CUSTOM VETERINARY COURSES

The Wildlife Institute and partners offer custom veterinary study abroad courses and continuing education for veterinarians. We’re constantly developing new veterinary and conservation courses with our University clients around the world. Contact Justin Ford jford@wildlife-institute.com and let us help you design your study abroad course in Belize.

INTERNATIONAL VETERINARY EXPERIENCE

Wildlife Medicine & Conservation + Small Animal Veterinary Experience (SAVE)
Tuition & Program Fees – $4,850 Scholarships available
Section I: June 13th – July 8th
Section II: July 11th – August 5th

Take as a course or internship. The Wildlife Institute (WI) in partnership with the Belize Wildlife & Referral Clinic (BWRC) offers winter and summer open-enrollment veterinary courses for veterinary, vet-tech and qualified pre-vet students. In Summer 2018, the Wildlife Institute offers two summer sections of International Veterinary Experience.

The International Veterinary Experience includes two courses; Wildlife Medicine & Conservation and Small Animal Veterinary Experience (SAVE). The International Veterinary Experience is ideal for final year vet students seeking externship or clinical rotations, and first and second year students seeking hands on experience and an introduction to a range of diverse veterinary topics. During Wildlife Medicine & Conservation, students join our Wildlife Veterinary team at the Belize Wildlife & Referral Clinic, and visit other wildlife centers in Belize. While each itinerary varies slightly, students generally visit 8-12 different centers and field site locations. During SAVE, students are introduced to essential small animal clinical skills which they then put to use during community health and spay & neuter clinics in communities around Belize.

Small Animal Veterinary Experience Topics & Activities 

  • Introduction to International Veterinary Medicine (LDC context)
  • Common small animal diseases in Belize and the Neo-Tropics
  • Canine and Feline examination
  • Basic laboratory diagnostics (fecal analysis, hematology, skin and ear cytology)
  • Preventative medicine
  • Anesthesia under clinical and field conditions – from preparation to safe recovery
  • Clinical outreach activities
  • Street animal care
  • Public health educational outreach
  • Spay and Neuter and health care clinics
  • Suture lab
  • Laboratory diagnostic lab
  • Anatomy/radiography

Wildlife Medicine & Conservation Learning Objectives 
This program improves student’s knowledge and abilities in the following areas

  • Understanding the role and key challenges and opportunities for veterinarians in wildlife medicine and conservation.
  • Critical conservation issues in the tropics, and specific examples of their challenges with focus on human wildlife conflict and illegal pet trade.
  • Wildlife immobilization, handling, restraint and examination.
  • Wildlife medical approaches.
  • Stressors and risk evaluation.
  • Clinical procedures for mammal, birds and reptiles.
  • Distance immobilization & restraint for mammals, birds and reptiles.
  • Emergency medicine and triage protocol.
  • Emerging and common Zoonotic diseases.
  • Zoo and preventative medicine.
  • Wildlife Transport.
  • Comparative wildlife anatomy, osteology, and radiography.
  • Ecology of large cats, monkeys, iguanas, snakes, and birds of Belize.
  • Husbandry and nutrition of Neotropical species.
  • Necropsy.
  • Basic suturing.
  • Basics of avian fracture repair.
  • Tropical parasitology & neotropical zoonotic diseases.
  • International and local regulatory and practical applications associated with wildlife conservation.
  • International Veterinary Medicine perspectives.
  • The role of community based conservation organizations, NGOs and governmental entities in conservation.

o Guatemala may be included in some itineraries

*Note on wildlife rescue or emergency field visits: The need for wildlife rescue or emergency visits is unpredictable. Past students and interns have been involved in a number of wildlife rescue, relocation, and emergency response situations. When such occasions arise, BWRC will make every effort for the student to observe or in some cases participate in these efforts.

WILDLIFE MEDICINE & CONSERVATION

Tuition & Program Fees – $2,750 Scholarships available
2018 Course Dates
Summer Session I: June 13th – June 24th
Summer Session II: July 25th – August 5th
Summer Session III: August 8th – August 19th
Winter Session: December 26th – January 6th

The Wildlife Medicine & Conservation course is an intensive introduction to key topics in wildlife medicine and conservation issues in the neo-tropics. Students learn about wildlife medical issues and approaches, the role of the veterinarian in wildlife conservation, zoo medicine, and wildlife rescue & rehabilitation. Students are introduced to preventative medicine and common diseases for various wildlife species. Students visit a number of wildlife rescue, rehabilitation and conservation projects and centers around Belize and the region. Much of this course is held at the Belize Wildlife & Referral Clinic’s (BWRC) teaching facility with BWRC’s founder and wildlife veterinarian, Dr. Isabelle Paquet-Durand. Labs include distance immobilization, suture, necropsy, comparative anatomy, radiography, parasitology, and blood analysis. Students also have the opportunity to observe, and when possible, assist the BWRC and other facility veterinary staff with daily treatments and husbandry.

Students are likewise introduced to critical conservation issues in the region, focusing on strategies to mitigate human-wildlife conflict. Guest speakers enrich the course content with perspectives drawn from the front lines of wildlife conservation. In between visiting field sites and classroom sessions, students enjoy recreational activities and are introduced to Belize’s rich and diverse culture(s) through excursions, guest speakers and culinary exploration.

This program improves student’s knowledge and abilities in the following areas

  • Understanding the role and key challenges and opportunities for veterinarians in wildlife medicine and conservation.
  • Critical conservation issues in the tropics, and specific examples of their challenges with focus on human wildlife conflict and illegal pet trade.
  • Wildlife immobilization, handling, restraint and examination.
  • Wildlife medical approaches.
  • Stressors and risk evaluation.
  • Clinical procedures for mammal, birds and reptiles.
  • Distance immobilization & restraint for mammals, birds and reptiles.
  • Emergency medicine and triage protocol.
  • Emerging and common Zoonotic diseases.
  • Zoo and preventative medicine.
  • Wildlife Transport.
  • Comparative wildlife anatomy, osteology, and radiography.
  • Ecology of large cats, monkeys, iguanas, snakes, and birds of Belize.
  • Husbandry and nutrition of Neotropical species.
  • Necropsy.
  • Basic suturing.
  • Basics of avian fracture repair.
  • Tropical parasitology & neotropical zoonotic diseases.
  • International and local regulatory and practical applications associated with wildlife conservation.
  • International Veterinary Medicine perspectives.
  • The role of community based conservation organizations, NGOs and governmental entities in conservation.

o Guatemala may be included in some itineraries

*Note on wildlife rescue or emergency field visits: The need for wildlife rescue or emergency visits is unpredictable. Past students and interns have been involved in a number of wildlife rescue, relocation, and emergency response situations. When such occasions arise, BWRC will make every effort for the student to observe or in some cases participate in these efforts.

SMALL ANIMAL VETERINARY EXPERIENCE (SAVE)

Tuition & Program Fees – $2,750 Scholarships available
SUMMER 2018
Section I: June 27th – July 8th
Section II: July 11th – July 22nd

Small Animal MedicineSAVE is co-facilitated in partnership with the Belize Wildlife & Referral Clinic (BWRC), Wildlife Institute’s sister non-profit clinic in San Ignacio, Belize. At BWRC, students receive lectures, labs and clinical training in preparation for community health and spay & neuter clinics. Public health and outreach clinics are conducted in and around San Ignacio and Belize. Students travel to various locations in Belize to conduct Animal Health Clinics, Educational Outreach, and Community Spay & Neuter Clinics in partnership with animal welfare organizations and veterinary clinics around Belize.

Students who take both Wildlife Medicine & Conservation and SAVE courses over a month’s time engage with the veterinary staff at the Belize Wildlife & Referral Clinic; visit partner wildlife rescue and rehab organizations in Belize and Guatemala; have an opportunity to participate in international medicine; develop or strengthen clinical skills; work with a number of animal welfare and conservation organizations; and conduct community clinics. This within the context of beautiful Belize with its amazing array of natural beauty and cultural diversity.

SAVE Topics include:

  • Introduction to International Veterinary Medicine (LDC context)
  • Common small animal diseases in Belize and the Neo-Tropics
  • Canine and Feline examination
  • Basic laboratory diagnostics (fecal analysis, hematology, skin and ear cytology)
  • Preventative medicine
  • Anesthesia under clinical and field conditions – from preparation to safe recovery
  • Clinical outreach activities
  • Street animal care
  • Public health educational outreach
  • Spay and Neuter and health care clinics
  • Suture lab
  • Laboratory diagnostic lab
  • Anatomy/radiography

WILD SPRING BREAK IN BELIZE & GUATEMALA

Registration Deadline January 15th
Tuition & Program Fees $1,795 Scholarships available
Section I: March 3rd – 10th (closed)
Section II: March 10th – 17th
Section III: March 17th – 24th
Section IV: March 24th – 31st

Private groups and custom itineraries available.

The Wild-Spring-Break is a wildlife veterinary and conservation focused program. The trip is the perfect combination of wildlife veterinary medicine,  field-based learning applications and recreation. Participants travel from the warm turquoise Caribbean waters to the rainforest while meeting and learning from veterinary and conservation professionals. This fast-paced program includes visits to wildlife centers across Belize and Guatemala, and both marine and terrestrial protected areas where participants snorkel in the Western Hemisphere’s most extensive coral reef, and visit Maya sites and wildlife centers set in jungles of Belize and Guatemala. Students engage with experts in Wildlife Medicine & Conservation, combining site visits with experiential learning on the front lines of wildlife conservation. Site trips include the Caye Caulker Marine Reserve, Community Baboon Sanctuary, the Belize Zoo, the Belize Wildlife & Referral Clinic, Yax-Ha and ARCAS, Peten. You can sign up for one of our trips, or book a private section for your school or club.