Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Pagoda Pups: First day of clinics!

Tuesday, November 10, 2015
Ahhhh!  Slept very well last night!  Feet are so soft this am!
Some of the shoes outside the hotel entrance.  The custom in many Asian countries is to not wear shoes into the house.  Especially makes sense during the muddy season!!  It is very nice to walk bare foot all over the clean marble floors!

Zack getting his shoes on.

After breakfast all the team members headed off to the clinic site.  It is within walking distance of the hotel.  The monks are allowing us to use a large pagoda in one of their complexes.  We are located towards the back of the complex and wandered through a maze of office/administration and religious buildings, religious icons and even schools.  It is very peaceful here in the middle of the hustle and bustle of Siem Reap.

This fellow lives at the complex.  Has bad skin disease, but won't let anyone catch him.

Entrance to the complex

The pagoda where we are working.

Mr Thoeun helped all morning: he picked up our heavy gear in his tuk-tuk and ran errands all morning.  He was a great help with the animals and did some interpreting.

Zack made friends with a tuk-tuk driver and the driver brought his two dogs for surgery!

Setting up surgery area.

It took about two hours to get completely set up.  Many of the first patients were animals that live in the complex: the pagoda dogs taken care of by the monks and the kitties cared for by the nuns.  Most of these animals are pretty feral.  They live among the people, but are not directly interacted with.  They are fed but not handled for the most part.

Sara and Michelle with local volunteer, Tricia.  Setting up the induction area.

Setting up the recovery area.

The monks went on little round ups and caught several of the dogs.  Often the dogs went into panic mode.  A few escaped.  But we did get to take care of several!

Monks helped catch many of the dogs.  Here a dog has a towel over its head to keep it calm.

Local people bringing their pets for a consult or "to get cut".

There were a number of medical consults done.  The most common problem appears to be skin issues.  There are lots of fleas, ticks and lice.  It also appears that there is a lot of mange.  And it is so common, that most people don’t think it is a problem.  It is just the way it is.

Reception and check in.

People and their pets!

The pagoda where we are working is totally open air.  It was very hot and humid, but we often got a nice breeze blowing through.  The cases came in waves.  Fairly busy for a while, then a big lag, then more animals.  The local volunteers are wonderful!  Dr Helen is a recent veterinary graduate from England.  She is on an extended holiday throughout Southeast Asia and learned about the clinic and joined us.  Another volunteer is Tricia.  She lives in Alaska and is a field biologist.  She does her biology work in the summers and is a vet assistant during the winter.  She lives on a boat in Alaska!!  She is with her father on a three week holiday, found out about the clinic and is spending the three days with us!

Part of a litter of sick little kittens presented for medical consult and treatment.

Michelle and Sara rock in induction and prep!

Another volunteer is a lady from Holland who is working at one of the wildlife centers near Siem Reap.  She is fun and a wonderful helper.  There are also local ladies helping: excellent assistants and necessary interpreters!

Stacy in surgery

Dr Sandy monitors anesthesia

We did surgery on 31 animals.  Actually that was more than we really expected.  Spay/neuter is a totally foreign concept to these people.  And we were concerned that is would be avoided due to religious beliefs, but it has been a good start!  And about 2/3s of the animals are males!  That is not the typical percentage that we do on these trips!

We finished clinics about 5pm and packed some of the gear to carry back to the hotel, and just consolidated the rest to leave overnight.  One of the older gentlemen that lives there was paid to watch over all of the supplies for the next two nights.

The monks were helpful in catching many dogs.

A monk in recovery with one of their dogs.

Snowflake is wearing little socks to keep her warm during recovery.

We were all incredibly hot and sweaty.  First order of business: get out of our hot and sweaty clothes, into our swim suits and into the pool!  Ahhhhh, it was soooo refreshing!

Going home!  Motor bikes are the most common transportation.  So it should not me a surprise to see the dogs on the bikes... but it is!

After a short team meeting we all wandered off to an Indian restaurant for dinner.  Walking (or driving for that matter!) at night through Siem Reap is a challenge at any time, but especially at night.  There are no traffic lights and everybody just goes… it is amazing to watch how the traffic moves.  We have learned that as pedestrians, when crossing the street, move relatively slowly.  That gives vehicle drivers the ability to avoid you, if you try to dash through traffic, you are more likely to get hit.  Believe me, it goes against all instincts of survival, but it sure seems to work!

A lady with her puppy in the basket, and her little daughter on the seat getting ready to go home.  There are often little children in the front section of the motorbikes.  There may be entire families on a bike, I have seen up to five on one bike.  It is the Cambodian version of a station wagon or van!!

And the other dog gets in the "back seat"!

We had a nice dinner and visit, then back to the hotel for a nice rest before our next day.  Who knows what excitement it will bring!
Until tomorrow!

No comments:

Post a Comment