This program was designed for students that have completed at least 1 year of their veterinary course. The program structure is an equal mix of small animal, large animal, and wildlife aspects, as in the Vet Experience program, however, the Vet Student program has more advanced skills and procedures, a smaller group size, and a full-time, highly qualified mixed-practice South African vet. Vet Student volunteers work alongside the vet, seeing a wide range of species, working through clinical cases, and participating in focused discussion groups. This program has a limited number of sessions but vet students are also welcome to join our Vet Experience program!
- Game Capture: Vet Students work closely with the wildlife vet and their capture team to locate, immobilize, transport, and release wildlife, a process also known as “Game Capture”. As with the Vet Experience Program, there will be at least 1 game capture per week but working in a smaller, more experienced group you can expect to be more hands-on and more involved in the clinical aspects.
- Game counts & wildlife identification: Learn about land caring capacity and identify exotic species
- Parasite control: Darting with parasiticides (firearm handling & safety training provided)
- Discussion group topics: conservation, hunting, Five Freedoms
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- Cattle (beef & dairy): Pregnancy testing, dehorning, routine checks, wound care, treatment
- Sheep & goats: Pregnancy scanning, tail docking & castrating lambs, routine checks, wound care, treatment
- Pigs: Artificial insemination, tail docking (piglets), routine checks, wound care, treatment
- Horses: Lameness exams, dental exams, routine checks, wound care, treatment
- Discussion topics: in-depth clinical case discussion, abattoirs, disease control
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- Assisting at our non-profit small animal clinic (1-2 days per week)
- Clinical exams, basic wound care and treatment
- Community education
- Discussion Topics: in-depth clinical case discussion, aggression, tick-borne disease, TVTs
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Lecture topics include:
- Zoonotic Diseases
- Blood Born Diseases
- Common Diseases of Domestic Pets and Livestock
- Common Diseases in Impoverished Areas of South Africa
- Southern African Diseases in Domestic and Wildlife Animals
- Game Capture Immobilization and Transportation
- Capture Myopathy
- Game Capture Pharmacology
- Wildlife Behavior During Capture
- Wildlife Wound Management
Upon arrival in East London, volunteers are greeted by one of our Program Coordinators who will then take them to the volunteer house where they can settle in and get in touch with friends and family.
In the evening, students meet for orientation which includes a tour of the house, official introductions, and a review of the plan for the week. A welcome pack is provided with a guide to local culture, a map of the area, a list of weekend activities and trips, and coupons for local establishments.
Accommodation & Meals
Chintsa East is the “home base” of the program- Vet Student and Vet Experience volunteers share our volunteer house and Game Capture volunteers stay there on the weekends. The house has 2 bathrooms, 6 bedrooms (2-8 volunteers per room), kitchen, living room, front yard and deck/braai area. Chintsa East is a short distance away from many villages, farms and game reserves, which provide access to a wide range of animals and activities. Volunteers stay at one of our Community Project sites for 1-2 nights each week. Bedding is provided (sheets, pillows, blankets) and we guarantee safe and comfortable accommodation at all sites.
Meals are simple and nutritious. Breakfast consists of cereal, fruit, eggs, toast, tea and coffee. Volunteers pack a sandwich lunch at the beginning of each day- options include meat & cheese, peanut butter & jelly, or tuna mayo, along with fruit and juice. Dinner includes a protein, a starch, and at least 1 vegetable. We accommodate most dietary preferences, including vegetarians.