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.
Once again Sheena and Donna will be heading out on 20th September 2019 to provide more vitally important veterinary care to the stray dogs and cats of Greece. We are appealing to our wonderful clients for any donations you may be able to make towards these animals. All donations will go directly to the strays to provide medication and other equipment that may be needed to improve the health and quality of life of the dogs and cats in the area.
Please leave your kind donations at the practice reception, making sure you state they are for the Greek strays. Thank you as always for your generosity!
As a village practice we love to be involved in local events and the local community as much as we can and the last month has been no exception. Simon ran the dog show at the Brook Fete on the 27th May and Sheena helped with the dog show judging at the Witley fete on the 15th June. Cooper the Giant Schnauzer (pictured) stole the show at the Witley fete winning best in show with his tiny handler! Photo courtesy of Clare Burrows. Both fetes were a lot of fun to be involved with and we hope to be there again next year.
We are very pleased to announce that we’ve been nominated for the Petplan Veterinary Awards 2019. Both Sheena and Simon have been nominated for ‘Vet of the Year’ and the practice as a whole has been nominated in the ‘Practice of the Year’ category.
Nominations are open until 25th January 2019, so if you think someone in the team deserves a mention you can still vote here.
Changes to Pet Travel in the event of a ‘No-Deal’ Brexit
The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) has advised that should the UK leave the EU next year without a deal, there would be important implications for pet owners wishing to travel overseas with their animals from 30 March 2019.
Owners need to be aware of and potentially act upon these implications by 28 November 2018 at the latest.
What you need to know and do
You will still be able to travel to Europe with your pet after the UK leaves the EU, whatever the outcome of the Brexit negotiations. However, in the event of a no deal, you may need to take some additional steps to be able to travel with your pet to the EU.
If you are planning to travel after 29 March 2019 the Government will recommend you contact your vet practice at least four months in advance to check what you need to do.
If you wish to travel to the EU on 30 March 2019, for example, you should discuss requirements with your vet as soon as possible and by 28 November 2018at the latest.
The requirements for travel would include making sure that pets are effectively vaccinated against rabies before they travel. This involves having an up-to-date rabies vaccination and a blood test to demonstrate sufficient levels of rabies antibody.
The blood test would need to be carried out a minimum of 30 days after any initial rabies vaccination and a minimum of three months before their travel date. This means that you will need to talk to your vet about health requirements in good time to make sure you are are able to travel with your pet.
All of the dogs that Sheena and Donna met were absolutely lovely dogs. They have all learned to socialise well with other dogs as well as with people, as this is how they have managed to survive. It is heartbreaking to see these dogs struggling to live. The shelter organiser struggles to run the place with only one other full time helper and several volunteers who come and go. Between them they are trying to look after over 600 dogs, and the organiser never takes a day off, she hardly even takes a couple of hours off. She feels such a responsibility to help these dogs. When she does leave the shelter, it is to visit local schools to try and educate Greek children so that there can be a better future for the Greek dogs. In the meantime, all we can do is try to find homes for as many as possible, and encourage neutering programs to try and reduce the numbers of unwanted strays. A vet could spend several months there, just treating the injured and sick dogs.
We would like to send a huge thanks to our clients who donated a lot of money again, to help cover the cost of drugs for our trip. Sheena and Simon always make up any shortfall, and one kind client even gave 400Euros which helped locally in covering costs and they were able to leave enough money with the shelter to buy another large pallet of food. Sheena and Donna left Greece feeling both mentally and physically exhausted, but feeling it had been another worthwhile trip.