You know that moment when you suddenly look around at your surroundings, and have no idea how you got yourself into that situation? This happened to me at about 11 am yesterday, in the middle of a neutering procedure for a 1 year old dog. How, you might ask, did I find myself holding down a dog for the vet who was performing a surgery? I would have to say it was my ‘try everything once’ attitude. Sorry, let me back up and start with the beginning of the day to help you get a better understanding for the entire event.

Last week Janina (GLV supervisor) asked me if I was interested in helping out at a spay/neuter clinic, and since I had never experienced such a thing before, I said of course! Though I’m not gonna lie, I thought she meant I would just play with the dogs and be far away from the actual surgeries.

The day began with a car ride to la Palma, a nearby city, to pick up some dogs that needed to be spayed but didn’t have any transportation. When we arrived back to Puerto Jimenez, I was immediately put to work at the vet. I started checking in animals, weighing them, and recording/organizing them all. When the clinic truly began, I found out I had only experienced the easiest part.

The vet, Ricardo, asked me if I could hold down the first puppy while he gave him his anesthetic and anti-inflammatory shot. As you could probably assume, the dogs were not big fans of these shots and it took a lot of effort to keep them from running away. It only took the dogs a few seconds for the drug to knock them out, and then we really began. We first shaved their stomaches and wiped them down with a disinfectant. They ended up looking as loopy as this cat. photo 1 (2)

The animal is then transferred to the actual table for the surgery, where I was tasked with holding their legs away from the operation. For a good half hour, I simply held their paws up and watched with curiosity as the vet snipped away. Surprisingly, I wasn’t grossed out by the surgery. (Maybe I should become a doctor…)

When it was all done, the animal goes back to the prep station and I clean them up. In this process I just washed all of the disinfectant and cleaned up the surgical area. Then I sprayed some silver paint on the wound to make sure it is not later disturbed by the cat/dog.

Even though the day was long and the vet’s office was way too hot, I’m happy I was able to experience something so unique. I mean, how many people are able to return to school and say they helped perform surgery in Costa Rica?



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