The trip was spearheaded by Mayhew International vet and animal welfare pioneer, Dr Abdul-Jalil Mohammadzai DVM, affectionately known as Dr Mo. It consisted of a week full of vital training opportunities and support for two War Paws vets; surgeon, Dr Majid, and Vet Assistant, Dr Raouf. The training was delivered at the War Paws shelter in Erbil, in the Kurdistan region of Iraq.
Dr Mo’s whirlwind visit from 31 May to 8 June resulted in a successful seven days’ delivery of training and complex veterinary surgery procedures. There were challenging environmental conditions and limited resources.
Dr Mo worked with Dr Majid and Dr Raouf to treat dogs with a variety of conditions. Some of which included chronic cherry eye and entropion. Entropion is where the eyelid has rolled inward against the eyeball, typically caused by muscle spasm, or by inflammation/scarring of the conjunctiva which results in irritation of the eye by the lashes (trichiasis).
Other surgeries delivered included a challenging abscess growth removal, a tail amputation, treatment of a chronic wound and a mammary lump removal on Shya, a female dog.
In total, four leg amputations were carried out. These were dogs that had lived with old injuries to their legs that were causing fibrosis and atrophy of the muscles, and thereby considerable pain. The amputation surgeries were successful, and the dogs are now recovering well and will go on to lead happier and healthier lives! All the dogs were neutered during their operations too, to further ensure their future health and safety.
Under the direction of Mayhew International’s Dr Mo, Dr Raouf also carried out his first cat flank spay. In addition to this, a total of 22 cats were neutered, as well as full health checks and worm treatments on several rescue donkeys.
“Dr. Mo from Mayhew International has visited us at Animals of Kurdistan/War Paws shelter in Erbil for 7 days. In this short period the least I can say is that I was fortunate enough to learn from such a kind, patient, full of experience and brilliant tutor as Dr Mo. I really hope to see Dr Mo again so I can learn more and more from him. Many thanks to Dr Mo and Mayhew International for your efforts. ”
Dr Mo also gave a presentation based on his experience of delivering a ground-breaking TNR (Trap, Neuter, Return) and mass Rabies Vaccination programmes in Kabul, Afghanistan, to the Mayor of Erbil. He focused his presentation around humane dog population management to help address the large number of roaming dogs in the city.
Caroline Yates, Head of International Projects & Relations, Mayhew, explains, “Neutering procedures are one of the cornerstones of animal welfare work, but it is important that vets carry out the surgeries with safe and secure techniques, ensuring the best possible care for the animals. The War Paws shelter also had many residents with more complex conditions that needed more involved treatment and surgical skills. Fortunately, with many years of helping animals under his belt, Dr Mo was able to carry out these procedures with the assistance of the War Paws vets in training.”
“We are incredibly proud of Dr Mo for delivering such important work and sharing his expertise with the other vets. We would also like to thank War Paws for their hospitality and inviting us to collaborate to support animals in need.”
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