Darwin Animal Doctors


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  1. 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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  2. 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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  3. 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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  4. 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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    Darwin Animal Doctors is raffling off tickets for a week away in paradise!


    A charitable supporter of our organization has generously donated the use of a brand new, 5-star condominium located on the spectacular island of Ambergris Caye in Belize, which has been voted the leading travel and holiday destination by the World Travel Awards two years in a row!

    And we want you to experience the wonder!

    Until June 1st,  you have a chance to WIN a week holiday at this breathtaking resort. The resort is located directly on the beach with an astounding view of the Caribbean Sea. You will have access to restaurants, swimming pools, free kayaks, and an on-site grocery store! The entire stay is valued at approximately $3,000/week.

    Raffle #1: $100 donation per raffle ticket. Maximum of 50 tickets sold.

    Raffle #2: $50 donation per raffle ticket. Maximum of 100 tickets sold.

    All proceeds from the raffle will directly support Darwin Animal Doctors and our life-saving campaigns around the world!

    Purchase your raffle ticket TODAY and be part of this exciting offer for a chance to win an unforgettable holiday! Please email your name, email address, and phone number to media@darwinanimaldoctors.org. A Darwin Animal Doctors representative will contact you for the donation payment.

    Some restrictions apply. Please read the information posted below.


    Raffle Information / Rules

    There are a MAXIMUM of 50 tickets sold for a donation of $100 per ticket for a chance to WIN a vacation on a tropical island in Belize.

    There are a MAXIMUM of 100 tickets sold for a donation of $50 per ticket for a chance to WIN a vacation on a tropical island in Belize.

    • All proceeds go to Darwin Animal Doctors, a 501(c)(3), nonprofit organization whose mission is to travel to developing and remote countries in an effort to save animals, educate children in the local community and protect the region’s delicate Biodiversity.
    • The vacation is for an eight-day/seven night (contiguous) stay at a 5-Star Resort on an island off the coast of Belize. (Belize is an English speaking country.)
    • This is a “brand new”, two bedroom Condominium and it will sleep a maximum of six (6) occupants.
    • The Condominium is located directly on the beach. (It is located approximately 30 feet from the Caribbean Sea, with no obstruction to one’s view).
    • Some of the Resort’s amenities include: three (3) restaurants (including a swim-up bar), 10 swimming pools, on-site grocery store, air conditioned workout room, free kayaks and 24/7 security.
    • This two-bedroom Condominium usually rents for $2900/week.
    • This package DOES NOT INCLUDE airfare to/from Belize City nor transfers from Belize City to the Island.
    • This Package does include transportation from the Airport (or Ferry) to the Resort and return. There are two (2) methods of transfer to/from the Caye (Island), by air or sea.
    • The winner of the raffle must select their desired stay (8-day/ 7 night contiguous week) within 60 days of winning the award.
    • The winner may select their contiguous week of vacation any time during 2017 or 2018, however, the selected time period is on a first come – first serve basis. If someone else has already booked the same time period, then said time period is no longer available and another date must be selected by this raffle winner.
    • The winner may request to reschedule (one-time only) the original selected 8-day/ 7 night (contiguous) vacation, however as stated in the previous bullet point, selected dates are on a first come – first serve basis. If someone else has already selected the same dates, said time period is no longer available and another time period must be selected by this raffle winner.
    • The winning ticket (number) will be selected utilizing a random number generator.
    • The drawing will occur when the specified number of tickets are obtained or by June 1st, 2017 (whichever occurs first).
    • All ticket-holders will be informed when the drawing has been completed