A team from The Mayhew Animal Home in north London visited Tbilisi in Georgia to introduce a new protocol for anaesthesia in the aftermath of the worst floods to hit the capital.
The visitors, who included Mayhew chief executive Caroline Yates and registered veterinary nurse Laura Brind took much needed surgical equipment for the Tbilisi municipal shelter. Among the supplies were antibiotics, sutures, flea treatments, microchip scanners, dog crates, collars and leads.
Unfortunately, in Georgia, there is limited access to good anaesthetic drugs and pain relief. The shelter team do not have access to gas anaesthesia and are reliant on injectable drugs which have to be monitored very carefully. The protocol that was introduced helps to prevent the use of many top ups of drugs, providing a more stable anaesthesia and less chance of the dogs waking up during the surgery.
The team also helped with surgery and vet training and also treated two kittens with severe conjunctivitis, which would otherwise have gone blind. The kittens were also severely dehydrated in the blistering heat.
Dr Mohammadzai said: “Conjunctivitis can cause blindness and these kittens wouldn’t have survived as they couldn’t see anything due to a massive discharge in both eyes.
“We cleaned their eyes out and gave them an eye treatment including antibiotics. It was almost 100°F intense heat, so they were in a bad way.”
On the team’s first day at the shelter, a dog was brought in with a severely infected bite wound and an umbilical hernia. The team helped save the dog by administering antibiotics and pain relief. They also placed it on intravenous fluids to help hydrate and support it as it had a very high temperature.
Mayhew International also offered training, advice and assistance to the council in Rustavi City, near Tbilisi. There are an estimated 4,000 strays there, but it is difficult to get an exact figure as there is no dog management policy in place. The team offered to carry out a dog survey for the town, similar to one it had just carried out in Afghanistan.