Healthy Yaks!

While waiting to climb Everest in the Spring of 2009 I taught our lead Sherpa, Phurba Tashi Sherpa, how to deworm his family's 200 head of yaks with a product called Safe Guard, donated by Intervet/Schering Plough Animal Health. (Please note that while I am grateful for Intervet's generous donation of Safe-Guard dewormer, I am fully responsible for its use in the course of my work. Intervet is not a sponsor of this project and has not reviewed, suggested or endorsed my use of Safe-Guard in yaks.)  

The result? The female yaks (called naks) were making more milk for the family as of July 2009.

Here is a link to a YouTube video so you can get an idea of what was done: YouTube Video

Return to the Khumbu:
After two years of fund raising through the foundation Friends of Humanity based in Switzerland and countless hours of planning, I ventured back up the Khumbu Valley of Nepal in April 2011 to Everest Base Camp to conduct Healthy Yak clinics.  This time I had help from fellow veterinarians Dr. Andrew Skidmore, Dr. Kristen Obbink, and Dr. Claire Windeyer  The following Sherpa villages provided the strategic backdrop for each clinic, respectively: Khumjung, Phortse, Macchermo, and Pheriche. Almost 800 animals were dewormed which included almost two dozen ponies and a handful of village dogs. At Pheriche we examined fecal samples, documenting that internal parasites are indeed present in the yaks.

L to R: me, Dr. Windeyer, Bhesh, Dr. Skidmore, Dr. Obbink

The success of this trip would not have been possible without the assistance of the following organizations and people: Himalayan Experience Ltd., Mountain Experience Pvt. Ltd., Mr. Russell Brice, Agriculture/Veterinary Technician Bhesh Bahadur Ghimire, Guide Ram Chandra Sunuwar, and Nima Rita Sherpa. Enough dewormer was left at the villages for a follow-up dose to be administered approximately six weeks later and again in late summer/early fall when more yaks and naks will congregate in the lower villages.
Because of Mr. Ghimire’s active involvement in this project my hope is to see additional product(s) donated in order to further promote the health and well-being of both the animals and Sherpa people of the Khumbu.
With Russell and Phurba April 2011-Himex Everest BC

A Happy Yak is a Healthy Yak!