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52 animals sterilized on this date!

Our fourth sterilization blitz was held on October 1, 2006, again at the offices of Francia Pinedo (Bienes Raices Volcán).  The same as the last clinic, our vets were Dr. Andres Tello from Costa Rica, and Dr. Letty de Guajardo and Dr. Raquel Fuster from Panama City. 

We sterilized 44 dogs and 8 cats. Most of them belonged to lower-income Panamanians; therefore contributions were minimal. Surgeries for big dogs take the longest; and this time we had a lot of VERY BIG dogs, some of them pregnant or in heat, in which cases the surgeries take even longer. In addition we sterilized one female dog that also had a prolapsed uterus, which the vet removed. The surgery for this dog took about an hour. We also had to give to give her an IV solution during the recovery period because she lost a lot of blood during surgery. (A prolapsed uterus is when the uterus actually hangs outside the vagina. It looks like a big tumor. The condition is not uncommon with dogs in Volcan.) 

Thanks to Jim Cone who donated the non-subsidized price of $40 for his male dog; and to Gene and Janet Robinson who donated the non-subsidized price of $40 for their male dog plus an extra $10. (Gene also went to Melo's and bought $6.50 worth of Vitamin B-12 for us.)  Interesting: after Gene and Janet's dog "Woody" was given the anesthesia but before any surgery was performed, it was discovered that Woody had already been sterilized! (Sometime in the past, not by us.) This is why we hope to have a tattoo machine in time for the next clinic so that we can tattoo an "S" (for "sterilized") inside one ear of all the dogs. (Gene graciously declined my offer to refund his money since no surgery was performed. At least Woody received his B-12 and antiparasite injections plus Rabies vaccination...although he wouldn't have needed to be anesthetized for that!)

Donations totaled $329. Actual costs including vet payments were approximately $1,927, which left a $1,598 deficit for the October 1st clinic. (This figure does not include the costs for food and lodging for the vets, garbage bags, distilled water for the autoclave, garbage disposal, truck for pick up and delivery of animals, pickup and delivery of the vets to/from the airport in David, diesel, detergent, clorox, paper towels, food, snacks, drinks, etc. It also does not include one-time expenses: tables, stainless steel operating tables, stainless steel positioners, expensive surgical instruments, chairs, lamps, scales, tarps, plastic carrying boxes, cages, catch pole, autoclave, towels, blankets, insulation for floor (the animals need to be kept warm after surgery), etc.

Dr. Letty and Dr. Raquel arrived in David the evening of September 30th. Harry went to the airport to bring them to Volcan.  At the same time, I went to Francia's offices to do setup for the next day. (We had already taken most of the equipment and supplies to her office, consisting of several pickup loads.) Dr. Letty and Dr. Raquel had dinner with me and spent the night.

At 7:30 on Sunday morning, we all went to Francia's office and completed the last minute setup details.

None of us - vets or volunteers - ever stop for a "lunch break." We grab a sandwich when we can. Thanks very much to Michael Farenthold for providing sandwiches for the entire group of vets and volunteers. (Donations by other people/businesses are listed HERE.) 

Ruby McKenzie, Dr. Chely and Suzanne Gardner came from Boquete to help. Ruby helped with registration and tagging the animals, Dr. Chely gave the anesthesia, and Suzanne handled the post-op duties - cleaning the animals, giving antiparasite and B-12 shots, putting antibiotic cream on the incisions, etc.

Matute Caballero, Harry Harrison, Jose Espinosa and his son Edwin all helped with weighing of the animals. They also went to bring several really vicious dogs to the clinic, having to use catch poles, muzzles, etc.

Bill Fulleton handled the registration with Ruby's help. Michael Farenthold and Wally Ewen did the pre-op shaving and cleaning of the animals. Yina Ortiz gave the pre-op shots of antibiotics and analgesic.

Yimel Caballero handled the autoclave and cleaning and sterilizing of instruments. 

Fariza Castillo did a wonderful job with after care, as did several Panamanian youngsters. (I will get their names next time.) Francia Pinedo and Norma Castillo also helped with after care. 

Every one of the volunteers also helped with "taxi service" - carrying the animals to and from the operating tables.

Thanks so much for all of our wonderful volunteers and everyone who has participated in the sterilization process for these dogs and cats. We simply could not provide this vital service without you! All of the above local volunteers have committed to be a part of our team in future clinics.  I love you all - and so do these fortunate animals! Together we can make a difference!

Our next clinic will be the first part of December, 2006.

Dorothy Atwater - 771-5883 or 6642-0036 or

Pictures of our fourth sterilization clinic are below:



Wally Ewen, one of the excellent pre-op team!

Michael Farenthold in pre-op, cleaning an animal after shaving. Behind him is Yina Ortiz preparing to give shots. 

Dr. Letty spays  female dog.
Dr. Raquel and her assistant (her niece).

Spaying a dog and terminating pregnancy of 11 puppies.

This is what a prolapsed uterus looks like - actually hanging outside the vagina. 


Yimel Cabellero was responsible for sterilizing instruments and the autoclave.

Suzanne from Boquete handled post-op shots and treatments.

Sarin, jefa at Farmacia Don Bosco, with her dog after surgery.

The white stuff is the antibiotic cream on the tiny incision resulting from the spaying of Sarin's dog.

Matute Caballero and
Dr. Chely from Boquete.

Francia Pinedo (Bienes Raices Volcan) who graciously allows us to use her offices.

A little boy sits with his dog in recovery.

More recovering animals and their owners.


Fariza Castillo did a wonderful job with the recovering animals. 

Deny Espinoza helps in recovery.

A young man sits with his dog
after surgery.


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