Holding an MD, a PhD in sociology, and an MSW, Dr. Patricia Lynn Hough has used her extensive training to treat patients and teach students in the field. In addition to serving others through her professional work, Dr. Patricia Lynn Hough has contributed to numerous charitable causes, including a Hope for Haiti Foundation initiative to build and equip medical clinics in the rural village of Gandou.
The Gandou Clinic opened on October 10, 2012, during a ceremony attended by around 150 guests, including members of the Haiti Ministry of Health and the city commissioner. The opening ceremony honored two leaders from the Gandou District who were instrumental in launching the clinic. Brenice Israel and Pastor Carniere Joseph donated the land where the clinic was built and helped to attract volunteers to the project. In the clinic’s initial days, doctors were treating more than 50 patients each day, providing much-needed services to the community.
Mamma Kitty, now named Gemma, did not have enough milk to feed her babies so bottle feeding was started immediately. One day after giving birth, Gemma was lethargic and not eating so as it was a Saturday, I had to take her to the emergency veterinarian clinic. She had a fever, was diagnosed with a uterine infection and placed on IV antibiotics. This poor young mama was malnourished when we got her a few days earlier at St. Francis Animal Rescue and did not have the resistance and stamina necessary to carry 9 kittens in her tiny body. That evening one kitten had become lethargic and was not eating well. I spoke with our shelter vet who told me that there was little that could be done and to keep trying to dribble KRM into her mouth with an eye dropper or syringe at regular feedings. Sadly, this little female tabby did not survive the night despite our best efforts. The rest were doing well and it was going to be a long weekend until other bottle baby fosters could be found.
A pregnant cat was dropped off at St. Francis Animal rescue last week by an older couple who said she was feral and that they had been feeding her. As Mama’s abdomen was huge and stretched to capacity, the couple assumed that she was overdue and the fetuses were dead. This lovely, small golden tabby was extremely friendly, purred and allowed us to rub her enormous tummy. An X-Ray revealed 9 kittens at full term and alive per our Veterinarian, Dr. Nicole Kushmaul of Veterinary Care of Venice. It appeared as if she would deliver within 24 hours so with a great deal of coaching from Dr. Nicole, I took her home. We named her Gemma and by 11:00 p.m. that night she began labor. I stayed to keep a watchful eye since she was high risk and occupied myself in between kitten births with ironing clothes. By 4:00 a.m. there were 9 tiny kittens; 7 dark tabbies and 2 orange little ones. One tabby was not viable and only survived about 30 minutes. Gemma was malnourished and I was told not to expect much milk production, which was the case. She did have four nipples that had a watery, milky fluid that was likely colostrum. I helped alternate the remaining 8 kittens on the nipples so that they could get some of the nourishment and immunity from Mama. I had kitten replacement milk ready and these tiny ones immediately began nursing from a bottle within a few hour. Only one did not take to the bottle but did accept milk in small amounts from a syringe. Gemma was tired but ate a big bowl of wet food and settled in with her kittens. I set my alarm for two hours later to check on the kittens and give them a feeding. It was early Friday morning and I knew it would be a weekend without much sleep.
I wrote in my last post about Dante, my diabetic foster cat, who is a four paw declaw. Few people realize that declawing can cause permanent harm whether it is performed with a scalpel or with the newer laser technique. If such a procedure were performed on humans, it would be the equivalent of cutting off each finger at the last knuckle! Declawing is painful and may lead to infection, tissue death and lameness. Even a procedure without complications changes the way a cat’s foot meets the ground and creates discomfort similar to when a human wears ill-fitting shoes. Post surgery, the cat may experience pain using the litter box and develop and aversion to the box. We have several friendly, tame cats on our permanent resident side of St. Frances Animal Rescue who are botched declaws and unable to use a litter box due to severe pain or box aversion.