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Lifesaving Equipment Donated to Help Bolivia's Wildlife

Wed 7th Feb 2018

With support from the Marchig Animal Welfare Trust, WVS were able to equip La Senda Verde, an animal sanctuary and supported charity of WVS with a brand new anaesthetic machine. Hayley Crook accompanied the machine to Bolivia and is working at the sanctuary to help the animals in their care. This is her update!

We spent the first couple of days unpacking, building the equipment and rearranging the clinic space. The anaesthetic machine and oxygen concentrator have been used so much over the last month and have been totally invaluable. The vets here are enjoying learning how to use it.  It has been a breath of fresh air not having to get an oxygen cylinder filled up regularly and just being able to flick the switch of the concentrator to get oxygen.  It has also been amazing to specifically have the Humphrey ADE which is very safe and more environmentally friendly.  Due to its efficiency, we have used very little isoflurane in the last month, despite using it a lot for treating a variety of the animals here, including the puma!  

The first animal we used the machine for was actually one of the domestic cats, to extract some bot fly larvae from under her skin.  It is bot fly season so since then we have used it to extract many more bot fly larvae from the capuchin monkeys here.  We have also used it to vasectomise three capuchins and a kinkajou due to be introduced to the troop in the next month.  

One of the other animals we have used it for is an amazing young spider monkey called Mara.  She is only two and half years of age, and when she arrived at La Senda Verde as a baby she was paralysed from the waist down.  It was presumed that when her mum had been killed, she had landed on Mara and damaged her spine.  Over the last two years she has gradually been getting the feeling back in her legs and is now able to move both her tail and her legs.  Although she still doesn't get around normally, there is an unbelievable improvement between now and when we were here last. She has been using her tail to hang and unfortunately not long before we arrived had fallen and broken her right tibia.  This required surgery to fix but when we arrived the surgical wound was breaking down.  The anaesthetic machine, along with a generous donation of bandaging has been absolutely invaluable in regularly having to anaethetise her to treat her wounds.  

I also just wanted to say a personal thank you from me for everything as the machine and WVS have been absolutely incredible! Being here for a month has made me really think how much I would love to be here longer and about all the other things I would love to achieve here. It is really hard to explain how little they have to work with in comparison to the UK and how much all of the equipment we use back home, even simple things such as the bandages we use, we really take for granted.  

Many thanks and best wishes from us and all the animals here!