A vet has returned from an overseas mercy mission to help sick and injured dogs.

Stray dog
Stray dogs are a big problem in Sri Lanka.

Laura Gillis of Westway Veterinary Group in Newcastle-upon-Tyne spent two weeks in Sri Lanka neutering, vaccinating and treating diseased and neglected strays.

The visit was set up by friend and Westway colleague Janey Lowes, who has been volunteering in Sri Lanka for nearly two years and founded the charity WECare Worldwide.

Challenging situations

Sri Lanka is home to around three million roaming dogs, many of which suffer from serious cases of mange, tumours, broken bones, wounds, malnutrition and diseases.

Together, Miss Gillis and Dr Lowes neutered and vaccinated 240 dogs over four days at a pop-up clinic, before travelling around in WECare’s tuk-tuk catching injured and sick dogs for treatment.

Miss Gillis said: “The operations, though routine and something we do daily in the UK, threw up some challenging situations. A lot of the animals have underlying diseases, meaning they can bleed a lot during surgery, so we had to be confident with our technique and ligatures.

“Apart from surgical challenges, there was also the heat and humidity to deal with, and the locals who provided an intimidating audience crowding around the surgical area watching us operate.”

Supply drop

Laura and dogs
Laura Gillis with some of the dogs helped by charity WECare Worldwide.

Westway donated £10,000 as a start-up fund for the work of WECare in Sri Lanka and Miss Gillis travelled to the island with bandages, surgical instruments, flea and worming products and other supplies.

She said: “The hardest thing I saw in Sri Lanka was an injured dog that had extensive injuries to its mouth and head after coming across an explosive trap set out for wild boar. The dog appeared to be in excruciating pain, but had been left for almost a whole day before receiving treatment.

“Unfortunately, the dog was euthanised, but not before first convincing the owners of the benefits, as euthanasia is frowned upon in the Buddhist culture and the majority of people refuse to help stop animal suffering in this way.

“The trip opened my eyes to the hard lives some animals live and made me realise how lucky my two cocker spaniels are.”

View your activity >

Leave a Reply

Be the First to Comment!

Notify of
avatar

wpDiscuz

related content

Boehringer Ingelheim Animal Health is celebrating after selling four billion doses of vaccines against Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae, porcine circovirus disease and porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome.

A vet has spoken of her astonishment after an x-ray of a Staffordshire bull terrier puppy revealed an 8in kitchen knife lodged inside its body.

5 mins

The benefits of pet ownership on human health may help the NHS reduce costs by nearly £2.45 billion – and vets should be praised for playing their part by keeping the nation’s animals healthy, according to a report.

5 mins

A former shopping centre plant room that has been transformed into a state-of-the-art surgery marks a milestone for an expanding veterinary group.

3 mins

Kelly Bowlt Blacklock looks at studies on companion animal wound care, focusing on emerging techniques (part 1/2).

22 mins

Annamaria Nagy and Sue Dyson investigate some of the advances in diagnostic imaging in horses using studies on techniques to discover injuries.

28 mins