A week in the life of a Safari4u Veterinary Intern:
Day 1: Dipping & Dosing Dogs
Given that student departures and arrivals take place at the start of the week, Mondays are typically comprised of treating dogs in local, disadvantaged townships. These animals unfortunately lack even the most basic form of veterinary care, so our treatment goals therefore focus on weekly dipping and dosing. This involves bathing the dogs in a germicide that kills fleas and ticks as well as deworming those that show signs of infection. While this may seem like simple, mindless work, it is easily one of the most rewarding and purposeful days of the week.
Day 2: Cathcart – Sheep
Each week, students embark on a 2 to 3 day overnight trip. There are 3 different location options, each with their own variety of typical work-day activities. For this week, traveling to Cathcart involved castrating, tail-docking, and dosing lambs on day 1 and injecting cattle on day 2.
Day 3: Cathcart – Cattle
Day 4: Dart Gun & Capture
Given that a third of this program is based around wildlife work, students occasionally have the chance to get hands on experience and learn how to dart animals, which is either done for medical reasons or for relocation purposes.
Day 5: Clinic & Zoo
Despite the excitement of on-the-go wildlife and large-animal veterinary work, it is important for students to also gain experience in a formal clinical setting. One day of the week is usually dedicated to the clinic, and it is here that students have the chance to observe surgeries as well as routine consultations. On a day like this, the afternoon may involve a trip to the zoo with our capture vet. Today’s zoo work involved treating 2 wolves, one of which had an abscessed tooth and another that had an injured hind leg.
As always, I am looking forward to another exciting week.
Till next time, hamba kakuhle!
—all photos taken by myself—