College of Veterinary Medicine Students Care for Horses on the Navajo Nation

October 6, 2022

In May, Laura Waitt Wolker, D.V.M., DACVIM, Clinical Assistant Professor, Midwestern University College of Veterinary Medicine, Mark Anderson, D.V.M., Rich Fisher D.V.M, Victoria Olsen-Mikitowicz, D.V.M., along with veterinary medicine students Alison Morey (CVM ’23), Hallie Peters (CVM ’23), Rey Archuleta (CVM ’22), Mary Ellen Chavez (CVM ’23) and Cecelia Chaparro (CVM ’23) participated in a week-long event on the Navajo and Hopi Reservations. During this time, they successfully provided castrations, dental services, deworming, physical examinations, vaccinations, and hoof trims to a total of 320 horses.

“We have three different equine dentists working, so we get to see the differences in how they conduct their procedures. Every vet has different approaches to problems, and we get to take that with us into our future practices,” said Ms. Morey. “These people have so much love for their horses, and there’s only so much opportunity that they get to provide the services that their horses need. So, getting to come out here and serve communities that don’t have these services available to them all the time is really valuable.”

Ms. Peters expressed her appreciation for the experience, saying: “I have loved the opportunity to come and do this. I think everything’s going really well, and we’re learning a lot of things…Here, we are the anesthesiologists, and we are the surgeons. We are learning a lot, and I think I can speak for all of us; we are really enjoying this.”

The Midwestern University College of Veterinary Medicine team travelled over 2,700 square miles in five days to perform these services. This event was made possible through a grant funded by Horse Plus Humane Society, a rescue organization that helps horses at all stages of life across the United States, as well as Midwestern University, which supplied all of the vaccinations and medical supplies used to treat the horses.

To learn more about Midwestern University’s College of Veterinary Medicine, please visit:

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