The second day of catch, treat, and release for dogs roaming free on the streets of Iquitos had us operating in a familiar setting and feeling more confident in our ability to function efficiently as an international team in support of Amazon Cares.
We started this day on a positive note as the pleasant sun greeted us and granted clear skies for our boat ride up a tributary of the Amazon River (see Boat mast sunny day Peru). Such was a pleasant change from the previously overcast conditions which cast a gloomy, humid sheen to our journey to the Amazon Cares office.
Our day got even better when our new friend Frank pulled up with his cart vending jugo de citricos naturales (natural citrus juice). For a mere sola (approximately $0.33), I drank an amazingly refreshing cup of orange juice. Yum!
One of our street canine patients reminded me of a regular DELTA Rescue acupuncture patient of mine, Coquetta, due to both dogs having a mobility compromising angular limb deformity. Both remarkable mixed breeds have overcome such adversity to get to their place in life on different continents.
Coquetta was brought to the DELTA Rescue in Acton, CA from Mexico after sustaining severe trauma to her right pelvic (hind) limb suspected to be from being hit by a car. Her damaged appendage was surgically corrected, but she lacked sensation and normal blood flow to the limb from the ankle to the toes. As a result, she was constantly getting infections on her foot, self mutilating her toes, and irritating the skin as a result of from her inability to properly advance her paw while walking.
After a series of weekly acupuncture treatments, including electrostimulation (running current between acupuncture points on the limb, as seen in the above picture), Coquetta’s foot was healing, exhibiting improved sensation in her foot, and using the limb to walk again.
This Pervuian street dog, whom I will call Trippy (short for “Tripod”), also exhibited the appearance of an abnormal right pelvic limb from either unknown trauma or a congenital deformity. In Trippy’s case, the metatarsus (foot) was a few inches shorter than the left and exhibited the remains of an irritated paw pad covering the tip of his non-weight bearing stump. He must have been able to maneuver well enough to survive the rough existence of street life in Iquitos.
Although the condition of his skin appeared consistent with bacterial infection or parasite (mange) infestation (for which he was treated), he appeared in good flesh and was cooperative for handling. As I was assigned to perform his neuter procedure (fortunately, I wasn't doing another spay on a pregnant female. See When Spaying a Pregnant Dog in a Third World Country What Happens to the Puppies), the routine nature of his surgical recovery make me optimistic about his ability to continue to thrive further into adulthood. With his raging male hormones diminished, he will be less motivated to be out and about seeking to mate to some other street bitch.
Trippy was released back into the area from which he was captured later in the evening. I am sure that Coquetta and the DELTA Rescue veterinarians and support staff that aided her recovery will be enthused to hear that another dog living with a similar condition has been given the opportunity to lead a longer and healthier life through the efforts of Amazon Cares.
Please help Amazon Cares continue to make grounds in enhancing the health of dogs and cats in Peru by making a tax deductible donation to their cause. As I am donating my time, experience, and labor to Amazon Cares, the other volunteers and I would appreciate your financial aid.
Thank you to i Love Dogs premium canine supplements for your premiere sponsorship of our vets abroad trip into the Amazon Jungle in the name of animal welfare.
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Copyright of this article (2011) is owned by Dr. Patrick Mahaney, Veterinarian and Certified Veterinary Acupuncturist. Republishing any portion of this article must first be authorized by Dr. Patrick Mahaney. Requests for republishing must be approved by Dr. Patrick Mahaney and received in written format.