Darwin Animal Doctors


Archive: Aug 2018

  1. Recent Campaign Success!

    Isabela, San Cristobal and Santa Cruz Islands, Galapagos


    This year, we have had the great honor of working alongside the Agencia de Regulacion y Control de la Bioseguridad para Galapagos (ABG) to run sterilization campaigns in the three major inhabited islands of the Galapagos; Santa Cruz, San Cristobal and Isabela. Together, DAD and ABG provide sterilization services in areas where there is no or little veterinary care available for the number of animal residents. Such campaigns help ensure that each animal in Galapagos has access to veterinary care, and allow for the further humane control of the population of introduced species. Together, these goals help protect the unique and magical ecosystem of the Galapagos.

    Over this year, the team have run these campaigns monthly and we have been reporting to you throughout the year how these campaigns have been going. As a few campaigns have gone by, we though it was about time that you heard just how well these campaign have been going…



    From June 18th to 20th, the team ran a campaign in Isabela island with a total of 37 animals being sterilized. Furthermore, the team were able to  provide additional medical services to animals with other medical complaints. The Doctors were able to diagnose and begin treatment for a dog with multiple swellings covering his body and were able to remove a large tumor from the ear of a cat. Further, the team performed a pinnectomy – the removal of some of the outer ear flap – on a dog in need of help. All-round, the campaign was a great success and the team were able to help animals who would otherwise have nowhere to turn to.

    “These campaigns need to continue on the islands, especially Isabela were veterinary care is not accessible.” – Dr. Justin



    San Cristobal

    On the 2nd, 3rd and 4th of July, the team visited San Cristobal to conduct another spay and netuer campaign. This campaign was the most successful to date, with the team performing 91 sterilization surgeries and two additional surgeries for animals in need. Furthermore, the team also conducted general consultations for animals with other varying medical complaints. The DAD/ABG team were extremely satisfied with the result and were amazed at what they could achieve together.

    “Everyday we were able to do more and more animals. This campaign was really the example of why these campaigns need to continue. A big thank you to the team, ABG and to all the owners that made the decision to sterilize their animals.” – Dr. Stella


    Santa Cruz

    From the 16th to 18th of July, it was Santa Cruz Island’s turn for a campaign. During this campaign, a total of 22 animals were spayed and neutered, reaching more animals and giving the volunteer team more experience and practice in surgical preparation and aftercare.

    With both July campaigns together, a total of 113 animals were spayed and neutered, additional to those sterilized in the clinic during this time.





    On the 1st and 2nd of August, the team ran another sterilization campaign on Isabela. In just two days, the team performed 32 sterilization surgeries. The team did an amazing job, working long hours, to conduct such a number of surgeries in such a short time. On top of these surgeries, the team assisted a variety of other animals where were in desperate need of medical care. Their incredible stories will be shared shortly.

    “The campaign showed us again that Isabela needs a vet – not only to perform elective surgeries to reduce the amount of free roaming dogs and cats, but also to help the sick animals in need.” – Drs. Stella and Justin.



    Since the beginning of this year, these DAD/ABG campaigns have led to the sterilization of 400 cats and dogs – on top of those sterilized in our clinic daily. With five more planned campaigns for this year, we expect to sterilize a large number of additional cats and dogs – reducing their impact on the local ecosystem. These campaigns are extremely important for the protection of the Galapagos, but also allow us to take a big step forward in our goal to ensure that all animals have access to veterinary care.

    Congratulations to the amazing clinic team and to the dedicated members of the ABG who have ensured such success in these campaigns so far this year. We look forward to reporting their continued success throughout the rest of this year.



    Help us continue to run these campaigns year round! Donate today


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  2. Yara’s walk was not like any other…

    Santa Cruz, Galapagos

    Rene’s dogs live a very happy life – spoilt at home, treated with more love and affection than any dog could ask for, and taken out every morning for a nice walk and a play in the park. But one morning, on this peaceful ritual did not go quite like any other day. On the walk, Yara was attacked in the middle of the street.

    Yara, a loveable, gentle giant was traumatized from the attack and was left with a large wound on her left flank. Rene rushed Yara to the veterinary team, himself distressed from seeing poor Yara in such pain. After checking Yara for any other wounds, the Doctors put Yara under anaesthesia to clean and correct the damage done from the attack.

    Yara, in surgery

    After the surgery, Yara woke up well and her wound looked much better – both to Yara and Rene’s relief. Yara was in for some days of relaxation as she progressed through her healing process. But this cheeky pup had another plan… After just one day, Yara decided to remove her stitches. “Really, she only needed 10 minutes of not being watched and she could get those stitches out!” reported the team. Luckily for her, Yara lives right next door to the veterinary clinic and was able to be brought back in to see the Doctors!

    Yara looks to Rene for comfort as he sits with her after her surgery.

    Yara made a full recovery and is now back on her morning walks. However, she will never quite feel as relaxed on these walks since being attacked, unprovoked, in the surroundings of her own home.

    We would like to remind all readers to please take care with your dog(s). As dogs can be instinctively territorial, it is important to help your dog define their territory by keeping your dog inside your own property and on a leash when outside to prevent such incidents from occurring. 


    Be part of the movement to provide veterinary care to animals all around the world. Donate today.

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  3. Luchu’s amazing strength

    Santa Cruz, Galapagos

    Sometimes the decision for an amputation is a very difficult one. Other times, you are presented with a case where there really is no alternative. Luchu was one of those cases.

    “We were horrified when we saw the wound on Luchus leg… and to think that he came walking into the clinic with a bandage around it. He was limping, but he still walked. When we removed the bandage we saw a gaping wound spreading from the elbow, over the carpel joints all the way up to the toes. The skin, muscles, tendons, and joint capsule were just gone. On top of that, he also had a fracture just above the elbow.” one of our team members recalls.

    Due to the extensive damage caused by the injury, the team were left with no choice but to amputate Luchu’s leg. Luchu was prepared for surgery as Dr.s Stella and Justin prepared themselves for the task at hand. Skilled in surgery, the Doctors completed the amputation without issue and Luchu woke up quickly after the surgery, which was a great sign. He was given the needed medications and pain treatment to help him not feel anxious or excited when waking, helping to give his body some extra moments of rest.

    Luchu after surgery

    After just a few hours, Luchu began to move around and started eating and drinking. Although still painful and still learning to move with just three legs, Luchu was already looking much better.

    “We started right away with some physiotherapy, but were delighted when we saw him standing on his three legs and trying to walk that same evening already. The next day he already start walking by himself and by the third day we couldn’t stop him from going outside anymore. That was the moment we thought that he deserved to go home.” reported the team.

    Luchu is up and running around much quicker than anyone could have expected!

    After arriving in significant pain and with an injury that shocked even our experienced team, Luchu showed incredible strength and character throughout his recovery and won the hearts of the team. Luchu left the clinic an energetic and excited dog, ready to live his now pain-free life on three, strong legs.


    While the team where happy about Luchu’s speedy recovery, it was still sad to say goodbye, with the team recalling; “Not only the fast recuperation, but also his character made him the best patient ever!”


    Without medical support, Luchu would have remained in pain and the situation would have worsened. Help us continue to be the support that these animals need. Donate today.

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  4. Roco and his instant paralysis

    Santa Cruz, Galapagos

    Some animals seem to go from being perfectly fine one day, to in terrible condition the next, with no visible explanation. So was the story of Roco.

    Roco was brought into the clinic paralyzed – he was completely unable to walk. The strangest part was that this had happened from one day to the next. The previous day, Roco was his normal self, not exhibiting any strange symptoms, no illness or weakness – nothing. The next day, Roco was still bright and happy as usual – except that he couldn’t walk.

    With no clear cause, the Doctors consulted a neurologist about the possible causes and treatments while the rest of the team attended to Roco with some extra TLC. The neurologist suggested tick paralysis as a possible cause and advised the team on possible treatments – emphasizing that attention and care were also an important part of the treatment. The Doctors looked at their team cuddling and petting Roco and knew that the second part of the treatment would be no problem at all…


    Roco remained in the clinic for a few days as he received his medical and emotional treatment. After one day, Roco already seemed to be improving, able to move his legs somewhat. After this first sign of improvement, Roco slowly continued to get better – hour after hour was he able to stand for longer lengths of time on his feet. Soon, Roco even began to walk by himself.

    “We were very happy that his strength was increasing and it was very nice to follow the improvement. And, of course, the volunteers liked cuddling him. They even let him sleep in their bed! :)” Dr. Stella told us.

    As Roco regained his strength, he was able to return to his home. His family were so amazed by the result, and so happy to have their beloved furry family member home that they returned to the clinic with a bunch of bananas from the highlands as a gift.


    Animals without access to veterinary care also means people without a way to help their loved ones. We ensure that there is somewhere to go when your four-legged family member gets sick. Help us continue to provide this essential service. Donate today.

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  5. Little Cara Sucia

    Santa Cruz, Galapagos

    Poor Cara Sucia, the sweetest little kitten with a dot on her nose, was rushed into the clinic as an emergency. Apparently, Cara was locked in a room where there was just a toxic gassing for bugs… The family had been searching for Cara and once they found her, she was already very ill.

    Cara was very lethargic and completely not herself. She wouldn’t eat, drink or play. For a lively, energetic kitten, this was very abnormal. And very bad news.

    Cara’s guardian rushed her straight to the clinic, worriedly driving as Cara lay motionless on the seat beside him. As soon as they arrived at the clinic, the Doctors were there to start Cara on supportive care. She was brought into the clinic for her treatment and would have to remain there for a few days to make sure that she improved as hoped.

    Alongside the medical care, the team ensured that Cara received a healthy dose of TLC. “We think the most important part of this treatment was the TLC. Every volunteer cuddled [Cara], so she was spoiled all day. She even came home with us to spent the night”, reported Dr. Stella.


    Everyone gave little Cara extra love and attention… even Negro!

    When Cara was doing well enough to go home, the Doctors called her guardian to give him the good news.

    “[The guardian] came right away to pick her up. A big truck stopped once again in front of the clinic door, but now Cara jumped right away on the dashboard to go back home. Quite the difference! When she came in she was just laying lethargic on one of the seats.”

    Cara was lucky to survive such a dose of poisoning, but thanks to the Darwin Animal Doctors’ team, she will now be able to live out her life as the happy, energetic and playful kitten that she is.


    We are there for animals that need help, just like Cara. Help us ensure that our doors stay open for these animals for years to come. Donate today.

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