Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Olive's Diary comes to us from International Animal Rescue in Goa

From porcupine quills to pickle jars
Hello, hello!
The variety of work here at the IAR Animal Tracks centre in Goa is vast and the team never know what they are going to encounter next. Along with the hundreds of relatively routine vaccinations and sterilisations each month there are regular calls to assist animals in unusual and potentially life threatening situations.
Countless hazards can beset Goa’s animals, particularly feral dogs that live by their wits and learn from experience if they are to survive in an often harsh environment. Amongst the numerous dogs that arrive daily at Animal Tracks, this week there were two emergency admissions that had both come to grief but through very different mishaps.
The dog prior to release
One poor dog had got his head well and truly stuck in a pickle jar but, thanks to a caring young boy who spotted him and made a telephone call to IAR, help was dispatched immediately. When Sarvesh arrived on the scene the dog was so frightened by his own unsuccessful and prolonged attempts to remove the jar he ran away and managed to avoid capture.  The consequences would have been horrendous for him with the jar tightly jammed around his neck, unable to drink, eat, see or even breathe properly. Another IAR team consisting of Manoj Gokul and Abhinand made a return mission to the area and this time soon found the dog sitting exhausted in the shade of a banana tree, head still firmly trapped in the jar. This time he was more than willing to be gently apprehended and taken back to the rescue centre where he was swiftly released from his suffocating plastic prison.
What a relief for the poor animal!
So please, wherever you are in the world, take heed of this incident and dispose of your waste empty containers safely and mindfully. Any thrown out empty vessel can be a potential trap for some creature. Food fragments will attract birds and animals that can easily become trapped in plastic or wedged tight in cans and containers only to die a slow, wretched death.
Marine animals and sea birds as well as land creatures are often found dead or with horrific injuries after becoming ensnared in the discarded polythene that holds together packs of canned drinks. The inconsiderate disposal of so many of our everyday items is potentially lethal for any domestic or wild creature.
But fortunately for this dog he was successfully rescued and freed from his torment. He’ll have a few recuperative days in the Animal Tracks shelter to get over his trauma, then he’ll be sterilised and vaccinated and returned home before too long.

Happy, but no doubt a bit shaken by his ordeal

The second incident involved another dog that had been horrifically impaled in the throat by a porcupine quill.
Porcupines are relatively slow moving creatures that dispense with predators by backing into them using the quills as weapons which are painfully embedded into their pursuers. The expelled quills then regrow to maintain the porcupine’s highly effective armour.
The quill was firmly stuck in the poor dog's throat
Having survived the injury, but still with the sharp quill implanted deep into his neck and painful infection setting in to the wound, the poor creature had sought sanctuary on the balcony of a local school. The concerned children alerted the office staff who called for IAR assistance and Krishna and Sanda were sent to the scene. The highly efficient defence mechanism of the porcupine would so surely have proved fatal for this poor dog had it not been for the prompt and expert veterinary treatment he received on his admission to Animal Tracks from Dr Manik and vet nurse Maruti. Together they carefully removed the 9 inch quill that was embedded 4 inches into the throat of the dog!
This dog will of course need to stay at the centre for a time while his deep infected wound heals with the administration of regular medication in the clean kennel environment, but then he too will be sterilised, vaccinated and taken home.
This dog is lucky to be alive
We’d like to hope that both dogs have learnt from these near death experiences and will consider carefully the consequences of messing with a porcupine or jamming your head in a pickle jar!
But if not help will always be at hand from everyone at Animal Tracks and the caring people who alert the centre to animals in need.
That’s all from me for now!
Love Olive x

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