World Vets returned to Granada Nicaragua in October of 2014, once again lead by Dr. Dana Westerman. Much like the trip in 2013, the goal was to provide care for the working equine of Granada. The team of Veterinarians and Volunteers worked very hard, in very hot weather, treating a variety of conditions and performing procedures that spanned the spectrum. By the end of the trip they had helped 300+ horses!
The World Vets team observed lifestyles and living conditions that were difficult and often heartbreaking. In some areas of Granada people and animals must work without rest, every day, so they can struggle to barely get by. The people rely heavily on their animals for nearly everything, treating them as tools rather than pets. This shocking cultural difference manifests in the relationship of dependence where the concept that animals feel pain is foreign and difficult to grasp to adults and children alike.
This is where the educational efforts of the World Vets mission comes into play. In addition to the field work treating numerous afflictions, injuries, and providing preventative care, there was an educational aspect.
Dr. Westerman led a seminar on Equine Dental Health for the Veterinarians in Nicaragua, with a Spanish interpreter and Equine Dental brochures that were translated into Spanish. The brochure, titled “Common Equine Dental Malocclusions,” was written by Dr. Thomas J. Johnson and Dr. Colleen M. Porter, and translated into Spanish by Abraham Mejia. Rather than just treating the animals present during the brief period the World Vets team is in Granada, they are educating the locals on animal health and teaching them how to properly care for their animals to improve the quality of life of the hard working equine. A stronger, more productive animal working class will in turn result in a better quality of life for the people who depend on them. It is a wonderfully beneficial ripple effect!
One of the biggest victories to come out of this heroic endeavor is the future opening of an Equine clinic in Granada! One of the team members, Dr. Marielena Solorzano, will be helping lead the way to better Equine health in Granada with a brand new Equine Clinic! Funded by the generosity and support of dedicated animal lovers, Dr. Solorzano will be coming to Washington in the Spring of 2015 to receive the training she will need to run the clinic. Dr. Westerman and many other experts have offered to donate their time and share their knowledge with Dr. Solorzano, to arm her with the skills and experience necessary to create and run an Equine clinic. The support and efforts of so many people are coming together to benefit the equine population, and ultimately the entire population, of Granada, Nicaragua!