibiotics and pain killers as the team stayed by his side, making sure that he would soon relax and his breathing would return to normal. A little while later, Cooper had calmed down after the shock from his accident passed, and the little pup was able to go home.


    Dr Daphne asked Cooper’s family to please return in a few days so that the team could make sure he was healing well.

    Cooper has since returned and is looking much better. His face has cleared up nicely and the little pup is spritely and back to normal!


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  10. School Kids in the clinic!

    Recently, the clinic had a visit from a local summer school. These students had been learning English and, recently, the topic was on animals. The teacher contacted the clinic to see if the class might be able to come by to visualise and practice what they had learned in recent weeks. The Darwin Animal Doctors team savour every opportunity to interact with local children and readily accepted.


    When the class arrived, the Doctors had ready an exciting day. The students learned a lot about the clinic and what the Doctors do there, were able to experience and learn about what a health check on a dog is like, learned about how to look after their own pets and then challenged their knowledge with a giant board game.


    After an information filled morning, each student was given a copy of “A Piggy’s Tale” (part of our Humane Education curriculum) to read about the power of empathy to all creatures.


    Thank you to the amazing students and teachers that were involved, and also to all the Darwin Animal Doctors team who prepared such an interesting and informative day.

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