Veterinary visit: Local students learn about the ins and outs of the vet

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Education and excitement seemed to go hand in hand last week as the Grade 4/5 French immersion class from A.G. Baillie Memorial School made their way to the East River Animal Hospital to learn what a veterinarian does and some of the things they see on the job.

After a tour of the office to see exam rooms and kennels, the students made their way into a bigger back room to learn more about a vet’s job and what a veterinary technician does. Veterinarian Kathryn Finlayson showed the kids what matted fur looks like, taught them about ventilators and other tools needed in the surgery room and showed them what a live tick looks like using two she had taken off a dog that were sealed in a container.

Finlayson said that each year, her clinic holds a couple of school tours to show students what being a vet really involves.

“A lot of little kids say they want to be a vet,” she said, adding that not many realize what it entails. She hopes that by showing them more behind the scenes of what a vet does it will help inspire some students to pursue the profession.

“It’s kind of funny seeing the reactions of some of the kids,” the New Glasgow veterinarian added with a chuckle.

During Finlayson’s presentation, the kids had a chance to see a fatty tumour that was surgically removed from a dog. Some students were excited to put on a glove and touch it, others cringed at the sight.

A few special guests also made their way into the presentation as well, including a rabbit, two hedgehogs, two guinea pigs and a goat, which were brought out to teach the kids a bit about that animal and give them a chance to pet the animal.

“It’s very educational, they get the chance to see different animals and learn different facts about them,” said the children’s teacher, Ginette Samson. The trip also tied in with a teaching unit on habitats that the classes learned earlier in the year.

Julia MacInnis, Haley MacDonald and Sarah Chapman touch a fatty tumour during their classes recent visit to the East River Animal Hospital. (Brimicombe photo)