Friday, March 24, 2017

3054. Cases from RAVS, Yangon - Practise evidence-based medicine

Case 1.  Biopsy of nasal tumour is needed for a definitive diagnosis

Case 2.  2 views of radiographs to locate needle inside the puppy's throat 

Gas anaesthesia by cone is safest method to enable needle extraction

Case 3.  Pyometra is very common in Yangon's dogs and cats. RAVS surgical team.

Case 4. Liver hepatitis. Blood test and biopsy.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

3053. A young red-eared slider loses appetite for 2 weeks

Housed with 2 other sliders. Ate stools of other sliders. Passed black stools and loses appetite for past 2 weeks or more. Likely bullied.
Advised separate living and feeding spaces.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

3052. A 20-year-old female red-eared slider has profuse bleeding. Not laying eggs since 5 weeks ago.

Mar 21, 2017. Weight 1.46kg. Anorexia, no stools, pees when right thigh area stroked. Still not walking. Can swim. No eggs passed.

Admitted as the slider passes lots of red bloody tissues and fresh blood for the past 2 days. Hospitalised. Given fluid, oxytocin, baytril and Vit K1. X-rays

15 eggs

Mar 22, 2017
Had bleeding overnight. No more in the morning. Goes home on Critical care to be fed 6x/day. 2nd oxytocin inj.

Feb 21, 2017
Came in for lethargy (not walking), anorexia. X-rays. Went home on Feb 21. Owner did not accept advice to give oxytocin inj. but will hand feed pellets 3x per day. Weight was 1.56 kg. X-ray 13 eggs.

Friday, March 17, 2017

3051. A 2-year-old red-eared slider has a swollen neck again

Mar 11, 2017

Fluid accumulates in the lower neck area and then the upper neck. Same as in Dec 2016. What is the cause? Swelling disappeared after aspiration of 1 ml of clear fluid and given antibiotics and anti-inflammatory. The slider did vomit blood once and slowly recovered his appetite.

But the swelling recurs 2 months later and the slider loses appetite.

Heart, lung or kidney disease disease?

An X-ray is done this time. Is there an obstruction in the throat area?

3050. A extremely hyperactive 1-year-old red-eared slider is "constipated". X-ray

Sat Mar 18, 2017

Male, RES, 1 yr
Losing appetite 4 weeks ago and 2 weeks ago, anorexic.
Yet he was energetic and wanted to climb any walled in areas. Why?

"He would chew at the "calcium" turtles as if they were real ones," the young man was much
worried about his RES losing weight and having no appetite. "He just ate and ate."

"How many 'calcium turtles' did he chewed and swallowed?" I asked. 
"Many, many," he replied.

X-rays are taken today.

There could be calcium impaction at the vent area although it is hard to say.

Given critical care and asked him to feed 6x/day and observe.

X-rays of other RES of similar ages.

3049. A 13-year-old Bernese Mountain Dog cannot stand on hind legs

I spoke to the owner today. He alleged that Dr Daniel who is on leave, had advised X-rays but somehow did not follow up. Rimadyl 4 days on and 4 days off did enable the dog to stand up for a while but he had stopped the medication for the past 2 weeks. Now the dog whines in pain and refused to stand up.
So, I suggested X-rays of the hip and spine as I was covering Dr Daniel's case. 

To prevent misunderstanding, it is best to record on the owner's invoice that X-rays are advised.
follow up.

The owner has to decide whether to get surgery done to remove the left femoral head and debris as the dog is 13 years old, at the end of the life span.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

3048. Myanmar Travels: White Heart Animal Rescue & Shelter, Magwe, Myanmar

Sponsored by Toa Payoh Vets
Mar 13, 2017


It was a bright and sunny morning of Mar 13, 2017. I had my breakfast and was ready to move out of Htein Htein Thar Hotel, Magwe to visit another famous pagoda after visiting 4 of them in Bagan yesterday. My hosts were Drs Thein Tun Aung and Thin Thin Soe, accompanied by their daughter. Mr Soe was my friend and our driver. Dr Aung came and introduced a well dressed slim lady to me and we left the hotel. 

Ms May Thazin, a civil engineer founded the White Heart Animal Rescue and Shelter, Magwe, Myanmar. She was the first local animal activist I have met in Myanmar.

Ms May Thazin had contacted Dr Thein Tun Aung from Royal Asia Veterinary Surgery, Yangon via Facebook.  As Dr Aung was in Magwe, she rode her scooter to the hotel at 8 am to show him her Shelter. Dr Aung asked me to accompany him, sacrificing his breakfast.

The first thing I noted was that there was not one piece of dog faeces on the ground, unlike the other animal shelter I had visited. There were around 20 stray dogs and so there ought to be some dung. Many were limping casualties of traffic accidents (video).

One cross-bred was badly wounded and hid under the dog kennel. He would growl if anyone approached him.  


Well wishers had contributed to the construction of the dog kennels. "The kennels should not have raised floors as it will be easier to clean," I could see an injured dog hiding under the kennel for safety. Ms Thazin had asked Dr Aung to examine it. Dr Aung had to bend down and try to pull the leash to get the dog out (video).  
One hid under the wooden kennel as he had a serious large facial wound. Dr Aung bent down to examine him.


"Are there private vets in Magwe?" I asked Dr Aung. "No," he said.  
 The government vets in Magwe do treatment but it will be charged. 

This shelter was a house used as a warehouse rented out to Ms Thazin.

A small well of around 6 feet across provided water for the dogs.

This was an excellent idea as underground water is free. Many houses may not have piped water and bottled water is very popular as some residents do not drink the well water which is used for washing and bathing. Some residents of riverside towns bathe and wash their clothes by the river as part of their culture. 

"The well is a death trap," I said to Ms Thazin. "Some dogs may fall in or be pushed in by other dogs and drown. It is better to design a rectangular narrow trough as used for cattle feeding." Such drownings are foreseen and a strong netting covers the top. This will not be practical as the dogs drink from the sides of the well (see video). Unfortunately, in real life, only when a dog drowns in it will there be action to prevent further deaths. 


Puppies do suffer from viral diseases like distemper, parvoviruses. There was a German Shepherd puppy that had coughing and runny noses, likely to be a victim of distemper. Dr Aung treated him.

Rabies in dogs are present in Myanmar.
The government vets do rabies vaccination of stray dogs and culling. There are stray dogs and cats in the villages. Road traffic has increased considerably as the country modernises and becomes prosperous. So, more stray dogs wandering around the roadside get hit by vehicles and become lame. 
Rabies can kill people. I hope that Ms Thazin had got her rabies vaccination done.

A MEANING FULL LIFE.  Being educated and internet savvy, I expect Ms May Thazin to do an excellent job for the strays and the disabled dogs and cats by forming a group of helpers and donors to fund the expensive maintenance of animal shelters.

Thanks to Dr Thein Tun Aung and Dr Thin Thin Soe for the hospitality in my recent travel to Bagan, Magwe and Yangon.


In 2017, I note that a younger generation in Yangon keeps small breeds of dogs.
They research on the internet with their smart phones. They bring injured stray dogs and cats for veterinary treatment instead of ignoring them.