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For Equine Vets Everywhere

BEVA Trust volunteers set off to The Gambia to provide veterinary support to the Gambian Horse and Donkey Trust

Volunteer stories
25 Feb 2020 BEVA Member

Andrew Harrison and Luise Harrison have set off to The Gambia to provide veterinary support to the Gambian Horse and Donkey Trust. Here's an insight into their preparations.

Ah well, we’re off. We’ve left TCEH and Upton upon Severn trying to recover from Storm Dennis last weekend, when we were both on call. It was fairly busy in terms of number of calls ( and a C section on a TB mare in the middle of Saturday night) made more difficult by having to circumvent flooded roads.

We’ve left Lucy, our 19 year old daughter in charge.....I know her well enough that she’ll tidy the house up well after the parties!

The lowest temp forecast in The Gambia whilst we’re away is 39 degrees and not a cloud in the sky!....it’s like another world - in more ways than one. We’re only there for 2 weeks as we need to be back for The Festival - from the sublime to the ridiculous!

We’re laden with drugs (sedatives, antibiotics, Bute, finadyne) and equipment - I’m taking my hand tooth rasps, which I haven’t used in years as they have been superseded by electronic rasps at TCEH and I intend to leave them there but don’t tell Liam! I’m sure the majority of my other colleagues would willingly volunteer theirs.

We’re both quite apprehensive and aren’t sure what we can offer but I’m sure it will all come clear. I don’t think there’s much demand for inhalation anaesthesia, stud work or cardiology out there...even euthanasia, another area of my expertise, is frowned upon!

We have been tasked with castrating an angry camel; I’ve taken advice from Clare Booth who works in UAE and she advises that they “kick in all directions”. I have told Heather our point of contact at GHDT that I’ll be doing anaesthesia and Luise will be doing surgery, “....and rest assured that Luise will not be entering the arena until all is calm!” Wish me luck.