What's it like to be a vet?

Chase High students get a demonstration from Dr. Rachel Butterworth-Tice.
Nov. 24, 2013 @ 06:48 AM

Chase High School animal science students witnessed a veterinarian at work during a special demonstration on Friday. 

Dr. Rachel Butterworth-Tice visited the school to perform surgeries on two cows, owned by Ray Dedmon and his daughter Jerrica Dedmon. Jerrica Dedmon, a graduate of Chase, is studying to be a veterinarian technician and has been working with Butterworth-Tice who owns Rutherford Large Animals. 

"They ( the Dedmons) called and asked if we wanted to bring the kids over and let them see it," said Donnie Henson, animal science teacher. "In class we talk about animal welfare and animal rights. Farmers are all about making sure their animals are healthy." 

One cow had cancer in it's third eyelid. Butterworth-Tice numbed the cow around it's eye and cut the cancerous area out. The other cow had mastitis which was causing a blockage in its utter. 

"The type of cancer the cow had is called squamous carcinoma and it was on it's third eyelid. So I just removed the entire third eyelid," Butterworth-Tice said. "For the mastitis, I had to open up one of her teats because the little hole where milk comes out had closed over. I had to open the hole and infuse the antibiotics up into her utter." 

Henson said that witnessing these surgeries is good for the students because it is an experience they can't get in the classroom.

"This is good, hands-on experience for them. You can talk about all of this stuff in the classroom, but once they see it they know it's helping the cow and not hurting it," Henson said. "It's not everyday we get to see these procedures." 

Jeremy Bradley, agriculture teacher, said that the demonstration was good for the students so they can see what goes into owning livestock. 

"When you look at the big picture, you are going to have those issues come up and are going to have to face them." Bradley said. "We want the kids to see the ins and outs of the livestock career in case they are interested in it in the future." 

Butterworth-Tice also said demonstrations like these change a lot of misconceptions the students may have about pursuing a veterinary career. 

"I've always enjoyed being able to show kids what it's all about to be a vet. It's sort of a fantasy job and it's neat to give them a dose of what it's really about," Butterworth-Tice said. "It's a little graphic and that weeds out which ones aren't really interested right off the bat. But there were a couple who came up to me and were fascinated. Those are the kind that are probably going to pursue it."