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May 2017 Newsletter from Amigos de Animales

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Amigos de Animales

May 2017 Newsletter

April Clinic Report

On Sunday April 30, Amigos de Animales spayed or neutered 168 animals, 77 dogs and 91 cats.  This was a very smooth running clinic, not too long for the animals to wake up, fast turnover of the tables, everyone out by 3.  We were happy to welcome back Dr Cesar who has been ill and unable to come to the clinic for several months.  We wish him a continued good recovery.
We are privileged to spend time at the clinic with some wonderful animals and in many cases interact with their owners.  They are proud of their pets, anxious for their recovery, and thankful for the service we provide.  We see some big and fat and happy cats and some skinny and under-fed dogs.  We care for them all and are often sad to see them on their way if they don’t have a home to go to, as might be the case with the animals brought by the collectors.  Sometimes, a volunteer is so taken with the animalthey are working with they are adopted and taken to a new home.
All this says is that we as volunteers care about the work we do, love the animals we work with, and hope for the best for a happy and safe life for them.  I speak from experience as I fell in love with a sad scrawny starving puppy 6 years ago and now he is my best friend.  He was brought in by a collector, and we thank them for their care in finding and bringing animals to us at the clinic.
The next clinic will be on Sunday May 28.  For an appointment, contact Magaly at 6563-8686 or boqueteanimales@gmail.com.
To volunteer, contact Leslie atbrubble51b@gmail.com.


Financial Update

           Clinic Income                                  1963.70
           Donations                                          696.00
Total Income                                              2659.70
Building Repairs/Maint.                           1519.17
Clinic Supplies                                              89.61
Food/Kitchen Supplies                                93.31
Medical                                                       2415.50
Misc.   100.00
Office Expense                                             48.36
Phone Card/Internet                                  25.00
Salary—Clinic Coordinator                      260.00
Utilities                                                         40.45
Vet Services                                              2101.05
Web Page                                                 1500.00
Yard Maintenance                                     105.00
Total Expense                                          8297.45
Net Income                                          ($5637.75)

Dreams DO Come True!

After five years in various shelters, Chester the pit mix was snapped up by a loving family immediately after a simple photo of the lonely pooch with a sign that read the following was posted online:

“Anybody want me? I’ve been waiting 5 years. Everyone at the shelter tells me what a good boy I am. So why has no one adopted me? I promise to be good and love my new family. Please maybe you are my new family. I sit and wait for you to come.”—Chester

Dreams do come true, Chester!


Most of us who live in Panama and have dogs are aware that “tick fever” is endemic  in all parts of the country. While the name “tick fever” can cover many types of tick borne diseases, the type here is Ehrlichiosis.  It is caused by the Ehrlichia bacteria, a genus of rickettsiales.
As Ehrlichiosis can be fatal, and because treatment is prolonged, the first line of defense should be prevention. Tick preventatives such as Frontline Plus,  Revolution, or Advantix (monthly spot-on treatments) and/or tick collars, e.g., Preventic , are important for all dogs that spend time outdoors.  Some preventatives work better in some areas of the community than do others, so seek advice from your pet-loving neighbors. Secondly, check your dog on a daily basis for ticks and remove them at once as it is believed that ticks must feed for 24-48 hours to spread Ehrlichia. Dogs can groom away some ticks, but be extra careful to examine  those areas that their tongue doesn’t reach like the head , neck, chest, and ears.  Don’t forget to check between the toes.
Ticks need humidity to survive, so you also may need to attack the outdoor areas most likely to nurture them. Shrubs and grassy areas should be cut regularly so as to allow air and light and, if ticks are posing a particular problem, you may want to consider spraying those areas your dog habituates. 
Should your dog contract Ehrlichiosis, symptoms will appear from one to three weeks after being bitten by an infected tick. Those symptoms include joint pain, joint swelling, lameness, enlarged lymph nodes, weakness, lethargy, lack of appetite, and difficulty breathing. This is the acute phase of the disease.  Some dogs experience only a few of the symptoms rather than all of them. Kris Berg, owner of Howling Success Kennels who has daily interaction with dogs in and around Boquete, says that the first symptoms she has observed are almost always loss of appetite and lethargy.
 It is noteworthy that bacteria may be present for months or years without exhibiting symptoms. Blood tests usually are conducted to confirm a diagnosis, but they do not always provide clear and definitive diagnostic answers.  Vets do the best they can, but blood testing is a “moment in time” while the disease is a progression of infection. Ehlichiosis therefore can be difficult to diagnose with confidence.
If left untreated, Ehrlichiosis can progress to the chronic phase and severe, often fatal  illness can develop. Symptoms of chronic  tick fever include abnormal  bleeding, severe weight loss, fever, increased difficulty breathing due to inflammation of the lungs, joint inflammation and pain, eye inflammation, lack of coordination, head tilt, anemia, kidney failure, and paralysis. Ehrlichiosis usually can be treated, regardless of the stage of infection. However, the earlier the disease is detected, the more rapid is recovery. Chronically infected dogs may require treatment for several months. Dogs with severe anemia or hemorrhage may require blood transfusions.
Should your pet be diagnosed with Ehrlichiosis, the vet will prescribe antibiotic treatment, usually tetracycline or doxycycline. While symptoms may improve after a few days, treatment usually runs three to four weeks.  It is important that the dog be treated for the full period to eradicate the Ehrlichia bacteria.
As you can see from our monthly financial report, we care for many animals each month, but the cost of medications, anesthesia, supplies, etc. far outweigh the income we generate from payment for our services.  We never turn away an animal, regardless of the owner's ability to pay.  We also have several great Collectors who gather animals from Boquete, Dolega, David and beyond and bring them to our clinic for neutering or spaying.  Please help us continue to care for the health and well-being of Chiriqui's animals by making a donation of any size!
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