Second Patient Treated by San Pedro Animal Foundation in 1 Week

In Educational Articles, San Pedro Animal Foundation News, San Pedro Animal Hospital News // No Comments

“Papi” is an 8 year-old poodle mix who presented for a number of problems.  The most pressing issue to his owner was his aural hematoma, which is a painful condition in which the flap of the ear fills with blood.  His other issues included a severe and chronic flea allergy, fleas and discharge from both eyes. 

The owner had been using Frontline monthly but it was not controlling his condition.  For those of you in Belize with flea allergic dogs, never use Frontline.  It will not be effective enough to control your dog’s skin condition.  Promeris is the only effective topical product I have found for flea allergic dogs in Belize. 

Papi’s treatment plan was a little complicated.  Originally, we planned to perform surgery on the ear.  But upon listening to his heart it was evident that he may not be a good anesthetic risk.  He also suffered from a heart murmer as well as a slight arrhythmia.  Papi’s owner gives him and her other four dogs heartworm preventative, but heartworm disease is still a possibility.  Other heart conditions are a possibility as well.  For Papi, our goal was to get him as comfortable as we could with as little risk as possible, as cheaply as possible.  Papi’s owner had expected to be able to go to the humane society for help, but they no longer have a vet on staff.  She was a little distraught because she wanted to help her dog who was clearly suffering, but she did not have a lot of money. 

Papi was very itchy, scratching constantly during his exam.  He had multiple bald areas of skin showing where he had chewed out the fur from his flea allergy.  In addition, his eyes appeared painful.  Further tests showed that his right eye suffered from a condition called “Dry Eye” or keratoconjunctivitis sicca.  His left eye contained a corneal ulcer.  Both of these conditions can be quite uncomfortable or even painful.

Due to Papi’s multiple conditions and obvious poor quality of life, I discussed using donation money to treat him.  Papi’s owner recognizes that she has too many dogs and she cannot afford them all.  She has done the responsible thing and had them all spayed and neutered.  She also says that after these dogs she will not be getting more because they are just too expensive to care for.  A large amount of her income goes just to pay for their food every month.  I told her maybe in the future she could afford to have one dog only.  I think this is a big issue for many of San Pedro’s residents.  I know we love dogs, but we have to limit ourselves to those we can adequately care for.  Many residents have 2, 3, 4, or 5 dogs, and they are in tact, breeding with each other to produce even more.  This is where education needs to come in.

Since Papi’s owner was being as responsible as she could she qualified for funding from SPAF.  SPAF does not have a lot of resources to draw on, so we have to be very choosey about who we give our funding to.  I made up an estimate for the owner.  She had brought 70 dollars and it was agreed that if she could come up with 80 more we could treat all of his ailments.  She was able to do this and the next day we went to work!  First on the agenda were the tests on his eyes.  His tear production was tested and the stain which found the ulcer on his left eye was performed.  He also has a cataract in his left eye, but alas, we have no laser for cataract surgery!  He will have to live with this condition, but it is not painful.  Next in the plan was a flea and tick bath followed by a soothing oatmeal shampoo and conditioner.  Promeris was applied for flea and tick control.

Next we addressed the actual problem he presented for, the ear hematoma.  We sedated him and placed a drain instead of performing a full anesthetic procedure and surgery.

Then we placed an E collar on him so that he could not scratch at his drain and medicated his eyes.  For the eye with Dry Eye I am recommending artificial tears over the counter.  There are better medications, but they are too expenisve.  Artificial tears should keep his eye comfortable if applied often enough.  For his left eye an antibiotic ointment.  He was sent home with a good allergy medication for his skin to make his skin comfortable as well as an oral antibiotic called doxycycline.  Many animals with corneal ulcers in Belize are carrying a tick-borne disease called Ehrlichia, which the doxycycline will treat.  Ear ointment was dispensed to treat the underlying ear infection which often accompanies aural hematomas.

All of this was done for a cost of 150 Belize dollars for the owner.  (For U.S. dollars divide by two.)  San Pedro Animal Hospital offers a 30% discount for animals who receive SPAF aid.  The amount of SPAF money used to treat him will be 171 Belize dollars.  Due to the number of Papi’s ailments and the expense of the treatments I waived his exam fee of 50 Belize dollars.

All of us in veterinary medicine hate to see an animal that is suffering not receive the care he needs due to finances.  Due to the generosity of those who have donated to SPAF we have so far been able to avoid this situation.  Thanks again so much for your support.  A full financial report for 2010 and up to the present will be coming soon from our Board Member and Registered Accountant.  Please give if you can. 

Thank you!



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