Saturday, May 26, 2007

Good News Week

This has been a busy week. I’m happy to report that Skeeter is doing nicely. Sometimes I have to catch myself so I don’t get her fired up.
One week since the first Heartworm treatment three until the next.

In regards to the Spanky Project a group of persons interested in the betterment of animal life in Cuba is developing. The anchor of this group is the USA based Caribbean Medical Transport CMT (see link to the right). CMT can provide a license to eligible US citizens for travel to Cuba in support of the cause.
If you are a Veterinarian or animal health science professional that would be interested in licensed travel to Cuba drop me a line.

More on the good news front....
I would like to acknowledge Michele and all at the 404 Veterinary Hospital Referral Center and the Veterinary Emergency Clinic of York Region for their generous donation of text books. I was also informed of some equipment being available as a result of recent renovations and upgrades.
Looks like I'l be looking for space in a container to Havana.

Monday, May 21, 2007

It's been a few days.

Well it’s been a few days since Skeeter’s first injection in her heartworm treatment.

By all outward appearances she is back to normal. Skeeter is a four year old terrier OES mix with the terrier temperament. Outdoor activities are now conducted on a leash.
Before Skeeter’s diagnosed she had free run of our 13 acres rural property.
She is getting a little annoyed with the life on the leash. Another activity she cannot partake in is the near daily 2 to 3 kilometer walks. These activities need to be curtailed to prevent the increased risk of clots and embolism from the die-off of the parasites during treatment.

For you information I offer up the American Heartworm Society as a source for detailed information.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Not A Happy Dog.

A lot of time has been spent surfing looking for information about heartworm and it’s treatment.
Without being Vets ourselves, we arrived at our Vet’s office thinking Skeeter was a Class One:
• Class I: Lowest Risk. Young healthy dogs with minimal or no disease evident on radiographs, normal blood work, and no symptoms of illness. They may cough only occasionally if ever, they only fatigue with exercise, and their chest radiographs are normal.
We had a very good consultation. The Vet laid out the situation and the treatment. Armed with some internet gleaned knowledge we were able to carry on a fairly intelligent conversation.

Anyways, the Vet decided to treat Skeeter’s case as a Class Three, as far as treatment protocol goes.
That means, one shot Melarsomine (Immiticide®; Merial) followed in 30 days by two shots 24 hours apart.
After the consult, testing for kidney and liver function was conducted along with a xray of the heart. Conclusion? Skeeter was in good condition. Treatment commenced with an injection in the hind very deep into the muscle. A pain killer was also administered.

During the drive home there was a lot of panting and discomfort.

Upon arrival back home I tried to get a whiz (pee) out of her, but she would have little to do with the walking around and plopped down in protest.
Come time for dinner, she showed near zero interest in her food. However, she did manage to eat some nann from our home made Indian Feast. BTW, I make a mean Beef Vindaloo.

With closing time approaching at the Vet’s office I called to check in with some questions. The Vet had gone home but a message was sent and I received a call back in a few minute.
I must say the care and attention being given Skeeter and us is wonderful. After addressing our concerns the Vet said she would call back in an hour to follow up.

Now a few words concerning the original reason for creating this Blog.
Yesterday, during a day trip to Toronto I met with a Veterinarian. This particular Vet has been helping Cuban Vets and animals since 2003. This coincides with my involvement in the lives of Cuban dogs. Only recently have we been in contact and yesterday was our first face to face.
Going forward, I know the Spanky Project will be able to benefit from this meeting and others.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Not the day I expected...

This morning did not start particularly well.

At 8:30 the telephone rang and on the other end was Skeeter’s Vet. Skeeter is our mutt. Seems that during routine testing for heartworm she has tested positive. Heartworm has not been a problem in the Belleville Ontario area but it is on the increase (let’s blame it on climate change)

By 8:40 I’m in the Blazer for a 30 minute drive to Belleville for a second test.
Arriving at the Vet, Skeeter took her defensive posture in the back seat. You know that position... curled up pretending to sleep. So, with a little coaxing I ushered her inside where she was taken from me for the second blood letting. A few minutes later Skeeter exits with the Vet and heads straight for the front door. As I am mentioning to the Vet, “I’ll put Skeeter in the car and come back in” a technician approached us stating, “ I need Skeeter again”. Seems someone dropped the vial and they needed another sample.

With Skeeter now in the truck the Vet explained that they would look at the sample in house. If it appeared negative they would send it out for confirmation.
I inquired as to the treatment if the test was positive. Seemingly, the Vet did not want to entertain that thought but did state that a series of injections would be the prescribed treatment.

At 11:00 we received the call from the Vet. "Skeeter has heartworm."

This blog may take a whole new direction.

Friday, May 11, 2007

The Spanky Project

So you wonder what you are going to get here. Well, hopefully, if you are inclined to help some four legged friends I can help you out.
The present focus of the Spanky Project is to direct Veterinary aid to Havana, Cuba.
I work with two group that are trying their best, under tough conditions, to help street animal and pets.
It’s my hope that visitors to Havana will deliver needed supplies to these hard working groups.
Please visit the Spanky Project for an outline of the work being done in Havana.

The poor mutt in the photo above I dubbed Che. He greeted me one morning in December 2003 outside the Sevilla Hotel in Havana.

Oh ya ... my name is Terry (aka Radar on numerous Cuba forums).