UT Vet Students Provide Unexpected Help in South Dakota (201)

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — University of Tennessee veterinary students found more work than expected during a recent trip to two South Dakota Indian reservations.

 Dr. Eric Davis, a UT veterinarian, said students vaccinated, spayed and neutered dogs and cats as scheduled at Rosebud Sioux Indian Reservation.

 The group also found, however, that the harsh winter had left cattle and horses in dire need of help, he said.

 “We saw a number of horses in bad shape,” Davis said. “The winter has been particularly bad. Communities were starting to experience flood problems and many horses were in bad shape because they had been unable to find food for the winter.

 “Some communities further north had a lot of dead cattle that were unable to get food or froze to death.”

 The UT group expanded its volunteer duties to provide much-needed medical attention to horses at Rosebud and further north at the Lower Brule Reservation, Davis said.

 The group vaccinated and treated horses for parasites and injuries. Many animals in outlying areas were difficult to reach because of flooded roads, he said.

 UT students have made six trips to South Dakota. The group plans to return July 13-28, and include the Pine Ridge and Eagle Butte reservations.

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 Contact: Dr. Eric Davis (423-974-5586)