An Afternoon in the Country: Texas A&M Vet School Open House

The Annual Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine Open House.

I waited 9+ years for this.  I knew from the moment that I attended/assisted at one of the first open houses ever over 17 years ago, that I would someday return there with my kids to share in the grossness.

The boys (ages 7 and 9) have made their minds up that they want to go to TAMU.  I really haven’t pushed them too much in that direction (just some gentle nudging) because I don’t want them to rebel and go somewhere far away.  I may have mentioned that the University of Texas (our now-former rival school) is in a scary city full of hippies (tongue in cheek here, I love Austin, no hate mail please)

Truthfully, as long as my babies are happy, they can go to college anywhere they want.

On the condition that I can drive there in 6 hours or less. 

The kids have never been to College Station, so I was a little nervous driving down there.  They are true products of the suburbs, what if it’s too country for them? 

I found myself pointing out cool country stuff like: “Look kids, goats!”, “Look kids: the dirt in the country is red!”  “Hey, a Dairy Queen!”

I was really afraid we’d lose them when we hit the chicken farm just outside of town.  We did warn them that when the wind blows the right way, the odor of hundreds of chickens inside giant barns with giant exhaust fans is pungent to say the least.

The wind was blowing the wrong way, and they almost barfed.

They did relax a little when we got into town and they saw familiar sights like Target, Home Depot and Subway. 

We had a great time.  The open house was chock full of cool experiences and sights.  They got to hold a giant plastinated horse heart, view all kinds of worms and parasites, inflate a set of (preserved) lungs, see a living horse skeleton, and much more.  We didn’t even make it to the “big ticket” areas of the open house, which included a fistulated cow (cow with a big hole in her side that goes into her stomach, used for Rumen juice transplants in sick cattle (there is probably a more technical term for that), the small animal clinic tour, the “teddy bear surgery” suite, and the zoo/exotic animal area because of long lines and lack of time. We’ll get there earlier next time.

We regaled them with probably too many “college days” stories.  We toured the rest of the campus (more stories). 

I realized that a lot of my reminiscing involved beer (didn’t share these stories) and subsequently  had to fight the urge to encourage the kids to live at home and attend a nice community college instead. 

So far the kids still want to go to TAMU.  Lets see how the next 8-10 years go for them grade wise.

Here are some pictures from the open house (for more info on this annual event go to http://vetmed.tamu.edu/open-house):

Big Tortoise, Little tortoise (the big one is 15 years old, the little one is one month old).
Big Tortoise, Little tortoise (the big one is 15 years old, the little one is one month old).
Little boy, big horse heart. Lollipop compliments of answering a question correctly in the parasite section (with a little help from Mom)
The large animal barn has a distinct odor of DMSO (an anti inflammatory) and herbivore poo. The kids were unimpressed.
Is this cool or what?
Same horse, other side.
This horse was missing an eye, so he has an actual "eye socket". Awesome.
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One thought on “An Afternoon in the Country: Texas A&M Vet School Open House

  1. Although it wasn’t an Open House, I got to tour the K-State Vet School some years ago. Apparently the students thought I was some touring dignitary because when I asked questions, they gave a really nice history as well as treatment plan.

    They had several very large bulls named “Donation” that were very unhappy about being in a pen and separated from the other bulls by a thick concrete wall. It’s amazing how tall a bull can be when standing on its hind legs, trying desperately to see over that wall! After finding out why they were named “Donation”, it broke my heart to find out why there were there. (Their bull-part got “broken” when attempting to mate. Gosh, that had to hurt!)

    They had a horse that they just couldn’t get to stand and were very worried they’d lose him/her.

    They had a contraption that held cows for C-sections.

    Apparently there weren’t many companion critters that weren’t there for treatment, so they were off-limits. They did have several greyhounds that were used as blood donors, but visitors weren’t allowed to interact with them.

    Honestly, I didn’t think the large animal area would be interesting, but it was totally fascinating!

    As an aside, if one ever visits the K-State Vet School, be sure to visit the Dairy Barn because they make the most delicious ice cream there!

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