NEW CASTLE —
Local students are having fun learning about pet care and veterinary offices this week.
Dr. Cynthia Maro of Ellwood City Animal Hospital at 728 Lawrence Ave., said about 130 students ages 6 to 16 are taking part in hands-on activities there this week to encourage interest in animals and maybe even inspire interest in a veterinary career.
The event has been going on for about 10 years and is so popular that all slots fill up even though it is not advertised. This past winter, an adult session even took place.
Students come from Lawrence, Beaver, Allegheny counties and even farther to participate.
Once there, they rotate among eight different stations where they are helped by about 20 staff members. Students use stethoscopes to listen to the heartbeat of a dog, learn about ultrasounds, view preserved animal parasites such as ticks and worms, learn how fecal testing is done and view red blood cells under a microscope.
They also learn about how to treat their animals gently, view animal skeltons and suture simulated wounds while wearing scrubs in an operating room. Students get to bring soil samples from their yards which are then tested and photos of the sample projected onto a computer screen so students can see if parasite eggs or worms are present.
Maro said this activity helps students realize the importance of washing their hands when they come in from the outdoors.
Anyone who would like to participate next year should watch the animal hospital’s Facebook page for next year’s dates.
This year’s last session is tomorrow, and it is full. But Maro said there could be cancellations so if anyone is interested they should call the hospital at (724) 758-8882.
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