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

Thursday, July 14, 2011

I hateeee maggotssssss (and dog bites)

Note: if you are eating, you might want to read this later.

I woke up feeling a bit off; it might have been the heat I'm not really sure. I started the day in large animal as it seems to be a bit calmer. Melanie and I fed the calves and I was happy to notice that Dennis is now back to normal.  Thank goodness, I love that little calf. We saw the ambulance bring in a new animal: a cow with a large, open, bleeding mass on it's ear.  The thing was about the size of a tennis ball.  Other, smaller warty-looking lumps covered the rest of the body. The vet assistant couldn't tell me what it was. (After further research I conclude that it is Bovine Papilloma Virus.) They got the animal down after some struggle and we inspected the mass.  It was dripping blood and then I saw one of my most dreaded creatures: a squirming maggot.  I looked closer and saw that there were dozens of them living off of the growth. If that wasn't disgusting enough, the smell of the infected, maggot-filled tumor was enough to make anyone want to vomit.  The assistant used scissors to pull of parts of the growth along with individual maggots. He cleaned the wound and dressed it.  It was an awkward bandaging job and the poor cow looked like it was wearing some sort of headdress when it was all done.

I think I mentioned that when we were trying to save Mama that she got a bit of my finger in the process. When I got home I realized she had, in fact, broken the skin.  "Oh god, I thought" as statistics of rabies cases in India filled my mind.  I cleaned it well and brought it to Jim's attention the next day.  He wasn't concerned at all as Mama had been there for several years, was well-vaccinated, and comes into contact with only a few dogs.  The vet on the other hand, recommended I get a rabies booster vaccine.  I went to the (human) hospital today and got the vaccine. I simply went in, told them what I needed, and they gave it to me for just under 500 rupees (about $10.)

This afternoon I spent some time at Claire, Jim and Erika's house.  We had a fantastic lunch and sat talking in their wonderfully air-conditioned room for a while.  Before we were about to leave, Claire asked me to help her treat one of their dogs.  The dog had the biggest under bite I had ever seen - the bottom jaw sticking out about two inches past the top. When the animal had first come to Animal Aid a few weeks ago it had a large laceration under it's tongue, where the teeth meet the floor of the mouth. A flap of skin lifts up to expose some of the bone and deep parts of the teeth.  Claire told me it had been infested with maggots, but she THOUGHT they were all gone. Awesome.  I cleaned the flap of skin, flushing it with salt water.  Thankfully, there were no maggots. Phew.

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