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Category Archive: Monthly reports

  1. Sweet Peggy

    This past month, the practice had a terrible week for emergencies. In only 3 days we had 6 emergencies; the majority were unfortunately hit by cars. However, out of this week came one particular patient that has warmed all of us at the clinic: meet Peggy!

    She arrived at 8 pm on a weekday in a lot of pain and severe shock from a car hit. The team kicked into gear and she was immediately placed on a drip with a combination of pain relief and muscle relaxants so we could examine the damage.

    Peggy stabilized over the evening and we were able to identify that there was one major concern: she had a very swollen right back leg that was very painful. We suspected she had a fracture.

    The next day, the care takers of Peggy and our team discussed a plan forward. We needed to know more information and agreed that an x-ray of the leg would provide us with exactly that. Here on the Galapagos, our diagnostic equipment is very limited so we found a local clinic where we could take Peggy for some imaging.

    Rightfully so, we found a very impressive femoral fracture. Poor girl!

    Without much surgical equipment to correct this fracture, we decided to anaesthetize Peggy and tried to manipulate the bone into the right position and then splinted the leg with a special type of bandage called a ‘Robert Jones’ Bandage.

    Every 5 days Peggy returned to get this large bandage changed, and after 3 weeks the fracture had stabilized and she was able to use it again.

    Peggy has a long way to go yet before the leg will work the way she needs it to, but the fact that she has made it this far is what our team are delighted in!

    Our clinic is able to treat animals such as Peggy due to your continued support. Consider contributing today!!

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  2. Colorado’s Recovery

    Meet Colorado, a bright and energetic 7 year old, who turned up at the practice as an emergency last month. He had been run over by a car that left the lower part of his back right leg mangled and completely broken. There was no way his leg could be saved.

    The owners wanted to do their best for him and we all decided together that amputating the limb gave him the best chance of a good quality of life. And so, with careful preparation, Colorado underwent surgery that same day.

    After 3 hours under anaesthetic, Colorado eventually woke up to find the whole team working around him to make sure he was calm and ready to acknowledge what had happened. The team were thrilled to see that even that evening he was looking to get up. After another day in practice he returned home, coming in for regular health and post-op checks.

    As was a risk that we anticipated, Colorado did develop a bed sore that started to ooze and become incredibly sore. With fantastic commitment from both the DAD team and the owners, who themselves nursed him at home, Colorado’s wounds have since healed up perfectly. He came in for his last check yesterday.

    Only 18 days after such a life changing operation, Colorado is now running around at home, playing with the other dogs, and all the wounds and sores have since healed.

    These particular cases are what the DAD team out here strive to achieve, and we are incredibly proud of how Colorado has faced his biggest challenge.

    If you enjoyed reading about Colorado’s Story, please consider making a small contribution to Darwin Animal Doctors. We are completing life-saving surgeries every day due to your continual support.

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  3. Goodbye Kate and Carmen!

    As of this last week, Carmen and Kate have been our lead veterinarians in the clinic. Carmen has run the clinic for a total of two years over a three-and-a-half-year period. Kate joined her for the past six months. They have left this clinic in good hands, with Ben Howitt. Before they took off, we asked them to give us a little interview about their experiences and their future plans.

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    What was your most impactful case during your time at the clinic?

    We’ve had a lot of interesting medical and surgical cases but the one that touched us, and the volunteers the most, was Frankie. She was brought to us after being hit by a car and abandoned.  She had a crushed paw and fractured pelvis and was close to death from the resulting infection. After her amputation surgery she stayed in the clinic for 6 weeks while her pelvis healed. We all got very attached to having her here in the clinic to cuddle and play with every day. She was adopted by a wonderful new family in Quito and we are so proud to be a part of her happy adoption story!

    To read about Frankie’s adoption story, click here!

     

    What was the best part of your experience in the Galapagos outside of the clinic?

    Diving! We both love to dive, so in our limited time away from the clinic we got in the water as much as we could. We were lucky enough to go on a dive cruise to Darwin and Wolf, small uninhabited northern islands. We go to see lots of beautiful creatures but our favorites were hammerhead sharks, manta rays, dolphins, orcas, and whalesharks!

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    Where are you going next?

    First, we are first going home to visit our family and friends. Then we will work over the summer: Carmen in South Africa at a Cheetah Park, and Kate in emergency medicine in the States. What we are most excited about is moving to Grenada, one of the Spice Islands in the Caribbean, in September to be the new head vets for the Grenada SPCA. We will get to continue with our mission of helping animals in underserved areas by providing the best veterinary care possible.

     

    Do you think you will come back to work with DAD?

    Who knows where life will take us next?? But we will always hold the DAD Clinic close in our hearts for the many happy memories we have here and most importantly, introducing us to each other!

    From everyone at DAD, we want to thank you, Carmen and Kate, for your hard work at the clinic. Your dedication was evident as you put in long hours, especially during the parvo-outbreak, and helped train many veterinarians and students that came through the clinic. You touched the lives of many animals and people that you encountered during your time in the Galapagos. It has been an honor to work alongside of you.  Good luck on your next adventures and enjoy your vacation! You deserve it!

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  4. Frankie Found a Home!

    Frankie entered into our lives back in January. She had been found on the side of the road and was badly injured. Her back leg had been crushed in an accident and without treatment, became infected. Ros Cameron brought her into the clinic and the veterinarians at the clinic took one look at Frankie’s freckled face and knew they would do whatever they could to help.

    Dr. Carmen took her to surgery to remove the leg and we started her on antibiotics. She quickly became comfortable at the clinic and her infection subsided.

    Frankie lived with us at the clinic, and her true personality came out. She turned out to be a sweet playful girl who completely won our hearts.

    Frankie was part of our family. She even got to celebrate Kate’s birthday!!!

    Although we loved having her with us, we were actively looking for a permanent home for our girl. Jackie Rodriguez, a great friend of the clinic, came to visit Frankie daily and was the one who found Frankie’s future family. She even flew to Quito to meet them! We had a big send off for Frankie at the airport.

    Frankie is now with her forever home, with the Salazar-Mejia family. This is new mother, Jessica Mejia, father, Juan Salazar, her human siblings, and her dog-sister, Gala.

     

    She is happy, healthy, and loves to play at the dog park!

    We want to thank Ros Cameron, who brought Frankie into the clinic, all our veterinarians and volunteers who helped with Frankie’s care at the clinic, Jackie Rodriguez who was a great friend to Frankie and found her a home, and the Salazar-Mejia family, who opened their hearts and home to Frankie. 

    We also want to thank you, our supporters, who allow us to continue our work providing free veterinary care to those who need it most. Please consider making a contribution to Darwin Animal Doctors today!

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  5. Poor Little Mirri

    Mirri, a four month old kitten, suffered a tough week. A child had placed a hair tie around one of Mirri’s legs right before she went missing for three days. Upon her return, her owners noticed she could not walk on her front leg. Her blood supply had been cut off by the hair tie.

    They brough Mirri into Darwin Animal Doctors’ clinic. Our veterinarians did everything they could to save the paw, however the hair tie was on for too long. The paw had no blood flow and was severely infected. The best option for Mirri was to amputate.

    Our talented vets did an amazing job on the amputation, and Mirri returned later to remove her sutures. She is healing great and getting used to running around on her three legs.

    Consider contributing to Darwin Animal Doctors today so we can continue to treat animals, such as Mirri!!

     

     

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  6. DAD’s Work with Rayo de Luna

    From September 16, 2017 to October 2, 2017, Puerto Rico was drastically affected by Hurricane Maria, regarded the deadliest Atlantic hurricane since 2004. Over a year has passed, and although the news has moved on, Puerto Rico is far from “recovered.” The death toll still rises and a huge portion of the island is still without access to electricity or clean water. Most of the population that had the means to leave the country already has, leaving those who have no other options. Many of the locals, while thankful for the international relief effort, unfortunately lament that much of the effort has finished and, worse yet, has not prepared them at all for this year’s hurricane seasons or future disasters.

    Darwin Animal Doctors was brought to Puerto Rico by Harimau Conservation. DAD has been working with Harimau Conservation for over a year now in Sumatra. Our projects have included rebuilding schools, rebuilding communities, and bringing knowledge sharing programs to the Leuser Ecosystem. Harimau Conservation is a Puerto Rican group, made up of local Puerto Ricans, who have an innate desire to help disadvantaged communities in precious ecosystems, that resemble Puerto Rico. Harimau Conservation started a local initiative in Puerto Rico, Rayo de Luna, to help rebuild the shattered neighbors and infrastructure alongside with the local communities. Rayo de Luna understands the power of knowledge, and endeavors to give communities the training to take care of themselves and prepare for future climate change disasters.

    Where there are communities with no access to drinking water, Rayo de Luna has been building basic water towers for them. Where there is no electricity, Rayo de Luna has been building solar power infrastructure for local communities to have electricity.

    We approached Rayo de Luna, asking if our DAD programs could benefit their efforts to rebuild Puerto Rico.  The answer was a resounding YES!

    We decided to work with Rayo de Luna instead of any other larger international relief group, because Rayo de Luna was made up of locals, who were embedded in the local communities, who understood local needs, values, and concerns. Their efforts have been targeted to the long term good of all who live in Puerto Rico. We decided to combine Rayo de Luna and DAD’s efforts to further our common goals in Puerto Rico: to foster long term sustainability while helping to rebuild with a focus on education infrastructure.

    First, we are helping the locals rebuild a huge wildlife reserve in Morovis, which was used by the surrounding communities. This includes building a new ecology laboratory, tree nursery, and butterfly nursery to start repopulating the native flora and fauna and research capacity for the local communities.

    Second, we are rebuilding the education infrastructure in the communities around the wildlife reserve at Morovis. Not only are we helping rebuild these primary schools around Morovis, and giving them our sustainability curriculum, but we are also helping train them to use the wildlife reserve to increase their research, observation, and cooperative project skills.

    Piggy’s education and hands on conservation by children in Puerto Rico!

    To read more about the Morovis Wildlife Reserve, Las Cabachuelas click here 

    To read more about the School Rebuilding and Education Program, click here

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  7. Education and Sustainability in Puerto Rico

    Education and Sustainability Program

    We began rebuilding schools around Morovis, starting with three, then five, now we are negotiating possibly 12 more. With them using our curriculum while we all rebuilt.

    We do still focus a lot of the education on our sustainability curriculum, but we also make a lot of the focus on getting the kids outside, moving, learning about their world by exploring it and empathizing with the animals they see. And, gathering seeds from the reserve, planting seedlings with them in the new school tree nursery.

    Sustainability and Advanced Skills for Children:

    Within our programs, the chidlren are learning a TON! However, regardless of the individual lesson content, want them specifically to gain critical thinking and cooperative project skills. Critical thinking skills are essential for them to begin being able to tackle future challenges, such as future climate change disasters. We also focus on cooperative project skills, in order to teach the children to work with others whom they would not normally have paired up with. Through this, the children learn the value that everyone can contribute no matter how different.

    Ongoing Legacy

    Our project’s influence is only beginning, it seems. Like in Sumatra, for each school we reach, many more schools approach us asking for the program as well. And these teachers really understand the goal as well. They also share the goals of critical thinking skills growth, cooperative project growth, and general preparedness for an ever developing future. Because they know what to expect as well.

    Thank you for your ongoing support. Please consider contributing to Darwin Animal Doctors, so we can continue projects around the world.

    To read more about the Morovis Wildlife Reserve, Las Cabachuelas click here 

    To read about the overview of our projects in Puerto Rico, click here

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  8. Las Cabachuelas

    Morovis Wildlife Reserve, Las Cabachuelas:

    The wildlife reserve at Morovis, Las Cabachuelas, is a huge reserve in the center of Puerto Rico, with a network of large caves, forests, rock walls, and countless wildlife. Rayo de Luna and DAD are partnering with Proyecto Cabachuelas to rebuild the reserve and the sustainability it offers to Puerto Rican communities.

     

    To see more photos of Las Cabachuelas, click here: http://lascabachuelas.org/gallery.html

    After Hurricane Maria, much of the reserve was damaged, from downed trees to broken fence borders, to any scientific structures in it. The entrances to the reserve became disused as well.

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    Today, on the one year anniversary of the hurricane devastating Puerto Rico, we’re pleased to announce the launching of Piggy’s latest program: to rebuild communities in Puerto Rico, with a huge focus on long term sustainable education for the children growing up there. In partnership with the wonderful local Puerto Rican community leaders @joaquino_alonso and @glenisse, our first project will be to help the locals rebuild their wildlife reserve and education infrastructures at Morovis. The children in Piggy’s program will learn to teach conservation and train with local rangers, as we convert these disused playgrounds at the entrances of the wildlife reserve into children’s learning centers together. A huge thank you to @lushcharitypot and A Seed of Change for making it possible to begin working with communities in Puerto Rico! #reyodeluna #conservation #wildlife #humaneeducation #school #children

    A post shared by A Piggy's Tale (@a_piggys_tale) on

    In addition to rebuilding the reserve, replanting trees and making tree nurseries, we needed to make the butterfly nursery and laboratory. As one of our goals is to work with communities, we wanted students to get the knowledge and experience, so they would build it.

    The rest of the reforestation would happen in the education portion of the project. To learn more, click here

    To read about the overview of our projects in Puerto Rico, click here

     

    Please consider making a contribution to Darwin Animal Doctors, so we can continue our work in Puerto Rico and around the world.

     

     

    Make sure to follow Proyecto Cabachuelas on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/proyectocabachuelas/?utm_source=ig_profile_share&igshid=g8u4re23dzsn&fbclid=IwAR1cXQzbRw5Lm0zXUPxmgaTarzypcclfdbhFGppOaZxygMaOZ7T7Q0jp9Ns 

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  9. Kasba’s a Survivor

    For those of you who don’t remember, Kasba was first brought to our clinic in October. She had lost her leg in an accident as a puppy, and what was left had gotten infected. Our veterinarians removed the entire limb to prevent pain and future infection. We also spayed her at the same time. She recovered very quickly and was back to running around on her three legs.

    This week, Kasba returned to the clinic, this time completely unable to walk. Her remaining hind limb had become hugely swollen overnight from the paw all the way to the hip and she was too painful to even stand up. Upon examination, we found that Kasba had a high fever. We took a sample of fluid from the leg, which showed she had a severe infection.

    With only 3 legs left, we had to act quickly save the leg. We did a surgery to remove a large amount of pus, placed a drain, and started Kasba on antibiotics. By the end of the day she was up and walking out of the clinic on her own! We are always happy to see our patients again but not when they are this sick. Stay well, Kasba, and we hope to see you for a healthy check-up soon!

     

    Please consider making a contribution to Darwin Animal Doctors, so we can continue to treat animals, such as Kasba!

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  10. Max’s Intoxication

    We met Max when he was brought into the clinic. He was having trouble breathing and his gums were turning blue. When we first examined him he was struggling so much that we were afraid we were going to lose him.

    We spoke with his owners and learned that Max had ingested an organophosphate poison that is common on the island. His owners were desperate to save him so attempted a home treatment they heard about: forcing Max to swallow oil and soap. Unfortunately this treatment is a myth and does not treat the poison. Unknown to the owners, by forcing Max to swallow the oil and soap, he got aspiration pneumonia which is why he was struggling to breathe so much.

    We gave Max the antidote for the poison and treated him with oxygen and antibiotics for his aspiration pneumonia. He responded well to therapy and was up wagging his tail the next day!

    ***If you believe your animal has injested poison, bring them directly to your local veterinarian. Your vet will have an injectable antidote. Home remedies are at times misleading and can cause harm to your animals. Symptoms of intoxication include excessive salivation, difficulty walking, and muscle tremors.***

    This case shows why we show up to the clinic every day: to save sick patients and to provide humane education to the community about when to seek veterinary care so we can keep patients like Max as healthy as possible! Please consider contributing to Darwin Animal Doctors, so we can continue our work.

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