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Monday, December 18, 2017

Sharing Love, Sharing Knowledge





This article was originally written for The Mews and is republished with permission. 


On Sunday, 8 October 2017, close to 30 cat lovers from all over Singapore attended the first Love Kuching Project Masterclass session on feline emergency and first aid, wound care, injuries and trauma. This session was conducted by our Love Kuching Project (LKP) volunteers and veterinarian at The Garden Slug café. 

These cat lovers, some of whom had already signed up as fosterers under the newly launched Rescue Central, were keen to gain learn and share their own experiences with fellow cat caregivers. 




For eight years, LKP volunteers have been helping to care for chronically ill or injured community cats that do not need to be hospitalised but still need a lot of clinical care in an indoor environment. Our volunteers, particularly those in the Foster Care team, have been administering care to rescued community cats that require critical, intensive, long-term or palliative care, either to rehabilitate the cats before they return back to their communities, or allow them to live their last days in comfort.


Over the years, LKP has amassed a pool of knowledge in rehabilitation. We were approached by CWS to share our knowledge with fosterers in the Rescue Central initiative. This series of Masterclass sessions, which we have designed, feature theoretical veterinary knowledge and applications necessary in clinical foster care from a layperson standpoint, and discussions of clinical skills necessary in home care, and discussions on both veterinarian-recommended pharmacological treatments alongside simple home remedies LKP has used successfully over the years.



Dr Dawn Chong, a vet who has been working closely with LKP for several years, spoke about signs of a healthy cat before going into details about emergency and first aid for cats that would be useful for cat caregivers. Lifting up Splotch, one of our therapy cats, Dr Chong showed participants where and how to get the cat’s normal heart rate and pulse and watch for its breathing patterns. 

The important danger signs to watch for are weak or no pulse, laboured breathing, discolouration of mucous membranes and pain or masses when feeling a cat’s abdomen. Dr Chong also took participants through how to do cardio-pulmonary resuscitation (CPR) when a kitty has lost consciousness, has no pulse or is not breathing. “Bring the cat to the vet immediately when this happens, and do CPR on the way in the cab,” she said. 




“Call the vet in advance and tell them the signs. The clinic can prepare for triage while you’re in the cab,” said Elaine Chiam, co-founder and President of Love Kuching Project.  “So when you get to the clinic, your cat can be rushed into the treatment room right away.” 

Elaine spoke on trauma injuries caused by vehicular and industrial machinery accidents, and falls from height. Sketching out a simple skeletal structure of a cat, she went on to discuss the different injuries and considerations for surgical and non-surgical treatments, how to manage splints if used for the injured cat, and follow-up treatments including acupuncture and physiotherapy.






Lydiana Ramli, manager of LKP’s Foster Care team, talked about different types of wounds, various treatments for these wounds and daily wound care routines. Taking questions from participants on what could be applied to wounded cats during the question and answer session, Lydiana warned that some common personal care products used on humans could be poisonous to cats. She showed items which LKP has in our cattery, including a stethoscope (“can buy from Mustafa!”), saline solution, gauze, and so on which can be purchased easily at local pharmacies.

Closing the Masterclass session were interactive questions and answers, and a hands-on experience with two therapy cats, Gizmo and Splotch, where participants could check the vital parameters taught during the training.

Next in the series of Love Kuching Project Masterclasses will be a class on infectious diseases and immunodeficiency, as well as many common illnesses in cats. Community cat caregivers, and cat lovers who want to learn how to foster rescued cats and kittens, please keep an eye out by following us on social media (see below for links!).



Donate to our cause by making a deposit to our Love Kuching Project DBS Current Account 027-907655-0 or via credit card.
Donate food or litter to us at charity rates via Polypet
Please email fundraising [at] lovekuchingproject.org after giving.
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