June 14, 2009

Will you save Esteban?

This is Esteban, named for repeat donor Stephen Andruszkewicz.

One recent rainy day Esteban took refuge on the premises of the NGO ACEER (Amazon Center for Environmental Education and Research). Employees of ACEER carried Esteban to the Amazon Community Animal Rescue, Education and Safety Veterinary Clinic. They worried about the dog, and wanted him to recuperate from his obvious illnesses.

A close analysis of Esteban revealed widespread sarcoptic mange, anemia, parasites, and malnutrition. He suffered from a severe Transmissible Venereal Tumor, which is a highly contagious genital cancer that is more common to sexually active dogs living in neglect. These tumors are very unsightly, and usually contribute to a dog’s abuse, neglect and/or abandonment. Additionally, these tumors are transmissible to humans.

Sarcoptic mange has public health importance because it is transmitted to humans through direct contact with the animal. One should note for most of its life cycle, these mites dig into the skin of their definitive host, such as dog. These mites will also dig into human skin, but only for a short time period on the area ofSpin_0916_May2509.jpg contact with an infected dog. During this time, humans can transmit these parasites to others by direct contact. It is important to emphasize that the mite is a transient ectoparasite and does not choose human skin as a favored living environment.

Esteban requires a specialized treatment for scabies with medicated baths, injections and antibiotics. He needs nutritionally balanced food and supplemental vitamins, immunostimulants, and internal antiparasitic chemotherapy for the tumors that cause him much suffering. Esteban’s venereal tumor is located on his bleeding penis. This unique form of cancer is spread during mating.

The medicine needed to treat Esteban’s illness is expensive and only available through the National Institute of Neoplastic Diseases, located in Lima. Access to this medicine, a chemotherapy drug, is restricted to veterinary use only.

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