More Creatures Great and Small
Friday, August 19 Dr. Patricia Lyon led her second deworming clinic, over impossibly rocky roads in the mountains to Cercadie.
Vet clinics in Haiti have almost as much drama as rodeos in the United States. In the US, large dangerous animals are put in heavy metal “head gates” during treatment. Lacking that technology, Haitian vet agents depend a lot more on their wits, agility, and courage to vaccinate cattle and horses.
Securing the head to a tree is the first step, where horns are useful. However, cattle can still heave their hindquarters and kick in all directions and thus may need to have a rear foot also tied. Getting the ropes tied, giving the injections, and getting the ropes untied again is where the rodeo comes in. One bull took 5 men, 10 minutes, a lot of strength and abundant grace from God -- and someone still got slightly hurt.
Horses, mules, and donkeys, also make swift powerful jabs with their hind feet. While they lack horns, they have the added defense of rearing up and striking out with their front feet.
Happily, by using a lip twitch they can be subdued, and they are able to be wormed by mouth. Donkeys can also be subdued by twisting their ears.
The vets talk soothingly to all the animals as do most masters, but it is easy to see which animals have been handled and gentled the most.
Pigs on the other hand are fairly easy to inject if you just lift one hind leg off the ground. Of course, that can be difficult with a handsome fellow like this who can also squeal loud enough you'll want earplugs!
These two mother pigs are terribly thin due to drought-related lack of food and because the one on the left is nursing 1 fat baby (in the picture) and the one on the right has 4 babies. Worming and vitamin B shots should help them make the most of the nutrition they do find.
This was our first clinic in many years for deworming chickens and vaccinating against Newcastle’s disease which kills ¾ of the chickens each year.
We thank God for safety, and for the privilege of helping these courageous farm families. Please pray for the health of their livestock, that they can be sold to put children in school and that prices will quit rising in Haiti.