Monday, July 23, 2007

DAY 12, Friday July 20, 2007

Today was full of surprises!

We headed to the clinic in the morning to spay (finally) the little, short-legged dog that lived next to the clinic and had barked incessantly at us daily. She’s quite a nasty, temperamental dog, but we were able to sedate her and begin the spay. Her surgery went very well and we returned her to her chain in her back yard before she was up and trying to bite us once again. Another female came in which was very thin and we had been told had had litter after litter of puppies for years. We were a little hesitant to operate on her but after much discussion and examining of her, we went ahead with her spay. She was hooked up to IV fluids throughout her surgery and monitored extremely close. Being a mature dog made the spay even more complicated and time-consuming, but she came through it fine. During recovery she started to bleed very slightly through her suture line, and we were a little concerned she was starting to hemorrhage. We observed her for another couple of hours before we returned her to her home. The owners promised to keep her indoors for a few days until she was fully recovered.

A small puppy was also brought in this afternoon that had been mauled by a larger dog, especially around her head area. Her right eye area and face were quite swollen. She had puncture wounds on either side of her neck and had a broken nasal passage and possible fracture to the top right side of her skull. Having no access to an x-ray machine to confirm our suspicions, we went ahead and treated her. She was nearly in shock, so we placed an IV catheter and hooked her up to fluids. Pain medication was given IV also. Isabelle volunteered to keep her with her for the rest of the night so she took her home with her. We were very skeptical that she would make it through the night.

We arranged a meeting with the Elders of the community at 7 pm. We brought them a very large container of freshly baked oatmeal cookies which they made disappear in no time at all. In attendance were three male elders and two females, as well as a couple of younger adults and a few teenagers. We also had an interpreter present. Donna thanked them for welcoming us into their community and allowing us to help with their dogs. They asked us several questions such as “what are boosters?”, if spays and neuters were reversible, what other types of animals we worked on, and what we are doing when we leave here, where we are going next, and if diseases which dogs get can be spread to humans. We answered their questions as best we could and also asked them if they had any concerns. They mentioned about the RCMP coming into Igloolik in the 60’s and killing all of their dogs. The dogs at that time, they mentioned, were bigger and stronger and healthier than the dogs here at this time. We mentioned how we respect their desire to preserve the pure Inuit breed. They thanked us for coming to the community and helping to protect their dogs from more distemper deaths.

We left the meeting and headed down to the clinic where Uschi and Annette had remained behind with the older female spay to watch her during her recovery.

We ordered pizza from the local Inn for dinner. The Vegetarian pizza was a unique one – it had carrots and cauliflower on it. It tasted pretty good though.

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