On Tuesday we hosted a free clinic in Arenal! What an experience, I don’t even know where to begin. Many people came out and waited hours for their animals to get examines, and many opted to have their dogs spayed/nuetered. Dr. T did 19 surgeries back to back. He is absolutely amazing. I’d be thrilled to become half the vet he is. We also did 67 physicals, giving dewormer, rabies vaccines, and vitamin shots to the dog. I think the most interesting part was seeing all the different people and dogs that came, and the various problems each dog had. It was also very interesting to see the range of health that the dogs were in—some looked very clean and healthy while other were very thin with skin problems. However, I noticed that at least in the recoveries I was with, not matter what the condition the dog was in the owners seemed super excited and worried when their dogs were waking up. This kind of reminded me that a lot of these dogs look like they do just because the owner cant afford to take care of them, not that they don’t want to. Doing the free clinic really made me want to help more—in just one small village so many dogs needed surgeries and could use treatment. I can only imagine how many more villages there are like this that could use a free clinic. What Dr. T does for these animals is truly amazing. I strive to be like him and I promised myself that one day I will come back to Belize and help out these animals.
Today was pig day! It was a lot of fun. We started off castrating; the pigs didn’t scream that much which was nice. Dr. T showed us how to draw blood from the medial canthus of the eye; he was able to quickly stick a needle right next to a struggling pigs eye with perfect accuracy. The blood was collected to be sampled for diseases. Then we had to wrangle the pigs and inject them.
Afterwards we worked with sheep for a little. Then we all changed and went swimming at a waterfall, which was so beautiful. I could honestly sit there all day and just look at the water and the trees around it and everything. It was a lot of fun. Then later in the day we did the Green Iguana Project. It’s a
private organization that rescues and rehabilitates injured or sick green iguanas, educates the public, and tries to increase populations. Green iguana populations are very low since they are hunted for their meat and eggs. It was very interesting hearing about the conservation efforts they put into regrowing their population, especially since the main problem stems from government corruption and laws not being enforced.
Today was a long but fun day. We woke up at 330 AM to go see a dairy farm. After, we had breakfast and then went to a cattle farm to learn about AI. We all got to palpate the cows. Both cows I felt were pregnant so now I’m curious to see what an open cow feels like. Later we went bat trapping, a volunteer effort on Dr. T’s part in order to help decrease the vampire bat populations which are the main cause for the spread of rabies and decreases in cattle populations.
While we were there Dr. T had to go to an emergency C section so we came and helped out. I liked how in this situation even though it was an emergency surgery, we were still able to be helpful and apply everything we have learned.