Darwin Animal Doctors


Archive: Sep 2018

  1. Chocolizo’s Amputation

    Chocolizo was brought into the clinic three days after he had been hit by a car. The accident caused multiple fractures in his right hind leg, and cuts to his left hind leg. The left leg had been stitched up, but it was clear it wasn’t done by a veterinarian. First things first, we needed to re-do the stitches and get rid of the excessive fluid.

    See how loose those stiches are?

    After Chocolizo’s stiches were taken care of, we moved to the other leg. We realized Chocolizo’s fractures were very serious, and not simple to fix. After significant discussion, we decided it was necessary to amputate his hind limb.

    If you look closely, you can see the bone

    The amputation went very smoothly, and Chocolizo was relieved of his pain. The same day of his operation, Chocolizo attempted to walk. Within a couple days, Chocolizo was running around on his three legs and wagging his tail, as if nothing had happened.

    He made the whole team fall in love with him, as he was so joyful despite his situation. He made it his mission to steal the food of all the other hospitalized patients. His favorite food was canned cat food, boiled eggs and tuna. He even got Nathalie, our vegan veterinary technician, to boil and peal eggs for him.

    Nathalie’s sacrifice for Chocolizo

    Not only did Chocolizo warm his way into our hearts, he also quickly became friends with Guardian. Coincidentally, Guardian was another dog who had been in a car accident resulting in amputation the same week.


    Help our team continue to be there to help animals in need, just like little Oreo. Donate today

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  2. Dog Attack

    Nina was rushed into the clinic after being attacked by some furious and vicious dogs. She was in shock. She had multiple wounds and was continuously dripping blood.

    Our first necessary step was to alleviate Nina’s pain. We gave her some pain meds and let her calm down. Once Nina relaxed a little, we start examining her. During exploration, we noticed that she had multiple deep wounds and that the skin was teared loose from the deeper layers.

    We had to do multiple layers of stitches in some wounds but also leave some wounds partially open to provide natural drainage.

    It’s amazing to see how quickly a dog can recover. After the operation, Nina was wagging her tail and her sweet personality came out.

    Attacks like this are happen regularly, especially here on the island. It is very important that we exercise responsible ownership, such as control of pet, walking on a leash, etc. and we continue to educate others about the same.

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  3. Update on Panda, Prim, and Eskay!!

    Our work at the clinic can be hard and demanding, and we get some tough cases. However, there are days like today that make us remember why we do the work we do.

    Today we had visits from three dogs we had previously treated, and they were all doing AMAZING!

    Panda, if you remember, was brought into the clinic after not eating and being lethargic. She tested positive for IMHA and received treatment with a blood transfusion. If you need a refresher of Panda’s tough story, you can find it here:


    Today, Panda looked much better. She had developed some minor skin problems, but he was playing like never before. It was hard to remember the close to death pup that had once met.

    Panda during transfusion

    Panda (held on the far right) during revisit

    Prim was brought to us after getting a bad blood infection from a tick. He was lethargic, had stopped eating, had pale mucosae, and was breathing very fast. A month after therapy, Prim was jumping around the outside clinic. All he needed was a regular deparasitation, but Prim was tired of medication. Nonetheless, we were thrilled to see Prim running and jumping around, with some nice and pink mucosae.

    A very lethargic Prim

    Prim, so full of life!

    Eskay was a puppy who suffered intestinal problems. He stayed with us at this clinic for after  while we found enlarged lymph nodes in his abdomen. Not only had Eskay improved magnificently since the operation, he had grown a lot!!

    When we first met Eskay

    Look at how much he’s grown!


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  4. Panda

    Panda came in as a lethargic puppy who hadn’t eaten for a couple of days and was getting worse by the minute. She didn’t have other symptoms, such as vomiting or diarrhea, so we decided to have a look at her blood under the microscope.

    We found her blood to be almost watery, a bright color compared to the normal dark-red color it should be. We examined a drop of blood under the microscope and discovered the signs of IMHA (immune mediated hemolytic anemia), a condition where the immune system attacks red blood cells. We suspected a viral or blood-parasite cause.

    Drawing blood for Panda’s Transfusion

    We called the owners and encouraged them to find a healthy dog where we could draw blood from in order to start a blood transfusion. Luckily in less than 2 hours a healthy adult dog arrived at the clinic so we could start the procedure.

    Lauren and Reagan Monitoring Blood Transfusion

    After the transfusion, Panda quickly started to improve. The day after the procedure, Panda looked more pink and alive. After a couple days at the clinic, Panda returned to being a happy, energetic puppy, in need of a lot of attention. Luckily for Panda, the clinic is filled with people who love to snuggle!

    Post-Transfusion Snuggles with Stella

    On the day she left she got a trim and a shower. The owners were so happy; they brought us presents: a bag full of lemons and empanadas!

    Panda went home on medication and we will be checking up on her regularly but our hearts are already filled with love when you see these little souls getting their life back.

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  5. Nene and Noah

    June 12, 2018: Just a normal day like always – at least, that’s what we thought at that time. A kitten as small as a mole was brought in. Eyes closed, feeling cold, barely moving. About an hour later, another kitten, same condition, was brought in by another family. Apparently, a teacher at school found kittens and distributed them between the children, leaving the mother alone without her babies and the kittens without the milk, warmth and love of their mother. We took them in and started the day- and night routine; feeding every 2 to 3 hours, massaging and rubbing their belly, keeping them warm, giving them all of our love. It is difficult to keep kittens alive at this age, as they really need their mother’s milk to protect them from viruses and parasites.

    Days passed by, and there they were, still alive and drinking little by little. The whole team had sleepless nights, and days taking care of the kittens. The kittens would sleep at our apartment and we would take them to the clinic for a couple of hours during the day.

    For a couple of weeks, the old owners of the cats came to visit them. And then suddenly, from one day to another they stopped coming. They were too busy and didn’t have time. We tried very hard to look for good owners who wanted to adopt them. Noah, the Siamese one, was easy. Everyone wants the white one, because she is ‘so pretty’. But Nena? Noah and Nena had grown up together, slept together, ate together, and played together. We would never separate them, not in a hundred years. So we narrowed the people we addressed for adoption to just a few we trust. Fatima already has a house full of animals (2 cats, 12 dogs, 2 pigs, chickens, …), and Sarah has her 16 cats. Rene and Mayra, have already adopted a lot of abandoned animals that were brought into the clinic, and couldn’t take any more. Neither could animal lover Carlos, as the circumstances didn’t allow him to adopt the 2 kittens.

    So here we are after 12 weeks. Stella and Justin can’t just leave them behind here, not knowing where they would be going. So they made a decision: Noah and Nena are moving to Belgium with them!! It’s a loooong way to go. As the rabies vaccine can’t be administered here on the Island,  we have to take them to the mainland. 30 days later, a blood test for the rabies antibody titers needs to be send to an official laboratory. Afterwards they (and thus Stella and Justin) need to stay in Ecuador for an additional 3 months, for their quarantine. They have a long and pricey journey ahead of them. Stella and Justin cancelled our next volunteer project in Ecuador, but it’s all worth it if they manage to take these cuties to Belgium.

    Please help us get these kittens to Belguim by donating:



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  6. Chaparito’s Second Chance

    As of two days ago, Chaparito was just another street dog. His guardians found him when he needed them most, and saw Chaparito’s fun spirt beneath his matted fur. They noticed he was lethargic and brought him straight to our clinic.

    After running  some tests, we found Chaparito had a fast heartbeat and pale gums. Our suspicions were confirmed after running some blood work: Chaparito had severe anemia. We attempted to treat him with a conventional method, but Chaparito got worse within minutes.

    We contacted our friend Fatima, an incredibly generous person who cares for 14 dogs. Fatima brought in Eva, a healthy big dog, right away for a blood transfusion. Eva came over to the operation table to meet Chaparito.

    Eva meeting Chaparito before transfusion. Eva’s excited to help out!

    We saw the improvement in Chaparito after a couple of hours after the transfusion. We were able to give Chaparito’s a chance to start healing, but his body needs to do the rest of the work. With his new guardians, we are confident this will be possible!

    Big thanks to Chaparito’s guardians, Fatima, Eva, and the whole team at the clinic!!

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