Field Trip!

Our hospital staff made a visit to the Roger Williams Park Zoo in Providence, RI to tour the veterinary hospital and see the resident animals!

During our visit to the hospital we were amazed by the similarities to our own hospital. The veterinary staff at the zoo need to be able to perform anesthetic procedures, lab work, x-rays, and surgery just like we do. They have very similar equipment to ours except that they have everything in extreme sizes.

For example, an endotracheal tube is used when an animal is placed under general anesthesia to administer anesthetic gas and oxygen to the patient. At a small animal hospital, all of our patients fall in a weight range of under 150 lbs approximately. The weight of the animal changes the size of endotracheal tube you will need to use. So, the variations in sizes of endotracheal tubes in our hospital is a lot, but there is a limit to the number of options we have since our patients can only be so big. At a zoo, however, they treat animals that range in size from the palm of your hand up to an elephant. Naturally, their ranges in sizes of endotracheal tubes is extreme!

Giraffe endotracheal tube compared to an endotracheal tube for an animal that sits in the palm of your hand.

Other differences between our hospitals include portability and durability of equipment. The veterinary staff don’t have exam rooms for their patients like we do. Oftentimes, the habitats animals live in become their medical treatment area. This means that all of the medical equipment needed for a medical procedure would need to be able to move to the patient instead of the patient moving to the equipment. When transporting, sometimes the equipment falls or bangs into something – it also needs to be extremely durable in the likely event of this occurring. Our equipment doesn’t need to live up to these same standards at a small animal hospital.

It was a fun day visiting the zoo animals and their veterinary team – now it’s back to treating the small animal patients of Plainville, CT!

Thank you to the Roger Williams Park Zoo veterinary staff and animal keepers for a fantastic behind the scenes tour learning opportunity for our team!

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