Paddy Hurts Her Foot

Poor, poor Paddy! As you can see by her rolling around on her back that she’s quickly learned to get as much sympathy as possible from us with her injury. We’re not sure exactly what happened as she’s an outside Fijian doggie, but one afternoon she came up limping with a torn dew claw and a very pitiful look on her face.

Back home this would mean a trip to the vet, a few stitches, some medicine and all would be well. Especially because it is easier to book appointments as the vets have equine veterinary practice management software. Here in rural Fiji, it’s a different story.  Because getting veterinary help is not an easy task, we tried to do a little home remedy first.  We went into town and bought a small cloth and found some antibiotic cream at the house we are sitting.  It was not easy to get Paddy to let us touch her paw as it was tender, but being the wonderful dog she is, we managed eventually.  As you can see by the picture our home remedy worked – for a while that is!  Yes, that is package tape holding on the cloth!  The homemade bandage lasted a full day when one late afternoon Paddy disappeared like most outside dogs do and when she returned the bandage was gone!  She somehow managed to wiggle out of it (we found it several days later on the side of the yard next door, so she probably got help from the neighbor dog.)

Home remedy was not going to do it!  The veterinarian from the SPCA comes one week a month from another island and appointments fill up months in advance. For emergencies like this, we were told to call the agricultural vet who handles large farm animals to see if he could come take a look at Paddy. Even this isn’t easy in Fiji. A call to the agricultural department to track down the vet, then to arrange for him to come to see Paddy required arranging a taxi to pick him up and wait while he had a look.

Taxi acquired. Morning call to the vet. Taxi to pick up the vet and wait, done. We brought Paddy up on the porch – she wasn’t moving around very fast with her hurt paw – and soon the vet was walking up the driveway with a small cooler in hand.

We gave the vet and the taxi driver some juice while Paddy was gently examined. She was given two shots – an antibiotic and an anti-inflammatory – from syringes that must have been 1950s surplus!  Total cost from the vet $25 Fiji (about $13 US Dollars), including the medicines and the house call. Bill from the taxi driver $16! I guess in Fiji we see who’s time is worth the most money.

Paddy’s now good as new. Her paw is healing fast and she’s running around like a puppy, playing as if nothing had happened. The whole veterinary experience was quite interesting – as is almost everything here in this little town of Savusavu!

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