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June 11th

This morning was all about spay and neuter. We went to an animal shelter where they fix all the animals they get involved with. Today, I think 17 were scheduled to be fixed. On dogs, the anesthesia is injected IV. In cats, it is injected intramuscular. We all got to help with several surgeries each. At first, I think we all second guessed or tried to be too careful with what we were doing. But we got the motion of things. I was excited when I was able to do an IV injection. Turns out I got the needle in the vain at first, then as I pushed the anesthesia in, I also pushed the needle in. Some of the anesthesia ended up going into the muscle instead which meant it took a little longer for my patient to drop, but in the end she did. Neuters are a lot more hands on for us than spays because we don’t go fishing for the ovaries, one of the doctors has to do that. Neuters are pretty much, well they are called, a closed castration. You remove the testicles just like in bulls, but you do it through a notch at the pelvic area. We did get to see two abortions. The first was a dog who no-one had any idea before of her pregnancy. When Dr. Eduardo was fishing for the ovaries, he was surprised at the size of them. As he took the ovaries out, 9 puppies where in the uterine horns. The spay was completed so it was pretty much an abortion and spay in one. The next abortion was in a cat. The owner had no idea, but Dr. Eduardo and his assistants felt the kittens before he made the incision. Again, he made the notch and looked for the uterine horns. Cora ended up getting splashed with amniotic fluid as the bag was burst. There were 4 kittens in the horns. After the spay, we were all allowed to open the individual baggies that held each kitten. I cut it open and was amazed that at about 2 weeks of pregnancy, the kittens were noticeably kittens. They had paws, and a tail, and a nose, everything was recognizable. I also saw the umbilical cord, although now that I think about it, I have never seen a belly button on a cat or dog before. Where does it connect to? I will have to ask Dr. Eduardo. Once the spays and neuters were complete, we got to meet another patient by the name of Prince Hairy. He is an adorable little dog who has TBT, a sexually transmitted disease. This disease is a cancerous tumor that grows at the inside tip of the penis in males and inside the uterus and out the vulva in females. Prince Hairy has gone through 5 chemotherapy treatments and still has the disease. He will get one more treatment and if that doesn’t finish off the remaining tumor, he will probably be put down. It is a slow and painful death if he is left to live out the rest of his days. On our way back to the lodge, we stopped by a farm in front of the race track. A female horse had hives.  For dinner we went into own. I have to admit that once we were walking on the road I was a little apprehensive about how good of an idea it was for a group of girls to be walking the streets of Belize at late hours. But we were actually alright. We all stayed together and the town was all lit by stores. When we finished eating, Roxanne put all our left-over’s together in a bag to give to stray dogs as we walked back to the lodge. Lesson for the day – always carry a flashlight with me.

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