Welcome to the official web site of the Jamaica Veterinary Medical Association, a professional organization representing veterinarians across Jamaica. We invite you to explore the site and see for yourself who we are and why we do what we do.
SEA TURTLE RESCUE!
Pamela Lawson of the JSPCA sits with "Rhodie" on the final leg of the journey to his/her release.
SEA TURTLE RELEASED
"Rhodie" goes home.
Kingston, February 9, 2014
"Rhodie", the juvenile Green Sea Turtle, found floating comatose some 3 weeks ago, has been returned fully recovered to his/her natural environment.
On Thursday, February 6, Pamela Lawson of the JSPCA, accompanied by Dr. Paul Cadogan, transported Rhodie from the UWI Marine Lab at Port Royal to Rhodes Hall Plantation, Green Island Hanover to return him to the environment where he/she was found. "Rhodie" behaved impeccably during the 4 1/2 hour drive, in a "baby bath" lined with towels soaked in sea water.
On arrival, Rhodie became the centre of attention for resort staff and guests alike as he/she was taken in the same glass bottom boat which found him/her back out to the reef. Flapping his/her flippers expectantly, Rhodie was handed over for release. On being let go he/she immediately dived to the bottom, amazingly coming to rest on the back of a stingray lying there. A few seconds to get some bearings, and Rhodie took off to freedom, disappearing into the distance. It was a very emotional moment for all involved.
The story of Rhodie is a great testament to the compassion, commitment and cooperation of so many people - the Rhodes Resort staff, the pilots who flew him to Kingston, veterinarians, the Marine Lab staff and more, all tied together by the efforts of Pam Lawson who worked tirelessly to see it all through to a successful conclusion.
All this is overshadowed by the fact that Sea Turtles of all species, endangered though they are, are still illegally hunted and killed for their meat by some people - here in Jamaica and elsewhere. Every one that is killed brings these animals closer to extinction. Much public education is needed.
"Rhodie" is handed over for release.
Time to say goodbye and God speed!
"RHODIE" Update! Sea Turtle Recovers - ready for Release!
Kingston: January 31, 2014
"Rhodie" the juvenile Green Sea Turtle found comatose off the coast of Hanover on January 14, has made a remarkable recovery and in now "climbing the walls" of his little tank at the UWI Marine Lab in Port Royal. He was taken there on January 21 in the care of the JSPCA.
Blood work and X-rays showed no significant abnormalities and with supportive care - subcutaneous fluids, enrofloxacin and ideal water temperature, the turtle gradually came back to life, moving and eating well. So well in fact that his caregivers feel comfortable that he can be released to face life on his own again.
Although the cause of Rhodie's illness has not been definitively diagnosed, a plausible culprit might be "cold-stunning" - prolonged exposure to below-optimal water temperatures which shuts down metabolism, immunity etc. Affected turtles are normally found floating in a comatose state - precisely how Rhodie was found. The recent arctic-like weather that has been gripping the North American continent has caused sea temperatures to fall dramatically.
Arrangements are to be made return Rhodie to where he was found so he can be released there.
"Rhodie" at the Marine Lab
EXTRAORDINARY EFFORT TO SAVE SEA TURTLE
Kingston, January 22, 2014
On Tuesday, January 14, 2014, persons enjoying a glass bottom boat trip off Rhodes Resort, Green Island Hanover, came across a juvenile Green sea turtle floating listlessly in the sea. The animal was taken to the resort where it was cared for while the resort owners David and Marcelle DeMichaels tried to find assistance. Days passed and the turtle, named “Rhodie”, hung on to life, being fed a diet of fish and vegetable oil. Being a juvenile, weighing just 3 kg, sex determination is difficult.
On Monday, January 21, the DeMichaels’ contacted Dr. Paul Cadogan who immediately contacted Andrea Donaldson of the National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA). Pam Lawson of the JSPCA, who had also been contacted, with the blessing NEPA, worked her magic and secured the voluntary services of pilots Ryan McKenzie, Jonathan Worton and Handa Ayton of the Caribbean Aviation Training Centre (CATC), who flew to Negril to collect “Rhodie”. Having been given a preliminary check by Dr. Dingle Foote, the turtle was loaded onto the aircraft and flown to the Tinson Pen Aerodrome in Kingston where it was received by Ms. Lawson and Dr. Paul Turner, who then proceeded to the UWI Marine Laboratory at Port Royal where accommodations for the animal had been organized.
“Rhodie” has since been taken to Animalcare Veterinary Hospital where digital x-rays and blood work were done after which he was returned to the Marine Lab where his supportive treatment continues. Results of his tests are being sent to the Turtle Hospital in Marathon in the Florida Keys for evaluation. Though the exact cause of illness has not yet been determined and the chances of survival are uncertain, the voluntary effort to save it has been extraordinary. A big THANK YOU to all who have played a part!
Green turtles (Chelonia mydas) can grow to weigh as much as 230 kg. They are on the CITES list of endagnered species and are protected in Jamaica under the Wildlife Protection Act. Anyone finding a sick or injured sea turtle should report it to NEPA immediately and follow the instructions given. The penalties are severe for having unauthorized possession of any of these animals in whole or in part.
Veterinarians of the Year 2013: Left, Dr. Rayon Gregory, right Dr. Sarah Wilkinson-Eytle. JVMA President Dr. Robert Thomas looks on.
Awards Presented at JVMA Christmas General Meeting
The JVMA's December General Meeting was held on Sunday December 8, 2013 at the Mona Visitors' Lodge on the campus of the University of the West Indies. Apart from the normal discussion of current issues pertinent to the veterinary profession in Jamaica, the meeting featured a series of awards to members in recognition of their services to the Association and profession.
The second awarding of the title "Veterinarian of the Year" this time was shared by two veterinarians - Dr. Sarah Wilkinson-Eytle and Dr. Rayon Gregory in recognition of their work throughout the year in the planning and execution of World Veterinary Day activities in April and the very successful Small Ruminant Workshop held in August.
Two senior veterinarians were called to the JVMA's Honour Roll for their tireless services to the Association and profession over the years - Dr. George Grant and Dr. Grace McDonnough Lyon. Each presented the other with their awards and gave a short acceptance speech - each looking at the past, but charging the new generation of veterinarians to take care of the future. In particular, Dr. Grant called for the advancement of the One Health concept in Jamaica.
Drs. Cliff Bradford, Sasha Halsall, Wintorph Marsden and Sophie Ramlal were awarded Certificates of Appreciation for their contributions during the year.
Prize baskets for the awardees were donated by sponsor Lasco Distributors, represented by Mr. Leabert Rowe.
Members welcomed Dr. Kerriel Green, recent graduate from the Federal University of Parana, Brazil who had just passed the local Veterinary Board examination and was awaiting registration. It was a historic occasion in that she is the first graduate of a South American veterinary institution to be registered in Jamaica.
New Honour Roll Members: Left, Dr. Grace McDonnough Lyon, right, Dr. George Grant
Dr. Kerriel Green (right) says hello to her new colleagues as Dr. Robert Thomas (left) looks on
ISNN-JSPCA Spay-Neuter Clinic - November 2013
The International Spay-Neuter Network partnered with the Jamaica Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals to hold a three day spay and neuter clinic from Sunday, November 10 to Tuesday, November 12, 2013 at the JSPCA clinic on Winchester Road in Kingston. The services were free of cost to the public targeted dogs and cats from low-income households/communities.
A cadre of volunteer veterinarians, technicians and other personnel from overseas (mainly the USA) came in under the auspices of ISNN to join their local counterparts in delivering this important service to our community. 250 dogs and cats were spayed or neutered over the three days.
Of note is that for the first time the procedure called "zeutering" was carried out on some male dogs. This is a form of chemical castration in which, under ansesthesia, a solution of zinc gluconate and L-arginine is injected directly into the testes of the dog resulting in permanent infertility without the need for their surgical removal. For a video demonstration of the zeutering technique please click here.
The spaying and neutering of dogs and cats has huge benefits for the individual animals, for their owners, for the communities in which they live and for the country as a whole. For details and more information on the work of ISNN, please visit www.spay-neuterjamaica.org .
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