July - December 2010

DIARY OF A GAMBICATS' SUPPORTER
Christine Brown  10-24 November 2010

We would like to thank Christine for her help and for taking the time to tell the tale of her visit  

This is a diary of my 10th visit to The Gambia, this time staying in the Kololi Beach area.
My first aid kit for dogs & cats consists of a tube of Germoline, tub of Sudacrem, rubber examination gloves, veterinary antiseptic wound powder - a dry dressing for minor wounds, abrasions and fly bites, and 5ml and 10ml syringes for feeding poorly puppies and kittens.
I also take a few GambiCats leaflets to give to interested people. Tea tree spray is also useful for keeping away flies and mosquitoes from wounds on animals.

Day 1:  Cat at Mansea Beach Hotel, small cut on back and back leg, also inside of back foot between toes - sore and bleeding - flies about. Dry wound powder applied - this is ideal as it doesn't make a noise (like a spray) which can scare the cats. Cat also needs neutering, this was reported to Dodou.

Day 3: Night watchman in empty apartment blocks, next to Yasmina's, was feeding a young kitten on dry bread. I explained to him what the kitten required and got the usual reply - he couldn't afford the food that the kitten needed. I bought several sachets of wet food, plus 2 boxes of biscuits and tins of sardines, and gave him a GambiCats leaflet. I took Jill Holt, a friend who lives locally, to see the kitten a few days later and it had a pot belly (possibly worms). Jill will sort out the worms treatment.


Day 7: Dog at Denton Bridge found with very sore/bleeding ears, Sudacrem applied. I left the cream with the owner of the dog and asked him to put it on the dogs' ears every day to help heal the wounds and keep flies away - gave him a GambiCats  leaflet.


Day 8: Fed 2 cats at Yasmina's. Both in good health but need neutering (no tips on left ears). Told Dodou and Jill for further investigation

Day 10: Lamin Lodge - 2 bitches, both in need of spaying, one looked to have a prolapsed vulva/vagina? Rang Dodou. I applied Sudacrem to the ears of the dogs and removed a large tick from one of them. Cream applied to small wound where tick attached. *Dogs have been traced & treated by GambiCats, others were found in Lamin village who need treatment which will be given. 


 


Day 11: Another guest at Mansea Beach Hotel told me about several dogs on the beach with sore ears. I gave her rubber gloves, Sudacrem, Germolene and a GambiCats leaflet.

Day 12: Ndemban village, dog called Billy had sore ears, Sudacrem applied, very friendly dog. The village elder, who owned the dog, said no-one threw stones at this dog because it belonged to him. Very lucky dog I think!

 

Day 13: Visited friends at Brufut, Hilary had found tiny ginger kitten on rubbish dump, probably one of a litter, maybe hawks or snakes got the others. I mixed milk, water and a small amount of sugar and put in a 5ml syringe to feed the kitten. It took this very well and thanked me by weeing on my shorts! Hilary is looking after the kitten so it stands a good chance of survival.


 

 

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Last day: Met Jill for lunch at Yasmina's. Saw young bitch, very friendly, but had a few ticks on her back. I sprayed them with mosquito repellent and removed them. I then finished the lovely lunch.

I know many people think I'm a bit potty, but I love animals and cannot stand to see them suffering. With the help of GambiCats charity and its many supporters, hundreds of Gambian dogs and cats will have a happy and hopefully pain and distress-free life.

NB Christine is an exceptional person and experienced in treating the animals. We recommend that those who want to help animals take great care before handling dogs and cats. Ticks and mango worms need to be removed whole, if part of the body is left behind in the cat or dog it will cause further infection.


Eleventh neutering clinic to be held at Easter 2011

We are very pleased that Rob and Niels Schell are willing to hold another neutering clinic in 2011. This will be Rob's third, and Niels' second clinic and we are already making preparations. There are possibilities of several locations, and we may operate on two sites as last time. Luigi's Complex has already offered generous support for accomodation, essential for the continuation of these programmes.


Supporters welcome!

We would be very happy if any supporters were able to visit The Gambia during this period - 15-29 April 2011 - and wanted to see a clinic in action. Those who have attended in the past have really enjoyed the experience! It may be possible to arrange some trips and meals too. Contact Frances Miller (01239 810595 or gambicats@aol.com) to discuss possibilities.


How you can help - supplies and funds

As usual we need flea and worm treatments (Drontal, Milbemax, Stronghold); dog collars & leads - these don't have to be new; Cavilon veterinary spray bandage, Tea tree spray and Sudacrem.

Unwanted mobile phones are always useful to replace the lost and stolen ones which Dodou, Alajie and Abu rely on. We are also in need of replacement traps and cages - after 11 years many are no longer working properly. New traps cost around £100 and Queen's cages £50. Donations for these & supplies for the Clinic gratefully received.


GambiCats attends OIE meeting in Addis Ababa

The Gambian government is represented on the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) and attends meetings on various topics. Dr Daffeh, Director of the Department of Animal Health, Abuko, nominated Dodou Bojang to attend the meeting on National Focal Points for Animal Welfare in Addis Ababa from 9 to 11 November. Costs were met by the OIE and delegates/representatives from Swaziland, Togo, Burundi, Mali, Guinea-Bissau, Tanzania, Lesotho, Senegal, Cote d'Ivoire and Tunisia gathered for an interesting series of talks and workshops on topics including animal welfare standards.

 

                                     

Of direct interest to GambiCats was the workshop on Stray dog population control and we await the report of the Working Group.

There was also an opportunity to visit the Debre-Zelt SPANA and Donkey Trust centre. Dodou was the only national representative from a charity and made some useful contributions to the discussions from direct experience on the ground. He also made some useful contacts.

There were some aspects of the conference which made Dodou feel at home; limited electricity and water in the conference hotel; 6 storey hotel with no lift; airport customs officers asking for 'gifts'; but the climate was not familiar and advice to bring a sweater was much appreciated!


Sheraton Hotel cat cafe

Last minute news that the Sheraton Hotel is building its first cat cafe!  This will make catching and monitoring their cats easier and hopefully, keep them away from the restaurants and guests' rooms.


Death of Emanuel Camara

We are very sad to announce the death of Emanuel, a long-time supporter of GambiCats and friend of Dodou, in October. They spent some time working together in hotels and Emanuel also worked at the Department of Veterinary Services. When Dodou was ill, or away on leave, Emanuel looked after GambiCats and liaised with Dodou. He was a committee member of AWAG (Association for the Welfare of Animals in The Gambia).


Gift of rasp to Dr Ceesay

There are a number of horses and donkeys in the beach area, and although GambiCats don't usually get involved in their welfare, we responded to a request from local vet Dr Ceesay for a rasp. A 14. Lingual/Buccal 15 shaft and 80mm blade for equine dentistry was donated in November.


'Taste of The Gambia'

We have 6 copies of this handsome cookery book, produced in full colour, and containing easy-to-follow receipes for 14 dishes including Domoda, Yassa, Benachin, and Oyster stew. The book is the work of Julie Maio who produces such delicious food at Luigi's Restaurant. Cost £5.50 including P&P from GambiCats (Parc Llwyd, Aberporth, Cardigan SA43 2DU). Profits to GambiCats