Behind the scenes at an IWCT clinic
The IWCT Treatment Centre is located in Concepcion, 2 hours North of Manila, in the Philippines. Before the Covid 19 Pandemic, it was mostly used to treat animals who required significant medical attention or respite, as well as housing our resident rescue dogs. Our clinics were almost all mobile until the pandemic struck, with the Vet team travelling to provinces that needed us most. The lockdown restrictions meant it was harder to be mobile, so we set up clinics on site at our Treatment Centre. Throughout most of the pandemic, we were able to hold these clinics twice weekly. With Covid cases now decreasing, we are resuming pop up mobile clinics in surrounding towns and regions as well as maintaining the ones on site at the treatment centre.
The clinics offer three main services: spay & neutering, vaccinations & treatment and education seminars.
Spay and Neutering
These clinics typically run twice a week – one at the treatment centre and one mobile.
Booking In and Pre Operation:
Our clinics are free to those who can’t afford the veterinary treatment or procedures. People hear about our services through word of mouth and our Philippines Facebook page. They have to book in via the telephone where our head vet will give them an arrival slot for the next available clinic.
On arrival, pet owners must show their ID and Covid vaccination status. They will also have their temperature checked as part of our Covid safety measures to protect our staff and volunteers. The dog or cat is then prepared for surgery by a vet assistant. This includes shaving fur at operation and injection sites and preparing the anaesthetic and instruments.
Operation and Recovery:
The vets start the spay and neuter operations first thing in the morning and continue throughout the day. The operation itself is relatively short – approx 30 mins. Spaying takes a little longer, approx 45 minutes. This allows the vets to average about 20 operations in a day at our treatment centre. At mobile clinics, with more vets helping, we can operate on up to 40 animals.
The postoperative recovery time is approx 90 minutes. Again, vet assistants monitor the animals and carry them to their owners when they come around from the anaesthetic. Owners are required to stay for the duration of the operation and recovery.
Vaccinations and Treatment
At the Treatment Centre, the vets can see up to 30 animals in any one day at one of these clinics. These are for the purpose of vaccinating dogs and cats, administering vitamins or other medicine and general health checks. Some animals return for check ups or some may be referred back for spaying or neutering.
Occasionally, we will be presented with a dog which requires a greater level of medical attention. These cases will remain at the treatment centre until they are well enough to return to their owners.
Again, these clinics are by appointment only. We can vaccinate and offer basic medication to up to 70 dogs and cats in one clinic.
Education is key to securing a safe and healthy future for the dogs of the Philippines.
Sadly there are still misconceptions regarding domesticating dogs and how to look after them. Correct animal husbandry must be implemented in conjunction with our veterinary work.
Information is freely available through our educational posters at the treatment centre. These are also displayed at our mobile clinics. In addition to this, a member of staff will also conduct a seminar on sensible pet ownership. These include topics such as:
- What signs to look for if your dog’s health is compromised
- The importance of vaccinations
- Why dogs and cats should be spayed and neutered
- How to ensure your dog’s collar is fitted correctly.
These seminars are open to adults and children alike. We need to extinguish the myths about dogs in the Philippines. The more people who learn how to correctly look after an animal, the less suffering there will be. We want our work to continue and our message to be passed on through generations.
We are very grateful to our vets, staff and volunteers for all the work they do for the animals of the Philippines. To fund their work, rely solely on the generosity of our supporters. This can be through donations, legacies, fundraising or signing up to a platform such as Give As You Live to raise funds for us when you shop online. Any support is gratefully received. Thank you.