Page 24 - Chiron Autumn 2018
P. 24

 This late summer, I was fortunate enough to attend a spay and neuter clinic in Goa, western India. The course presented a fantastic opportunity to develop my skills in routine animal birth control surgery in a uniquely challenging environment. Monsoon rains, rabid patients and rolling power outages created additional dimensions of complexity but, no matter the situation, surgical standards were ultimately very high.
The course was run by mass sterilisation specialists at the Hicks International Training Centre (ITC) in Assagao, Northern Goa, with the entire project headed by the Worldwide Veterinary Service (WVS) – a UK based charity championing animal welfare globally. Together, the team provided expert instruction in careful yet speedy tissue handling, dealing with haemorrhagic complications, and achieving unparalleled precision in suturing. After all, these are street dogs where the intention is
Lt Henry Mosey RAVC
almost immediate postoperative release – so God help you if even a millimetre of suture material is protruding from your intradermals.
The surgical participants consisted of a mix of recent graduates and final year students from across the globe. Despite overzealous “vet chat” being banned outside working hours by popular consensus, the diverse demographic allowed us to discuss the variety of protocols and approaches we had experienced in our assorted backgrounds.
Following a welcome brief upon arrival consisting mainly of ‘don’t drink the tap water, don’t get bitten and don’t faint’, it was time to jump straight into surgical routine. Feral street dogs were captured by a crack team of comically large net- wielding stalkers whom ferried their detainees back to the practice for an overnight stay before surgery.
As our canine guests were quite
irritated by their inglorious incarceration (or somewhat rabid), sedation was based on an estimated weight delivered at arm’s reach through several layers of netting. The pre-medication of choice was a Xylazine & Butorphanol combination at 2mg/kg & 0.2mg/kg respectively. The policy of generally overestimating the weight appeared to provide good levels of sedation for the remaining preoperative protocol. Once sedated, a more accurate weight was obtained, and surgical candidates were treated to an intravenous cocktail of Diazepam (0.25mg/kg), Propofol (1mg/kg), Meloxicam (0.2mg/kg), Tramadol (4mg/kg), Lignocaine (1mg/kg) and Amoxicillin (20mg/kg) with a final s/c injection of Ivermectin (0.2mg/kg). Once the bladder was expressed and final vital parameter checks completed, the patient was hurried into theatre before regaining too much consciousness.
General anaesthesia was maintained
A very crowded ‘clean’ ops theatre
Spay & Neuter Clinic, Goa, September 2018
  The entire WVS animal birth control team in Goa
The Mission Rabies catching squad

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