by Dr. Julie Wilson
Day 1 in Honduras went very well, considering it was our first effort, with a total of 42 horses evaluated and treated. We began at 8 AM and horses were already gathered. Our veterinary team includes myself, Tracy Turner, and David Turoff (arriving Monday night) from the U.S.; Drs. Fuggy Castro and Oscar Vargas from the University of Honduras' veterinary college in Catacamas, and 10 of their 2nd year veterinary students. The World Horse Welfare farrier students no longer appear to be students as they immediately set to work and efficiently trimmed and reset dozens of horses while we attended to their health needs. Many of the horses suffered from chronic lameness but were forced to work regardless. All of the horses received tetanus toxoid and oral ivermectin as well as a good physical examination to determine if any
health problems were present. The veterinary students quickly improved in their examination and injection skills. They were not familiar with the Henneke scale of 1-9 for body condition scoring but soon became adept. Ageing horses
and calculation of drug dosages took a little longer to become routine. Soon, however, the students were independently working with just occasional supervision. Fecal samples were saved from those that had very low body condition scores, and a few blood samples were drawn to test for EIA. Two of the horses were close to a body condition score of 1. The majority were between 2 and 3, with only 2 with a score of 4 seen throughout the day. The new duplicate physical exam forms worked well, and the owners seemed happy to have a copy to take home. We finished up around 5 pm and headed back to our rooms. Dr. Caballero headed off to pick up Dr. Turoff at the airport, while Tracy and I met with a humane group, FUNAPA, that is working to improve the plight of abandoned horses and those that are loose on roadways. This group is hoping to successfully fundraise to create a “holding” farm for these animals where their health needs can also be met. This would also serve as a teaching center for university students in San Pedro Sula.