Friday, April 3, 2009

Future Veterinarians

Today, I took four of the boys and we headed to Athens to the University of Georgia for their annual Veterinary Hospital day. Each year the college opens it's doors to the public so that people can tour the animal hospital, see exotic animals, and learn alot about animals and their medical care.
We had a GREAT time and I think we really learned least Mom did!
We started off in front of the hospital where there were several pens set up that housed animals such as a camel, a kangaroo, two llamas, dairy cows and calves, and so on. We were able to view a real cow stomach and learn how it functions. Pretty gross, but interesting.
After that we went through the exotic animals exhibit where we petted a snake, took a look at turtles, skinks, iguanas, and other types of reptiles. That was pretty interesting, though very crowded with schoolkids on a field trip.
Next we decided to take the tour of the actual hospital where surgeries and all sorts of other procedures are performed on dogs, cats, horses, and I guess any other animal. We waited in line for about 45 minutes, at which time I decided that my children are NOT ready for Disney, and then we were able to tour. There were no major operations taking place, but we saw a couple of dogs under anesthesia and a horse that was a little frustrated after it's treatment. It was a good opportunity for the boys to see real medical care and I know that Jacob really enjoyed it.
By this time, we were all starving and we had plans to meet up with some other homeschool families for lunch. We all brought a picnic and it was a good change for the boys to refuel and take some time out for tag on the lawn. We did have to keep them from climbing the trees, but other than that there were no major problems.
Finally we were ready to go to the Teddy Bear Surgery Center. This is really neat and worth the trip just for this one area. There is this huge room set up just like an emergency room, except multiple stations, with a triage, pre-op, an finally surgery tables. The children were able to bring stuffed animals from home that needed stitches and were shown how to sew them up!
In triage, they listened through the stethoscope for a heartbeat, checked temperatures and reflexes, and blood pressure. Then on to pre-op where they gave their animals some gas to put them to sleep and put in an IV. Finally on to surgery where the vet students stitched up the bears with the assistance of the children. It was really cool! As you can see in the pics, the children wore gowns and masks, and really got into it.
The last thing we did was hit the face painting booth and take a bathroom break before getting on the road to head home. Overall, it was a wonderful time and a field trip worth taking. I am already looking forward to next year!

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