On our third day we traveled further south towards the ocean and into more farming areas. We went into a town called Les Cayes where a vet agent was supposed to have organized some work. On arrival there were no animals and no vet agent. Our contact and friend of Dr. Kelly’s however went to work contacting people and letting them know we were there. Within about an hour animals started arriving and we were very busy for the next 3 hours.
We again worked on many species and treated screw worm infections, repaired a hernia on a calf and a piglet as well as doing many vaccinations and deworming. We worked on about 100 animals that morning. Some nearby school children came over to watch and we handed out the coloring books that Angie Gebhardt has made explaining the importance of different aspects of equine care. The books have been translated into Creole by Dr. Kelly Crowdis and the children were ecstatic to get them and the crayons.
That afternoon we went to the home where we would stay and worked on about 70 more animals that belonged to our friend and his neighbors. Here we were able to spend time working with some young men who wanted to learn more about veterinary medicine and practice some of the procedures.
Our 4th day we traveled about an hour to more farmland and very beautiful country. Today was relaxing as all of the animals were waiting in a big field and we had very good assistants and restrainers ( the same ones we worked with the day before ). One horse had a fractured premolar that was badly packed with feed and infected. We were able to extract it and treat her and the owner planned on continuing treatment. We also saw a severe harness sore here and came up with a good plan that the owner understood, to pad the pack saddle differently and help the painful, grumpy donkey.
At all of our sites we asked for a nominal payment. Our hope is to place value on these services so that the veterinarians and vet agents who live here will be able to continue this. The majority of people willingly paid and the few who didn’t want to, eventually did, as they watched us working on all of the other animals. This money went to the vet agents who were helping us or the people who housed us.
Although we didn’t work on as many equids as I had hoped,we had a very successful trip. We are making plans for next year that includes more hands on and classroom training with the vet agents.
Judy Batker, DVM