Last Thursday was a very important day for our young chimpanzee since the two veterinarians qualifid in eye surgery had arrived from Johannesburg to check and operate his left eye.
In a few words and before I start, know that all went well!
Thursday morning, Doguy was sedated and transfered to a clinic. Our sanctuary has a brand new clinic but it isn’t equiped yet and we didn’t have the needed sedation machine (gas anaesthesia) usually used for long surgeries. So, J.A.C.K. had to rent the theater of another veterinary clinic for this particular occasion.
The two South African surgeons carried out different tests on Doguy’s eye and found out it wasn’t suffering of cataract but that it had an issue on the cornea. Doguy has had an ulcer on this part of the eye which has slowly healed leaving a lesion onto the cornea. Some calcium has started to cover the lesion providing the eye with a very small whitish spot. This lesion has no impact at all on Doguy’s sight but to be sure the two eye specialists connected the chimpanzee to their computer via 3 electrodes to check the qualiy of the retina. And, apparently, the retina is working perfectly well and Doguy has an excellent sight!
Then came the decision to do the surgery or not. This calcium cloud on Doguy’s eye can be removed by getting rid of the first layer of the cornea. The two surgeons said it wasn’t a very complex surgery but that it could have very serious consequences. A chimpanzee remains a chimpanzee and to tell Doguy not to touch his eye is impossible! So, considering the fact Doguy so far has a good sight, the two doctors decided not to operate because of all the post-operative care. The chimpanzee could make the healing worse by touching the wound with dirty hands. Or, if we don’t have the appropriate medication or if the treatment isn’t done in a good way (it is okay for us to touch Doguy’s eye but sometimes Doguy isn’t that cooperative!), infection might start and lead to blindness of the remaining eye…
In addition to the corneal problem, it was discovered our young male produces tears of bad quality. A tear is made of some water, mucus and lipids. Doguy’s tears don’t lubricate his eye enough which could cause irritation and pain especially when the sun is shining too much and when the air is dry and dusty. J.A.C.K. now must find the adequate medication to face this inconvenience as dry season is coming soon (April)!
So, during this particular event, Doguy got sedated, checked and not operated! The two specialists have asked us to follow the white spot on Doguy’s eye: if it gets bigger and whiter and if there is some eye discharge, then some surgery will be needed…
Dear Friends of Doguy, these are the latest updates on Doguy who is now already back in his group. Although surgery didn’t take place, it was an excellent opportunity to have the two surgeons at J.A.C.K. as today we know exactly what is going on with Doguy’s remaining eye! We are so relieved his sight is very good and that this white spot isn’t painful at all! I was very afraid of the diagnosis. So many things are missing here …
On this very particular event, J.A.C.K. had the chance to be surrounded by a great team of Friends and Vets who we all thank for being so helpful!. From the right to the left: Dr Keri-Lee (eye surgeon), Dr Jackie (vet and great friend of J.A.C.K.invited to attend the occasion!), behind her Dr Izak (eye surgeon), Dr Christian (J.A.C.K. veterinarian), Dr Jean Claude (J.A.C.K. volunteer veterinarian), Dr Noella (assistant of Dr Jean Claude), Dr Rebeca (ophtalmologist and friend who has taken care of Doguy’s eye since 2017) and on my right side another assistant of Dr Jean Claude. Vet assistant Ben is making the picture!
Doguy, the team of J.A.C.K., Franck and myself do thank all the great donors and sponsors who took part in the different fundraisings in Europe and the US to help Doguy.
Also, we thank from the deepest of our heart Mr Manoël and the Hôtel Pullman Lubumbashi Grand Karavia for having kindly sponsored the accomodation of our guests.
Many, many, many thanks to Mr Josh and his team of Katanga Contracting Services (KCS) as they covered the journey and most of the stay of the two eye surgeons. Organising this event has been a real challenge and, therefore, any support has been more than welcome!!
Thanks a lot to the great Friends of J.A.C.K. who managed to find the qualified veterinarians ready to come to the DRC: Gregg, Kaitlyyn, Belinda, Neil and their precious friends.
Franck and I thank Dr Rebeca as well as our dear team of keepers who have been with Doguy for so many years, who have provided him with the best care and who were next to him on this very special D-Day!
Again, we wish to thank our two wonderful guests, Doctors Izak and Keri-Lee, for their passion, time and experience as well as for their wish to help Doguy today and in the future!
And thanks again so much to All of You who made this event possible for our young friend Doguy! It is obvious J.A.C.K. wouldn’t have been able to organise all this without YOU! And it is very clear that, without YOU, we would still be extremely anxious about the health of Doguy’s remaining eye! Doguy is very lucky to have YOU! Thank YOU all again so much for HIM!