Tuesday, March 11, 2014

A fate-changing eye injury

The weather has been scorching of late. Spend a few minutes out in the open and we will break out in sweat but we always have the choice of going into air-conditioned vehicles or buildings. Unfortunately, this is not the case for the homeless strays out there. They are definitely having a tough time during this dry spell as even finding (soiled) water on the ground to quench their thirst is getting extremely difficult.

H has been seeing this tri-coloured girl Pam around her feeding area for a couple of years. But her location was never fixed and as she usually roams in quite a large area. Just a few months back, H discovered Pam had settled into a new site nearby, and found it easier to monitor her movements. Pam just had a litter of three surviving puppies previously and with the help of some kind friends, we got hold of them and eventually, they were rehomed. Pam was left all alone at the site with another male resident dog. Even though Pam will wag her tail at H as she knows H will always come with food for them, attempts to catch her were futile as she is a wary and elusive dog.

Pam went into heat recently and had many male dogs surrounding her for a couple of weeks. H was as helpless as Pam was as H could only keep the male dogs away when she was present. Pam herself could not even have a meal in peace. The male dogs fought and ended up limping, and unfortunately, Pam herself was not spared either. Our ongoing sterilization program Project Industrial Dogs (PID) serves to help free the street dogs from the endless reproduction cycle. This in turn also prevents fights among the male dogs especially when there is a female in heat. Sterilised dogs will also have lesser health problems as they age.

One late night during H’s routine feeding, she discovered that Pam’s face did not look quite right. Under the dim lighting, she saw blood at Pam’s left eye! H was deeply saddened by it as she knew that Pam urgently needed medical treatment yet she still could not get near her.

The weekend finally came and a few of us gathered with H to help catch Pam. We waited and waited, and Lady Luck was smiling upon us as Pam got stuck in the metal fencing when trying to escape from us. We managed to grab her legs and force her into the carrier! It was worth the long wait after all, and help will finally be given to Pam. We took a good look at Pam, and discovered that her left eyeball was still intact but the left eye was really swollen. Initially when we could only see her from a distance, we thought that she had already lost her left eyeball. We tried to keep positive that her left eye can still be saved, but it was not meant to be.
We brought Pam in to the vet, and the vet advised that Pam has already lost sight in her left eye. Her eyeball was badly infected and there was a nasty tear at the corner of her eye, most probably caused by the male dogs. She also had some abrasions on her forehead which we initially thought were human inflicted, but the vet advised that they were actually puncture wounds which were not too deep, but probably also caused by the male dogs.

Pam’s left eyeball has to be removed and we will also sterilize her at the same time. Though saddened by this, we are at the same time thankful it is nothing more serious. The vet commented Pam is actually a lovely girl who is just fearful due to lack of human contact, and we will seek to find her a home to give her a new lease of life after she has recovered. We can only take in so many dogs given the huge population at our sanctuary NANAS, but we will definitely not leave an injured dog in the lurch.

This is definitely not one of the worst cases we have seen, but it can certainly be prevented. Street animal sterilisation is one of our main focuses and we have it happening in both Singapore and Malaysia (in Malaysia, we term it as ABC – Animal Birth Control). If you can help us in helping Pam and other vulnerable street dogs like her, be it in sponsoring the sterilization of a street dog or two or helping in Pam’s medical bills, please email us at noahsarkcares@gmail.com

From all of us at Noah's Ark CARES, we appreciate your kind support as always. J

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