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Healing Hands

Check out these peaceful photos uploaded by Shanna Wong from North Carolina State University!

ReflectionsGolden Hour


NAVLE Package Scholarship

NAVLE Package Scholarship
SAVMA's Education and Professional Development Committee 

Submit an essay of 250 words or less outlining the importance of dedication to lifelong learning to being a successful veterinary professional for a chance to win $300 towards a NAVLE study package of your choice from SAVMA’s EPDC Committee.

Apply here. The deadline is December 31st, 2018. You must be a SAVMA member to apply.



This amazing experience was submitted by Kristi Crow from Purdue University. Her contact info is at the bottom if you would like to contact her for more information!

This summer I spent 2 weeks on one of the best trips of my life. I went expecting to learn about wildlife medicine and MAYBE gain some hands-on experience. What I ended up leaving with was more than I could’ve imagined. I gained an immense amount of knowledge, diverse experience, new family and the goal to one day return to work in South Africa. I still can’t stop talking about this trip which is why I want to share this with you!

VetX is located against the Langeberg mountain range on the world-famous Garden Route Coast in South Africa. This is roughly 4 hours outside of Cape town and is run by Umhkondo Big-5 Wildlife Volunteering. I felt completely at home and safe the entire time I was on the trip. The accommodations and people are absolutely fantastic. The program leader, Hein, is an extremely experienced individual in wildlife (& everything else) and I honestly felt like I learned more from him than some of my classes at school. Vicky is another leader who helps with VetX but works more closely with volunteers from around the world who participate in the conservation program. She is my soul sister and one of the most genuine humans to walk this planet. I miss her every day! And I can’t forget about Madre. The woman who made sure we were all fed, taken care of, and laughing 24/7. There’s just so much to say about these individuals. I’m already planning to go back to visit them during a fourth-year block!

The VetX program incorporates lectures alongside hands-on learning which I felt was extremely helpful since I didn’t have much wildlife experience prior to this trip. Imagine sitting in lecture learning about all the different African species and then actually capturing/relocating them a day later. It doesn’t get much better than that. This program is fast paced, exhilarating, and always full of surprises. That’s what I love about wildlife never know what’s going to happen. You must be quick, innovative, and confident for this kind of work and I LOVE it.

A lot of our first week was spent learning the background and basics of the area, different animal species, and various procedures. Usually any lecture regarding a procedure was followed with time to go out and practice that procedure. Our first activity revolved around techniques to capture and relocate Sables, an African antelope species. That very next day we were out in the “buggies” (trucks) helping the local vet and farmers capture and relocate 8 Sables. This was my first taste of wildlife medicine and it satisfied this adrenaline junkie! I had the opportunity to take TPRs, deworm, vaccinate, and help restrain during these days.

The days following involved us assisting in giraffe capture/relocations, relocating/treating Cape buffalo, darting out of helicopters, and so much more. Everyday was packed with new opportunities for us to learn about wildlife medicine and conservation. In my opinion, this experience encompassed everything I could want as someone starting out in wildlife medicine. The only downfall about this program is that it wasn’t long enough. I could’ve stayed there for months but I do plan on applying for an off-campus block to go back! So, if you’re someone that’s interested in wildlife medicine, loves traveling, or wants an adventurous veterinary experience I would 11/10 recommend this program. You will leave with so much knowledge and new friends from around the world.

This experience is structured for those who are in the veterinary field (vet students & vet nurses) and others can be considered via a Skype interview. A short list of some of the hands-on experiences include relocating animals, DNA sampling, medical treatments, measuring horn sizes, TB testing in buffalo, rhino de-horning, microchip implants, fitting collars to animals for tracking, deworming, and darting practice. If you aren’t in the veterinary field don’t fret! They also have awesome conservation programs.

If you’re interested in this program please email me at so I can pass along your information to the Umkhondo team!




Still Wishing it was Halloween

Is anyone else having the post-Halloween blues even this long into November? If so, check out this adorable photo submitted by Emily Fitch from Oregon State of her sweet guinea pigs, Elvis and Alf!


Faculty Community Outreach Award

Faculty Community Outreach Award
SAVMA's Public Health and Community Outreach Committee 

The SAVMA Faculty Community Outreach Award nomination is intended for students to publicly acknowledge how faculty members, clinicians, and other respected individuals engaged in one of the many veterinary fields have gone above and beyond their own professional responsibilities and duties to interact with and make a difference in the local and/or global community as a servant leader. The Nominee will receive $300, paid travel expenses to SAVMA Symposium, and an award that will be presented publicly at symposium. The Author of the winning application will receive $125. 


  •  The nominee is required to be a veterinarian and must be a member-in-good-standing with the AVMA at the time of nomination (if you are unsure we can check).
  • Preference may be given to nominees with significant and/or regular interactions with students. The student nominator’s school must be in good standing with the AVMA and Student AVMA.
  • Prior award recipients are not eligible for 3 years after the award is won (e.g. 2014 winner cannot win again until 2018)

Click here for the application. Applications are due by December 1st. You must be a SAVMA member to apply. Questions can be sent to

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