Pets are less common here, they are treated differently, and there are many feral cats and dogs on the streets. We often ignore things we don’t want to see as a method of coping. But last night we couldn’t ignore this cute puppy twitching and convulsing on the ground next to our building. Someone had wrapped him in a blanket and tucked another blanket under his head. We went home and called the vet to see if he was still open, grabbed a towel and a box and went back for him. When we got back another neighbor had come by to bring him a bowl of porridge, but he wasn’t responsive.
We chatted with her for a second and figured out that neither of us knew where he came from, but that we would take him to the vet. She escorted us to a taxi and tried to help give directions. When we got out of the cab the driver looked at the sick puppy and said “I love you!” in English. Dr. Chan stayed open late waiting for us and stayed late taking care of him.
The poor fellow didn’t open his eyes on the ride to the vets or as the vet examined him. He had a thick full coat, matted and muddy, but healthy. His gums were a light white pink, no fever, he had all the signs of a healthy dog. Sadly, he wasn’t wasn’t waking up, he was twitching and convulsing. Dr. Chen said he would give him an IV and some antibiotics and we should come back in the morning. He guessed that he was about 4 months old, but couldn’t guess the breed. He was a very big puppy.
When we returned today he said that he was getting better and had drank, walked, and peed, but would need care. He tested negative for heartworm and distemper, but was having seizures that were stopping him from swallowing. Dr. Chen said that he would probably have a seizure a month, but be an otherwise healthy puppy. We couldn’t take him with our 3 pets and our work schedule, and all of our friends are gone at work 9 hours a day, so the vet called the dog shelter. He said the shelter would take care of him until he found a home. All told the antibiotics, food, boarding, and tests cost 82,000 won about 72 USD.
For all that we have heard of people mistreating animals here our neighbors really stepped up to bat for this puppy. I hope he has many wonderful puppy adventures and finds a good home. I was happy to learn that there is a stray shelter in my town. Dr. Chen is an awesome vet, his services are limited in contrast to our vet in MN, but he is as caring and kind.
If you are in Mokpo and need a vet I highly recommend Dr. Chen. He is an advanced English speaker. His clinic is very clean and comfortable and he is kind. He is at Seoul Clinic across from Jin Mart. (tell that to the cabbie) his office number is 061-279-1175 he is open Monday to Friday until 7pm, Saturdays until 6pm and he closes for lunch from 12:30- 1:30.