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4-H campers spend the day with veterinarians

By Jade Lomax and Kathy Young

Rowan Cooperatiuve Extension

On June 24, 9- to 13-year-olds who were interested in the life of a veterinarian met at the Cooperative Extension office for the 4-H Vet for a Day 4-H Summer Fun program.

4-H Summer Fun is a series of educational programs sponsored by N.C. Cooperative Extension. This particular program allowed participants to travel to two different veterinarians in Rowan County to tour the facilities and learn about the daily life of a veterinarian. Students were able to visit Large Animal Medicine and Surgery with Dr. Michelle Gardner and Lazy 5 Veterinary Hospital with office manager Kathryn Julian.

According to N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, the 2009 Economic Impact Study shows that there are around 306,000 horses in North Carolina, increasing from 206,000 in 1998, with 53,000 horse-owning households. Every year, horses in the state have an economic impact of $1.9 billion.

This is where Gardner, who specializes in horse care, comes in. While at Large Animal Medicine and Surgery, the 4-H campers were able to meet Dr. Andy Gardner’s horse, Buckeye, who was their patient for the morning. They were all able to listen to his heartbeat and gut sounds through a stethoscope, take his temperature, and calculate his weight using a tape measure.

Dr. Michelle Gardner invited the campers to examine fecal matter under a microscope to check Buckeye for parasites, and educated them on what the parasites were and that it was important to keep them dewormed.

Next the group moved on to Lazy 5 Veterinary Clinic, where they specialize in mostly small animals and some large animals. Here, the campers were given a tour of the clinic’s newest facilities.

They were able to see the dog and cat ward, the dog bathing and grooming facility and the dog daycare area. While in the examination area, the group was allowed to go inside of the X-ray room to look at the radiology equipment and look inside of a patient exam room.

Overall, the campers were very enthusiastic in learning about the life of a veterinarian and enjoyed their time spent with the doctors.

Jade Lomax and Kathy Young are student interns with North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service in Rowan County.

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