Posts by: dvm

World Vets Prepares for Civil-Military Deployment

For the forth consecutive year, World Vets will be deploying on the Pacific Partnership humanitarian aid mission with the US Navy.  The four month long mission provides medical, dental and veterinary aid. This year the mission will visit Indonesia, Philippines, Vietnam and Cambodia.  World Vets provides the civilian veterinarians for the joint civil-military mission.  One of the goals of the mission is to “prepare for crisis in times of calm”.  World Vets is proud to be a part of this important mission.

For the 2012 mission, 5 veterinarians and 2 licensed technicians from World Vets will be aboard the ship which departs San Diego in a few short weeks.   We have also shipped 2 pallets of veterinary supplies which will help to improve veterinary care in the Philippines.

Last week, World Vets Field Service Veterinarian Dr Winnie Neunzig attended the Pacific Partnership NGO and Associations Brief in Washington DC, hosted by USAID, as our veterinary teams prepare for their upcoming deployment.


Saved from the streets of Nicaragua

We saw so many patients during our four clinic days in Granada, but one very special little patient stood out among them. At the start of our first day, a very kind man named Oscar brought in a little blonde and white puppy that was clearly not doing very well. With his whole body shaking, very pale gums, dehydration, and major GI upset, this puppy was in for a rough road ahead. On top of being very ill, the pup was a street dog without a home. We affectionately named him Chancho, Spanish for pig, as he had a very big, round belly due to parasites.

Chancho stayed in our clinic on IV fluids, meds, and lots of TLC from the amazing World Vets team. He quickly won over their hearts. World Vets volunteer Dr. Robert Trevino worked tirelessly trying to create a treatment plan strong enough to support Chancho and bring him back to health. Within 48 hours a little pup that came in lethargic and non-­responsive bounced back! Checking in on him, we found a puppy rolling on his back kicking his feet in the air or dancing at the front of his cage with a tail that never stopped wagging. This puppy was clearly a fighter and would not let his rough start at life defeat him.

Now the question became what would be the future of Chancho as he was still without a home. Such a special guy definitely deserved a great future. The veterinary student on the trip, Tori Hall, finally broke down and went through the steps needed to bring Chancho back to the US. From there on, Chancho became the unofficial mascot of this World Vets trip, with his playful puppy attitude and his immediate love for anyone he meets. Seemingly forgetting anything that happened to him before he came to his World Vets team, Chancho quickly adjusted to his new life of constant love and playing. While he will soon travel to Mississippi with Tori, he is starting to look for a very special forever home where he can get all the love and attention that the little guy deserves.










Disaster Response Support for World Vets

The Fondation Brigitte Bardot supports World Vets international disaster response program.  In 2011, with the support of Fondation Brigitte Bardot, World Vets acted quickly to help animals impacted by major disasters including the Thailand flood and Japan Earthquake/Tsunami.  Support in 2012 will increase our readiness and capacity to rescue and treat animals caught in disaster situations.  We are very thankful for this support that will help animals in dire situations.


Successful Spay Day Event in Nicaragua

For the last four years World Vets has been working with and training Nicaraguan veterinarians and veterinary students.  We are very proud of the skill level this group has achieved through their strong dedication to learning.This week, the NicaVets group held a successful spay day event at the World Vets Latin America Training Center.  In two days, 180 dogs and cats were spayed/neuter by this all-Nicaraguan crew.  Way to go team!  The Fondation Brigitte Bardot is a sponsor of the Latin America Veterinary Training Center which provides training to Latin American veterinarians.

And the winner of the HESKA-sponsored free trip is….

Thank you HESKA!

Congratulations to Dr. Tom Schuld, winner of the World Vets volunteer trip! Tom was selected as the winner at the Western Veterinary Conference this week. Tom started his veterinary career later in life and will assure you it’s never too late to find your passion! Congratulations Tom and thank you to Heska Corporation for sponsoring this great giveaway!  Dr Schuld was awarded an all expense paid trip to volunteer on the World Vets international project of his choice!

World Spay Day Event- World Vets and NicaVets

NicaVets is a group of Nicaraguan veterinary professionals committed to helping animals in their country.  World Vets has worked with many of its members for years.  This year the NicaVets group will be holding a large scale sterilization campaign in commemoration of World Spay Day.   The event will be held Feb 27-28, 2012 at the World Vets Latin America Veterinary Training Center in Granada, Nicaragua.  The goal is to provide spay and neuter surgeries for 200 animals.  Please help support their efforts by donating to help purchase veterinary supplies needed for the project.  For more information on NicaVets visit their Facebook page.

One of the many street dogs in Granada, Nicaragua
Another street dog in Granada, Nicaragua

L to R Claudio Mayorga, Dr Jasson Figueroa and Dr. Jose Antonio Gomez Campos.  These are three of the veterinary personnel that will be running the NicaVets Spay Day event (they also happen to be instructors at the World Vets Training Center). Other Nicaraguan veterinarians and volunteers will also be involved.


Grand Opening of the World Vets Latin America Veterinary Training Center


Last month World Vets had the official Grand Opening and ribbon cutting ceremony for our new Latin America Veterinary Training Center in Granada, Nicaragua.  For years we have been training veterinarians all over the world in proper surgical techniques especially as it relates to spay and neuter.   We are very excited to now have a centralized training center where Spanish speaking vets from all over Latin American can take part in surgical training courses taught by Spanish-speaking vets.  Just as important is that we now have a year-round clinic which provides free spay/neuter surgeries for street dogs and low income pet owners.  This much needed service to the community will not only help animals and veterinarians but will also help to decrease the spread of zoonotic diseases such as rabies and parasites.  The clinic is fully equipped with everything needed to provide high quality patient care which is our top priority.  We are grateful to the support of the Fondation Brigitte Bardot (Paris, France) which helped make this program a reality.

The parade coming down the street at the Grand Opening event for the World Vets Latin America Veterinary Training Center in Granada, Nicaragua.
The Grand OPening Ceremony drew quite a crowd!   It was great to have so many people from the local community.
One of the thousands of Nicaragua street dogs that will benefit from the clinics free veterinary services
The French Ambassador to Nicaragua speaking at the event.
The ribbon was cut by Claudio Mayorga (Clinic Manager), Brigitte Auloy (Director of International Programs at the Fondation Brigitte Bardot of Paris France) and Cathy King (CEO of World Vets)
The cutest little dancers show their stuff at the Grand Opening!
Another one of the many street dogs in Granada, Nicaragua.
World Vets helps to bring veterinary care to animals like this  one.
Highly trained and skilled Nicaraguan veterinarians serve as instructors at the center
and oversee care of all of the patients.
The center is equipped with modern
equipment for optimal patient safety

RESCUE OPERATION! World Vets helping to save Thailand’s dogs


Since early November, World Vets has been actively responding to the severe flooding in Thailand that has left thousands of street dogs in a life-threatening situation.  Our vet teams, working with local Thai organizations, are rescuing dogs from the floodwaters, delivering food and medical care to stranded dogs, providing triage and urgent care at the temporary shelters and performing spay/neuter surgeries on the rescued dogs that are well enough for surgery.  Although it has received very limited press coverage in the United States, the flooding is a major catastrophe especially for animals who struggle to keep their heads above the floodwaters.  As it turns out, most of the rescues are street dogs, of which there are tens of thousands in Thailand.  A few cats have been rescued as well (most were able to climb to safety) and the team has tended to the occasional elephant and even a tiger.   Donations are still needed to continue this effort which seems to have no immediate end in site.  In some areas the flooding is increasing and resources are becoming scarce.    So far, World Vets has donated over $20,000 worth of veterinary supplies to aid in the relief efforts.  Donations are still urgent needed for the relief efforts.  You can help by donating here:  DONATE

Last year World Vets was one of the winners of Heska Corporations Inspiration in Action Contest which helped provide equipment and supplies for our disaster relief program.  Earlier this year, World Vets was one of the first international veterinary aid organizations to arrive in Japan after the devastating earthquake and tsunami.  With disasters happening so frequently these days, there is an extremely high demand for our services especially for animals in developing countries that sometimes have no one to look out for their safety.

HESKA has just announced this years finalist in the Inspiration in Action contest so we encourage you to vote for your favorite!  I had the honor of being one of the judges to select the 5 finalists.  There were so many great ideas it was hard to choose!  The contest was great for World Vets and we wish all of the finalist the best of luck!  You can see the finalists and vote here:  VOTE

Inspiration in Action


Last week I had the opportunity to participate in an amazing program that helps prepare new veterinary students for the academic and personal challenges ahead.   As the keynote speaker for the Washington State University College of Veterinary Medicines White Coat ceremony this year, I was invited to take part in the orientation program, known as Cougar Orientation and Leadership Experience (COLE), for the class of 2015.  It was an opportunity to connect with the new veterinary students and hear about their dreams and goals.  Many of them have dreamed of becoming a veterinarian for as long as they could remember.   Held at a pristine waterfront camp in Northern Idaho, we worked through challenge courses that were both mental and physical and got to know each other on a pretty deep level, considering the length of the program.  The students came away from the experience with an amazing level of enthusiasm and a reassurance that they would not be going through veterinary school alone.  It’s very different from how my class started veterinary school 18 years ago where we just showed up at the Anatomy lab on the first day and got to work.   Another difference I noticed was that the career goals of todays’ veterinary students have shifted.   It seems like more students are thinking beyond private practice to more diverse opportunities including research, international work, public health and exotics.  Their generation is ready and willing to change the world.  It was inspiring to hear their future plans and also to hear that many of them were keeping an open mind to all the possibilities this diverse and amazing profession has to offer.  As I delivered my keynote address, I challenged them to find the courage to discover and pursue their true passion, whatever it may be.  Every journey is made up of many individual steps and all you have to do is be facing in the right direction and take one step at a time.  They have the opportunity to discover what inspires them and turn that into their life’s work.  Fortunately, the opportunity to turn inspiration to action is not just for veterinary students, but for all of us. 
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