Stories from the Field
2014 HSVMA-RAVS Clinics in Peru

HSVMA-RAVS returned to Peru this summer to again provide free veterinary care to working horses. Read about last year's trip»

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Day 1 – Wednesday, August 6, 2014
by David Turoff, DVM, for HSVMA-RAVS and the Equitarian Initiative

It's 5am and cold and overcast in Cusco, and we're about to pack for our second work day, in the village of Lucre, about an hour's drive from here. It's been an eventful few days. 

On Monday, most of us arrived in Lima, more-or-less on time, and cleared customs in the usual 4 hours or so, with more-or-less the usual hassle. One team member, though, had her flight delayed by weather, and re-routed through Santiago de Chile, and did not arrive until yesterday, with all her luggage lost in the void somewhere over South America. 

Her personal luggage did make it to Cusco eventually, but the solar generator she was carrying did not, and has still not been located. As we get into the more remote parts of the mountains in the next few days, this will be a real problem if it is not located, and communications with Lima to facilitate finding it will also get more difficult as cell phone reception degenerates. I'm trying to maintain a hopeful perspective.

Our first work day, in Saxaywayman, about a forty minute drive from our hostel in Cusco, started out busy, but came to an abrupt halt at mid-day, as an argument broke out between two groups of local citizens, about the allegation that our work site, which looked like a soccer field to me,  was actually an ancient sacred site, and therefore off limits to this sort of activity. Eventually the police were called, and it was determined that we should leave.

One of our clients offered his property as a place to continue, so we went there, about a kilometer away, on foot, carrying our mountain of stuff  with the generous help of many of our clients.

We saw about 100 patients in the course of the day, including a mare hit by a car, and unable to rise, and rapidly becoming "shocky." The owner agreed to euthanize the mare.

The other most notable case we saw yesterday was a ten year old mare with sagittal fractures of both the 110 and 210 teeth. The lesions were perfectly symmetrical, with the lingual fragments loose enough to remove, and the buccal fragments displaced buccally, but too tight to remove. I'm having a hard time envisioning how such a symmetrical injury occurred. We treated the mare with antibiotics and anti-inflammatories, and I'll recheck her next year.


Equine DentistryDr. Turoff extracts teeth from a Peruvian Mare.     Dr. Tanya TenBroeke.



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