"We must be the change we wish to see in the world." -Mahatma Gandhi

Monday, July 18, 2011

The cute canine, the calcium deficient cow, and the cooking class.

There is this one small dog at the hospital that Melanie and I are particularly worried about.  She is so small and lives in the mange ward because she is covered with the skin disease.  Many days she is too weak to walk, other days she seems to have a bit more energy. Whatever her state is, however, she is always growling at the other,  much bigger, dogs who get too close.  She is definitely a street puppy.  A few days ago when she was in the worst shape I had seen her yet, it was clear she needed help. The doctor was in surgery and the vet nurses were busy with other treatments. I got the approval to give her some I.V. fluids and Meloxicam.  As flies swarmed around me, sweat dripping from my face, the smell of the mange ward making me nauseous, I tried every effort to get the small needle into the tiny puppy's veins.  It was impossible.  I went and got help from the assistant but even he couldn't place the catheter. We ended up giving the animal sub q fluids, as it was better than nothing at all.  Every day we check on the puppy, and every day her condition seems to be different.  Today, thankfully, she was brighter and more alert than she has been in the past week.  Hopefully this means she's finally improving.

The other day on my day off I met a group of Americans and ended up tagging along for a cooking class. We got to pick 12(!) different Indian dishes to learn how to make. The cook was amazing and the food was delicious. (No promises on whether or not I can recreate any of the dishes, though.) Also, I was pleasantly surprised to discover most of the dishes were vegan. While they used a LOT of oil, there wasn't any butter at all and only one dish called for milk. :)

I returned to the hospital to discover the cow with the papillomas was in bad shape.  She laid recumbent on the paddock floor, her respiration  labored and eyes bulging. Her temperature was a low 97 degrees.  The doctor came down and assessed her condition and determined she was most likely hypocalcemic. (Again, diagnostics here are a shot in the dark and the doctor was simply concluding this based on prior experience.) The diagnosis made sense - these animals eat trash, a far cry from a proper, balanced diet. We set the cow up with fluids and a calcium injection. Hopefully I will see her in a better state tomorrow.

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