The Canadian Animal Assistance Team is made up of veterinary professionals dedicated to the care of animals worldwide. Their mandate is to have an impact on the safety, health and population control of domestic animals worldwide by providing education, providing spay and neuter clinics for domestic animals in rural / underserved areas, ensuring domestic animals are included in disaster response plans, and assisting in relief efforts after natural disasters.
Wednesday, September 08, 2010
Baker Lake Nunavut 2010, DAY THREE:
Cynthia, our 3rd year Veterinary Student
Our first full day in Baker Lake started with waffles, fruit and coffee. The team met in the power company's crew house for our first meeting where we went over the "game plan" for the day, as well as answered any questions about our anesthetic protocol, how the surgeries would proceed, signing waivers and team documents. Donna assigned two technicians to each of the three Veterinarians. The three teams would rotate daily - two teams working in surgery and one team working at the vaccine clinic. The Government of Nunavut graciously donated their garage/maintenance shop for our surgical clinic to take place and the local RCMP detachment donated their garage to serve as our vaccine clinic. The plan was that the owners and their dogs/cats would go first to the vaccine clinic and be admitted - all of the paperwork filled out, a physical exam given to each animal, and depending on whether or not the pet was going to be spayed or neutered (speutered), they would receive their Rabies vaccine and Distemper/Parvo combo vaccine and dewormer or they would be sent up to the Wildlife building for surgery. We find it is more safe to wait until after a pet's surgery to give the vaccines and dewormer, in case of an allergic reaction to the vaccine. We decided as a group that the first vaccination team would be Dr. Gina, along with Barb and Zoe.
At 10:30 a.m. the remaining eight team members walked the short distance to the wildlife centre to begin setting up the surgery and recovery areas. Tables were brought in and adjusted to the proper height with two by fours under the legs, all of the medical supply bags were opened and sorted out on two other tables. Our super-tech, Monica had agreed pre-project to be in charge of the anesthesia so she busied herself setting up all of the necessary anesthesia equipment, drugs and supplies.
Owner and his dog waiting for surgery
By noon we had opened our doors and our first patients started to arrive. By day's end we had completed seven dog neuters and two cat spays (including their vaccines and deworming) and the vaccination team had given treated thirty-seven dogs and cats with vaccines and dewormer. Several Cocker Spaniels were also seen with problem ears. The ears were flushed and cleaned and the dogs were sent home with ear medication.
Barb also started dog obedience training today and gave five individual, one-on-one lessons, mainly teaching the owners how to have their dogs walk nicely beside them on a leash. Each daily lesson will teach a different essential command, such as sit, stay, lie down. One girl has asked Barb to teach her dog how to roll over. Not considered essential, but a fun one to show off to her friends and family.
Dr. Jen, Cynthia, Monica, Dr. Gina and Zoe in surgery
As dinner time and evening approached the patient visits lessened and eventually stopped. We decided it was time to call it a day. After clean up and a walk back to the crew house, we dined on homemade lasagna (meat, and a vegetarian one) and a beautiful green salad for dinner. An informal team meeting took place where we expressed our feelings and thoughts about how the day went and made suggestions on what could be done differently tomorrow. Because the majority of the team are still on either Alberta or BC time, we headed to bed early, ready to tackle another day of work tomorrow.
Dr. Jen doing what she does best! (besides playing hockey, of course)