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Exotics Clinician Teaches Veterinary Colleagues in Costa Rica

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Dr. David Guzman demonstrates an avian endoscopy procedure on a macaw.

Dr. David Guzman, of the Companion Exotic Animal Medicine & Surgery Service, recently traveled to Costa Rica to teach avian medicine and surgery to veterinarians pursuing a Conservation Medicine Master’s degree taught at the National University of Costa Rica. Dr. Guzman spent one week at the Central American school, assisting with the program that focuses on treatment of wild animals.

While in Costa Rica, Dr. Guzman taught avian clinical techniques, anesthesia and analgesia, soft-tissue surgery, avian orthopedics, and avian endoscopy. Beyond his on-site clinical activities, his teaching duties also included an online diagnostic imaging course for birds, reptiles and small mammals. The opportunity to host someone with Dr. Guzman’s level of expertise is rare in Costa Rica, as the country does not have any specialists in zoological medicine. Being a native Spanish speaker, he was highly sought after for this assignment.

Dr. Guzman also made a trip to the university two years ago, as the program is taught every other year. He hopes to continue that relationship, as well as several research collaborations with the school, one of which focuses on the health assessment of toucans in captivity in Costa Rica and the development of hematological and chemistry reference values for toucans.

National University is considered one of the most prestigious universities in Costa Rica. It has a strong curriculum in agricultural, environmental, natural, and health sciences, which includes a School of Veterinary Medicine.

About the Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital
The William R. Pritchard Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital at the University of California, Davis—a unit of the School of Veterinary Medicine—provides state-of-the-art clinical care while serving as the primary clinical teaching experience for DVM students and post graduate veterinarian residents. The VMTH treats more than 47,000 animals a year, ranging from cats and dogs to horses, cows and exotic species. To learn more about the VMTH, please go to Timely news updates can be received on its Facebook ( and Twitter ( pages.

Rob Warren
VMTH Communications & Marketing Officer