As well as neutering as many dogs as possible, Sheena and Donna spent a large part of each day treating sick dogs. This year the charity raised funds to buy blood testing kits, so it was possible to test almost 100 dogs for life threatening disease such as Ehrlichia, Leishmania, heartworm, and Anaplasma.
Ehrlichia and Anaplasma can cause excessive bleeding and anaemia, (many of the dogs who come into the shelter are anaemic), but these diseases are easily treated. Leishmania is a more difficult disease to treat, but can be kept at bay with long term medication. One of the dogs Sheena treated on her first trip to this area arrived emaciated and on the point of death, she spent 3 days in the clinic onn intravenous fluids. She is now on Leishmania medication, and 18 months later is doing really well. Patsy would love a home to live in as she is a calm and gentle little soul, but it is unlikely that she will ever find a home due to her need for long term medication. Sheena was so happy to see her looking so well, and Patsy seemed very happy to see Sheena too. Donna plans to raise funds to pay for further blood testing and treatment for Ehrlichia and Leishmania, so watch this space!
Tuesday and Wednesday were two more busy days. Tuesday was spent blood testing and neutering as many dogs as possible. Some of these dogs had recently been brought to the shelter on the point of starvation, and were not well enough for neutering. They started treatment for the various diseases they had contracted, and Sheena took blood to check if their vital organs were still functioning. They were all anaemic, and some had severely low protein and glucose levels,
Sadly one dog died on Tuesday despite Sheena and Donna’s best efforts to save her. Everyone was devastated. Another dog who was considered well enough to be castrated, had a heart problem which manifested itself after his surgery and he had to have intravenous fluids to help boost his circulation. Happily he enjoyed his night of comfort on his orthopaedic bed and was ready to face the world again by the following morning. They were two very difficult and stressful days.
This year Sheena and Donna returned to Greece to help provide emergency veterinary care and neutering for the strays. They have gone back to the same shelter as last year because the need was so great. They were very lucky to have been given free accommodation in a local resort, so Sheena donated all the money she usually spent on hotels to pay for even more drugs and equipment.
The first day was extremely busy with a lot of dogs for neutering, all the dogs are now tested first for diseases which can cause excessive bleeding, so Sheena was relieved to have this test available (for the first time). This meant a few dogs have had their surgery postponed so they can receive treatment first. Despite this, one dog did bleed excessively, and Sheena spent a lot of time tying off all her blood vessels, but she recovered well, and the day ended on a good note. An even better end to the day was the lovely 10km ride home (instead of 19km last year!), on amazing bikes kindly loaned to them by the resort manager.
As usual, Sheena and Tim have met a lot of absolutely lovely dogs who are looking for homes.
There seem to be quite a lot of puppies and kittens of about 5-6 months. This was the last vets’ visit to the shelter before the winter, and so everyone was trying to catch the kittens born earlier this year before they start having kittens of their own next spring. Last time, we were here in spring, and most of the females were pregnant (and thin). This time, being autumn, none of them were pregnant, but most were fat which made surgery more difficult. The local people obviously do a very good job in feeding these strays.
Tim has done a wonderful job as a vet nurse, meaning they were able to neuter 16 cats and still finish by 3.30! However, Tim’s not planning a career change: I think he finds his usual job much less stressful.
One poor white cat had sunburn on her ears, and they had to be amputated. This is a problem seen sometimes in our country, but is obviously much worse in Greece. The local people also managed to catch a local stray dog for neutering. She only ever approaches the local people when she is pregnant (I guess she is hungry), so they were relieved that she was not heavily pregnant and we were able to spay her. She was a lovely friendly dog, who is used to kindness from people. There were some sad stories too. One poor Doberman had been shot more than once. His xray showed shotgun pellets all over his chest, and he had been blinded in one eye.
There are also some dogs who have been very sick as a result of Leishmania. One dog, named Bilbo was brought in with his friend Brummel who had been shot. Bilbo refused to leave his friend’s side and they were both taken into the shelter. Sadly Bilbo became very ill as a result of Leishmania, and is just beginning to recover. Brummel is about to leave for a new home. We are a bit worried about how Bilbo will cope without his mate. Luckily the staff at the shelter are well aware of the signs of this disease. They start the dogs on treatment quickly and most of them go on to live a very happy life. They are usually very difficult to home because of the lifelong treatment needed, even though it is not expensive, but there is an area of the shelter dedicated to these long term dogs where they can live in freedom, playing together and interacting with people who come up to walk them and play with them.
Sheena and Tim are back in Greece for another week of neutering and veterinary attention for the strays of Aegina. It has been a quieter week so far because there were vets out only four weeks ago, but Sheena and Tim are the last vets before the winter, so they are busy with all the puppies and kittens born earlier this year who are only just old enough to be neutered. Sheena has already fallen in love with a few.
So far they have neutered 7 female cats, 7 male cats, 5 female dogs and 6 male dogs. They have also treated one poor cat with a chronic infected wound. We are hoping he will recover from this.
The staff at the shelter have been amazing as ever, never complaining about the disruption, finding and holding animals, and helping to clean up at the end of the day. Local volunteers have provided the most delicious lunches. The local goats are very interested in all the comings and goings.
There have been 3 confirmed cases of Parvovirus in Guildford in recent weeks. All three dogs were sadly euthanased. We have treated 2 cases of confirmed Parvovirus in recent months. Parvovirus is a deadly disease which can be prevented by vaccination. A lot of people are forgetting to keep their dogs vaccines up to date, which leaves their dog at risk of catching the virus. Parvovirus causes vomiting and diarrhoea (often bloody), progressing to shock and kidney failure. Treatment for Parvovirus is intensive and costly. The cost varies between £500 and £1800 depending on the severity of signs. If you are unsure whether your dog is up to date with their vaccines, please call the surgery and we can check for you.
We will be running an afternoon of free microchips on Wednesday 4th June from 2-5pm. No need for appointments, just turn up on the day. Did you know that it will be compulsory for all dogs to be microchipped from April 2016? We shall be offering free microchips for all dogs at certain events this year. This scheme is being run in conjunction with the Dogs Trust.
Spread the word about our good care and you’ll get a £10 voucher to use in the surgery. Tell your friend to mention your name and address when they register, and we will credit your account with £10. What’s more, we’ll give your friend a free initial consultation.
Registering online takes only a few minutes: just ask your friend to fill in your name and address at the bottom of the form.