The Howler

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A Painful Condition: This dog has a corneal ulcer, caused by a grass seed and showing up as a green/yellow shadow by the use of a fluorescent dye.

A Painful Condition: This dog has a corneal ulcer, caused by a grass seed and showing up as a green/yellow shadow by the use of a fluorescent dye.

Clinic News

Our head nurse, Ava, has returned from her holiday in New Zealand and has 3 lovely kittens at the clinic that she is trying to find homes for. Please phone Ava on 22403 during office hours (Monday to Friday, 8.30am to 3pm) if you would like to adopt one or more of these kittens.

Puppies Wanted: We have a number of clients at the clinic who would like to own one or more puppies. If you know of any puppies needing kind homes, please phone the clinic and the staff will put you in touch with those people wanting puppies.

Case of the Week - Grass Seeds Causing Eye Problems

A dog was presented at the A.P.S clinic this week with a very painful, weeping left eye. After sedation and close examination with an ultraviolet dye, it was found to have a large corneal ulcer, caused by the rubbing of a grass seed (found under the eyelid) against the cornea. A corneal ulcer is extremely painful, especially if exposed to the sunlight. The grass seed was removed and the dog was put on a course of antibiotics to aid in the healing of the cornea. The owners were requested to keep the dog in the shade over the next few days, to give the eye time to heal. Complete recovery is expected in this case, but if left to “nature”, it is more than likely that this dog would lose the sight in this eye and would experience a very painful time while the grass seed rubbed further and further into the eye, over the space of a few weeks, until the surface of the eye was ruptured.

If you notice that your dog or cat have a weeping eye and that they are trying to avoid the light by keeping their eye closed, please bring them to the APS vet clinic for veterinary attention.


Paraquat Poisoning:

Sadly, there have been a few dogs brought to the A.P.S clinic lately with Paraquat poisoning. The majority of these dogs die a painful and slow death from respiratory difficulties.

What is Paraquat? 

Paraquat is a herbicide used for controlling weeds. It is very toxic to humans and animals. It is available at agricultural stores here in Samoa. Unfortunately, some people use Paraquat to poison dogs, which is very cruel. 

What are the signs of Paraquat Poisoning?

It may take a few days for dogs to show signs of poisoning. 

Some signs include:

- vomiting

- diarrhoea

- loss of appetite

- mouth ulcers

- excess saliva

- discharge from eyes

The most consistent sign is fast, laboured breathing. 

Most dogs will die from respiratory failure within several days of first showing signs. 

How do we diagnose Paraquat poisoning? 

There is no test for Paraquat poisoning. Usually it is diagnosed on clinical signs and a consistent history. 

How do we treat Paraquat poisoning?


There is no antidote for Paraquat poisoning. 

Early treatment is more likely to be successful. If the dog has only just ingested the poison, they can be made to vomit, or can take activated charcoal (from the umu) to absorb the poison. Usually however dogs are brought to the clinic several days later when the poison has already been absorbed, and treatment is aimed at reducing inflammation.

Treatments include:

- Prednisolone 

(steroid anti-inflammatory) 

- Fluids/ Electrolytes - 

can give niu juice by syringe every 2 

hours if not eating and drinking

If the dog has not absorbed too much poison, the vet may be able to save your dog’s life. If the dog gets worse despite treatment, it may be best to bring them back to the clinic to be put to sleep, to ease their suffering, as this can be a very slow and painful death. 

APS wishes to thank our kind sponsors: -

• Aggie Grey family 

• CSL 

• Provet NZ

• The Samoan Observer

• Lesa ma Penn


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