Veterinary school hosts open house

By Janice Yi

This Saturday the College of Veterinary Medicine will be hosting their annual Open House, anticipated to draw thousands of students, alumni and families.

The event, held at the College of Veterinary Medicine, 2001 S. Lincoln Ave., will feature more than 50 student-prepared exhibits and demonstrations and a number of animals, across the entire College of Veterinary Medicine campus.

Over the course of the academic year, a select committee of 12 first, second and third-year veterinary medicine graduate students oversee the planning process. The rest of the 300 students in the college participate by preparing exhibits and booths.

“The vet med open house is organized entirely by students committed to sharing our excitement of what we do with others,” said Tamara Gossman, graduate student and organizational committee member. “I hope that everyone who comes has a wonderful time and learns a lot.”

The event will exhibit many aspects of the veterinary field, such as medicinal practices for aquatic, avian, feline and zoo animals, as well as animal oncology, surgery, cardiology and dermatology. Additionally, there will be demonstrations of horse shoeing, sheep shearing, grooming, goat milking and police dog training.

“The police dog demonstration is always a favorite that I hear people talking about,” said Jim Park, graduate student who works with Gossman on the organizational committee. Park said that among the exhibits will be birds of prey such as owls and hawks.

Event participants will have numerous chances to engage in interactive learning through hands-on activities such as cow milking, peering at microscopic growth specimens and a petting zoo, which will house several exotic species.

Participants can learn how a two-headed goat was born, how to train their pets and will be able to adopt dogs and cats on-site.

“I think people . feel removed from this kind of thing, even though a lot of people are interested in animals,” said Brooke Nitzkin, graduate student and committee member. “This is a way for the vet school to reach out to the public and have an interaction, show what they do and maybe . spark some interest in a kid who might want to go into veterinary medicine.”

One of the most popular exhibits is the fistulated cow, which has a surgically placed hole in its side, into which participants can reach into to feel the stomach, without causing the animal pain. The “window cow” is a donor to other cows, which are deficient in certain microbial organisms necessary for digestion and other biological processes.

“There’s really a lot to veterinary medicine that people might not know about,” Park said. “Our objective is to showcase all the different aspects of the profession to the public, so that people can see that vet med is more than giving shots to dogs and cats.”

The open house will be held from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is free to the public and free parking will be available. Lunch will be available for purchase, and proceeds will go to support student programs.