Kent County 4-H'ers discover veterinary science

Read about how a Grand Rapids veterinary hospital and a 4-H club collaborated to host an impressive, educational, hands-on open house.

On a March 26, 2011, Family Friends Veterinary Hospital of Grand Rapids collaborated with the Perfect Partners 4-H Club to host an open house for 4-H dog participants, their families and friends. The long, jam-packed day - which featured live demonstrations - helped those attending discover just how interesting, fun and exciting veterinary science can be. Included in the tour were:

  • The pharmacy area, where participants learned the importance of routine health care. The information was presented in a game format, “Healthy or Hiding Disease?”
  • The “Plethora of Parasites” station, in which participants used microscopes to view parasites “up close and personal” and learned how they affect an animal, as well as prevention and treatment.
  • A live dental cleaning. Questions flew about the procedure, dental disease and prevention.
  • The rehabilitation department where the visitors watched a dog travel on an underwater treadmill, and they received valuable information and tips about managing canine weight and activity level.
  • The reproduction area in which the 4-H’ers viewed a slideshow of a caesarian section and observed a live ultrasound.
  • The surgical suite, where the 4-H members and their families watched a live neuter surgery demonstration.  They were also able to dress up like surgeons and try various surgical instruments on stuffed animals.
  • The radiology department, where the participants viewed digital x-rays of broken bones, bladder stones, foreign bodies and more.
  • The doggie day care area, in which the families observed dog behaviors and postures first hand, while watching a group of dogs play.
  • The grooming area, where participants learned the medical importance of bathing, brushing, toenail Dog on treadmilltrims and daily observation of their animals.
  • A chat with veterinary technicians about veterinary careers, pet poisonings, first aid and emergency warning signs.

As demonstrated by the following results of a survey – asking participants about their experience as related to the 4-H Science, Engineering and Technology Initiative – completed at the end of the event, the event had an impressive impact

Survey Statement

Percent of Youth

Percent of Adults

I learned that people who work at the Family Friends Veterinary Hospital are scientists and use science in their careers.



I think that science is useful for the problems of everyday life.



I would like to do some outside reading in science.



I enjoy talking to other people about science.



I have a real desire to learn science.



For more details about the open house, contact Glenda Kilpatrick, Kent County Extension educator.

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