First Clinic in Manzanillo a Success

April 4, 2008

By Susan Monger, DVM

At a recent HSVMA Rural Area Veterinary Services (HSVMA-RAVS) clinic in Manzanillo, Mexico—the first ever in the community—we did more than just provide needed care to local animals. We also delivered HSVMA-RAV's trademark instruction and guidance to veterinary professionals.

The Manzanillo visit was organized as a teaching clinic for local veterinarians, Mexican veterinary students and a dedicated group of volunteers. The clinic covered a variety of topics such as physical exams, pain management, anesthesia and surgical techniques.

Local residents and their animals provided the groups with an extensive caseload.

Working overtime for animals

Muneca and family
Muneca goes home with her family in Manzanillo, Mexico.
Susan Monger/The HSUS

Dr. Martin, one of 25 local veterinarians and students who participated in the clinic, is a veterinarian who, like many in Mexico, works more than one job to support his family.

A veterinary inspector at the port of Manzanillo during the day, he runs a private veterinary practice at night and typically works six days a week.

Initially reluctant to participate in the Saturday clinic, his interest in various clinical techniques—specifically anesthesia and surgery—became obvious over the course of the day.

At the end of the day, he thanked all of the volunteers and said he would return on Sunday, his only day off. At the end of that full day, his thanks were reward enough for the HSVMA-RAVS clinic organizers.

TLC for Manzanillo's animals

Muneca, a two-year-old cat, was brought to the clinic to be spayed. Her surgery went well, and she went home that evening.

The next day, Muneca's owner was concerned the young cat didn’t seem to be feeling well at home and brought her back to the clinic for a recheck. Although her readings were normal, she was readmitted for continued care, fluids, food and TLC by some great volunteers.

We decided to keep her until she was alert enough to go home. With diligent care and concern, Muneca was able to go home the following day.

Her owner brought her dad and brother to meet us, and Muneca's family thanked us for taking such good care of their four-legged family member.

Dr. Susan Monger is the Director of HSVMA-RAVS, International Program.