Saturday, January 29, 2011

VetTrek - Day 3

Wednesday December 1, 2010

This was another busy day.
We arrived for a historic event in a 1946 Ford and were warmly greeted by
Dr. Carlos Yrurzun Estrada
of the Universidad Agraria de la Habana

Assembled on this morning, at the Consejo Cientifico Veterinario de Cuba, were Cuban and Canadian Veterinarians. We were here to partake in the first Cuba - Canada Veterinarians Day.
This is the first time Canadian Veterinarians have been invite to speak before this century old institution.

My deepest appreciation goes to the Canadian Government for recognizing this event.
I was my pleasure to deliver greetings from the
Canadian Minister of Agriculture, Gerry Ritz.
As Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food for Canada, I am pleased to learn of the first Cuba–Canada Veterinary Day. Our two countries have a strong and long-standing tradition of co-operation and trade in animals and animal products. I was particularly interested to learn that animal welfare is a key theme. As a former producer and breeder myself, I share a concern for the welfare of animals, and I believe that animals should be protected from unnecessary suffering. Delegates may be interested to learn that Canada has developed several unique approaches to addressing animal welfare. The combination of regulatory measures and collaborative non-regulatory measures can be beneficial to advancing animal welfare. I invite all delegates to review the work of Canada’s National Farmed Animal Care Council and of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, the federal regulatory authority for animal health and welfare.

Also, my local Federal representative sent his greetings.

Greetings Everyone! Please accept my most sincere congratulations as you celebrate the first Cuba - Canada Veterinarians Day. On this important occasion it is only fitting to take time to recognize the efforts of all the members and volunteers who have made this day possible. The had work and dedication that goes into bringing projects like these to fruition are a tremendous accomplishment, one in which you should be very proud. The benefits of sharing valuable resources and information focusing on a common goal will not only benefit animal welfare, pet protection and the protection of the environment but our Countries as a whole. Congratulations on your efforts so far, and continued success in the days to come. Sincerely, Daryl Kramp, M.P. Prince Edward - Hastings
We had a full to overflow crowd for this First Cuba-Canada Veterinarians Day.

Dr. Belovich began with a presentation on "Pain Protocols for Cats".
Gladys Morales, the Spanky Project's representative in Cuba, provided the Spanish translations.

Dr. Belovich and Dr.Pallet demonstrated handling techniques for cats and dogs.
Much to the dismay of the cat.
Dr.Travers spoke on the topic of choke.

Her able assistant, Dr.Yrurzun, proved ... you can have fun with a stomach tube.
Part two of the equine presentation covered lameness in horses.
Radiographs were used to present interesting cases.

Dr. Carlos Yrurzun seemed to be a little perplexed by the uniqueness of this "hoof tester".Photo - S.Hulich
Dr.Belovich explained that Cubans are not the only ones that can make something out of nothing.

hoof tester:shaped like a pair of large pincers. One of the blades is placed on apparently normal hoof and the other on the part to be tested. If there is a flinch response when the handles are squeezed this is taken as an indication of pain at one of the pressure sites.

The first Cuba-Canada Veterinarians Days was a pleasure for Cubans and Canadians alike.
The ladies of the Spanky Project were presented with gladiolas and all in attendance received certificates of participation.
Photo - S.Hulich

Dra. Betty Amaro poses with Dr.Gispert and myself.
Dra.Amaro is President of the Consejo Cientifico Veterinario de Cuba.
She is also the wife of the previous President, my dear departed friend,
Dr. Fermin M. Palazuelos Tuset.

At the end of the scheduled program the interchange continued.

Our next stop of the day was Clínica Veterinaria ¨Jose Luis Callejas¨on Calle Carlos III
Located on this site from 1943 –1976 was the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine.
In 1976, the school moved to San Jose de las Lajas.
Today this is the location of Havana’s largest Veterinary Clinic...

... which houses a laboratory that receives specimens from clinics around Havana.
¨Jose Luis Callejas¨ is also the only destination for 24 hour clinical care in Havana

Third stop of the day !!
La Quinta de los Molinos is a national monument located in the City of Havana , Cuba . Important for having been the residence of the Captains General during the colonial period, the residence of the hero Maximo Gomez and host to the Havana Botanical Garden and Museum Maximo Gomez .
After a presentation of the rejuvenation project we toured the grounds.

Work in progress ....... Work completed

Like any good botanical garden this location has become a wedding photo backdrop.

Part of the rejuvenation is a avian breeding program.
Juan Finca explains some of the finer points of the program.
Nothing could be finer than the "footwear" on this pretty bird.

Along these paths we came across some dogs that have made Quinta de los Molinos their home.
Gispert told us there are plans to spay/neuter them.
Always at the ready, we did an impromptu deparasitization.
As we came to the end of our tour each of us were handed a bird.
We were a little befuddled by this.
Once we each had a bird in hand and after a few kind words we were told to release the birds in honour of the Spanky Project's visit.

It is wonderful to see the rejuvenation of this urban oasis of green.
The Spanky Project is honoured to be included in this project.
We said goodbye to our new friends with the promise to return and to
collaborate on a program or two.

These will likely include technical and material assistance with the bird breeding program as well as support for the dog population.

Meet Pica ....
We met this little bundle of energy the night before.
She followed us from La Bodeguita de Medio up Calle Obispo to Parque Central before saying goodnight.
On this evening Pica was waiting for us as we exited dinner at Hanoi.
I told Dr.Belovich that if Pica found us on the next night he would have to take her home.