Our training centres are dedicated to providing knowledge to local and international vets and vet students. This allows veterinary care in parts of the world where it's lacking to greatly improve as local vets now have the skills to perform tricky surgeries and treat a range of injuries. As our first ITC, we caught up with some of our previous participants in Ooty to find out what they're doing now.
Hello! My name is Dr. Shiva Khanal, a graduate from Nepal. I have been running a private pet clinic for nine months in Kathmandu, the capital city of Nepal. One and half years ago, I got a golden opportunity to participate in the Animal Birth Control training programme organised by WVS ITC India and thereafter I volunteered for the very next session.
I found the training course really worthy and admirable. It not only enhanced my surgical skills and theoretical knowledge but also gave me confidence so that I am able to run a private clinic on my own. I will never forget the three things which I learnt in Ooty: firstly, surgical asepsis, secondly, anaesthesia monitoring during surgery, and last but not least postoperative care. These skills have been so useful for me in my clinic. Beside this, lectures on various topics like antibiotic resistance, wound management, rabies, and pain management are guidelines for my clinical practice. At the time, I didn't realise quite how important that training was, but now I feel that without it, I would never be a clinician and my life would be very different. I must pass on my thanks to all the trainers, animal handlers, kitchen and administration staff who made my two week training course life-changing.
Namaste!!! My name is Dr. Bharata Regmi from Nepal. I participated in the WVS ITC programme in November 2014. It took three long days, travelling more than 3,000 km by rail and road to reach the WVS ITC centre. I was accompanied by other veterinary students from my college. When we reached our destination, I remember being overwhelmed by the beautiful scenery of the Nilgiris district. The management team of the ITC were amazing and soon settled us in.
On our first day, we were petrified by all the new techniques we encountered; the premedication, anesthetic monitoring, surgical procedures and post-operative care of the animals, as previously we had not been exposed to this practical aspect of surgery in our veterinary college. We watched the demonstrations attentively and tried to familiarise ourselves with each instrument and piece of equipment. It was all new to us but very exciting.
From the second day, we started surgery, each participant performing one castration and one spay, then alternating to perform anesthetic monitoring of the next two surgical patients. Day by day, we learnt more and more about animal handling, premedication, anesthesia monitoring, surgery and post- operative care and our confidence was growing. We were lucky to see some more interesting cases too: one was a mastectomy and the mass was almost 1kg in weight and another case was of an intestinal intussusception, resection and anastomosis. I was extra lucky to spay a cat and analysed the differences in the anesthetics and surgical procedures between the cat and bitch. On the last day, we had a wonderful gathering involving all the course participants and ITC staff, and the local dance we particularly enjoyed. These are memorable times of WVS ITC India that I cherish.
After the course, on returning back to my college, I continued to strictly follow the training that I learned from ITC while performing our surgical practicals, and was inspired to share and teach my new knowledge with my juniors and colleagues. The most important thing that I learnt at the ITC was the concept of animal welfare. It was always upsetting for me to see the poor welfare conditions of our animals, especially those of the street dogs and cows. Nepal being a Hindu country, the slaughtering of cows is strictly prohibited; subsequently the economically unproductive bovines are frequently abandoned on the streets. As a result, when I graduated, I joined the animal welfare organisation Himalayan Animal Rescue Trust (HART) in an effort to deliver my best services to these animals through the knowledge that I had learned. I got an opportunity to work alongside many vets from various countries and from each one I gained more knowledge. Though our focus was mainly on the street dogs, I was also involved in the rescue of different species, like monkeys, street cows, horses, leopards, and porcupines. During my one year period of service here, I performed almost two thousand neutering surgeries on dogs including both castration and spaying. I was also involved in different cases, including several limb amputations, lumpectomies, suturing post road traffic accidents.
After completion of my duration with this charity, I was inspired to advance my career in the field of veterinary surgery and joined the master’s course, MVSc, Surgery and Radiology at Agriculture and Forestry University (AFU). Currently, I am completing my masters in surgery, in the department of surgery and pharmacology. Frequently, I perform surgical demonstrations to the bachelor veterinary students in their practical classes at the university, again sharing the surgical skills and knowledge that I obtained while at the WVS, ITC which has been supplemented with my experiences and knowledge gained from colleagues in the veterinary field to date. Currently, I am doing my master’s research in visceral pain, which is something close to my heart, since the issue of animal welfare was highlighted at WVS ITC India.
Hello everyone, my name is Dr. Kush Kumar Yadav. I am from Nepal, and completed my undergraduate in veterinary science from IAAS (Institute of Agriculture and Animal Science), Tribhuvan University. Currently, I am engaged in providing volunteer service at IAAS (Paklihawa), and DLSO (District Livestock Service Organization), Rupandehi.
A few years back in 2014, I got selected for the training provided by WVS to upgrade my skills and I went to their ITC in Ooty, India. To be succinct, ABC training plus lectures about instruments and rabies control awareness not only uplifted my knowledge but motivated me to learn more.
In March 2015, I joined the WVS ITC Ooty team as an intern and learned various skills under the supervision of Dr. Maiju and the team. I also joined rabies vaccination campaigns where our motive that ‘rabies is 100% preventable’ inspired me a lot. I even got various opportunities to visit tribal areas, tiger reserves, IPAN and also got to learn a lot from my mentor Dr. Louise Clark (Davies Veterinary Specialists). These experiences were the first to energise me and gave me the feel of being a veterinarian. On completion of our research with anesthetic medicine in dogs, I presented it at the AVA (Association of Veterinary Anesthesia) meeting 2016 in Lyon, France.
Training at the WVS ITC and communicating with highly skilled teams and foreign participants gave me a purpose and helped me realise how to get to the next step. The discipline that we were told to maintain at WVS, starting at 8:30 in the morning to 5:00 in the evening, changed my perspective. The procedure that we followed in the operating theatre made me realise that if we follow instructions, even hard paths can be made easier. Every day, the two surgeries that we did and breaks in between taught me about time management. Simple things such as correct use of syringe and proper disposal of used needles in preparation taught me how minimal resources can be used efficiently. Personally, I feel WVS not only prepares doctors for ABC surgery, it teaches you to be disciplined, hardworking and a smart veterinarian.
In 2016, after my return to Nepal, I joined a WVS team as a veterinarian providing training to IAAS’ fourth year vet students. I then did some volunteer work at DLSO Rupandehi district and the nearby university teaching them basic surgical techniques and raising awareness of rabies prevention. Following my long term goal of obtaining a masters of Veterinary Medicine in the United States, I did a part time job in feed companies and joined a pet clinic to cover my living and application expenses.
It is said “Struggle is a prelude to success”; my time came 1 year 8 months after my undergraduate degree. I got admission into a reputable veterinary medicine programme for my graduate studies at The Ohio State University, USA beginning January 2018. To be successful in life, we need an ignition, an image needs to be formed in our mind, and that ignition and image of my future I got in those days at the WVS ITC became reality. Thanks to Dr. Ilona Otter, I still remember that conversation in the canteen that changed my life.
It’s been a productive two years since I left the WVS ITC. I joined WVS during the month of April in 2015 and worked there for around nine months. In a very short span of time, not only did I improve my surgical skills but also further cultivated my passion towards the veterinary profession and animal welfare. Being a former participant and also an employee of WVS, I strongly feel that the ITC course was the best thing that happened to me in terms of my career growth and progression. Every skill taught to me with great care and precision has been imprinted in my mind. I still recall all our teachings, particularly wound management and proper use of antibiotics. I will never forget my mentors and teachers for all that they have passed on to me. Some of the teachings of my mentors immediately come to mind - Dr Vinay’s discipline while doing a surgery and ensuring that we follow the same, Dr Jawahar showing me that no work is too big or small, Dr Aswin’s compassion towards pets is always inspirational.
I thoroughly enjoyed my stay and am very proud that I worked for such an esteemed organisation. I owe WVS and its team a lot.
Post WVS ITC, I joined Crown Vet, an advanced Veterinary Clinic providing medical and surgical facilities. I joined as a junior vet at its first clinic in Mahalaxmi, Mumbai and am currently working as a senior vet in Pune. Being a part of the start up team meant I could implement a lot of the skills I learnt at WVS. The clinic has been very happy with my work. I have never stopped learning and sharing my views with my colleagues. They like the ideas which I learnt at WVS and are happy to see positive results.
As quoted by Dr Vinay, “In the veterinary profession, we never stop learning. We always strive to do our best to ensure the best quality of life for our pets. We are soldiers who are never at rest and would always be marching forward to utilise the resources at hand and do the best thing possible for pets, justifying our profession.”
I hope to continue growing, learning and making sure I make a difference at my workplace and society at large. I will continue to strive and make WVS proud.
Hello, this is Dr. Kadambari Venkatraman, from Hyderabad.
I attended two programmes at WVS ITC Ooty in the year of 2015. One was for Small Animal Anaesthesia and Analgesia (April 2015), and the next was for the Birth Control Training (September 2015). I later volunteered at the Hicks centre In Goa (April 2017).
Before I attended the training at WVS ITC, I was led to believe that proper surgery (with asepsis and good pain management and anaesthesia) was an expensive proposition and not worth bothering about (I still cringe that this was what I was taught).
I never really believed that. I was, and still am looking for ways to make surgery, especially birth control surgery and anti-rabies vaccination affordable, dependable and uncomplicated for my clients. Few people had the solutions I was looking for.
The first time I saw inexpensive spays and neuters, and vaccinations happening was at the WVS ITC, and I was surprised at the scale at which this was happening. I absorbed information like a sponge. I had all my questions answered for the first time. I put it all to use.
Out went the butterfly needles and we shifted to cannulas for IV lines during surgery. They were more reliable (as I had long suspected).
We shifted to maintenance of anaesthesia to propofol completely, where we were previously dependant on Thiopentone. I finally knew how to measure the dosage and monitor the patient.
Our patients were up and about the same day of the surgery and our clients were very happy, thanks to the excellent pain management strategy taught by WVS, and I now use the same.
We learnt that post-operative antibiotics are unnecessary in most cases, provided proper asepsis was maintained.
The most significant part of the training was regarding intradermal suture patterns. The cost of the surgery came down drastically for the clients as there were no post-op visits for dressings required. There was no need for an E collar. There was no self-mutilation and dehiscence.
Today we work at our practice to provide spays and neuters at heavily subsidised rates to Indian dogs and cats, along with dogs that have entered the foster system. We primarily focus on encouraging a 'Dont shop, adopt' approach.
I thank WVS ITC for what they are doing. Whenever in doubt, I keep calm and just keep spaying.
Thank you WVS India ITC for providing such a great opportunity to me. This ABC course has been very informative for me. I am very much thankful to all the persons who were with us in all these days. The 12 days with WVS changed my perception regarding the profession. Now, through this training I have been able to open my personal clinic (Chitwan Poultry & Pet Clinic) and give all type of surgical services for street, community and owned dogs in Bharatpur, Chitwan, Nepal.
I have also used my skills and experience to demonstrate dog castration surgery at the Agriculture and Forestry University and at the new campus of the Institute of Agriculture and Animal Science (IAAS), Tribhuvan University, Paklihawa, Nepal in collaboration with HART since 2014. Thank you to WVS for helping me achieve all this.
I'm Malhar Joshi, a final year student from Bombay Veterinary College. I did my WVS training course in September 2017.
So it’s been three weeks and I did more than I expected, working in all fields of veterinary surgery. I did a cat spay, all by myself, assisted in multiple surgeries such as a couple of feline hind leg amputations, canine tail amputations, canine pyometra and a few others. Before doing the course, I only assisted the surgeon by holding the instruments, but now I'm more involved in ligating vessels, clamping the bleeders, suturing the muscles, sub cuts, and assisting after the surgeon is done with the most important part of the surgery. My surgery master has gained trust in my surgical skills and would like me to pursue post-graduation in veterinary surgery.
Hands-on training at WVS has improved me as a veterinary surgeon to a vast extent. It gave me confidence to do the surgery and perform well.
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