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Alajuela Vet Experience Internship

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Price Costa Rica 2 weeks+
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Alajuela Vet Experience Internship

Costa Rica

Experience the magic of Costa Rica while helping it’s exotic and domestic species. This internship was designed to provide a varied caseload with a heavy focus on rehabilitating indigenous wildlife. Based at a wildlife rescue center, interns are responsible for basic medical and day-to-day care of the resident animals, including nightly rotations for juvenile and nocturnal critters. Interns also support our local community by providing basic treatments to cats, dogs, horses, and farm animals with limited access to veterinary care. All medical procedures and treatments are performed under the direction of a qualified veterinarian and all training is provided on arrival. Guided tours are available during free time.


Cost

2-week session: $900 USD

Additional weeks: $450 USD/week

  • Destination
  • Departure
    Every Sunday
  • Departure Time
    Small Animal | Large Animal | Wildlife
  • Return Time
    Animal Lovers | Pre-Vet Students | Vet Students | Vet Techs & Nurses | Vets
  • Dress Code
    Training is provided for all activities. The program fee helps to support the non-profit clinic as well as free-time activities, transportation and accommodation. Limited to 4 volunteers per session. On-Site free-time activities are included but off-site trips have an additional fee.
  • Included
    Accommodation
    Airport Transfers
    Free-time Activities
    Laundry Facilities
    Meals
    On-Site Support
    Pre-Departure Support
    Wi-fi
  • Not Included
    Flights
    Travel Insurance
    Visa Fees (if applicable)
1
Sunday
Arrival
2
Week 1: Monday
Orientation and Training
Vet lectures (based on group interest and experience), e.g. Wildlife identification, handling and first aid
Wildlife at the Center:
  • Patient rounds, treatment plans and medication prep
  • Food prep and feeding
  • Enclosure maintenance and enrichment
  • Sample collection and analysis
3
Week 1: Tuesday-Thursday
Wildlife at the Center:
  • Patient rounds, treatment plans and medication prep
  • Food prep and feeding
  • Enclosure maintenance and enrichment
  • Sample collection and analysis
4
Week 1: Friday
Community Outreach - Equine:
  • Clinical Exams
  • Clinical discussion and treatment plans
  • Wound management
  • Preventative care
5
Week 1: Saturday
Free time (see “Activities”)
6
Week 1: Sunday
Community Outreach - Farm Animal:
  • Clinical Exams
  • Clinical discussion and treatment plans
  • Wound management
  • Preventative care
7
Week 2: Monday
Vet lectures (based on group interest and experience), e.g. Wildlife identification, handling and first aid
Wildlife at the Center:
  • Patient rounds, treatment plans and medication prep
  • Food prep and feeding
  • Enclosure maintenance and enrichment
  • Sample collection and analysis
8
Week 2: Tuesday-Wednesday
Wildlife at the Center:
  • Patient rounds, treatment plans and medication prep
  • Food prep and feeding
  • Enclosure maintenance and enrichment
  • Sample collection and analysis
9
Week 2: Thursday
Community Outreach - Small Animal:
  • Spay/neuter surgeries
  • Clinical Exams
  • Clinical discussion and treatment plans
  • Wound management
  • Preventative care
10
Week 2: Friday
Wildlife at the Center:
  • Patient rounds, treatment plans and medication prep
  • Food prep and feeding
  • Enclosure maintenance and enrichment
  • Sample collection and analysis
11
Week 2: Saturday
Free time (see “Activities”)  
12
Sunday
Departure
*Newborns require feeding every few hours and nocturnal animals only eat at night, so there is often a rotating nightshift schedule with feedings at 8pm, 12am and 4am.
**This itinerary is an example of a 2-week session. Weekly activities are planned according to the needs of the community- schedules are released at the start of each week and are updated daily to account for new opportunities, vet emergencies, and weather.

Tour Location

Interns stay on-site at the Rescue Center with non-vet volunteers. Interns share 1 bedroom with 2 bunk beds and 1 full bathroom (Optional: upgrade to a private tiki hut or glamping tent for an additional $25 USD per night). Amenities include wifi, laundry service, outdoor pool and lounging areas. Staff stay on-site and are available 24/7 to ensure intern and volunteer safety. All meals are included in the program fee.

 

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Vet/Animal Activities:

Wildlife:
  • Daily treatments and clinical discussion
  • Clinical exams and regular monitoring (vitals, weight, feed intake, etc)
  • Animal food prep and feeding
  • Late Night Feedings (as needed)
  • Enclosure maintenance and enrichment
  • Sample collection and analysis (blood tests, skin samples, etc.)
  • Discuss & design plans for release and prepare eligible animals
  • Enrichment & Training*
  • Assist in veterinary procedures (x-rays, sedated exams, surgeries, necropsies, etc.)
Equine & Farm Animal:
  • Clinical Exams
  • Clinical discussion and treatment plans
  • Wound management
  • Preventative care
Small Animal:
  • Spay/neuter surgeries
  • Clinical Exams
  • Clinical discussion and treatment plans
  • Wound management
  • Preventative care
Animal Experience: 30-50 hrs/week
Vet Experience:  25-35 hrs/week
Clinical Experience: 10-20 hrs/week
Surgical Experience***: 0-10 hrs/week
*For the welfare and safety of the animals and staff, some animals are trained to present body parts, accept injections, etc. 
**All medical treatments and procedures are performed under direct or indirect veterinary supervision. This center has 1 part-time vet who works 3 days per week, however we work with several other highly qualified local vets and our staff are trained to provide day-to-day veterinary care. 
***Animal welfare is the most important factor to consider when allowing students to perform surgery- we cannot guarantee surgical experience in any session on any program, because welfare must be assessed in each case. The estimated number of student surgeries per week is based on past volunteer experiences, however, animal welfare conditions, student experience & confidence, weather, national holidays, and other variables may affect the availability of student surgeries.

Free-Time Activities:

Daily Free Activities Include:

  • Lounging by the Outdoor Pool & Hammocks
  • River Walks
  • Board Games
  • Yoga
  • Zumba

Nightly free time activities include:

  • Bonfires
  • Spanish Classes
  • Sun Downers
  • Movies
  • Trivia
  • Board Games
  • Visiting local town for souvenirs, restaurants, bars, etc.

Off-site trips (for an additional fee) include:

  • Jaco Beach
  • Manuel Antonio National Park
  • Monteverde Cloud Forest
  • Arenal Volcano
  • And more!
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