Friday, April 17, 2009

Animal welfare statistics for March 2009

During March we rehomed a total of 11 animals and neutered 51 (16 dogs 32 cats 2 rabbits and 1 ferret). We chipped 20 and provided low-cost veterinary treatment for 358 owned animals (214 dogs, 124 cats, 9 rabbits and 11 miscellaneous species) and 35 stray animals (4 dogs, 31 cats).

We had to put down 1 dog, 3 cats and 3 miscellaneous species on veterinary advice.

In comparison with March 2008, the neutering figures are way up — I'm not sure if this is because more people are aware they can get help with the cost of neutering their pets, or because more people are feeling short of money.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Microchipping and older cats

Fenella is off to the vet tomorrow after giving me a nasty scare. She's not yet chipped, mainly because every time she sees a vet they say, "Poor old lady," (her, not me!), "Why not wait a bit to see how she's going to go on before bothering her?" It's been seven months now, and they're quite right, her kidneys might pack up any day and she'd have to be put to sleep.

However, at the moment she's feeling perfectly well and the latest course of antibiotic has energised her to the point at which a quiet totter round the garden and back to bed is no longer enough, so she took herself off for the day. This is precisely the sort of behaviour that leads to older cats being picked up and handed in as strays. To someone who doesn't know, they look thin and people assume it means no-one is feeding them and they ought to be taken to a rescue organisation. This is probably why Fen was brought to us in the first place. Older cats may not normally wander far, but it is particularly important that they are chipped so that they don't end up taking places needed by genuinely unwanted animals.

Anyway, lesson learned; she's not going out again until she has her identichip.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Pregnant cat

I thought this was going to be simple; her owner phoned first thing asking for financial help because she was unsteady and didn't seem to be able to lift her tail. This is commonly the result of an infected bite near the base of the tail, which usually responds well to antibiotics, so I authorised £50 for first aid at the closest private vet, with the owner to transfer her to the RSPCA clinic tomorrow morning if further treatment was needed.

Turns out she's almost certainly been hit by a car, and she's currently not able to work the muscles that should expel urine from her bladder, so she needs inpatient treatment with periodic manual emptying of the bladder. The second problem is that she's very heavily pregnant and near term. More or less the same set of abdominal muscles are responsible for pushing out kittens... so she'll have to have a caesarian. The muscle problems may or may not clear up with time - there's nothing the vets can do other than supportive treatment as it depends on whether the nerves which control the muscle have been destroyed beyond recovery or just damaged and capable of regrowth. If she doesn't get back enough function to control her own bladder there's really no option other than euthanasia, as it will eventually damage her kidneys.

When all this was explained to her owner, his immediate reaction was to ask for her to be put down straight away. The nurses didn't want to do this and persuaded him to sign the cat over. One of the vets has kindly offered to do the caesarian in her own time (to keep costs for us as low as possible) and the nurses will then take it in turns to foster her together with the kittens to give them all at least a fighting chance.

Injured staffie

He was found in Milton Country Park by a member of the public and taken to Village Vets for first aid. They think he's definitely got a broken jaw and possibly a fractured leg, so we're covering the cost of first aid with them and one of our volunteer drivers is going to transfer him to the clinic tomorrow morning.

No details yet about his general appearance, other than that he's very friendly. If he might be yours, please contact Village Vets (before tomorrow) or email (after then).

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

The puppies who were dumped in the Newnham village play area

These puppies were found just before Easter in a rubbish bin on the Newnham Village play area, They're about 6 weeks old.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Update on the St Bernards

It sounds as if the response to the appeal to rehome the St Bernards is going really well. The Northants Evening Telegraph reports that the dedicated number (0300 123 8000) set up to answer enquiries about adopting one of them has already had over 3,000 calls. Even if less than 10% have suitable facilities for such large dogs, it looks as if all of them are going to find homes with no more waiting.

Let's hope that some of the callers who don't adopt a St Bernard will consider some of the other thousands of dogs who also need homes—some of them very much less challenging to care for simply because they're a more manageable size.