Russell helps at a rural rainforest clinic..

The rural communities around Dolphin bay in Bocas del Toro have had no, or very limited, access to medical care for their animals due to COVID-19. So hearing that there was a vet cruising around the area an impromptu “clinic” was arranged. Before poor Russell realised the bit of “helping out” turned into 15 dogs and 5 dog spays being booked in for treatment and operations.

Great vet footwear, spot the injection anyone?

“Where” I asked. “There” he pointed, “what that tiny bamboo shack on water?” “Er, yes apparently”, responds Russell. We both laugh a bit nervously with images of dogs jumping into the water to escape. So we’ve delayed sailing to the next bay until the clinic is done. The chocolate guys (Gary & Carlos) have kindly offered the use of their boat dock for the clinic, so Chloe and I have taken the opportunity for school on land too for maximising the breeze, WiFi and space to work. Huge thanks to the chocolate farm guys again, such an amazing and generous couple.

Russell in action
School at the chocolate farm, great view

The first dogs arrive in dugout canoes heading for the clinic in the the thatch gazebo thing in the photo. Not your normal parking arrangement outside a vets practice!

Arrivals at the clinic

A makeshift table, drip bags held by string on bamboo and me holding a torch. Everyone acts like it’s normal, it’s rather surreal. The dogs waiting are feet and inches away from the dog being operated on. No wonder there is not a peep of sound out of them. I’d be terrified too!

All goes well, 20 dogs successfully treated and if the action wasn’t exciting enough a sloth descended from the tree beside the pontoon to lower its derrière into the water to go to the loo. Great end to a busy day 🤣

Sloth descending to use the “bathroom”
Happy client leaving and waving goodbye

10 thoughts on “Russell helps at a rural rainforest clinic..

  1. Gosh! What fun! Slightly bemused by the iv fluids but absence of anaesthetic machine! What did you keep them asleep with?

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    1. I/V ketamine, Valium and xylazine cocktail. Pre-op acepromazine and opiate. Yes blood pressure was an issue but the central venous pressure was fine throughout. Mostly…

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