Students get a head start
Tentatively reaching out to touch the half-blind bull, student Sarah Henderson was beginning to realize her dream.
Henderson was one of 10 Pea Ridge High School students who visited Oak View Animal Hospital recently as a part of the Vet Science Class that is part of the Career and Technical program at PRHS. Teacher Perry Mason took the students on a field trip to learn more about veterinary science.
Veterinarian Dr. Karen Sherman passed out information about pink eye then shared her knowledge and experience with the students.
“I am in vet science because I am passionate about animals,” Henderson said. “Over the past couple years, I have learned a lot in animal science. Vet science gives me the opportunity to get out in the field and actually see those things in person.”
Henderson said she plans to earn an agriculture business degree and would like to pursue a job in the animal industry. She said she would also like to double major in agricultural leadership.
“While at the vet clinic, I found it interesting how laid back the vet was about what she was doing. She was dealing with a very large animal, but was very relaxed while doing so. I am used to working with horses on the daily basis, so I was able to learn a lot about pink eye in cows, something I did not know a lot about before,” Henderson said.
“Being in vet science will help me reach my goal of becoming a vet tech and learn what type
of environment I will be working in,” senior Makenna Higgins said. “After high school, I plan to attend the vet tech program at Crowder (College in Noesho, Mo.) and become a registered veterinary technician.”
On Thursday’s field trip, Higgins said: “I learned that diseases like pink eye could spread very easily, possibly from flies that transfer from animal to animal like cattle. If your cattle do happen to catch an infection, medications are a need to keep from spreading even further within any other animals. You need to be cautious when handling any type of huge or aggressive animal because the job can be dangerous for you or the client.”
“Big thanks to Dr. Sherman for the experience. We would love to go back again!” Higgins said.
“I feel like this class is good for me,” junior Jennell Smith said, “because I love animals and I don’t know if I want to be a veterinarian, but it’s going to be good for me because I plan on having a few acres and some animals when I get older.”
Smith is in the industrial tech program in Pea Ridge Manufacturing and Business Academy.
“I loved how we actually got to have contact with a live animal. I could tell that bull was very anxious just by the way he was acting,” she said. “I learned what pink eye looks like on a cow and I didn’t know that the little white ball on his eye could burst. I figured cows could get over illnesses like humans, but they are very different and need more medical attention.”
Junior Leala Sorrell said: “I am in vet science because I have always had a love for animals. I am interested in becoming a vet/ vet technician once I am out of college, but I haven’t made up my mind. I’m hoping this class will show me if pursuing a vet career is right for me, or if I would like to pursue a different career path.”
“I loved getting to work with and observe Dr. Sherman,” Sorrell said. “I work at the Pea Ridge Vet Clinic, but my position is a kennel worker. I mostly get to work with cats and dogs, so I’m almost never in the barn working with large animals, such as horses and cows. It was very interesting to be up close and personal with a bull that large, and he wasn’t even full grown!
“It was a little intimidating to see Dr. Sherman handle a bull that big and powerful, but she handled it with such grace and ease. It was very impressive.”
PRHS senior Sarah Henderson said. “Vet science gives me the opportunity to get out in the field and actually see those things in person.”
Dr. Karen Sherman, veterinarian, and Perry Mason, ag teacher, hosted a class on veterinary science for PRHS students recently.