“This trip was a great experience that strongly solidified the drive I have to one day become a veterinarian. The hands on experience was invaluable, and it was extremely easy to see that what we were doing for the communities we visited was greatly appreciated. It was an opportunity and trip of a lifetime.”
–Erika G., University of North Dakota
About Veterinary Teams
ISL’s veterinary teams are able to provide a variety of care ranging from public health services such as administering immunizations and facilitating spay/neuter clinics, to providing urgent veterinary care. From visiting farms to setting up veterinary field clinics in urban centers, our volunteers are able to gain extensive experience in a short period of time.
Regardless of background, volunteers are able to receive a valuable opportunity to not only closely observe licensed veterinarians in action, but to assist with important veterinary procedures under careful supervision.
Who Is Right for Veterinary Teams?
ISL’s veterinary teams are ideal for animal lovers and veterinary practitioners at all levels: Veterinarians, veterinary technicians, veterinary students, and pre-vet students welcome!
What to Expect
Upon arrival in-country, you will be met at the airport by ISL staff. Your first day will be busy with orientation and intensive training seminars. Educational seminars will be held on some evenings as well.
- Vitamins for cattle, horses, donkeys, and pigs
- Nutritional value of feed for cattle and horses
- Application of vaccines and immunizations
- Dental care for animals
- Parasite medication and application
- Urgent animal care in the field
- Tropical veterinary medicine
- Breeds of cattle and their relative appropriateness for the climate and conditions in Central America
- Risks posed by vampire bats
- Application of bat poison to wounds on cattle and horses
- Practice and history of indigenous veterinary techniques and medicines
- Veterinary Spanish
Veterinary volunteer teams visit homes and farms and participate in community vet health surveying, screenings, and education, provide vaccinations and immunizations for parasite control and nutrition supplements, assist in small animal spay/neuter clinics, and enjoy wildlife veterinary field trips.
Your team will eat most dinners out in order to relax and experience the local culture and cuisine. You will learn a few traditional dances and explore some important historical/cultural sites.
Recreational options vary by location, but you will have the opportunity to shop for local crafts and explore geographic treasures such as beaches, volcanoes, rainforests, or caves and explore ruins, city centers, or coffee plantations, and have time for activities such as ziplining, snorkeling, or safari!
Veterinary students and professionals may participate in spay/neuter clinics, administration of immunizations and other injective procedures, provision of urgent and routine care in veterinary clinics, and veterinary health education on farms and in communities. Pre-vet students may assist in all of the above activities at the discretion and under the supervision of a local, licensed veterinary professional.
Volunteers may choose NOT to participate in any aspect of veterinary care with which they are uncomfortable. Volunteers are directly supervised by a local, licensed veterinarian at all times.
Safety and Respect
For the sake of security, ISL volunteers remain together as a team from arrival to departure. Patient rights must be respected at all times; Patients have the right to refuse treatment.
ISL prohibits discrimination on the basis of color, national origin, disability, sex, gender identity, religion or any other factor.
What To Bring
You will need a stethoscope, blood pressure cuff, otoscope, scrubs, donations of medications and veterinary supplies (optional), and funds sufficient to cover one meal per day, premium recreation, personal spending, and departure tax.
What ISL Provides
ISL Provides 24-hour accompaniment by professional, bilingual staff, airport pickup/drop off, all ground transportation, all lodging, two meals per day, drinking water, instruction by licensed veterinarians, medications and supplies, and tours and basic recreation.