Chris assisting Dr. Dan

Chris assisting Dr. Dan

As if partaking in a 4 day jungle clinic, searching the jungle for a girl with cleft palate, and showering in the river weren’t exciting enough, I had the privilege to partake in canine facial surgery.

Dr. Dan instructing the medical volunteers

Dr. Dan instructing the medical volunteers

We stumbled upon an older black dog with a huge mass around it’s eye on our way back from clinic one day. Instinctively, one of the volunteers brought him back to see Dr. Dan, the resident vet. After several x-rays and physical examinations came up empty, Dr. Dan decided to put the dog under in order to get a better look at the inside of this mass.

Here, Dr. Dan encouraged any willing volunteers to join in on this learning experience. We each took turns intubating the dog as it’s very transferable to humans. After surgically assessing the mass and surrounding bone, Dr. Dan opened the floor for medical discussion on what the diagnosis was. We determined that the dog had a tumor that stemmed through the dogs skull and in through the roof of it’s mouth.

Canine surgery

Canine surgery

During the restitching process, Dr. Dan used this as an opportunity to teach proper suturing techniques and allowed us to complete the surgery ourselves. I came here to help treat patients, but never expected that my first surgical patient would be a dog! My experience with Floating Doctors has been filled with the unexpected which makes each day a new adventure.

– Chris Bitcon
Floating Doctors Volunteer

Comments

  1. Lynn Murray says:

    I just tuned into ‘Floating Doctors’ I never knew about this experience in helping others who are
    Less fortunate. I would like to know more about this program. Is it available through local state
    government? How would one volunteer? I just retired from work as an RN, and wondering
    what volunteer opportunities are out there.

    Thank you,
    Lynn

Leave a Reply