Maritime vets help animals in Ecuador

Veterinary and staff from around Atlantic Canada recently got back from Ecuador where they spayed and neutered hundreds of pets.

Vet staff work on a dog in Ecuador. (Courtesy: Alyson Howard)

“It’s incredible. The locals were super welcoming, they were just so appreciative of us coming down,” said Alyson Howard, a registered vet technician in Fredericton.

“They would have to normally wait months to have veterinary care and they do have a local clinic where some local veterinarians will come, but it’s not on a regular basis at all,” Howard said.

Veterinary care can be difficult to obtain in Ecuador.

“One animal, it was outside of our realm of what really we were doing, but we actually did a C-section, the patient was in labor for six or seven hours,” Howard said.

“They traveled from about two and a half hours away, stopping at any place that had a veterinary clinic, trying to find help and once they got closer to where we were in Olon they heard about what we were doing and they just drove straight there .”

The team of 13 did 280 spays, neuters, and other procedures in four days.

(Courtesy: Alyson Howard)

“When you’re in the middle of it, it’s exhausting. Your brain is constantly going like, who needs help, what can I do next, who is up next, where is my next patient?” Howard said.

“At the end of the day, we’re walking out of there, the locals are thanking us, they’re clapping for us, it’s just incredible.”

On an earlier trip to Costa Rica, they spayed and neutered more than 450 shelter animals.

(Courtesy: Alyson Howard)

“It just renews everyone’s self worth in the profession, the profession itself is becoming very burnt out in the area, unfortunately,” Howard said.

“It just reiterates how important we are and how much work we can do.”

The group is hoping to register as a non-profit to continue their work in countries in need of veterinary care.

(Courtesy: Alyson Howard)

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