MARSHALL - Armed with stethoscopes on Thursday, several kids were ready to listen to the heartbeat of Mike the beagle as well as Ariel the cat.
The kids figured that the two calico kittens, Miracle and Hisser, would be purring too loudly to hear their heartbeats.
As veterinarian Pat Bauman of the Marshall Animal Clinic held Ariel, Jaiden Bahr took his turn in hearing Ariel's heartbeat.
Photo by Cindy Votruba
Becky Skaj, certified veterinary technician at Marshall Animal Clinic, clips the claw of Mike the beagle as Shayla Savage and Lauren Buysse look on during the Summer Talents Academy class, Creatures Great and Small on Thursday.
"Under the left side, can you hear it?" Bauman asked Bahr. Bahr nodded.
Grace Hoskins picked up one of the kittens to try and hear its heartbeat.
"Yeah, he's purring too much," Hoskins said.
One of the classes offered during the Summer Talents Academy is Creatures Great and Small, where students learn all about different kinds of animals from cows and horses to cats and dogs and what veterinarians do on a daily basis.
After listening to the animals' heartbeats, kids got the chance to clip Mike's and Ariel's claws.
How many toes does a cat have? Bauman asked the students.
"Five," Shayla Savage answered. Close, Bauman and certified vet technician Becky Skaj said, it's four in back and five in front.
Ariel wriggled as the last of his claws were clipped.
Throughout the week, the students have learned about how to care for an animal, said Hoskins and KC Boerboom.
"We learned how to ride a horse and groom a horse, how to do a heartworm test," Boerboom said.
Hoskins said they also learned about the different parts of a dog and cat and how a calf was born.
"I want to be a vet when I grow up and I really love animals," Hoskins said.
Boerboom said she loves animals as well.
"(But) the sad part is (when) you have to put animals (to sleep)," Boerboom said.
Bauman asked the students what the normal temperature is for an animal.
"One hundred and three," said Sashanna Wambeke. Bauman and Skaj said that was too high.
Hoskins guessed 101 degrees as Mike's temperature was taken and turned out to be 100.1 degrees.
Bahr said he's liked meeting all the animals.
"I just like being around animals," he said.
Skaj and Bauman then showed the students samples of different things that can affect dogs and cats, such as fleas, roundworms and tapeworms. Skaj said that in veterinary medicine, you learn that a lot of these types of things look like food.
And that's why it's a good idea to wash your hands after playing with animals, Bauman said, as to prevent the transfer of such things as tapeworms.
Skaj then showed the kids how to brush Mike's teeth.
"My dog won't let me brush his teeth," Savage said.
Bauman held up a jar of white, rock-like items and told the students it contained bladder stones that came from one dog.
"The problem isn't the big ones (stones), but the little ones because they hide," Bauman said.
Skaj and Bauman said they've removed different kinds of objects from animals, such as socks, earplugs and a Barbie doll outfit.
Toward the end of class, Skaj and Bauman showed the kids how they cleaned out the kittens' ears. Despite that, Hisser remained content.
"And she's still purring," Bauman said. After having her ears cleaned out, Miracle shook and gave a small mew.