First Clinic Day

by Luke, in Grenada
16th April, 2009

Hectic first day. Dazzling sunshine outside – apparently. We were in the clinic today working with Emma, the new graduate Grenadian vet and the team at the GSPCA. Peggy is a dynamo and has done so much to set up this fantastic clinic after the hurricane devastated it in 2004. Great feel to the place, really nice team to work with and a good start. Clive battled to spay a pituitary-challenged weimeranaer with ehlrichiosis whilst I worked with Emma to do a few ops and go over a couple of new techniques. She is very competent and I don’t think I added much to her surgical prowess but it was fun to sort out an aural haematoma using the button technique (where you stitch lots of buttons to the dogs ear after draining the blood out of it – the buttons evenly distribute pressure and stop the blood reforming)and it‘s always good to see how we are all trained in slightly different techniques. Met a dog owner who is the ultimate hardcore adventurer – he and his family (wife, little girl and dog) have spent the last five years on the high seas. His little girl was on the boat from six weeks old. Sailed from Thailand, across the Indian Ocean, across the Med and Atlantic Ocean and is now harbouring here for a little while. Really nice guy with the ultimate can-do attitude.  It’s always inspiring to meet people like that.

Tomorrow we are heading out to the communities, but the biggest challenge will be sleeping through the night. We’re all staying in rooms above the clinic and there is a sweet little dog in with a retro bulbar abscess behind it’s eye that howls constantly. Adam and Marc are tearing their hair out as they can’t sleep a wink with any animal related noises and although we’ve made the dog as comfortable as possible for the night, I have a sneaking suspicion that it’s simply not used to sleeping indoors and is going to start howling again at 3am. Time will tell but if we all look a bit bleary eyed tomorrow (with the exception of ‘Bruce’ who is apparently immune to night-time external stimuli) – I promise it isn’t the rum…


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