Veterinary Program

Medical Volunteer Opportunities Abroad

A smiling veterinary volunteer holds a stethoscope up to an Amazon parrot at a medical clinic
A smiling young woman volunteer wearing a stethoscope holds a tiny kitten at an outdoor medical clinic

Animals suffer when healthcare for people is scarce or absent. The line to see the vet can sometimes be longer than the line to see the doctor! Many of our patients keep several dogs, cats, as well as the occasional jungle animal as pets. Also, a family may depend on their horse for income, or they may invest their entire annual wealth in cows or pigs. In many of the communities we visit, animals are important resources for families.

Floating Doctors provides veterinarians and veterinary students with an opportunity to experience tropical medicine and its unique diseases. The veterinarians working here are able to provide much needed care and education to impoverished populations in a practical, hands-on setting. In addition to providing vets and students with an unparalleled opportunity for cultural exchange, the Ngäbe people also provide a rare glimpse into their way of life.

We conduct single-day clinical deployments to communities near our base and multi-day clinics as long as five days to more remote locations, living in villages during the deployment and returning to our base afterwards. 

Two young boys paddle their traditional carved wood cayuco boat in the Caribbean sea, with two dogs riding as passengers

Most of the time, our veterinarians provide preventive care to animals. As the parasite burden for animal patients here is often quite high, we routinely prescribe deworming medication and flea prevention. Occasionally, we treat jungle animals that have been tamed in villages or rescued from poachers.

In partnership with local veterinary groups, we also conduct several spay/neuter clinics throughout the region.

A doctor wearing scrubs trimmed with the traditional Ngabe diente pattern gives medicine to a skinny dog at  medical clinic while a smiling child watches.