27 April 2007

Another 12 hours on the road

This week, Karin & I set off in all good faith to meet up with a lady to arrange a fund raising stall in December, later this year but that indeed was the only thing we did not achieve today.

We took along Wallace from the shelter and he was on his way back home. When we got there, the family that cares for him were not around in the street where we collected him but Sven & Sandra came to see him. Unfortunately, so did some old buddies of Wallace and they chased him away. They obviously didn't recognise him with all his hair back and looking fit & firm!

Then we were diverted to meet up with some folks that were scared that a dog they were feeding in their street was becoming dangerous & biting people. We went along and found this female adult dog was being friendly with people she knew but didn't like strangers at all. They asked if we could take her for sterilisation and the see after that if she was able to return to the street. We were not sure if some folks in the street had teased her or caused her to be scared but lets hope after her return she is a little calmer after socialising with other dogs and people at the shelter.

So back to the shelter & pick up Victoria, the dog we had blow darted last week at Wat Silom in Hang Dong. We planned to return her and then pick up a brown female dog at that temple that was suffering TvT.

As we arrived at the temple, we saw a brown dog asleep behind a pillar. Quietly and without shoes, I crept up behind the pillar, peered round and saw it was a female, laying fast asleep. My first dart landed perfectly in her hind hip area and off she ran, startled awake by the dart.

We ran off to the rear of the temple area and spotted the dog leaving the temple for a nearby village. After a few minutes, down she went and lay at the side of the road, wondering what was happening. Now half the village were out looking at these foreigners blow darting dogs and one boy even jumped to the conclusion that the dog had rabies and was getting taken away for their safety!

Trouble is...... it was not the dog we were looking for! She was the one barking at me in the temple courtyard as I went back to drive the truck around to pick her up.

Last week we paid a follow up visit to 2 dogs adopted some time ago in the Sanpatong area and brought one of them back for sterilisation. This week we returned her. The family had missed her very much as did her mates, She barked a while until they came running to her & then they went off for a stroll together down by the river. Awwwww!

During this last week, 2 puppies were adopted and whilst near Sanpatong we visited them at their 2 separate homes.
The first, which typically was extremely hard to find, even from the best hand drawn maps, was a family home tucked away in the back of beyond. After asking several villagers stood waiting for the rain to fall, one of them took us to see the village head man. He in turn got out a big list of names and eventually directed us to the house. By now it was raining very heavily. It had gone dark quickly and the roads were hard to follow in the bad light. When we found the house, it was more by chance than good navigation.

Anyway, we were able to vaccinate the young puppy and see the family at home with another new puppy they had taken in.

Next stop was not too far away, at the staff accommodation of a toy factory. Out the front of a row of about 20 homes, sat all the residents, eating, drinking, sleeping and generally socialising. The rain had stopped by now and it was very humid. We met the other puppy & vaccinated him and then met his playmates too.
Journey 98kms

Thursday vet trip

In recent weeks we have had many TvT cases which required weekly injections and Thursday has usually been the day for this. However, after the wonderful success rate of the treatment, we are now down to 1 case although we are still trying to start Phuky the village dog whose family are not helping us get her to the vet. Yet again today, after Karin had reminded them to keep her at home for us to collect, she was nowhere to be seen.

However, Lucy is responding well to the treatment, today receiving her 2nd injection. Her weight has increased from all the pain staking trials of getting her to eat something at the shelter.

ET came along today to have a check on her eye. She has been suffering with a corneal ulcer and we have been treating it with Polyop. Today, the vet said to stop this and start Decoph instead. The ulcer is now almost invisible but when a light is shone in her eye, you can see the scar on the surface.

Yesterday, some of the dogs were having a walk from the shelter when a village family brought our attention to their cat that was bleeding from her vulva. Today when we went to the house, there was a clear membrane hanging out of her. She was pregnant and it appeared that she was in the throws of giving birth. Her owners said she was 10 years old and never been pregnant before. The vet said she had a kittens head stuck and he would operate to remove the babies & also give her a hysterectomy. (3 were born healthy and screaming for milk)

On the way to collect the cat, we visited another village family to vaccinate their 2 young shaggy looking pups.

Finally there was a little puppy along for a scrape to ascertain the skin problem she is developing. Sadly, the test diagnosed dermodectic mange, a condition passed on by the mother. This will require swift action to stop it taking over their complete body. Ivomec is very good at halting the condition and she will be much better in no time. (No that is not an Asian ritual patch in the middle of her forehead, Betadine, after the scrape!)

24 April 2007

Tuesday Vet Run

Yesterday I picked up 2 more dogs from Wiang Kum Kam for sterilisation. They stayed the night at the shelter, to ensure 'Nil by mouth' and today join the other day trippers to the vet.

Firstly there was Becky, a puppy dumped at a temple last week and suffering from a bite from another dog. In fact this has developed into a hernia and the vet said he would operate to repair it. She stayed in for the day & I collected her in the evening. She slept on the front seat next to me all the way home.

Next were 3 more puppies, also found dumped at a temple last week. They have a rash on their bodies. Thankfully its not mange and the vet recommended we use medicated shampoo to help the skin.

Benji came along today for a check on his wound from sterilisation last week. Despite putting a collar on him, as with all post op patients, he managed to lose the collar and give himself a good licking, taking off the bandage. The skin was inflamed and there was a slight infection. The vet recommend we change the antibiotics and also give him a pain killer to comfort him. This might explain why he has been so frantic lately, charging about the enclosures like a bull in a china shop. Regarding his contact dermatitis, the vet said his skin was healing well.

BuunRod, the hit & run casualty from 2 weeks ago, came to the vet today for a blood test. She seems to be improving with the supplements we are giving her. She is now walking on 3 legs albeit not much and is pooing & peeing when & where she wants to.

Big, the serious mange case, is having a hard time with his medication this week. After examination, the vet recommended we should stop the Ivomec for 5 days and then if he stops vomiting, start the medication again.

Then it was the turn of the 2 little pups from the village that we saw last Friday. The vet tested their faeces and found significant amounts of round worm and also Coccidia, protozoa infection of the intestine, that would cause diarrhea. He prescribed Vit B syrup to promote recovery and Trimethoprim Sulfa to deal with the infection of the intestine. These poor things were so weak and helpless. They had no strength in their legs and they were showing signs of neural damage in the form of shakes.

Finally I asked the vet about Paul, another hit & run casualty. Unlike BuunRod, he is not doing his business when & where he wants, it just happens! Despite him having some sensations in his feet & tail, we don't think his brain knows this. It seems the dislocated vertebrae really have caused him to be paralysed. The vet was quite blunt about Paul's prospects. He said that if we had operated on his back within 24 hours, there might have been a chance but now, it was too late. Later after much discussion on this with Karin, we felt very angry and disappointed in the medical advice we had been given on the day he was rescued.

However, Gill & her partner Al who are visiting the shelter regularly and giving healing to various residents, said that they had found Paul to be reacting more this week than previously. They promised to persevere with him and even try swimming with him. Lets hope there is some change soon.

23 April 2007

Shelter Update - Its hot but these guys are cool

Yesterday I spent an hour at the shelter. I measured the temperature in the shade at 40C/110 F and these guys are doing their best to stay cool.

Anny, Bessy & Kachou Daeng

Bow, Big & Bonnie

Waan, Misha & Samli

There are 50 more residents hanging out at the shelter, just like these. Can you help them?

Get in touch - contact@carefordogs.org

21 April 2007

Kittens need homes from Doi Suthep, Chiang Mai

I received this email today from a lady who is staying at the Temple on top of Doi Suthep, Chiang Mai. This highlights a few interesting issues. Firstly that even on top of such a high mountain, dogs are dumped at temples and need to make a life for themselves by finding shelter & food. Secondly, cats are seeking refuge here too. I am sorry to say but its an all too familiar story to the Care for Dogs team.
Dear Ally!

We need urgent help. We have three beautiful kittens (6 weeks old) in the temple (Doi Suthep). Their mother and two of their brothers were killed by dogs (who are everywhere around the temple.) The meditators are taking care of them at the moment, but we have to leave soon.They must leave the building, where they are living, so they wont have any chance to survive.

They are lovely , friendly, we love them very much.

The golden brounish is the strongest one. He has a real character, a great personality. He is very funny, loves people very much. He is very gently to the others.

The sleeping one (in the photo) is the most unlucky and lucky cat as well. He was in the dogs mouth, he falled down from the balcony, but now, he is happy and lovely(after some reiki treatment :-) ).

The third one is the smallest, and someone says, the cutest. Very lovely and shy.

It would be such a big waste, if we lost these great animals.
It would be nice, if they could stay together, but we are greatful for any help.

Thank You. Dora

20 April 2007

Tour of Chiang Mai - Karin & Ally 12 hour roadshow

Karin & I teamed up today on what I am now referring to as our 'roadshow'. Typically what happens is, Karin compiles a list of people to meet, dogs to see & places where we have had reports of dogs in need of our help & we try to cover as many of the tasks as possible.

Firstly, I visited the new puppy quarantine area behind Karin's home where I saw these cuties. There was another one but they were so engrossed in chewing a hide chew that all I could see was their bum sticking out under a pile of dry leaves. The black one with panda eyes is not suffering from mange, its his natural hair colour around the eyes!

Then in the garden, an unusual rescue of a Blue Crested Lizard, after having been in the mouth of one of Karin's dogs. They lay frozen on the lawn and hoped everyone would go away so it could go on living. I picked the lizard up gently with a towel & put it out of harms way. The first rescue of the day!

We set out in good spirits, thinking that maybe we could achieve at least 50% of the list and hope to at least hit the 1st priority items. As with all events surrounding caring for dogs, there needs to be a great deal of flexibility and if we set a strict time scale to our plan, it always moves and we invariably need twice as much time. And that's what we try to allow for every time!

First stop for us today was to check up on a doggy named Boi who was given 2 weeks to live a month ago by a vet who had checked his blood and said that parasites were so advanced that he would surely die. He looked reasonably well and Karin was quite emotional when she saw him still alive.

It was then my turn to get emotional. Next we visited 5 pups born about 5 weeks ago. The purpose of our visit was to deworm them. I immediately saw that 2 of the 5 were very much smaller than the others and these 2 were constantly scrambling to get to their feet and seemed to shake quite a bit too. Karin talked to the man at this house and he said that he had not & was not considering any treatment for the puppies, only to ask us if we could deworm & vaccinate them. (We do that for free & word soon gets round.... +&- eh?)

I will take these 2 to the vet with me next Tuesday to get a proper diagnosis & try to encourage the owner to take the appropriate course of action.

Our next stop was to a shopping area called Kad Farang in Hang Dong. (Kad= Shopping area & Farang= Foreigner in Thai) We had received a call that there was a brown coloured dog hanging around the car park that was firstly bothering the shopkeepers (they were concerned...+&- again!!) but more importantly in our minds, in need of some assistance as the dog did not look healthy.

We made contact with a property development office nearby and were taken to a banana grove where there were 6 puppies that the staff had been caring for. Apparently the 6 were born about 5 - 6 weeks ago to a brown coloured dog but she was constantly off looking for food and not attending to the pups. The staff had made a temporary home for the little ones, to offer some protection from the weather.

We dewormed them and pulled ourselves away, leaving them to stay when they appeared to be very healthy and well adjusted. In our hearts we would love to take these 6 back to the shelter but what about the other 6 & then the other 5 & so on & so on. We are just full up right now and cannot take every pup we see or hear about. Just this week alone, we have come across or been told about in excess of 30 puppies desperately needing homes. We have to say no for the sake of the dogs at the shelter right now and hope that adoptions of current residents can make way for more to come in & find new homes in turn.

After a long search of the area, we headed off to Hang Dong market where we met up with a stall holder who had previously alerted us to many dogs at a local temple in need of treatment for their TvT & sterilisation. She also advised us that the dog that lived in & around the market area she was interested in us sterilising, was now pregnant. Too late!!

We then went to the temple (the home of Nam Pueng & Pauline) where we found the Abbot & many monks gathered around the courtyard. We identified 2 female dogs that we wanted to sterilise and set about catching them. There was a clever brown one who ran as soon as she saw Karin, remembering her previous visits here and took and instant dislike to me too. But the black one hung around a while. Not being easy to approach, we thought it was time bring out the hidden weapon. THE BLOW DART!

Yep, we recently invested big money in acquiring the tube, the dart, the valve and the other little bits this mechanism needs and this was its first outing. Karin's husband Klaus had shown me how to use it and I had practiced on stuffed toys (that in hind sight remained in one spot too long!!) and after a while I felt confident to put it into practice.

Victoria, as we named her, was a shifty girl, running away & moving, just as I blew the dart(not my aim of course!) and it took 3 attempts to finally succeed in getting the dart to enter her hind quarters and give her a small shot of Solitil, the sedative used by vets when operating on animals. Despite a successful injection, she ran for at least 10 minutes before finally giving in to the drug. She will go back to the shelter later and tomorrow go for sterilisation & then return to the temple next week.

During the waiting game, I came across this baby, having fallen out of a nest. The adults were chirping crazily above my head as I carefully put the chick out of the way from preying eyes of cats in the area.

Next we drove about 25km's south through Sanpatong and almost into Chom Thong. We eventually found the address where we followed up an adoption made last year and collected Kitty, another female dog for sterilisation & return next week.

Back to Kad Falang but still no sign of the wandering brown coloured dog.

Dropped off the 2 dogs for sterilisation back at the shelter and then made our way to Airport Plaza to meet up with the management of the shopping centre to ascertain if we could hold an "Adoption Fair" next month, as previously discussed with them but today they were not able to see us. Another follow up next Monday.

In the car park of the shopping centre there are some workers huts and here lives another doggy we need to get sterilised. When we collected Nam Than, she had blue marker pen all over her face, apparently put there by adults!! and not as we had thought, children!!

After dropping off a spare transport cage for Teresa, another volunteer who needed the cage in case the result of her follow up adoption appointment was negative, we headed off for Mae Rim to visit a family who adopted Tao from us about 8 months ago. It transpires that when Karin had come to the house on a previous occasion, she had found the family had 4 dogs. A poodle that was allowed to run where it liked & when it liked. 2 long haired brown collie like Thai dogs and Tao. The latter 3 were in a cage about 2 mtr sq and were also on leashed in the cage. Karin had been horrified and when she called to the family before coming today, the woman had said she did not want Tao anymore and was glad we were coming, could we take the dog back. Emotions were still running high from the rest of the days events!! Karin gave Tao a big hug & we took him back to the shelter. We asked if we could take the others but the woman said not this time, maybe later. Sorry to say this but I do not understand the mentality of such a person.

We headed off to another adoption follow up in Mae Rim. This time there was a nice out come. Karin had this dog down as a female and we were to check if the sterilisation had been completed when the dog was old enough. Ha! Surprise surprise, the dog was male, not a sex change but a fact that got lost along the way. Lueng was happy to see us and he enjoyed a nice hug and friendly faces.

By now it was very dark and we were feeling a little weary. We paid another visit to Kad Farang, to see if the elusive brown coloured dog was mooching around but alas she was keeping a low profile.

On the way back to the shelter, we made our final stop in the local village to see a family that had taken in a new dog from friends after they had lost so many of their own through poisoning last year. This lovely dog was now being kept on a chain at the side of the house and the folks qualified this by saying they did not want their new dog to be poisoned.

Now that is what I call a sad ending.

This weeks journey = 182 km's

19 April 2007

Thought for the day - Rubbish!

If folks have loads of waste from their homes and live in rural areas.....how should they dispose of the rubbish?

  1. Place it in carefully placed rubbish bins outside their home for regular collection?
  2. Go to a community refuse tip, attended to by helpful guys who will separate the treasure from the rubbish? (Remember this is Thailand)
  3. Call professionals to come & clear it away? (ditto)
  4. Go to the end of the road and add their waste to the existing heaps of trash?
  5. Leave it in their back yard to rot, grow and blow in the wind?
  6. Burn it! ?

What alternatives are there?

Answers on a post card please, no prizes for cynicism.

Thursday vet run

Thursdays have been TvT days for a while. Last week, so many completed their chemotherapy treatment that this week I only had 2 females along. Once again, I should have brought Phuky to start her treatment but just like the previous weeks, her family / owners did not hang on to her at breakfast and she was not available for the vet trip!

Today Lai came along for her check up and the vet said that no more injections were necessary and she was showing a complete recovery from the tumour. When I returned Lai to her owner family in the village near the shelter they insisted on paying for all the treatment Lai had received and expressed delight at her return.

Lucy came too, she weighed in at a massive 7.25 kilos, the same as last week, so that is great news. Today she had her first injection to deal with her tumour which has now started to bleed more. Back at the shelter, we are having to keep her separate from the other dogs ( males really) as they sniff her vulva and want to lick it, attracted by the moist condition and apparently interesting odour. (Female readers recognise some parallels here ?)

Indeed back at the shelter, Lucy is perking up, she is now howling and making all sorts of whining noises, sometimes we think its a child crying but its actually her moaning & grumbling at being shut in a separate enclosure.

Also visiting the vet today was Paul, the poor guy hit by a motorist 2 weeks ago and apparently paralysed from the middle of his spine backwards. At the shelter he has dragged himself around a bit, mainly keeping out of the way of boisterous Sherry (the dumped Bull Terrier). He does poo and wee but we're not sure if he does this on command or whether it just happens. Anyway, he did a bit more on the journey & when the vet inspected him, so we know things are moving inside ok!!

The vet tested his reflexes and said his legs although not being moved by him, still had nerve response and his tail was actually wagged by him on occasions. So, there is some hope for him and we will continue with his Neurobian (VitB+) and also Vit C&E to increase nerve repair. Later on, I spoke with Gill at the shelter about Paul & she said she would increase the massages she gives him, to try & increase the blood flow to the legs and try to stop the atrophy of the leg muscles. He is just wasting away at the back end.

Back at the shelter, the residents were feeling the heat of the mid-day sun. Noy making the best shade his territory, Big trying out a new smile and a new puppy Bonnie, found dumped at a temple this week, finding relief in the drinking trough! Bonnie is definately from a family environment. She is so affectionate and loves people. How could a people just dump her?!

After having a bite to eat, I made my way north of the city to Mae Rim to meet a lady who was selling a dog cage she no longer used.

She lives in a delightful spot, on top of a small hill, looking out over water and a surrounding of mountains & natural greenery with her very affectionate Rotti.