The Entrance

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The second installment from APROP Presidente, Ana Femenía Ortolà

When an animal enters APROP we feel relieved in the case of a complicated rescue, but sad and powerless when we find them in the outer kennel.

Their faces of fear and uncertainty remain etched in our retinas forever.

Later I will talk about the animal’s emotions.

At APROP we have protocols for newly arrived animals:

1 – Check if it has a chip

In the event that it carries one, call the police so that they can advise its owner.

2 – Make an entry form, in which you are informed of:

  • the date of entry
  • reason
  • name we choose
  • sex
  • approximate age
  • colour
  • race
  • chip number (if fitted)
  • veterinary checks and vaccinations
  • illnesses, injuries and treatments.

3 – Reunion

In the event that the owner appears, he must sign the reunion paper where we will write down his data.

4 – Quarantine:

It is necessary that the newcomer is separated so as not to endanger the health of the other inhabitants of the shelter, since we do not know at that time if he may have a contagious disease.

5 – Deworming:

We must control fleas, ticks and worms.

6 – Veterinarian

Each animal that enters APROP must be checked and vaccinated by veterinarians, a test is carried out to control endemics (common diseases of the Mediterranean).  The principal ones are:


Feline immunodeficiency (FIV)

Symptoms can be: Weight loss, Upset, Loss of appetite, Fever, Enlargement of the lymph nodes, Gingivitis

Without cure, but with proper care many cats can live long, happy lives.


Symptoms can be: Loss of appetite, Deficiencies in the coat, Infections in the skin, the bladder and the respiratory tract, Oral diseases, Seizures, Enlargement of the lymph nodes.

Without cure, but variable in how it presents.  Some cats with the illness never show symptoms and can live long, happy lives.


Symptoms can be: Snot, Sneezing, Lacrimation, Conjunctivitis, Sores on the gums, tongue and palate, Ulcers on the nose, Decay.

Most cats recover from this quickly.  But some cats develop a chronic respiratory illness that is without cure.


Symptoms can be: Inflammation of the gums, oral mucosa, tongue and even larynx, Bleeding from the gums, Pain in the mouth, Lack of appetite and weight loss, Halitosis, Increased salivation, Changes in behaviour, Ulcers on the oral mucosa

Easily treated with antibiotics or dental work.  If not treated in time, the infection may penetrate the jaw bone and become Stomatitis.


Ehrlichia: Disease transmitted by ticks.

Symptoms can be: Changes in behavior and mood, Lethargy and lack of coordination, Weight loss due to lack of appetite, Spontaneous hemorrhages and seizures, Inflammation of the joints, brain or glands, Respiratory problems, Uveitis, Pale mucous membranes    

Has a cure

Anaplasma: A disease transmitted by ticks.

Symptoms can be: Fever, Lethargy and lack of coordination, Depression, Anorexia, Lameness, Joint pain, Polyarthritis, Vomiting, Diarrhea, Enlargement of the lymph nodes, Anaemia, Decrease in the number of platelets, Increased liver enzymes, Pale mucous membranes, Small hemorrhages under the skin (petechiae), Cough, Uveitis, Edema, Increased water intake    

Has a cure

Leishmaniasis. Disease transmitted by the Phlebotomus mosquito.

There are two types of presentations, one cutaneous and the other visceral, the latter being the most serious form of leishmaniasis.

Visceral affects of internal organs

Symptoms can be: Severe weight loss, Loss of appetite, Diarrhea, Tarry stools (less common), Vomiting, Nosebleed, Exercise intolerance,

Cutaneous affects the skin

Symptoms can be: Hyperkeratosis: Excessive epidermal scaling with thickening, loss of skin color and cracks on the muzzle and pads; Alopecia: Dry, brittle coat, with loss of hair in the ears and around the eyes; Ulcers, Unusually long and brittle nails,

Other related symptoms: Swelling of the lymph nodes, Signs of kidney failure, Neuralgia, Joint and muscle pain, Fever

There is a very low chance that Leishmaniasis will completely disappear, but with proper treatment, and a few periodic checks, the dog can lead a  long and happy life.

7 – Treatments

If the animal is diagnosed with any disease or has an injury, a medication card will be made with its name, date, veterinarian who prescribes the medication, dose and days of treatment.

This card is posted on a board and volunteers must write down the date and name of the person who administers it.

Once a week the “pillboxes” are prepared to make it easier to administer the treatments to each animal.

Animals must wait 21 days for the owner to appear until they can be put up for adoption.

Some are too young, or old, are in very bad shape or cannot bear being locked up alone. It is then that foster homes are sought.

8 – Foster homes

These people play a very important role, since they are often in charge of feeding newborns, treating animals with serious injuries, educating puppies and kittens so that their integration into the adoptive family is easier or giving love to animals that are much older and may have lacked love their entire lives or they have lost the human they loved so much.

APROP takes care of all the expenses that the animal may cause while it is in foster care.

If you save an animal, you don’t change the world, but you change that animal’s world … and I assure you, they also change ours.

All the best

Ana Femenía Ortolà

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