Kathryn McCutheon, Costa Rica, May 27, 2012

We woke up in Grano de Oro and had breakfast with our homestay families. We met at the community center at 7:40 am where we all piled into a small pick up truck and drove to our large animal clinic location. It wasn’t far, which was good because most of us were in the bed of the truck and some of the doctors were hanging on to the back, which proved difficult to stay on while driving through all of the pot holes. We saw a combination of horses, cows, and pigs. All of the horses were given Ivermectin by mouth and those in poor body condition were given intramuscular vitamin injections. One of the horses that I worked with was fractious and we had to use the cow shoot to give him the oral dewormer. He was bucking and trying to kick everyone that came near him and it was really frightening to have to give him an oral medication. It was challenging but also very rewarding when we succeeded. The cows were given intramuscular vitamin injections and subcutaneous Ivermectin injections. Ivermectin was not given if they were lactating. I had never given injections using the technique that we were taught here. The IM injections were given using a rhythmic punching method. We would have to rhythmically hit the cows in the location of the injection a few times while making a fist with the syringe in hand and ready to use. Keeping rhythm, we would turn our hand and inject the needle. This way, the cows were somewhat desensitized to the actual injection. It was a really neat and effective method. The cows were my favorite part of the day.

When we were done with horses and cows, it was lunchtime. Lunch was another round of beans and rice. On our way back from lunch, we saw some local children playing jump rope. Dr. Woodley stopped to play with them for a while. Then we visited one of our homestay family’s houses to care for their pigs. The pigs were also given IM vitamin injections and SQ Ivermectin injections, but both were given behind the ear. Some of the pigs that we saw were so huge; I’d never seen pigs that big in my life. We saw 101 large animals today, so we were really busy and very productive! Be sure to bring boots and coveralls for large animal day!

After clinics, we took much-needed showers and had some free time with our families. At 7 pm, the whole neighborhood came to the community center for a potluck party. Each of our families brought a homemade dish. Our mom made homemade mashed potatoes and they were so good! There was music, dancing, and a competitive soccer tournament. It was our last night with our families, so it was really nice to be able to all get together and have some fun!