Monday, March 09, 2009


Charlie was feeling a bit stronger today

Dr. Sherisse cleaning a cat's belly after her spay

Wheatie II during his enucleation

Today was Baron Bliss Day, a bank holiday honouring a British-born traveller who willed $2,000,000 USD to a trust fund in 1926 for the benefit of the citizens of Belize. Many of the locals were out of town celebrating. However, it did not prevent many animal owners from bringing their animals by for surgeries and vaccinations.

The very hot and humid day was made better with Donna's preparation of oatmeal and fresh fruit for breakfast. Soon after, a team meeting was held to discuss issues emerging from yesterday's challenges. The team decided that they would no longer take animals for surgeries after 4pm, and that recovering cats should be monitored more carefully.

Dogs and their owners began filing through the gate as soon as we opened at 9am. Dr. Anna completed an enucleation on Wheatie II, another one of Kenny's cats, who was missing an eye. "My best guess is that it was a cat's claw in the eye or some sort of ulcer that then became a melting ulcer through infection and then the eye just fibrosed down to nothing," she said. "Very different than a regular. If you're doing a regular enucleation, you hold onto the eye and you dissect all of the muscles from the eye, and it's quite simple because you follow it around and then you ligate the optic nerve and you cut it. But this was very different."

Chris elaborated later in the afternoon: "That went well. Then we came over here for the vaccination table. We had three or four. Now we have a mommy dog and her puppies coming in."

The puppies!

Chris feeding a two-day-old puppy with sugar water

The said litter of puppies was born yesterday. Unfortunately, only nine of the thirteen puppies survived for today's visit to the clinic. Dr. Anna, Chris and Eve provided the healthy puppies with fluids and sugar water and made sure the mother was in good shape.


Dr. Anna

Miguel, a thirteen-year-old local boy, who heard about CAAT through Caitlin and Barb's presentations at his school, has been quite a help to the team. He visits almost every day to help out. So far, Miguel has trapped three cats for us. He sets the traps up in his yard, right behind the I & I, a local bar. "I'm going into the bar business, taking over from my dad," he said. Perhaps he should consider a career in veterinary medicine?

Miguel and Carmen

One of the most interesting things about the work here is the team's ability to improvise and work with fewer options than they have in the veterinary hospitals they work at in Canada. Each team member has had challenges to overcome. Today Caitlin's challenge was the wrangling of a feral cat on the street.

Kim and Dr. Gina in surgery

Dr. Gina

"Each trip is different," said Donna. "The team makes a big difference - how everyone's getting along. It's certainly nicer to work out under the palm trees than to be in a building all day. Everything's going really well so far. Our anesthetic protocol is excellent."

Much of the team attended a hatha yoga class at Random Yoga, on the rooftop of a building just a few blocks from Madi's place. The class, led by Jessie Wigh, an instructor, certified in the U.S., was by donation, providing a panoramic view of the sunset and full moon. It was worth every penny.


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