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Clinic Day....

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
We have two scheduled spay/neuter clinics for stray/feral cats here--one is one the second Sunday of each month at PACCA, the second is two weeks later at the SPCA. Today was our PACCA clinic day, and we spayed/neutered 77 cats. The vet at the SPCA has told us he wants to do at least 100 (last time we did 110). Previously our average was 50-60 cats per clinic. In addition to spay/neuter we also offer other services such as immunizations, fostering and, at the SPCA, FIV/FELV testing.

We've got a good solid group of volunteers including vets, vet techs, and laypeople with varying degrees of knowledge. We operate under sometimes difficult and cramped conditions, but all of us recognize that the welfare of the cats comes first no matter what. Yep, we're all in it for the pussy.

This doesn't mean things won't go wrong. That's to be expected when dealing with medical care, especially for stray and feral animals. We lost two cats today. One was an older cat who recovered normally but died after being taken home--as we do not do autopsies we'll never know why it died. The other was a five-day-old kitten that was too weak to be fed and was already half-dead--still heartbreaking. But at every clinic I do see the same people; they suck it up and cowboy on. I'm approaching my own anniversary in October at a recovery worker and expect to be cross-trained as an OR assistant.

I've seen a steady improvement in our capabilities, and in my own as well. Our recovery area has gone from blankets on the floor to tables with heating pads. I, with no medical background, have learned to observe for complications and administer injections and fluids. And I've had the opportunity to teach the same to other volunteers.

TNR is taking off in Philadelphia, and our clinics are helping it do so. I'm beat, I've been on my feet since 9 this morning, and I'm gonna make this an early night. I'll report on the next clinic....
post #2 of 13
That's great...and I'm glad that more people who are involved with clinics are posting numbers. It's a great way to share how TNR is improving things all across the country!

Let us know how the SPCA clinic goes in 2 weeks and congrats on your promotion to OR assistant.

Katie
post #3 of 13
Wow, that is pretty impressive!
post #4 of 13
Thread Starter 
114 cats were spayed/neutered at today's clinic--78 of which were females. We only lost two. I've been on my feet from 9:00AM to 7:00PM, and I'm beat. I may have been working on cats, but now it's my "dogs" that are barking up a storm. The next clinic will be the second Sunday in September, so I should be rested and ready.

The vet was phenomenal. He did every one of the spay surgeries himself with a team of students who closed the cats for him--and he frequently griped that he wasn't getting enough cats fast enough! None of the cats we lost were lost in the O.R. They tested FIV or FELV positive and were euthanized--this is a decision made by the individual trappers.

As always when dealing with strays and ferals, other issues such as fight injuries present themselves. One cat had a horribly lacerated foreleg that looked like it had gone through a meatgrinder. The trapper who brought him in said he'd been like that a month or more but couldn't be caught until now. The O.R. crew cleaned the wounds, and he's now recovering with the trapper.

We're fed and supported by a variety of individual trappers and small rescue groups; another of the latter joined us today and took several kittens to be fostered and socialized.

I didn't work the O.R. today as I was needed in recovery--I'm pretty much in charge of training new volunteers there and making sure all cats receive flea treatments. I'm also one of the best "scruffers" we've got, a skill that comes in handy when cats sometimes recover too quickly--even a tame housecat can freak out when it's coming out from under anesthesia. I don't wear gloves because I really can't work well in them, so I've probably absorbed a considerable amount of Frontline through my fingertips. I can probably now kill fleas just by looking at them.

Well, that's it for today's clinic--I'm going to bed....
post #5 of 13
Thread Starter 
Dr. Muraka was probably disappointed that we didn't have 100 or more, but trapping is unpredictable. I caught one--a friendly stray I was able to hand-capture. Local intel says he has an owner, but I spent 20 minutes with a razor cutting burrs out of his fur--some owner! Real prizewinner, that one.

We lost two--one was anemic with heart problems (I'm guessing)--it died in the OR. The other was euthanized.

Our next clinic is scheduled at PACCA for 10/07/07. I've a line on a truck yard with a feral population. One of the drivers has been feeding them and wants to trap them--the issue is recovery space....
post #6 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by ipw533 View Post
Dr. Muraka was probably disappointed that we didn't have 100 or more, but trapping is unpredictable. I caught one--a friendly stray I was able to hand-capture. Local intel says he has an owner, but I spent 20 minutes with a razor cutting burrs out of his fur--some owner! Real prizewinner, that one.

We lost two--one was anemic with heart problems (I'm guessing)--it died in the OR. The other was euthanized.

Our next clinic is scheduled at PACCA for 10/07/07. I've a line on a truck yard with a feral population. One of the drivers has been feeding them and wants to trap them--the issue is recovery space....


89 is still a very good number of cats. And that is 89 fewer that are breeding.

Katie
post #7 of 13
Thread Starter 
We only lost 3, and those were FELV positives who were euthanized. The decision to put them down was the right one; I worked on one cat who was an absolute nightmare. His front claws were grown into his paw pads, and his teeth/mouth were completely rotten. Maggots were crawling out of his nose.

The trapper told me he voluntarily entered the trap--I can believe that. This was a cat looking to end it's suffering, and we did that for him.

The next clinic is the 28th--I'm there. Give you a report then....
post #8 of 13
Thread Starter 
Only one positive. I trapped two last night who turned out to have been previously neutered and eartipped. I hand-captured a third--a friendly stray (probably dumped) with a flea collar and 4-5 weeks pregnant. She'll deliver around Thanksgiving.

Normally pregnant cats are spayed and the kittens are aborted, but the ladies on my block who serve as my "eyes and ears" asked that this not be done. So, in the interests of preserving my local intel sources I guess I'll be fostering some Turkey Day kittens. The two boys will be released tomorrow morning when the anesthesia wears off.

When I came home (long day--we ran about 10 hours), a surprise was waiting for me: a 4-5 week old kitten with a bad-sounding URI. The neighbor who surrendered her said she had initially been prescribed Clavamox but she ran out. I started her on 0.01ml per 12 hours but may increase to 0.25ml; she also has an eye infection to be treated with a topical antibiotic. She's active and has an appetite, so hopefully this will go better than the last time I tried my hand at this....
post #9 of 13
I am glad so many people are trapping these poor kitties and bringing them to you folks, who are simply doing life-saving, wonderful work. The numbers are amazing to me, under 100 or not. I wish every place had an effort like yours going on. You're fantastic - keep up the good work!
post #10 of 13
Thread Starter 
Our biggest single day yet--done with a short volunteer staff. The OR and recovery areas were chaotic, primarily due to a combination of fewer than normal volunteers and an improved aneasthetic "cocktail".

One of the biggest problems we have in recovery is that cats come out of surgery faster than they recover from the aneasthesia, so we quickly run out of space. With the new cocktail they do recover far more quickly, but this presented us with a different set of problems.

Cats in the OR were aneasthetized and tied to their sleds but recovered before surgical tables were ready for them--they had to be re-aneasthetized. Cats brought to recovery were often either half or fully awake, which made vaccinations and eartipping difficult--much of my time was spent scruffing and immobilizing cats who were awake and did not want to be eartipped or stuck with syringes.

Good news/bad news. We only lost one cat today, and she was an FIV-positive feral/stray slated to go back outside. Unfortunately, I was the one who trapped her so I was the one who had to make the decision and give the order. There were no "good" choices in this scenario, only bad and worse ones. I made the best decision I could. I've been doing the clinical end of this for over a year now, and this is the first time I've had to make that call....
post #11 of 13
Thread Starter 
"URI Kitty", aka Olivia, has made a very nice recovery. She seemed half-gone when I got her two weeks ago but an aggressive course of Clavamox treatment cleared her up. She'll need a second less-aggressive course and some eye meds (which I have), but she's "over the hump". I expect a full recovery. Today she got her 3-in-1 injection and tested FIV/FELV negative; she's still too young and small for rabies and surgery--that's projected for 01/08....
post #12 of 13
Thread Starter 
"I hand-captured a third--a friendly stray (probably dumped) with a flea collar and 4-5 weeks pregnant. She'll deliver around Thanksgiving.

Normally pregnant cats are spayed and the kittens are aborted, but the ladies on my block who serve as my "eyes and ears" asked that this not be done. So, in the interests of preserving my local intel sources I guess I'll be fostering some Turkey Day kittens."

This morning Lydia delivered four apparently very healthy kittens (they sure sounded healthy) in our bedroom closet....
post #13 of 13
Thread Starter 
Make that five. The Other Half has already determined that one of them, a grey tabby, will be named Toonces....
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