On a Saturday in February, our Dr. Noemi Plantz hosted a “wetlab” event for veterinary students at the University of Minnesota, giving each participant a chance to get their hands on different species. Twelve students – all but one of them female! – sat in a circle in our lab, many of them with pet carriers between their feet. The lab was for exotic animals and they had brought their own pets as demonstration animals. It was a lot of fun to see what came out of the carriers – out of one carrier came a pair of ferrets, and Dr. Plantz began “With these guys, it’s best to hold them for their physical exam by scruffing…” and she demonstrated by holding at the back of the neck while running her hand over the pet’s body. Our vet tech Michelle held its companion. Another carrier yielded a pretty gray and white rat, and the next held a hedgehog, which was greeted with a collective “ooh” of admiration from the students. Around the circle it went for an hour or more, as Dr. Plantz talked about how to handle each creature, and what common problems we see at Cedar Pet Clinic Lake Elmo for each species. The final roster included two more hedgehogs, two more ferrets, two guinea pigs, two guinea pigs, a snake, a rabbit, a sugar glider, a bearded dragon and a turtle! An educational time was had by all and the ties between the vet school and Cedar Pet Clinic Lake Elmo continue to be strong. Dr. Baillie delivers annual lectures on ferret and rabbit medical and surgical care and one entire lecture on rabbit dental care. This is part of the junior year regular classes. In addition, an avian medicine lecture on is given to the sophomore students.
Thanks to Amber (Class of 2013, University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine) for photos!