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Vet Gazette

Oregon State University College of Veterinary Medicine eNewsletter

Feral cat spay and neuter clinic

May 24th, 2011

On Sunday, May 15, members of the OSU CVM Shelter Medicine Club and the Pre-veterinary Medical Association (PVMA) at OSU collaborated to help run a feral cat spay and neuter clinic. These clinics provide one of the only opportunities for neutering feral cats in the Corvallis area, and are made possible by the Feral Cat Coalition of Oregon (www.feralcats.com), which has a portable veterinary clinic that provides these services in various cities. Veterinary and pre-veterinary students organize the clinics, including recruitment of volunteers and registering the cats. At the last clinic, 76 cats were neutered.

During the 2010-2011 school year, the Shelter Medicine Club and PVMA were able to run three spay and neuter clinics for feral cats in the Corvallis area. These clinics are part of a program of Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR), to help reduce feral cat populations. TNR programs involve trapping feral cats and neutering them, then returning them to their original colonies where they live out the rest of their lives without contributing further to the overpopulation problem by reproducing.

These clinics are also beneficial to the health of these cats. Cats that are spayed and neutered are also vaccinated for rabies and feline distemper, treated for fleas, and de-wormed if parasites are seen. Student volunteers help prepare cats for surgery, monitor the cats while they are under anesthesia, and as they recover from surgery. All of the veterinarians who perform surgeries generously donate their time for these events.

The Shelter Medicine Club plans to continue the clinics next year, in collaboration with PVMA and FCCO. “These clinics provide a really important service to the community, and they’re a great opportunity for students to get clinical experience,” said Leslie Dunham, one of the Shelter Medicine Club officers. People involved with FCCO also feel that it’s important for new veterinarians to be aware of the feral cat overpopulation problem. The next clinic will be held in the fall. Details will be available as the date approaches.

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