Cat owners and even veterinarians often accept that it is natural for a cat to vomit occasionally, especially in the case of hairballs (furballs) and/or eating food too fast.

Cats spend roughly a quarter of their waking hours grooming themselves. The time spent on grooming combined with the barbed structure of the tongue results in large quantities of fur being ingested daily. Most of the time the hair is passed normally in stool with no unusual consequences. However, if particularly large volumes of hair are ingested, or there is a change in the intestinal movement, the excess fur can also be expelled as hairballs by vomiting. The occasional vomiting of a hairball has generally been considered normal feline behaviour, but due to the fact that many cats never produce hairballs, it is likely that frequent hairballs are a sign of an underlying problem. Therefore, it is important to not ignore this symptom if your cat regularly vomits hairballs. Any type of vomiting, be it food or hairballs is unlikely to be normal if it occurs more than once a week.

The ingestion of excessive hair is a likely cause for hairballs. Long-haired cats suffer from this more than short-haired ones, where the capacity of the stomach to handle all the hair is overwhelmed and hairballs are expelled. Excessive hair loss or grooming can also be due to a skin disease, especially an itchy one, or overgrooming due to pain or anxiety. The vomiting of hairballs can also be caused by a chronic gastrointestinal disease, such as inflammatory bowel disease or dietary intolerance. If your cat is suffering from any form of gastrointestinal upset or weight loss, it is important to mention to your vet if your cat has a history of vomiting hairballs.

If you, as the cat owner are not sure as to the frequency of vomiting (either food, liquid or hairballs), it is beneficial to keep a diary or kitchen calendar and record the time and type of vomit. If your cat has a concurrent diarrhoea or abnormal bowel movements these should also be recorded, as the volume, frequency and character of the stool will help your veterinarian identify which part of the intestine is affected. The causes for acute, frequent vomiting (such as toxins, obstruction, viruses etc., which generally require immediate veterinary intervention) are often very different from intermittent, long-lasting vomiting, which can be more difficult to diagnose, and include problems such as food allergies, kidney and liver diseases, tumors and diabetes, to name a few.

Article by Dr. Laura Wessman

KSPCA Volunteer

 

The KSPCA is devoted to the welfare of donkeys in Kenya. In July we conducted various visits to assess the welfare of donkeys in various areas.

During the Lamu animal welfare clinic which was held in collaboration with the Network for Animals, the teams dewormed and treated over 90 donkeys against rabies. In addition to this we also educated the owners and users on properly feeding their donkeys and the importance of proper vet care since we encountered many injured donkeys during the campaign.

The donkey below had a swollen belly for 2 weeks. The KSPCA team rescued him from Roimen, Ngong and safely brought him to the shelter where our vets attended to him and is now under the good care of the KSPCA.

The KSPCA team also received another heartbreaking report about a donkey being mistreated around Multimedia University. Our inspectors investigated the case and it was established that the donkey was constantly whipped and also pulled an overloaded cart. The owner was educated on the importance of balancing a donkey cart and properly padding it and he was advised against whipping the animal. The team promised to do a follow up visit in future.

So many cats were admitted during the month(64). We have been doing cat trapping which led to the increase.  In July we re-homed 13 dogs and 14 cats and admitted 10 dogs. We treated 49 dogs and 50 cats  and neutered 19 dogs and 35 cats.

Investigation and Rescues.

We received a call from someone reporting that their friendly dog had gone mad and was biting everything and everybody. We brought the dog in and immediately had it put down and the head sent to Mariakani- the results came back positive for rabies.

We also had another incident whereby someone reported a neighbour who had confiscated his goat that had strayed into his property then told a member of his staff to slash it with a panga. Dr. Mwita dealt with the injured goat and the matter was reported to the police.

Finances.

Our Ngutuni Game Count fund raiser held in Memory of Sue Lawrence-Brown, was very successful. All the rooms were booked and it was a very good turn out. We raised Ksh 151,000/= which was double the amount we normally raise. It is a lovely lodge for those who want to have a stop over on their way to the coast.No Game Park fees and it is just a short distance off the main Nairobi-Mombasa road. No other fund raising was done during the month.

In other News…

We have put a new roof (mabati) on our clinic after removing the asbestos roofing.The wiring is a mess and we have an electrician coming to have a look and give a quote on new wiring. Apart from the isolation unit, many of our kennels are in need of repair mostly due to rust.The grounds are lovely and green and its still reasonably cool. The rains seem to have disappeared for good.

We had endless power problems during the month and one power surge messed up our UPS damaging our computer. We had to take the vaccines to Dr. Gitau and all our freezers thawed – big mess!

Our Toyota Hilux has been back in the garage to have some rust patches sorted out and one of the wipers had to be replaced. Some other issues were dealt with at the same time.

No slaughter houses were dealt with during the month.

The staff continue to work well and Dr. Gitau visits twice a week but we are able to take any sick animals to his clinic on the other days.

In July we re-homed 5 dogs. We also admitted 13 dogs, 22 cats and 1 donkey. We are currently providing shelter to 34 dogs, 18 cats and 5 donkeys.

Many thanks to Kentalya Limited and their masons who facilitated the repairs of the dog kennels and catteries. Thanks to their support we managed to finalize on the repairs and now our rescues have a better place to stay.

Dr. James visited from KSPCA Nairobi to sterilize the dogs and cats at the shelter. He managed to spay and neuter 5 dogs and 3 cats.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We also visited and did an assessment about stray dogs reported in Kamere and Banda(Kihoto) beaches in Naivasha. It was established that there was a population of about 100 dogs. The team made plans to intervene and hold a sterilization campaign to control the population.

Rescues and Investigations

A dog that had been abandoned at the Lake Elementaita beach was rescued by Olivia who was visiting a resort near Nakuru. She informed us and opted to take in the poor dog. We assisted her in grooming the dog and referred her to a vet for general check up. We are happy that the dog was lucky to find a permanent and loving new home.

 

Re-homing

When our rescues find forever homes, it makes us happy that we are achieving our mission. Below are some pictures of some of our rescues who are living wonderful lives in their new homes.

Kuchi and her friend who were originally rescues from Morendat are now living happily in their new home in Lakeview.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sari and her friend visited the shelter accompanied by a dog she adopted from us and gave him the second chance he needed since he previously suffered from mange, arthritis and old age. We are impressed by the transformation and he is aging gracefully.

Education.

We conducted education on animal welfare and created awareness on humane slaughter to the Dairy Training Institute of Naivasha final year students. We explained the role of KSPCA in promoting animal welfare and had an interactive time with them. They also made a donation of 100 bales of hay to support us.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We are also sincerely grateful to Livewire Limited for a donation of 200 bales of hay, La Pieve Limited for 30 bales of hay and Oserian Limited for donating 50 bales of Hay. This will go a long way in feeding our donkeys at the shelter.

Rescues and Investigations.

During field work at Naivasha with Netty, we came across many donkeys suffering. They had severe wounds as a result of being whipped. We had to euthanize the foal below with a rectal prolapse and an injured limb, as a result of being hit by a vehicle while on the road.

We revisited the ARN kennels at Kinamba; the health of the dogs has improved compared to the last visit two months ago. We also checked Wamadogs Kennels and there’s a great improvement in the kennel management as well.

Below is Dr. Daniel assessing the horses at the Gilgil horse show. We assessed the Anti-Stock Theft Unit horses hosting the show; there is a need for improvement on the feeding and general care of the horses.  The horse in the second photo was removed from the race because of the state of its’ hooves and medical treatment was needed.

           

Below are photos showing the Suswa livestock market which we recently visited. We found out that the market operates from early morning until late in the evening but the animals (mostly cattle, sheep, goats and donkeys) have no drinking water available all day. We also found out that cattle are usually whipped and mishandled when being loaded onto trucks. The animals also overstay in trucks before leaving the market, and there is overloading as well. The county Government of Narok is improving on the structures and management of the market and we will follow up to see whether the considerations will be adhered to.

                        

Re-homing follow-ups

Lynne and Neil fostered a puppy which settled very well into their home. They have found him his new forever home at the coast. What a lucky puppy!

Below are two happy dog owners that adopted their pets from us.

                     

More happy owners with their lucky adopted pets.

         

 In other news…

In June, we re-homed 5 dogs and 3 cats. We also admitted 25 dogs, 3 cats and 1 donkey. We are currently providing shelter to 40 dogs, 6 cats and 5 donkeys.

We have repainted the dog quarantine kennel, cattery, the office and the staff quarters. We are also doing some repairs on the old dog kennels.

        

Our vehicle has been out of service since January, so we have been using hired transport (motorbikes and taxis) to carry out investigations and rescues. We also occasionally use the Nairobi vehicles whenever they are around for spay/neuter campaigns.

 

There are several reasons for a dog to bark, for most it is merely a method of communication and a natural part of canine behaviour. Most dogs will instinctively bark when strangers approach their territory; this type of barking is generally acceptable and often encouraged by their owners. However, there are many times when barking is inappropriate and disruptive, and to stop this, the underlying motivation had to be discovered.

Many inappropriate forms of barking are due to dogs suffering from either physical or mental discomfort. Barking can be due to a medical cause, either pain or cognitive decline (senility). If your dog is older than 7 years and shows other signs of decline, such as altered sleep patterns, sudden bouts of aggression, lapses in house training or signs of decreasing awareness, old age might be a reason for barking, especially if it seems random and not directed at anything specific. Physical pain can also cause a dog to bark or vocalise in other ways.

The five freedoms of animal welfare are very relevant when thinking of inappropriate barking. Fear, anxiety, lack of exercise or mental stimulation are all reasons for dogs to bark. If you lock up your dog in a cage all day with inadequate facilities, no stimulation and social contact, it is likely to lead to excessive barking. Younger dogs will often bark when playing, which is generally harmless. However, one should be careful not to praise puppies while they are barking, as this might encourage them to bark every time they want your attention.

In order to discover the cause for barking it is useful to keep a logbook of when and why your dog is barking. Note down what your dog is barking at, for how long and what your own response to the barking is. Remember that a dog can smell and hear noises better than you can, so sometimes the trigger might not be obvious. Note also the dog’s body language (aggressive, anxious, playful etc.). Consider medical and physical issues. A complete physical examination by a veterinarian might be warranted as is ensuring that the dog’s living conditions are acceptable and comfortable.

If you are able to identify the reason for barking, you have a better chance of eliminating the behaviour by other methods. If possible, consider eliminating the cause for the barking, for example if he barks at something he sees through a window, consider curtains or blinds. If he barks at outside noises, use white noise, a radio or something similar to reduce the triggering noise. If the stimuli cannot be avoided, considering giving your dog a treat when it occurs, so your dog makes a positive association between the noise and gets distracted. Another method is desensitisation. If you dog barks at the sound of a doorbell, record the sound and replay it repeatedly at a lower volume. Immediately when your dog doesn’t bark, reward him with a treat or praise. If he does bark, offer him a chew toy or something similar that makes barking at the same time impossible. Always reward quiet behaviour, either with praise, play or a treat. If your dog barks when he is alone out of loneliness or boredom, consider doggy daycare, leaving the TV or radio on, or other enrichment toys.

Yelling or physical punishment should never be used for barking. If your dog is anxious, yelling might result in aggression and if your dog is simply barking out of playfulness he will simply bark more if he gets attention. The most effective way is to consistently interrupt the barking with other diversions or distractions and ensuring your dog’s basic needs are met, including adequate exercise and social interactions.  If your dog keeps barking despite all your efforts and procedures, consult with your veterinarian or a professional dog trainer.

 

Article by: Dr. Laura Wessman

KSPCA Volunteer

 

June has generally been a busy month with many cats coming in. We admitted 76 cats and 17 dogs, and were able to re-home 10 dogs and 10 cats.  We also spayed and neutered 15 dogs and 14 cats. We had no cases of rabies during the month.

Investigations and Rescues

We had a call from someone whose cat had got its’ tail wound round some razor wire.  It was very nasty and we had to call our vet to come and help, as the tail had to be cut in order to release the cat. The cat was then taken to the vet’s clinic to have the tail stitched and taken care of.

We received a report of a half grown calf that had collapsed and had been down for 5 days.  We brought it in and it was checked by our vet who put it down.

A vet in Nyali called us to say that he was going to have to put down a Llama at the Go Kart place and that we could go and collect it. We brought it in and used it for meat for our dogs.   This is the second Llama that we have been given for meat. We are still able to get the leftovers from the hotels which is fantastic.

In other news…

We would like to sincerely appreciate Watu Credit Limited, who are helping us financially by paying the salaries of our kennel and cattery staff for 6 months with effect from April, 2021. 

No fund raising was done during the month but we received some funds from people who were unable to come to our Ngutuni Game Count and one company gave us a donation to get some prizes. We need to try and get some funds to do some repair work in our isolation unit.

Our vehicle is running well and we have managed to pay the last bill.   We have asked Mike Kirkland to look out for a good secondhand Probox for us. We use Mike’s garage at Galu Safaris to do our servicing.

We have been given a medium size freezer which has really saved us, as our very old freezers are slowly packing up.

Our staff continue to work well and our Vet, Dr. Peter Gitau comes every Monday and Friday to work in our Clinic.

 

Donkeys play an important role in many communities across the world and therefore need to be taken good care of by both donkey owners and users.

The KSPCA team visited Masai Lodge area at Ongata Rongai, where they encountered this badly wounded donkey that was being made to work despite its condition. The wound was caused by poor harnessing of the donkey. Other than that, the donkey owner had overloaded the donkey, and the donkey cart was poorly balanced, hence causing more damage. Given that the donkey owner had on several occasions been educated about proper harnessing, loading techniques and how to generally take care of the donkey, our team rescued the donkey and brought him to the KSPCA shelter for treatment, and to allow him rest and heal.

 

This poor donkey was rescued by the KSPCA team at Gataka. He had been badly hacked on the thigh and back regions by unknown people for having strayed into someone’s farm in search of food. The donkey is currently being treated and taken good care of at the KSPCA shelter.

 

During our visit to Uasin Gishu, Trans Nzoia and Bungoma counties, we encountered several abused donkeys. Most of the wounds were as a result of poor harnessing, whipping and poorly designed carts.  We released one seriously wounded donkey from one of the carts as it was not in good shape to continue working.

                 

We improved the state of a few donkeys in the region by trimming the overgrown hooves and improved the harnesses using locally available materials. We educated the owners/users on importance of having good harnesses, and proper donkey handling.

                       

In May, we re-homed 3 dogs and 4 cats. We also admitted 23 dogs and 4 cats and 7 donkeys. We are currently providing shelter to 39 dogs, 8 cats and 8 donkeys.

Dr. Cecilia came to the shelter to help us with spaying/neutering of the cats and dogs. She spayed 4 dogs, 4 cats and neutered 4 dogs.

 

The couple below, Anjela and Rammon, are currently on their vacation from Los Angeles. They happened to rescue some kittens which they helped us foster and we successfully got them new homes.

Rescues and Investigations.

We did a donkey welfare check in Kabati area. The donkeys had severe wounds due to to poor harnessing and whipping. We advised the owners to refrain from making the donkeys work. Instead, they should seek veterinary care for the donkeys until the wounds are completely healed.

We also did a routine random check of donkeys at Kongoni- Maiella. We bumped into 6 donkeys carrying heavy building stones on a poorly built cart. We instructed them to build more carts with shafts for the donkeys to pull them comfortably.

We admitted the donkey below who had an eye infection. He was treated and returned to the owner.

Below is a community of disappointed donkey owners at Kayole, Naivasha, witnessing the burning of two donkey remains. Unknown people had raided one of the homes in the neighborhood and stole the donkeys, which they butchered in a bush. The donkeys belonged to an owner we had recently improved the standard of the cart for the purposes of educating other donkey users.

             

The photo below shows Raphael inspecting a new kennel and bed at Inka Homes. He advised the owners to repair the spaces left on the dog bed since it can cause serious injuries to dogs.

This dog sneaked into someone’s home at Kayole Estate. We went to her rescue and she is now under good care at the shelter.

This cat was admitted for treatment from Nyondia area. KSPCA remains a helping center for many animals whose owners do not know much about veterinary care.

 

Re-homing

Below are photos of two families with their dogs which they adopted from the shelter.

 

 

The KSPCA team strives to make a commendable difference to the lives of donkeys in Kenya. We see to it that the donkeys live a life that’s free from pain and suffering.

The KSPCA team received a report about a donkey that needed to be rescued at Kibiko area, Ngong. It was established that someone had attempted castrating the donkey but was unsuccessful, and therefore abandoned the donkey. The donkey ended up bleeding profusely and almost died. Fortunately, our team arrived in time to rescue him and safely brought him to the KSPCA shelter, where he was attended to by our vets and is recuperating steadily.

In  another incident in Naivasha, a donkey owner lost two of his donkeys to bandits. They stole the donkeys and slashed their tendons in order to immobilize them, then slaughtered them. Their aim was to sell the donkeys’ skins. The owner however alerted the neighbors who helped him hunt down the bandits. They are said to have been alerted by someone and therefore ran away half through the skinning process, with some meat. The suspects are yet to be found. The KSPCA team advised the donkey owners in the area  to be extra careful with their donkeys especially at night. Since the court ruling regarding re-opening of the donkey abattoirs, such cases have been on the rise.

            

Our team visited Ongata Rongai and held a meeting with 15 donkey users. They were  educated on better shelter for their donkeys to curb the recurrent cases of stolen donkeys. The new donkey users were also educated on humane handling and restrain of their donkeys.

Still in the same area, they did practical trimming of the overgrown hooves and follow-up of trained donkey user on proper harnesses.