Updated: Apr 6
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It was early one evening, in our beachside studio above the jungle. The wind was blazing, the lights were close to none, the fans were blowing, the kids were sleeping, and then the puppy was yelping. I jumped off the bed to comfort her as she slowly calmed into a whimper and deep cuddle. She couldn't walk on one paw and looked in pain. As it was too late, nothing was open, the streets lights were bright. We could only comfort her and wait patiently.
I found a few vets in Tulum, we drove to 3 early that next morning and finally ended up at Vet Pets Tulum. I was so grateful to have found them. There was a short wait and I was greeted by an incredible Dr who speaks English.
I entered the patient room and she started to examine Trixie. She quickly noticed that pain medication and relaxant was necessary immediately. Once she was finally able to touch the area, Trixie didn't like it. She assumed it was broken from the pain and decided it has to be wrapped up as soon as possible. She gathered the tools and was trying to explain how she needed to find something like a straight stick to wrap with her paw. Quickly searching around the clinic she couldn't find anything and decided to go to the cafe next door for flat wooden sticks.
This patient room had a screen with monitors throughout the area. That's how I was able to watch her walk into the cafe. She returned and placed the sticks on the front counter. I then watcher her shouting with someone outside through the screen. The Dr ran out then returned for help from the assistant at reception. Together they bolted out and came back each holding two legs of a large dog upside down. They ran by me in the patient room to the back of the clinic. The dog did not look good, I assume he had been hit by a car, his tongue was hanging, there was blood and his eyes were ghostly open. They quickly medicated him for pain and started chest compressions. He was breathing and stabilizing.
They ran by me again to move him into the other patient room, from here I continued to watch on the screen. He had been stabilized, he was breathing and laying calmly.
The Dr quickly returned to Trixie with the sticks and apologized for the delay. Since I was able to witness what happened, I reassured her that it was okay. I could see the assistant watching the dog in room two when he began to get restless again, and he stopped breathing... In Spanish, the assistant quickly called the Dr back over when they brought him to the ground for more chest compressions. They got more medication and kept compressing.... I could hear the deep forced breathes.
After a minute or two that felt like hours, I watched the Dr smack the wall in frustration and distress... they had lost him. She got up to compose herself, returned to the room I was in to wash up and apologized for the wait again. The assistant also came to wash up then returned to clean the mess.
All 3 of us had to hold and comfort Trixie as we wrapped her arm in a brace, she was angry, upset and bit her tongue. She quickly calmed once we finished and she had the brace on.
Her puppy eyes were out, big and watery and she wondered what was happening to herself.
The Dr told us that our nextstep was to have an X-ray done immediately to analyze if and where it was broken.
We quickly found a local clinic that performed emergency X-rays - Playa Pet Tulum. It was small and simple with more incredible Dr's that love your pet just as much as you do. I dropped her off and was told to return in half-hour. We went out for ice-cream on the main strip in Tulum while we waited. I got my favourite chocolate bar flavour - Kinder Bueno in a waffle cone. When we returned the Dr showed my her X-rays and explained that it was broken and requiring surgery. They didn't do surgery at this clinic, nor did they do surgery at the previous one.
I returned to Vet Pets Tulum with her X-ray photos on a CD and explained that it was indeed broken. They didn't have a CD Drive to look at them which left me explaining what I saw. They helped to calm me down and reassured me that she will be okay and we would find the best surgeon in Quintana Roo!
This photo shows the break most clearly located just above her paw/wrist.
I was referred to Dr Juan in Tulum - he is known as the best Dr in town. I quickly inquired about Trixie and explained the accident, but unfortunately, the best Dr in town meant his schedule was too full.
Moving on to Plan B, I had a puppy in a brace that needs surgery asap but nowhere to go...
I quickly asked about vets and surgeons on the "Expats in Tulum" Facebook Page. People are always so helpful and supportive. I received a handful of recommendations with many more suggesting Dr Juan. I tried to contact as many as I could who all asked for a consult and copy of her X-ray photos.
I use a 2018 Macbook that of course doesn't have a CD Drive...
There's no public library with computers.
Leaving me stuck with a problem once again.
I can't send the photos...
I was told to find a cybercafe that usually has some type of computer I could use to copy and send the files. Due to the current state of the world, many shops and cafes were closed. I was never able to find one of these Cybercafe's, but I did find someone to help me. They opened the files on their computer and let me take a photo of the screen... It's not the best method but at least it worked out well enough.
Vet Pets Tulum was looking for a surgeon and so was I. They wanted to make sure they found a good and reputable Dr. Some Dr's who were suggested, they did not want to refer me to beacuse they just didn't know enough about them. We finally found a Dr from a clinic in Chetamul which was 3.5 hours away. Relieved to have found one, I scheduled the next available appointment. Later this evening Dr Juan, the best from the province got back to me again saying that he could make availability but only in a few days....
This is Mexico,
I've never had a pet be so injured,
I've never had a pet require emergency surgery,
I didn't know what to expect,
I didn't know what to do...
I was now left between choosing to drive 3.5 hours away for emergency surgery. Or we could wait a few days, stay in Tulum to see the best Dr in the province...
I asked Pet Vets Tulum for their opinion since I couldn't make a choice and they recommended we have the surgery done asap in Chetamul rather than waiting and causing extra potential problems. Thankful that the decision was made, we woke up early the next morning to spend time at the beach before we hit the road.
We were a little bit disappointed because another family had checked in below our apartment on the beach. With the surgery, X-Ray and vet visits, we didn't have much time to introduce ourselves. They had a little boy and girl only a year or so younger than ours. It would have been great for Wrixcyn to play with another boy. This young family seemed nothing less than a fairytale - Wife from Australian, and Husband from England. They met and moved to New York City, now travelling around Mexico with their 2 young kids.
Our apartment on the beach was rustic and original. It was a studio that overlooked the jungle and had a cool ocean breeze. Most buildings on the beach are powered by solar and generator. This left our apartment without AC. We had a small kitchen and hot water, patio, living area, 3 beds and 2-second hop to our private beach. We spent our first night in the ocean waves under the bright stars and moonlight. I also thought I was dying from the heat, I thought I would have been better off in the car... After a few days, it cooled or we quickly got used to it. Still always covered in sand and no broom had me irritated by the mess.
The sound of the waves and the cool breeze is my most favourite memory of this location.
Driving 3 1/2 hours to Chetamul, we passed through Bacalar and many small villages which were selling your typical Mexican products and produce. Arriving in Chetamul seemed a little od, so many things were old and closed - I was surprised that we found the clinic. Upon arrival I was expecting to have her checked and return for surgery scheduled in the evening, then wait for it to finish. Instead, we left her overnight and returned the next day. It felt so wrong and I couldn’t wait to go back. We stopped for diner at a steak house across the street. One thing we haven't found very easily so far is a nice piece of steak, this place wasn't very good as well.
I was anxious to get back on the road with another 3 1/5 hours to drive back, then repeat it all again tomorrow. We arrived quite late that evening and enjoyed a few 50 cent beers. Listening to the hustle and bustle from nightlife on the beach and watched a movie. I fell in love with chips and guacamole these past few weeks so why not chop up a late-night snack.
- Peeled Cucumber
- Red Onion
- Squeezed Lime
- Seasoning Salt
- Himalayan Salt
We returned to the clinic the next day. How the Dr started his conversation had me worried but he exclaimed that the surgery went well and she is just fine. He showed me her X-rays and asked the assistant to bring her out. As soon as I saw her my eyes started to tear...
She went through what they call a pin surgery, which meant that there were pins going through her arm, exposed on the outside, and being held in place.
GRAPHIC CONTENT BELOW
She now has a cone and is recovering well - I will write about her recovery in another blog.
1st Consult - 200 Pesos
X-ray - 600 Pesos
Surgery - 6000 Pesos
Overnight - 200 Pesos
Medication - 200 Pesos
Cone & Collar - 200 Pesos
Total = 7400 Pesos ($448 Canadian)
A specialized, precise and rushed procedure like this would have cost over $4000 Canadian Dollars up north.
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