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Life on Grand Cayman

My SMU Experience: Elvira Dehghany
My SMU Experience: Dr. Amrita Govindraju
My SMU Experience: Alexandra Cugliari
The SMU Learning Environment: Lesley Wynne

Weekly Educational Articles: Cayman Net News
School of Veterinary Medicine

Cayman Creatures Great and Small is a weekly educational column written by the faculty and students of the School of Veterinary Medicine. The articles appear weekly in the Friday edition of the Cayman Net News, a popular local newspaper in the Cayman Islands. The goal is to provide the public with informative and educational articles on various topics relating to the field of veterinary medicine. Many species great and small have been included in articles written to date, including dogs, cats, birds, fish, iguanas, goats, horses, cows and pigs. The focus of the articles varies and includes topics such as animal nutrition, disease, behavior, surgery, welfare and general care. Students are encouraged to write informational articles as a part of their involvement with various interest clubs such as nutrition, behavior, etc. The School of Veterinary Medicine is proud to be a regular contributor to the Cayman Net News and is another example of our students contributing to the Grand Cayman community.

To view the listing of recent articles click here.

Cayman Island Animal Recovery Program
School of Veterinary Medicine

In cooperation with the Cayman Islands Department of Agriculture, the veterinary students of St. Matthew's University SOVM maintain an online list of stray and lost dogs recovered by the department. These dogs are housed at the Department of Agriculture Animal Rescue Shelter off Agricola Road in Lower Valley.

The goal of the Lost Animal List is to reunite these dogs with their owners by providing pictures and descriptions of the dogs. During their 6th semester, students scan the incoming dogs for microchips, take their pictures for the website, help exercise the dogs and advertise the website to the people of Grand Cayman in an effort to achieve this goal.

To view the Lost Animal List visit:

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American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA)

The American Animal Hospital Association student chapter, AAHA, strives to encompass the principles set forth by our parent association, utilizing training programs and educational opportunities for our current veterinary students. Future events to be sponsored by the AAHA chapter at SMU include fundraising activities, wet labs, and expert veterinary speakers, as this club is continuing to expand with each semester. Responsible client communication, modern hospital designs, state-of-the art medicine, and future leadership positions are just a few of the highlights that our chapter seeks to convey to the student members of our chapter.

Canadian Student Veterinary Club

The Canadian Student Veterinary Club' mission is to encourage positive dialogue between Canadian students of various semesters attending SMU SVM. Academic, social and professional issues relating to Canadians studying abroad will be discussed, as well as opportunities to perform veterinary externships at various Canadian clinics.

Coral Reef Research Club (CRRC)

Coral Reef Research Club was started in the fall of 2009 by Dr. Scott Taylor and Dr. Samantha Shields. The goal of the club is to teach veterinary students about conservation based research and coral reef management. Students are given opportunities to design research projects, practice the technicalities of underwater research, collect and process data, and contribute to research publications. They also learn about identification of coral diseases and are exposed to writing grant proposals.

Food Animal Medicine Club

The Food Animal Medicine club allows students interested in practicing beef, dairy, small ruminant and swine medicine to get additional exposure to case presentations and guest speakers as well as field experience. Enrollment in AABP is strongly recommended for club members. Meetings are held twice a month and case challenges are posted monthly.

Student Associate Chapter of the American Veterinary Medical Association (SAAVMA)

The Student Associate American Veterinary Medical Association, SAAVMA, facilitates communication between students and administration, serves as a link to the professional organization of the AVMA, and advocates volunteer activities and social events.

Student Chapter of the American Academy of Veterinary Nutrition (SCAAVN)

The Animal Nutrition Club at St. Matthew's University officially was recognized by the American Academy of Veterinary Nutrition (AAVN) as the second student chapter in Fall 2009. The club thus has changed its name to reflect this honor as the Student Chapter of the American Academy of Veterinary Nutrition (SCAAVN).

The mission of SCAAVN is to provide a forum for the continued animal nutrition education of veterinary students. Goals of the club are achieved through field trips, case study discussions, lectures, webinars, and wet labs.

The mission of SCAAVN is to provide a forum for the continued animal nutrition education of veterinary students. Goals of the club are achieved through field trips, case study discussions, lectures, webinars, and wet labs.

Student Chapter of the American Association of Equine Practitioners (SCAAEP)

The purpose of this student chapter is to offer additional time outside of the classroom to build and expand on student's equine medicine and surgery interests. The club has a very active membership to which attend our meetings twice a month. At those meetings we conduct regular business in addition to having various guest speakers from areas of equine surgery, internal medicine, field work, radiography techniques, in addition to students presenting information obtained during equine externships.

Students also accompany the Cayman Islands Department of Agriculture veterinarians when possible on equine field calls. Some of these calls include health prevention programs, lameness exams, wound care, dental care, and hoof care/management. These opportunities allow our members to expand classroom subject matter to a true problem based learning approach.

Student Chapter of the American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior (SCAVSAB )

The student chapter of the American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior provides an opportunity for students to discuss animal behavior, diagnose and develop treatment plans for their own pets’ behavioral problems or work through case studies. The club also provides a way to participate with the St. Matthew’s University community through dog training classes as well as the greater island community with educational opportunities, volunteering and fundraising events.

Student Veterinary Emergency Critical Care Society (SVECCS)

The St. Matthew's chapter of Student Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care Society aims to promote student participation and interest in veterinary emergency and critical care medicine. It is SMU SVECCS goal to provide opportunities for members to obtain hands on experience in veterinary emergencies and critical care. This experience will further student education and career opportunities in the field of emergency medicine. The club has hosted a wide range of lectures and wet labs for the student population at St. Matthew’s including: wound management, ruminant emergency management, radiographic diagnosis of emergency conditions, toxicology cases and stenting. Additionally, our members have the opportunity to participate in emergency large animal calls on the island.

The national SVECCS officers met and voted to recommend Joseph D’Abbraccio, 6th semester, and Cynthia Fichtner, 3rd semester, to the electoral board. Joseph has now been named the 2011 national President and Cynthia the secretary. Both students have strong interests in emergency medicine and are eager to work with all the chapters in North America and the Caribbean.

At a recent meeting of the Society, students from St. Matthew’s were successful in initiating contacts with several commercial vendors of veterinary equipment and supplies. This has resulted in additional support for the school’s programs including student activities.

Zoological, Exotics, Wildlife Medicine Club (ZEW)

The mission of the zoological, exotic and wildlife medicine club, ZEW, is to provide a forum for students who seek to enhance their knowledge and skills in order to improve the health and welfare of zoological, exotic, and wildlife species. ZEW coordinates talks from professionals in the field of animal medicine and conservation in an effort to further the student’s education. Additionally, ZEW seeks to locally support the propagation and conservation of exotic animal species through volunteer programs and donations to zoologic institutions, aquaria, and wildlife rescue efforts