May 16, 2012
Veterinary Externs, Cape Wildlife Center
The Cape Wildlife Center, a state-of-the-art wildlife medical center which provides emergency care and wildlife rehabilitation, has opportunities for veterinary externs. The Cape Wildlife Center cares for more than 1,700 animals annually. While here, the veterinary externs will have the opportunity to work with a full-time veterinarian, as well as experienced veterinary technicians, animal care workers, and licensed wildlife rehabilitators.
Veterinary externs at the Cape Wildlife Center will provide daily medical care of admitted wildlife, such as determining the health status, developing treatment and rehabilitation plan, instituting treatment plans for wildlife including infant and young mammals and birds, as well as adult mammals, birds and reptiles. They may be asked to work on the prerelease conditioning of wildlife patients and raised young.
Veterinary externs will participate in daily clinical rounds which take place every morning and discuss all cases under the hospital’s care, as well as discuss the treatment plans for the day. They will have the opportunity to gain valuable hands-on experience and learn how to properly care for animals in a rehabilitation setting. The veterinary externship is designed to allow final year veterinary students and graduate veterinarians to be introduced to as many aspects as possible of the veterinary field, and familiarize them to the most common diseases and medical issues affecting a variety of wildlife on the Cape. Veterinary externs will gain exposure to the operations of a wildlife center, learn how the center fits into the larger picture of animal protection, be trained in the current techniques of conservation and wildlife medicine, and will learn basic medical care and therapeutic care of wildlife, including evaluation and conditioning for release. Veterinary externs will have some opportunities for the appropriate handling and restraint of certain species, which may include: Rabbits and/or opossums, songbirds, shorebirds, waterfowl and/or wading birds, seabirds (sea ducks, gulls, pelagic species, etc.), raptors, turtles, or rabies vector species, such as raccoons and skunks, for those who have received rabies pre-exposure inoculation
Some specific veterinary externship responsibilities include:
- Learning to provide medical care to admitted wildlife as well as minor surgery (under veterinary direction and direct supervision)
- Providing basic physical exam of admitted wildlife patients, including mammals, birds and reptiles
- Veterinary externs participate in weekly after-hours clinical rounds, involving a five-to ten-minute PowerPoint presentation on any given medical, conservation or biological issue of relevance
- Participate in daily cleaning, feeding, diet preparation, and laundry tasks
- Learning dose calculation, provide medication and supervise individual cases
- Maintain medical records, both in hard copy and using WildOne records system
- Providing medical care of admitted wildlife, determining the health status, developing and instituting treatment plan (determining fluid requirement, determining drug dosages, and nutritional requirements (kcal requirements)), and administering medications and treatment
- Learning venipuncture and how to perform in-house laboratory work (CBC’s, fecals and profiles), as well as wildlife digital radiography, and various tests such as necropsy and sampling
Please apply to join us if you meet the following requirements:
- Able to meet the requirements outlined in the Essential Capabilities document with or without reasonable accommodation
- Must be a senior veterinary student, graduate foreign veterinarian, or a veterinary technician student (students must be 21 years or older)
- Able to learn and demonstrate Wildlife Rehabilitation methods as outlined by the Massachusetts Department of Fish and Game
- Able to take direction and feedback well from veterinarians, veterinary technicians, and other staff members
- Must be capable of working as a team, able to be a quick learner, as well as be flexible, follow directions, and make appropriate suggestions
- Pre-exposure rabies vaccination is strongly recommended; non-vaccinated externs will not be able to work with rabies-vector species
- Must not be immune-compromised or on catabolic steroids at time of internship; tetanus vaccination must be up to date
Veterinary externships usually last from 4 weeks to 8 weeks, although exceptions may be made if in an academic program has different requirements for students seeking credit. Veterinary externs are scheduled to work approximately 40 hours per week, with flexible and sometimes demanding conditions.
On-site housing is available. International veterinary externs are solely responsible for obtaining any required visas.
Veterinary externs must pass a criminal background check and sign a waiver and release of liability.
To apply, fill out an application. Veterinary externships are available in 2013 (all 2012 slots are filled). Positions can fill up six months or more in advance, so please submit your application as soon as you know your availability. Note: you will be asked to submit a cover letter, resumé, three letters of recommendation, and unofficial transcript with this application.