by Dr. Jay Merriam

Another chilly morning, but the promise of sun.

Our little very sick donkey with colitis is showing worsening signs and we are discussing treatment plans.  We could do plasma transfusions in the face of his condition, but these things take 7 hours and to my eye that’s about 5 more than he has!  And from a welfare standpoint, we are doing him no favors.  Also, his meds would deprive another animal of future treatment and his chances are very, very slim.  So we mane a group decision to euthanize.  While it's never a happy one, especially for students, we had such a workload staring us in the face that we soon were so busy we couldn't worry.  Had an anesthesia to do on the mule who'd been fired, had to make sure that his hock joint was intact (ultimately it was, but only after half an hour of general anesthesia and flushing).  Our other 20 patients were all treated by 1 pm when a mule arrived with and eye bluffing out of his head and the most amazing wounds to skull and lip I have ever seen.  Worked on him for a couple of hours and will do more tomorrow.  Won't save the eye, I'm sure but should at least end up with a serviceable animal in no pain.

About 3pm, Dr. Gigi took us out for lunch in a beautiful garden restaurant  in the Medina.  The place was built in 1500 something, and then rebuilt in 1900 then recently remodeled as a B&B.  Was the secret castle home for

a pashas Harem and the rooms look like it, reclining couches, pool sized baths and exquisite tiled alcoves.  No telling what used to go on there! Then we went for a walk in the Medina itself.  Miles of winding alleys between tall buildings, shop after shop… rugs, clothes, brass, silver cigarettes whatever!  Wall to wall people and the occasional loaded mule weaving his way through the maze. I see now why they like little, thin and quiet mules.  Every shop is supplied on their backs early in the morning.  It was a feast for the senses as we walked past spice shops, bakeries and perfume vendors.  Stopped at one for a very strong black coffee that was more of a straight espresso shot which I need every day at 4 pm.  Then back here to do a walk through the clinic and make plans for a major renovation which will start soon.

Tomorrow at 6 am we are leaving for a Donkey Souk, a place to buy a replacement for the little guy that died, because the family can't survive without him.  No that's a “full service” animal charity.. buy you a new one if your old one dies!  Anyway we'll see some country and then come back and work on the eye and all the rest.

What a trip.  I leave here Monday at 6

am and will be home Monday night, picking up the day I “lost” on the way over.  But this is a place we'll come back to, for work and sightseeing…maybe this fall. Anyway. it's an eye-opener and unforgettable.


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