“Animals have no voice. They can’t ask for help. They can’t ask for freedom. They can’t ask for protection. Humanity must be their voice.” -A.D. Williams
Some of our patients have four legs (or wings). In areas where health care for people is rare or absent, animals definitely suffer. In fact, the line for the vet sometimes is longer than the line to see the doctor! After all, our patients often keep several dogs and cats, as well as the odd jungle animal as pets. Additionally, a family may have its entire annual wealth invested in a cow or pig, or they may depend on their horse to make a living. Animals are important resources for families in many of the communities we visit.
Most commonly our vets provide preventative care to animals. We routinely offer deworming medication and flea prevention for all animals that we see, as the parasite burden for animal patients here is often quite high. We also sometimes attend jungle animals that have been tamed in the villages or rescued from poachers for the exotic pet trade.
Floating Doctors offers an exceptional opportunity for veterinarians and veterinary medical students to experience tropical medicine and its unique diseases. Vets here have the opportunity to work in a practical, hands-on setting, and provide much needed care and education to impoverished populations. Vets and students also enjoy a rare glimpse into the life of the Ngabe people and an unparalleled opportunity for cultural exchange.
We are pleased to provide services to the communities year-round and students and vets are welcome at any time. Many veterinary students utilize this experience as a two-to-four-week elective rotation. If you are interested in applying to work with us, please send [email protected] an email.
Occasionally We Rescue Animals from Poachers, Like These Two Baby Jungle Cats
Max, our rescue ‘Kinkajou-in-Residence’
A young Ngabe girl brings her pet sloth to our clinic to see our Veterinarian. Wild animals should stay in the wild, but the future at least of this healthy young sloth is hopeful. This family has a tradition of raising young wild sloths, which begin to spend most of their time hanging around and exploring the forest around the family home, and eventually wander off into the forest to live wild.