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Say Goodbye to the Blues

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Say Goodbye to the Blues

After our relaxing weekend in South Goa, the teams were back at it bright and early Monday morning for the second week of the Mission Rabies Goa vaccination drive. We need a strong final week to help Mission Rabies reach their goal of giving 10 000 vaccinations in the month of October. Last week the teams vaccinated over 3000 dogs, so the bar is set pretty high.

Our team, Team Leopard, was charged with catching and vaccinating free-roaming dogs only (another team would come and vaccinate the owned dogs later), so we passed any dog with a collar, indicating the dog was owned. Arnie and I noticed a thin young adult dog with a bright blue collar, but as we got closer we realized something wasn’t right. What we had mistaken for a collar was actually a thick ring of plastic. The boys gave chase along the road, but the dog escaped and ran off across a rice field. We finished our day and headed back to the hotel but my thoughts kept returning to that dog with the blue plastic ring caught around her neck.

On Tuesday morning we decided to go back to the area we had seen the dog. Luckily, we spotted her again right away and this time she did not elude the nets. We vaccinated her and painted her head before attempting to remove the plastic ring. The ring was too tight to simply slip over the dog’s head. Fortunately, she was very docile and sat quietly while Arnie worked on the thick plastic with bandage scissors.

Once the ring was off, the boys unfurled the net and the dog emerged and trotted off down the road, pausing once to look back at us briefly and then disappearing into the underbrush. The team and I went about the rest of the day with big smiles on our faces.—Alyssa Watson

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Alyssa Watson, DVM, graduated from Iowa State University College of Veterinary Medicine in 2003. Dr. Watson is currently an associate veterinarian at Northwest Animal Hospital in Las Vegas. In addition to clinical practice, Dr. Watson is a medical editor for Clinician's Brief. Dr. Watson’s professional interests include canine and feline dermatology, reproduction, and soft tissue surgery. When not at the hospital, she is apt to be enjoying the outdoors with her husband and their two young sons.

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