Africa/DRC: Doguy didn’t need surgery and is doing well!

Posted in 28/02/2019

(J.A.C.K Sanctuary)

From J.A.C.K Sanctuary

Last Thursday, February 21st, was a very important day for our young chimpanzee since the two veterinarians had arrived from Johannesburg to check and operate his left eye.

In a few words, know that all went well!

Thursday morning, Doguy was sedated and transfered to a clinic. Our sanctuary has a brand new clinic but it isn’t equiped yet and we didn’t have the needed sedation machine (gas anaesthesia)  usually used for surgery. So, J.A.C.K. had to rent the theater of another veterinary clinic for this particular occasion.

The two South African surgeons carried out different tests on Doguy’s eye and found out it wasn’t suffering of cataract but that it had an issue on the cornea. Doguy has had an ulcer on this part of the eye which has slowly healed leaving a lesion onto the cornea. Some calcium has started to cover the lesion providing the eye with a very small whitish spot. This lesion has no impact at all on Doguy’s sight but to be sure the two eye specialists connected the chimpanzee to their computer via 3 electrodes to check the qualiy of the retina. And, apparently, the retina is working perfectly well and Doguy has an excellent sight!

Then came the decision to do the surgery or not. This calcium cloud on Doguy’s eye can be removed by getting rid of the first layer of the cornea. The two surgeons said it wasn’t a very complex surgery but that it could have very serious consequences. A chimpanzee remains a chimpanzee and to tell Doguy not to touch his eye is impossible! So, considering the fact Doguy so far has a very good sight, the two doctors decided not to operate because of all the post-operative care. The chimpanzee could make the healing worse by touching the wound with dirty hands. Or, if we don’t have the appropriate medication or if the treatment isn’t done in a good way (it is okay for us to touch Doguy’s eye but sometimes Doguy isn’t that cooperative!), infection might start and lead to blindness of the remaining eye…

In addition to the corneal problem, it was discovered our young male produces tears of bad quality. A tear is made of some water, mucus and lipids. Doguy’s tears don’t lubricate  his eye enough which could cause irritation and pain especially when the sun is shining too much and when the air is dry and dusty. J.A.C.K. now must find the adequate medication to face this inconvenience as dry season is coming soon (April)!

So, during this particular event, Doguy got sedated, checked and not operated! The two specialists have asked us to follow the white spot on Doguy’s eye: if it gets bigger and whiter and if there is some eye discharge, then some surgery will be needed…

During Doguy’s sedation, the vets took blood samples which have been sent to labs in town and in Kinshasa. Our next step is to find the eye treatment: as it isn’t to be found in local chemist’s and we will probably import it either from Europe or from South Africa before the dry season starts!!

To know more about J.A.C.K Sanctuary  and