South Africa

WATCH VIDEO: Mbombela vet and tattoo artist take a unique approach to helping dog

MBOMBELA – A routine visit to Van Wijk Street Animal Hospital last Friday turned out to be a blessing in disguise for dog owner, Christie Streicher. Dr Christo Nortjé noticed that her Border collie, Shanti’s eyes lacked the black pigments at the bottom of the eyelid usually present in dogs.


According to the veterinarian, this condition causes red eyes in dogs and increases the chances of the animal getting cancer. After a discussion, Nortjé informed Streicher about a revolutionary treatment by eye specialists in Johannesburg which involves tattooing the affected area with black pigment.

“The UV rays from the sun will be absorbed by the black pigment and causes less of an irritation to the the dog because they spend most of their time outdoors in direct sunlight.”

Tattoo artist, Serah Cue, applied a special ink during the procedure.

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The veterinarian mentioned that Border collies, Jack Russells, pitbulls and cats suffer from this condition. He enlisted the help of Cue’s Permanent Skin Art Specialists in Sonpark and owner Serah Cue was eager to help.

“All the pigments we use are vegan friendly, but the one we used on Shanti was a low-polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon cosmetic pigment which, according to research, is the safest pigment option we could use,” she said.

Shanti’s eye before the revolutionary procedure.

Cue added that they needed to buy a portable power pack to minimise unnecessary clutter and to ensure the environment was kept as sterile as possible during the procedure. In her 17 years as a tattoo artist, she described her involvement in the experience as amazing.

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“It was exciting to be part of making a difference.”

Streicher said the healing process was proceeding well and thanked Van Wijk Street Animal Hospital for providing such good care while he is recuperating.

“He is doing very well and is constantly being monitored to track his progression.”

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