Charity's vets give students helping hand during lockdown

The Donkey Sanctuary’s veterinary team

The Donkey Sanctuary’s veterinary team has helped students during lockdown - Credit: The Donkey Sanctuary

Veterinary students from across the world have benefited from online teaching during the lockdown thanks to experts at The Donkey Sanctuary.   

The charity’s veterinary team, based near Honiton, have always played an active role in teaching the next generation of veterinary surgeons, veterinary nurses, farriers and equine dentists. So, when the team were approached during lockdown to help prepare students for working in clinical environments, their senior veterinary surgeon and education lead, Alex Thiemann, was quick to step in and offer support. 

The team put together a suite of resources for pre-clinical and clinical students. The resources included webinars, fact sheets, narrated power points, web links and case studies.

Alex said: “In a normal year, we would devote many hours to hands-on teaching at our state-of-the-art donkey hospital or would spend time at universities and colleges in the UK and abroad.  

“It’s really important to us that we share our expert knowledge on donkey welfare and care with the next generation of veterinary professionals. Covid-19 means we have to work differently to deliver this support, taking our teaching online to reach thousands of students.” 

Requested initially by the University of Nottingham, the free resources were subsequently shared with other top veterinary schools in the UK. Individual students from as far away as Massey in New Zealand and Guelph in Canada have also benefited from the online resources.

Professor Sarah Freeman, from the School of Veterinary Medicine and Science at the University of Nottingham, said: “We are hugely grateful to The Donkey Sanctuary for sharing their fantastic resources and expertise. It has been a difficult time for the students with so many opportunities and practical experiences cancelled. Being given access to a range of excellent resources and their staff’s advice and expertise, and learning more about donkeys and the amazing work that The Donkey Sanctuary does has been a positive experience in challenging times.”

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Some students attended seminars over Zoom led by The Donkey Sanctuary’s expert veterinary team. The aim of the seminars was for students to gain an understanding of how to treat donkeys and to learn about the important role they have in supporting livelihoods of 500 million people internationally.

Thanks to The Donkey Sanctuary’s Spanish Veterinary Surgeon, Jesus Buil, teaching was even extended to students in Spain.  

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