Something for Everyone

Let’s call the clinic the Shelter Med Club held in mid-April a win on all accounts.

Not only did the clinic give veterinary students the opportunity to get hands-on experience working with pets but it provided all students in the College of Veterinary Medicine a no cost option for veterinary care.

“Veterinary care is expensive and not everyone can afford taking their pets to the vet,” said Charlotte Salin, a third-year veterinary student who coordinated the Shelter Med Club’s clinic. “It’s also good practice for our members.

“Hands-on experience is fairly limited our first two years so this clinic allows students to practice writing case summaries, talk to clients as well as practicing handling techniques.”

The community outreach clinic offered preventive care for veterinary students’ pets. Ten teams of three students performed exams, gave vaccines and conducted wellness screenings such as fecal exams and heartworm tests on 39 dogs and 19 cats.

The Shelter Med Club collaborated with the Feline Club, Public Health Club and Parasitology Club who ran fecal exams on the majority of the pets brought to the clinic.

This type of community outreach clinic is nothing new for the Shelter Med Club. The group works with three area shelters – Boone Area Humane Society, Ames Animal Shelter and the Story County Animal Shelter. Once a month, club members go to each shelter where they perform physical exams, run SNAP tests and fecals, and vaccinate cats and dogs.

“At these clinics, most of the pets we saw had never been vaccinated,” said Salin, “so we were able to educate clients about the importance of vaccination and neutering or spaying their pets.”

Salin says club members get another benefit out of these clinics.

“It was great to interact with clients,” she said. “It really made me feel we were making a difference for that community.”

April 2021