I loved every minute of my second World Vets IVM trip to Granada, Nicaragua this winter. As a vet student it is such an amazing opportunity to learn spay/neuter and physical exam technique from multiple veterinarians in a supportive and fun environment.
Both of my trips with World Vets have been packed with so much practical education in a relatively short amount of time. I felt more confident and competent after a day of hands-on training than weeks spent in a classroom can afford. I personally love the surgical aspect of the IVM trips, but the outreach days were so fulfilling because we could see the impact that we were having on the community. As a return volunteer, I saw animals and owners who I had met a year previously, which was so surprising and exciting.
The city of Granada is such a vibrant place and I felt so welcome the whole time I was there. We had the opportunity to practice our Spanish during a lesson with a language school, and the locals were very accommodating with our attempts to practice our Spanish with them.
I already hope to be able to impact the lives of future vet students (as the veterinary instructors have impacted mine) by returning to Granada as a veterinarian. I really feel like World Vets has opened my eyes to the wonders of international travel, veterinary service trips, and the point where those two things meet.
WorldVets brings together education and outreach in a way that helps veterinary students develop both clinically and personally in an environment that many of us would not have the chance to visit otherwise.
In December 2013 I went to the World Vets Central American Training Center in Granada, Nicaragua during winter break of my second year in vet school. I am so grateful for the opportunity to learn valuable skills in such a confidence-boosting, education focused environment. I felt like each veterinarian, both North American and Nicaraguan, brought different teaching styles and goals to the surgical table, allowing us as student-surgeons to learn so much more than just how to spay or neuter a companion animal. I learned so much from my fellow students as well; the mixture of classes and experience levels meant that there was always someone to teach you something new. I've since participated in similar projects with different organizations stateside, and nothing can compare to the way that WorldVets balances the needs of participants with the needs of recipients of aid. Cheers to World Vets for giving me a newfound appreciation for travel, outreach, and the importance of general practitioners in this increasingly specialized field.
When I signed up for the World Vets IVM trip to Nicaragua I had no idea how incredible it would be. I didn't know a lot about World Vets at the start, but I heard it was a good trip from a friend. I quickly learned how much of an understatement that was. World Vets does an amazing job at making this experience rewarding in so many ways. Not only did we help a community in dire need of veterinary care (which alone made the whole trip a success) but we learned and had a great time doing it, in addition to meeting a truly wonderful group of people. I took home a handful of new surgical skills, the satisfaction of making a difference in foreign community, a lot of stories and memories, and new group of friends from all over the country. I enjoyed the trip and everything I learned about the organization so much that I decided to become a student ambassador in the hopes of spreading the word to new and upcoming vet students so it may enhance their lives and future career as much as it has enhanced mine.
I volunteered as a veterinary technician for World Vets when they came to the GSPCA in St. George's, Grenada in the spring of 2013. It was a fun experience, was nice to spend the day with some great people from the profession and even better it was great to be able to give back to the community. Can't wait to volunteer again!
I volunteered back in November (2013) with World Vets and was a part of Team Sosua in the Dominican Republic. I cannot even begin the explain the impact World Vets has had on my life. I am an undergrad student pursing veterinary medicine and with extremely high expectations for the trip I came back with those expectations far exceeded. The team lead veterinarian, Dr. Joe Zulty, was fantastic. He had traveled the world and back already and was extremely personable and helpful as well as organized in getting the group together in a very laid back manner. The group went to dinner together nightly and really bonded as a team. Everyone in the group got along because we were all so like minded and there for the animals. I have remained in contact with all the team members and am happy to say they will be lifelong friends. The clinic was set up in an open area/field next to an all-girls school off the side of a main road. We worked with AAAS which was a good segway for communicating with the locals and setting up the clinic site. I acted as one of the technicians for the clinic days; having accumulated about 400 volunteer hours at a clinic in Idaho I had seen IV catheters and trach tubes put in multiple times, I had seen surgery preparation and administration of vaccinations, and had seen countless surgeries. However, when in the Dominican Republic volunteering with World Vets I was able to DO all these things. I pre-medicated the dogs and cats, placed IV catheters, trach tubes, and prepped/sterilized the animals for surgeries. I even participated in two surgeries with one of the amazing doctors on the trip, Dr. Leslie Johnson. This experience at the age of 20 was phenomenal. Beyond the immediate hands-on veterinary experience I was able to work with another smaller organization in the area for one of the mornings when we not at the clinic. Dogs and Cats of the DR took some of the team on a tour of the barrios and poorer areas of the Dominican Republic and fed, de-wormed, and loved the locals' dogs and cats. This was special because their organizations entire idea is that if dogs and cats look healthy and happy they will be treated better and cared for.
Beyond the clinical days, the team had a lot of fun. We went to beaches, multiple restaurants, on a waterfall jumping adventure, and on a tour of the countryside of the DR.
When I say WV impacted my life, I mean it. I ended up coming home with an abandoned puppy left for dead in a sugarcane field miles from any humans or help. Dogs are dumped all the time in situations like this, but this little dog was smart enough to chase down our tour bus during one of our excursions. The poor little guy was in bad shape...he was dehydrated, covered in fleas, ticks, and little wounds. He was barely three pounds and about 4 weeks old. He would not have survived much longer in the sugarcane fields. He became the team mascot and went to the clinic with us daily as well as breakfasts each morning at our hotel. Now named Dominico, or Nico, this lucky little pup is living safe and sound with me in Moscow, Idaho. He is my hiking partner and has traveled all over Idaho, Washington, and Utah with me. He is spoiled beyond belief and turned out to be a 50 pound lab mix instead of the Chihuahua as previously thought. Nico is a daily reminder of the difference World Vets is making for animals around the world. I cannot wait to continue volunteering with World Vets now, in vet school, and as a veterinarian in the future. I cannot speak highly enough of WV. Looking forward to World Vets Team Cusco, Peru in August of 2014!!
I participated in the World Vets IVM Program in Nicaragua in December 2013 and it was one of the most meaningful and enjoyable experiences I've ever had. Not only did I make new friends and hone my veterinary skills, but I was able to help a community of people and their animals who really needed it. The IVM programs and the work of the Nicaraguan vets have made a tangible difference in the city of Granada. There are fewer stray animals and the work horses seen throughout the city are healthier and more robust than they've ever been. Two aspects of the World Vets organization that I find not only admirable but also crucial is their focus on client education and the concept of one health. By educating clients about maintaining healthy work animals not only does the animal feel better and live longer, but the people who work with them have a more robust animal who can better help them with their work. In this way, the whole community is improved.
I would certainly recommend this trip to anyone and encourage them to participate. Everyone on the team including undergraduate students, veterinary technicians, veterinary students, and veterinarians all have something to gain from this experience and also all have something to give. I participate in another World Vets trip as soon as I can.
I went on a World Vets IVM trip to Nicaragua last year over Spring Break during my first year of veterinary school, and it was definitely one of the best choices I've ever made and I would repeat it again and again. Not only was it my first field veterinary medicine trip, but it was also my first time out of the country, and I couldn't imagine a more positive experience than what I had with World Vets. That trip inspired me to be a world traveler and opened my eyes to the good that could be done abroad in the realm of veterinary medicine, so it changed my life, as well as the lives of all of the animals that we spayed, neutered, vaccinated, and administered parasite control to during the IVM program. I especially loved having the opportunity to perform spays and neuters as the primary surgeon when I was only a first year vet student with the close guidance of several veterinarians with their own differing techniques, as our curriculum generally only begins surgery instruction during the third year. My passion for surgery was ignited and fueled by World Vets, and it was an incredible combination of helping animals, their owners, communities, and having a fantastic vacation while learning lifelong technical skills all at the same time. During our free time, my new lifelong friends and I enjoyed exquisite and authentic Nicaraguan cuisine, explored a volcano and bat cave, went zip lining in the canopy of a coffee plantation, and went horseback riding in the backstreets and countryside of a small nearby town. One of the days of the trip, we branched out from the World Vets surgery training center and traveled to a nearby community to provide a large scale spay and neuter clinic and had such a positive turnout that we simply didn't have enough hours in the day to sterilize all of the dogs and cats, and even a rabbit! I feel that veterinary trips like these to countries with fewer resources for animals than we have in the US are extremely important to everyone involved on both the giving and receiving ends. Overall, my first World Vets experience was an incredible one, and it definitely won't be my last.
I participated in the World Vets IVM Program in Nicaragua a couple summers ago, and it was by far one of the best professional development and personal experiences I have ever had. The surgical cases ranged from the typical spays/neuters to hermaphrodites and mass removals. Vet students of any year are allowed to perform the procedures (under supervision), which is great since most vet schools don't begin surgery until 3td year. At the outreach clinic we saw animals for everything from routine vaccination and deworming to broken limbs and chemotherapy. As someone who wants to pursue international vet med, it was extremely important for me to see exactly how much can be accomplished at a site with limited materials. Resourcefulness is just as important as technical skill, and witnessing these procedures first-hand is very important to learning how to handle any situation that comes up. I watched both the American vets work and the Nicaraguan vets, which was very helpful to learning the different techniques that are out there.
Not only was the medical experience great, but the World Vets program schedule also gave us time to explore on our own and experience the Nicaraguan culture. We visited a coffee plantation, made our own chocolate, zip-lined from the forest canopy, and even went paddle-boarding at the beach. The people are friendly, the accommodations are lovely, and the food was delicious!
The World Vets mission is one identify with strongly, and for the important work that they do, I would go on another trip in a heartbeat. If you are interested in international medicine, believe in the spaying/neutering campaign, or are interested in early surgical experience, then this program is for you! Pre-vets also learn valuable skills of pre-medicating, placing catheters, monitoring anesthesia, and may even become surgical assistants. I encourage everyone to experience at least one trip!
My World Vets trip was, by far, one of best things I have ever done in my life, and I hope to do as many trips as possible in the future. This non-profit organization provides opportunities to become involved in spay neuter clinics around the world. The shared compassion and efforts of these volunteers make lasting differences in, not only the lives of the animals that are being helped, but also for the animals' families. In addition to offering free spay neuter services for the animals in the community, the veterinarians, who volunteer their time and skills, are also able to help others with medical conditions that may otherwise go untreated. World Vets is making a positive impact through their active involvement in providing aid to animals in developing countries around the globe. In working with World Vets not only did our team make a difference in the lives of others, but the people and animals we worked with also left quite the amazing impression.
World Vets veterinary clinic in Livingston on 11-June 13.
Together with the hotel owners, local community authorities and the animal lovers we were desperately seeking aid for stray dogs on our town. The situation was bad with lots of sick stray dogs and no vet clinic in the town. The nearest vet clinic is in Puerto Barrios which is half an hour away and accessible by boat only. There are numerous strays dogs. Malnourished, ill, and frequently injured by vehicles, they roam the streets in search of food and water.
In addition there are many, mainly indigenous, families living along the Rio Dulce river between Livingston and Rio Dulce Town. In order to protect their land, people use dogs but can’t afford to feed them let alone vaccinate and sterilize them. The dogs continue to reproduce and the problem multiplies rapidly therefore increasing the population of underfed and sick animals. People have no means to bring their sick animals to Puerto Barrios. The bites by vampire bats on dogs and people are not uncommon. We were alarmed!
The preparation of the project took us few months and at the end a group of enthusiastic and generous veterinary doctors came to town to give us a helping hand. During the 3 days clinic World Vets (assisted by the eager to learn 12 students from the San Carlos Guatemalan University) attended almost 370 patients and spayed and neutered 145 cats and dogs! Everyone was truly amazed by the number of patients and at the level of commitment of the field team. The whole team worked very hard, from the early morning till the evening, taking every patient that arrived, performing their tasks for 3 days in a hot temperature, in improvised conditions. It was all of a great help and the project was a great success. People were more than pleased with this opportunity. They commented that “it was the best thing they have done for their pets”. We hope that with this visit of WorldVets we started a continuous and sustainable collaboration and that at the end we will come to have a town without sick and abandoned animals. Our desire would be to continue to develop more projects together with the WorldVets organization...Thank you Worde Vets you were fantastic! We hope we see you back soon!
World vets is a truly wonderful non-profit organization that strives to improve the health and wellbeing of animals by providing veterinary aid and training in developing countries and by providing disaster relief worldwide. World Vets exists to improve the lives of animals and humans worldwide. I volunteered with World Vets as a Vet Student on a project in Nicaragua. I was so moved by my experience there that I returned to my vet school as a student ambassador for World Vets to help spread the word about the organization. We we’re able to help so many animals and their owners in Nicaragua. The faces of the dogs, cats, children and owners will remain in my mind, continuing to reinforce and revitalize my passion for veterinary medicine. Not a single initial conversation with friends, employers, or coworkers goes by without one of my many World Vets stories being told. I would highly recommend this organization to anyone looking to make a difference in a community.