Saturday, December 17, 2016

A dogs death and a generous donation

There are days when you don't really know what the meaning of what you experienced was. Today I went to the vet care to get more injections for the neighbors puppy I take care of (he is getting better). When I picked the puppy up at neighbors house a guy approached me asking if I was a doctor. "No,  sorry", I said, "I just bring the dogs to the doctor." He seemed to be very distressed and told me his dog is very sick and the foreign vet is out of town and someone told him to look for me.

Busy day at Bunthas clinic. 
So I told him that I am on the way to the vet care anyway. When I arrived, his dog, a 6 month old Rottweiler, was already there on two drips. The dog had parvovirus and was in a very bad state. The guy said he got the dog from China and was told he was vaccinated - what he was obviously not.

At the same time a young lady came passing by with her bicycle. He stopped, looked at the vet care sign, looked at me and asked me if this was a a vet clinic. I explained her what Ok Hok Sy Veterinary clinic is, told her about the Rottweiler and the threat of parvovirus in Siem Reap and South-East-Asia in general. She was clearly impressed and offered a generous donation for some free vaccinations.

An hour later I came back to the vet just to see how the Rottweiler was doing, but as I feared, he passed away already. His owner was with him all the time, cleaning him, holding him, but the virus had progressed too far.

Another hour later I saw the lady again and she told me she donated 160  USD for vaccines and Bunthas work (yes, she said she wants to pay for his work as well, something I really support).

So, out of the bad news came something good. At least seven dogs will get vaccinated for free soon. But many more need to.

P.S.: I believe that donations help short term, and they are necessary. But long term only behavior change will help, and that means that local people need  to pay for vaccinations. It already starts – as it did in Thailand - with pedigree dogs, because they are expensive. Other dogs will follow, and it will turn into common knowledge. I am working on a small leaflet that explains in simple words why a rabies and parvovirus vaccinations is so important. Stay tuned.

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