Second instalment from Allandale Animal Hospital describing their work in Todos Santos, Guatemala.


Day 4 in Guatemala- an update from Natalie

People start to line up in front of the “The Salon” at about 8 am. I’ve been told
they walk from as far as 3 hours away to have their pets vaccinated and spayed
or neutered. They meet with one of the local women who helps them fill out the
form for our records and many sign with just a thumbprint. Then they have
a seat and wait for their turn, I’m sure some of them are just happy to be out
of the hot sun and they don’t mind the wait. The dogs can be quite aggressive
here so we place a slip lead over their head and ask the owner to place a
muzzle on their pet. It’s for our safety as well as it helps to keep the dog calm.

We have stations set up for vaccines or surgery so we then bring owner and
pet to the appropriate station for the veterinarian to examine and vaccinate.
We have a translator to help us determine if there are any problems. The Dr.
does a thorough exam and we vaccinate for rabies. If they were scheduled
for surgery they go back to the front area to wait for a technician to come and
sedate them for surgery. Once the dog is sedated we wait for the drugs to take
effect. As theywait, the technician is getting the drugs and surgery table ready.
The technician then brings the dog to the table and anesthetize him or her.
The surgery is performed under very primitive circumstances and when finished
the dog is placed in recovery. All the while this is going on the owner are
watching and waiting. The owners sit in recovery with their pet for a couple
more hours. Until their pet is able to get up and walk out of “The Salon”.