Monday, 14 June 2010

The sad tale of the cow, the calf and the c-section


First a piece of very good news: it started raining yesterday! You may not think that's a big deal but when you've been toasting in temperatures soaring above 100 degrees F it's the biggest relief when the first storms hit us. The air instantly cools down and we can all breathe again.

Last week we were visited by a mother in great distress. It was a cow who had been in labour for two days but was unable to get her calf out. The owners put her on the back of a small truck and drove her to Animal Tracks. It was obvious that she was in great pain. Her eyes were wide open with fear and distress and the vets went to work on her straight away. It turned out that the calf was breach, meaning it was turned the wrong way inside her, hence she couldn't push it out. The neck of the calf was twisted back and without bringing it around there was no way it was going to come out.

C-section being performed on the cowSadly the calf was already dead inside the mother when she arrived for help but still, it had to come out. The vets worked relentlessly trying to bring it into a better position but without luck. At one point it looked like the only option was to cut off its head inside. You can imagine things looked pretty bad for the vets to consider such a hideous option!

After a bit of debating it was decided instead to perform a caesarean section on the mother and bring the calf out that way. First the owners had to agree to leave her behind for recovery and post op treatment, which luckily they did. The cow was anaesthetised and the c-section went smoothly. It broke my heart to realise that the poor mother was going to wake up to nothing but an empty belly and no baby to love and care for at the end of this horrible experience. I hope the other cows in the pen look after her and cheer her up. I'm not allowed in the cattle pen, otherwise I'd do it myself. I'm happy though that mother cow is recovering well and hopefully she'll be able to return home soon.



Monday, 7 June 2010

Puppy Prince lands on his paws

My recent stories may lead some of you to think that we have completely stopped rescuing stray dogs at Animal Tracks. Stories of goats, kites, rabbits, pigs, cattle etc. almost takes the focus away from what takes up the vast majority of our resources here: sterilising, vaccinating and treating stray dogs. Do not be fooled. Hundreds of dogs continue to be brought in to the centre and most of them leave us happier and healthier than they were when they came in.

Prince and IAR center manager TanjaThis story is about Prince, a stray that was abandoned as a pup but rescued by IAR supporter Tracey. She has an apartment in North Goa and contacted the centre because a very large number of unsterilised strays were roaming the area and causing problems for the residents. IAR managed to catch and sterilise 19 of these dogs using trap cages. Tracey watched the trap cage and informed the office every time a dog went in. It was a very successful project.

Prince was only a few weeks old when his mother abandoned him outside Tracey's apartment and she took him in and cared for him. She was unable to keep him as she was going back to the UK so work began o find a suitable home for him. With the help of local residents a home was found in South Goa so when he was around eight weeks old Tracey and Prince said their goodbyes and off he went.

I didn't meet Prince until he came to Animal Tracks for sterilisation. With his pink nose and cute face I can imagine he was a lovely little fluff ball when he was small. I went out to greet him on arrival and to reassure him that nothing bad was going to happen to him. He was sterilised and vaccinated and went straight back home after the surgery. I always catch myself thinking what fate these puppies would have met if they hadn't been lucky enough to find a loving family to look after them. Given Prince's circumstances I doubt he'd still be in this world had it not been for Tracey, IAR and his new family.

Tuesday, 1 June 2010

Our feathered friends join the family


Do you remember our two magnificent kites? I told you their story recently. I remember ending the story by making a wish that they would come back and tell us stories from the big world once they had been released. I was somewhat sceptical back then though because I expected that they would simply rise to the sky and disappear when they got the chance.

One of our feathered friends making himself at homeHow wrong I was! The kites were released a week or so ago and guess what? They are still right here with us at Animal Tracks. They simply refuse to stray far as this has been their safe haven since they were so young they barely had feathers. They have remained tame and spend their days lazing around on the various walls surrounding the centre. They must have observed us centre dogs when they were in their cage and thought 'Well, they seem to have it sussed' and decided to live almost like we do.

There's no place like home!We share our food with them and even put up with them hovering very close waiting for their turn to eat. The staff are able to go right up to them without them feeling the slightest bit threatened. They consider us family and we are happy to welcome them among us. In the end my wish came true. They decided to stick around. Who'd have ever thought we'd end up not only with centre dogs and cats but with centre kites as well?

Love from me, Olive!