Helping Fort Dodge

Veterinary students examining canine patient
ISU CVM Shelter Medicine examining canine patient at Fort Dodge Clinic
ISU CVM Shelter Medicine Club group photo

The back room of the Almost Home Humane Society in Fort Dodge was packed.

And this was even before the patients had arrived.

Forty members of the College of Veterinary Medicine Shelter Medicine Club gave up their Saturday to travel an hour from Ames to Fort Dodge to provide a community veterinary clinic for that community’s residents.

“We have had conversations with Iowa State for a number of years to provide such a clinic,” said Paul Shane, executive director of Almost Home Humane Society. “I’m very thankful for the students’ efforts today and grateful we are building a wonderful relationship with the College of Veterinary Medicine for future events.”

On this day, the veterinary students performed physical examinations on more than 60 dogs. They also updated vaccines, did nail clippings, microchipped dogs, conducted heartworm tests, and performed countless other veterinary functions.

In addition to the veterinary students, the clinic was staffed by Dr. Joyce Carnevale, clinical associate professor of veterinary clinical sciences. Carnevale consulted on cases and gave rabies shots.

“The students conducted a complete primary care exam,” Carnevale said. “This is great learning experience for our students, an opportunity for them to practice their skills.

“If these students go into private practice, half of their day will be spent in primary care like what they are doing today. This is just one way that Iowa State can help prepare them for that type of career.”

That’s one of the reasons why third-year veterinary student Michelle Langlois spent her Saturday in Fort Dodge.

“These type of opportunities help us practice what we are learning in the classroom,” Langlois said. “But just as importantly, it is an opportunity for me and so many others here today, to give back to the community.”

Langlois’ fellow Shelter Medicine Club members agreed.

“Giving vaccines, helping with blood draws – these are all things I have to practice,” said second-year student Christina Maloney. “It’s one thing to learn it in class but doing it to a real patient is invaluable.”

“The staff and board of Almost Home have talked about the possibility of this day for a number of years,” Shane said. “It’s great that it is happening.”

March 2024