PART 3 IN THE SERIES “MEXICO’S STREET DOG HEROES”
So, last week we wrote about their dog houses and now we focus on veterinary medicine in Playa del Carmen. Certainly, this is a very beautiful spot on Mexico’s Riviera Maya. On the other hand, however, it also has a not so pretty side when it comes to Mexico’s vulnerable pets.
Chanel’s Long Journey Ahead
Mid November 2018, she was found wandering in traffic, confused and terrified. Thankfully, though, Alex saw this tiny, skinny pup and took her home. When she was unable to find its owner, The Snoopi Project immediately took on this extreme rescue case. Without hesitation, Founder/Director, Kelly Whittemore, went straight to HospiPet Playa veterinary clinic to see Dr. Eduardo “Lalo” Cárdenas.
It was evident that this very sick girl had been abandoned, but she needed a new name. And, for her new start in life, she became Chanel. Yes, that same tiny Chihuahua you saw last week in Whittemore’s arms, and topping this page, held by Dr. Lalo.
The first examination revealed that she was approximately seven years old, extremely malnourished, and weighed barely 2.5 pounds. She also refused to eat or drink on her own. On top of that, she had lost 50 percent of her hair, and suffered from hypertension in her lungs. And, to make matters even worse, the little girl had a bladder tumor as well as heart worms. Her chances of survival looked really grim.
But Chanel is a little fighter. When she is strong enough, she’ll undergo surgery to remove the tumor, be spayed, and have her teeth cleaned. Only then will she be able to start heart worm treatment. Meanwhile, she is receiving excellent care from her vets as well as foster mom, Cryss.
VETERINARY CARE FOR MEXICO’S MOST VULNERABLE
Q & A WITH DR. “LALO”
Established in 2012, HospiPet Playa Clínica Veterinaria is a medical center specializing in surgery and cancer treatment for small species. Dr. Eduardo “Lalo” Cárdenas has been practicing in Playa del Carmen for 25 years and is highly regarded by the community. So, counting on his experience and excellent reputation, I asked him about veterinary care for Mexico’s most vulnerable.
Infectious And Contagious Diseases
Pet Peeves Unmasked: What are the most common illnesses you see in your practice?
Dr. “Lalo”: Many of our cases involve hemoparasitosis, such as ehrlichia and anaplasma.
Ehrlichiosis is an infectious tick-borne illness. The ehrlichia bacteria attacks a dog’s blood cells and causes chronic infection.
Anaplasma is also spread by ticks. Anaplasmosis comes in two forms and infects white blood cells and platelets.
DL: We also treat a lot of patients suffering from viral infections, like parvovirus, feline leukemia, and distemper. Fairly common, too, are skin infections, such as atopia.
Canine parvovirus (CPV) is highly contagious, the most common form being intestinal.
Feline leukemia virus (FeLV) is a disease that impairs a cat’s immune system and commonly causes anemia and lymphoma.
Canine distemper has no known cure. It affects the respiratory, gastrointestinal and central nervous systems, as well as the conjunctival membranes of the eye.
Atopia. Atopic reactions are caused by localized hypersensitivity reaction to an allergen.
PPU: Are some of the illnesses you mentioned prevalent in tropic climates, especially when pets are outdoors for extended periods?
DL: Yes, that is so. Hemoparasitosis is typical of hot, humid regions like ours.
PPU: In Playa del Carmen are there campaigns offering free or low-cost sterilization and parasite treatment for dogs and cats?
DL: Absolutely. Both local government and private organizations hold events so that low-income families can have their pets neutered.
PPU: What can you tell us about incidences of mistreatment?
DL: First of all it’s to do with irresponsible pet ownership, not seeking early medical attention. And, second, aggressive behavior between pets where there are multiple family members living under the same roof. This shows a total lack of control and planning. And, this problem also occurs at animal shelters.
PPU: What’s the most valuable advice you can give to families who are struggling financially?
DL: I’d suggest they assess their personal circumstances — social, economic, health — that directly impact their ability to look after a pet. People should evaluate these things before getting a dog, or a cat. Are they willing to allow the animal to become a member of the family? If not, then it would be better for them not to have one.
To Sum Up
Here are some of the people who deserve credit for the efforts described in this week’s blog. They are the heroes. Thank you for what you do!
- Dr. Eduardo Cárdenas
- Dr. Simón Rosales
- Simón Méndez – General Assistant
- Laura Velázquez – Assistant
- Foster mother, Cryss
- The Snoopi Project
- All those who donate to veterinary care for Mexico’s most vulnerable dogs and cats
Visit HospiPet Playa’s website: http://www.hospipetplaya.com
Follow them on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/hospipetplaya
Please be sure to check in next week. We’ll be returning to Tulum to see how the community works together for the good of the animals.
Together, let’s keep our precious pets healthy, happy and safe!
The Complete Series
In case you missed any of the other articles in this series of six, here’s your chance to catch up now.
MEXICO’S STREET DOG HEROES
DOG HOUSES SHELTER MEXICO’S PETS https://petpeevesunmasked.com/dog-houses-shelter-Mexico’s-pets/
TULUM’S TIRELESS ANIMAL ADVOCATES https://petpeevesunmasked.com/tulums-tireless-animal-advocates/
CANADIANS ADOPT HOMELESS MEXICAN PUPPIES
CANCUN DOG RESCUER SAVED CHICA