Posts Tagged With: paw

The Tanzanian Veterinarian, Part 2

As I said in my previous post, I have to get daily shots of antibiotics to make sure that my foot injury doesn’t become serious.  On Saturday, we scheduled my second appointment with Jovi for 10am Sunday morning.  At around 9:45, mom and I set out for Jovi’s house, which he had described for us the day before.  But, as we learned, Tanzanians are not experts at giving directions.

After asking about 3 different people, we finally found the turn-off for the Mwanzan suburb where Jovi lived.  We drove down a long dirt road through several villages that we never even knew existed.  Again, we had to stop and ask where Jovi’s building was located.  Mom asked one man, “doktori mbwa?” and the man replied, “I know what a vet is, but I don’t know where he is, ask someone else”.  So we drove on and stopped at a pharmacy.  Mom had to wake the girl working there to ask, “do you know where Jovi the dog doctor lives?”  She looked at me and at mom with a blank stare, “what do you want?”  “We are looking for a man named Jovi”.  “A man?”  Clearly this was going nowhere, so we continued driving.

Looking for Jovi

Eventually, we found the compound where Jovi said he lived, but unfortunately his phone was not working and there were about 100 houses there.  Mom was going to start knocking on doors asking for Jovi, but I didn’t really think that was a smart idea and I didn’t really want to get another shot anyway.

After asking a few more people about Jovi with no helpful answers, we decided to just return home and wait until we could reach him on the phone.  I was happy because I got to ride in a car with mom for one and a half hours without having to get a shot, but mom was upset about using so much time.  We drove home and waited for Jovi’s call.

Driving home

Not surprisingly, Jovi’s call never came and I got to spend Sunday injection-free.  On Monday, however, I was not quite so lucky.

After mom got home from work yesterday, we went for a walk and then Jovi arrived with his bag of torture gear.  Mom thought she was clever and had some sticks with peanut butter and some sausages ready to distract me from the shot, but I’m not a little puppy anymore and that stuff doesn’t work on me like it used to.

Taking a breather while Jovi prepares

This time, I had to get TWO shots, one for antibiotics and one for internal and external parasites to control the mites that might be causing my mange.  The first one was in my neck and I survived.  The second one was in my bum and it hurt like heck!

Getting a shot in my bum

After the shot I leapt out of mom’s arms and ran away, while trying to itch my bum.  It was a stinging and an itching feeling both at the same time.  This caused me to run around in circles chasing the itchy spot; you should try to itch your bum with a long body like me!  And of course, everyone just sat and laughed at me; next time I’d like to see them get a shot in the bum and be totally cool about it.

Lastly, Jovi left my mom with a solution to mix in water and spray onto my skin to control mites, fleas, and ticks.  On the box of skin medicine was a picture of my favorite animal, the cow, so this made me feel cool.  It also made me wonder if Jovi thinks I’m a livestock…

Me and my livestock medicine

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The Tanzanian Veterinarian

Remember when I told you about my little licking problem?  Well, it hasn’t gotten better, in fact the other day it started bleeding and I got my blood all over mom.  So, she decided it was time to call the Tanzanian veterinarian.  His name is Jovi and he was recommended to my mom by one of her friends.

My injury

Jovi is a veterinarian who makes house calls, which is not very common in the US.  Back in Ithaca, my mom always had to make an appointment and then we would go to a special building to see the veterinarian.  However, in Tanzania, like most other things, it’s different.  Here, my mom just called the veterinarian and in a few hours he showed up at the house on a piki-piki.

The veterinarian wasn’t like the ones I’ve seen in the US, in fact he seemed intimidated by me, just like all the other Tanzanians.  I wonder how someone decides to become a veterinarian in Tanzania, since the love for animals is very different here.  Anyhow, he examined my paw, and said that I was strange because normally the licking behavior is on the front paws.  But, like my mom, I’m not surprised that I’m unique!  The vet also said that it appeared that I had a bit of mange on my skin and that might be the cause of the itching that makes me lick all the time.

Listening to the vet

The vet decided that he would give me a shot of antibiotics so that my paw wouldn’t get infected.  He had come with an envelop that contained several drugs and a needle, so he pulled out the things he needed and then asked mom if she had a rope.  Mom seemed confused by this request and asked him why he needed a rope.  He said that it was to put in my mouth so that I wouldn’t bite him.  I couldn’t believe this!  In the US, they usually give me a stick with cheese on it and I don’t even notice that I’m getting a shot.  Tanzania is like the 1800’s when they made people chew on a stick during surgery!  Well, mom said that I don’t bite and that she would just hold me while I got the shot.

The vet was still very nervous, and this made me more nervous too.  I wriggled around trying to get away because the last thing I wanted was a nervous person coming at me with a sharp object.  The vet was not happy with my behavior, so he grabbed the skin on the back of my neck, lifted me up, and stabbed the needle into me.  Both mom and I squealed out of discomfort!  But soon enough it was over, and I survived.

Getting a shot, OWWW!

After my shot, the vet explained that we would have to go see him everyday for 5 days to get more shots of antibiotics.  I am not a fan of this plan, but mom says it’s the only way to make sure that the drugs work and I don’t get sick.  The vet will also give my mom some treatments for the mange, and he assured her that she wouldn’t get it from sleeping in the same bed as me 🙂

Post-shot instructions

After giving the instructions, we arranged to meet the vet the next day to continue my treatment.  As he was leaving, the vet petted me in the funny Tanzanian tapping way, not the soft American way.

More instructions

In the evening, mom and I relaxed after our stressful afternoon.  I think my vet appointment was almost as difficult for mom as it was for me!

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