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General Information

Please check the links below for answers to frequently asked questions about Open House.

Q: Do I need to register for Open House?
Q: How much does it cost?
Q: What can I expect to see at Open House?
Q: Can I bring my dog to Open House?
Q: Who is Open House for? Am I too old?
Q: What should I bring to Open House?
Q: Why are some of the lines so long?
Q: What is "Fast Paws"?
Q: How do I get to College Station, TX?
Q: Where do I park?
Q: What is Teddy Bear Surgery?
Q: What is a fistulated cow?
Q: What can I do at Open House?
Q: Can I purchase any souvenirs?
Q: My daughter/son is interested in vet school. How can they find out more about the requirements?
Q: Can I bring other family members?
Q: Can I get a tour guide for my group at Open House?
Q: Why is Open House only one day when it's so popular?
Q: Can I get more information about the 4H Vet Science program?

Animal cascade


Q: Do I need to register for Open House?

A: No registration or reservation is necessary, just show up on Saturday at your convenience and enjoy your visit to the A&M College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences!


Q: How much does it cost?

A: Nothing! Open House admission and participation is free all day to anyone and everyone (except registered Scouts; please see associated pages for details). There will be concession stands to purchase snacks (cash only), with all proceeds benefitting  the first year veterinary school class. You can also purchase souvenirs at the Gift Shop, which is run by the various student organizations. All profits go to the student organizations. The gift shop will accept credit cards, however, you will move through the line much quicker with cash or check!


Q: What can I expect to see at Open House?

A: We have many great exhibits and events planned for this year! Please see our Schedule of Events page for more details! It will be updated as more information becomes available!


Q: Can I bring my pet to Open House?

A: There will be plenty of animals for you to see and interact with at Open House, so please leave your pet at home! With so many unfamiliar people and animals in a relatively small area, we cannot allow personal pets on the premises due to liability. Thank you for your understanding! Please remember that no animal may remain in an unattended vehicle at any time.


Q: Who is Open House for? Am I too old?

A: Absolutely not! Open House is put on for anyone, and there is something for everyone! There are exhibits throughout the hospitals if you're interested in seeing what happens behind closed doors at your pet's vet clinic. Everything is presented at various levels to incorporate young and old whether you're familiar with what you're seeing or not. For the youngsters, Teddy Bear Surgery is very popular! The presentations put on throughout the day are designed to appeal to all ages and audiences. There is a traditional petting zoo as well an entire room of reptiles and exotics (ZEW room) to look at, touch, or hold! Open House also features many non-profit organizations and rescues for many types of animals. If you're in high school or college and are interested in vet school, I would highly recommend the two vet school Q&A sessions! Entire families come to Open House all the time and everyone has a great time!


Q: What should I bring to Open House?

A: Bring comfortable walking shoes as the vet school complex is quite large, and you may have to wait in line for some exhibits. It may get hot, so bring water or cash to purchase some from our concession stands. If it looks like it might rain, Open House will go on, so bring an umbrella! If you would like souvenirs, bring money for the Gift Shop (cash or check will make the process faster).


Q: Why are some of the lines so long?

A: As a free event involving animals, we often get big crowds at Vet School Open House. The two clinic tours, ZEW room and Teddy Bear Surgery can often have long waiting lines. We are always trying to make improvements to reduce the wait, but please be patient.  Each of the lines has a suggested time by which to be in line during the afternoon in order to make sure you and your guests will be able to participate in that event before 4pm.  The Small Animal Clinic is also using a "Fast Paws" system much like "Fast Passes" at amusement parks to help reduce wait times. In the morning, you can get a pass for a designated time and skip the line later in the day.


Q: What is "Fast Paws"?

A: Because the line can be long for the Small Animal Clinic Tour, we have implented a new "Fast Paws" system, similar to "fast passes" at amusement parks. At 9am & 11:30am, we will hand out a limited number of Fast Paws passes at the designated distribution site next to the entrance to the Small Animal Clinic. Pick up one of these passes with a specified time stamp for later in the day. Then, you can go enjoy the other activities of Open House until the time on your ticket. At 5 minutes before your ticket time, simply return to the Small Animal Clinic to skip the line and go directly on your tour! Look for the pawprint on the map.


Q: How do I get to College Station, TX?

A: See our Directions and Parking page


Q: Where do I park?

A: Parking maps will be available online and signs directing you to Open House reserved lots will be in place on the day of the event. Please pay attention to where you park because it is a university and campus police will ticket or tow you if you are parked in a permit-only lot without a permit. We are not responsible and have no power to do anything about parking tickets or being towed!


Q: What is Teddy Bear Surgery?

A: Teddy Bear Surgery is always a favorite with Open House attendees. Participants will don a gown, mask, gloves, caps, and shoe covers and enter a real surgery suite to perform surgery on a stuffed animal of their choice - you can bring your own or purchase one at the event. The "surgeons" decide what procedure will be performed and are assisted by veterinary student surgeons. This is a very popular event and the line can get very long, possibly hours! We have moved Teddy Bear Surgery into a bigger, real surgery suite to try to reduce the wait so please be patient with us.


Q: What is a fistulated cow?

A: Fistulated cows have a surigcally-created hole in their side and stomach wall that has healed (kind of like a big ear piercing) that gives vets access to the contents of their complex stomach. The hole is plugged when not in use, but it allows access to the ruminant's digestion contents.  Cows are considered ruminants, which means that they have a very different digestive system than humans; with access to their stomach compartments, people can learn about and research ruminant digestion without sticking tubes down the animal's throat, which can be stressful and traumatic for the cow. The stomach contents of healthy cows can also be transplanted into a sick cow that has damaged its own stomach flora, thereby enabling the sick cow to digest its food again. Just like a human blood donor is important in a hospital, our fistulated cows serve a very important role in our veterinary hospital as donors of healthy digestive fluid!  Other than the fistula (hole), the cows are completely normal and aren't bothered by it! They live normal lives and have even had calves without any complications. At Open House, you can actually put on a glove and reach into the stomach of a live, healthy cow and see what it's like! This will absolutely NOT hurt the cow in any way! Both of our fistulated cows live very happy healthy lives :)


Q: What can I do at Open House?

A: There are so many events and exhibits at Open House for people of all ages! Keep checking back on the Schedule of Events page for more information!


Q: Can I purchase any souvenirs?

A: There will be a Gift Shop run and stocked by the student organizations at Open House with a varied selection of vet school memorabilia for sale. All profits go to the student organizations. You can make your purchases by cash, check, or credit card the day of the event (cash or check will make the process quicker).


Q: My daughter/son is interested in vet school. How can they find out more about the requirements?

A: There will be a vet school Q&A with the admissions committee and a vet student panel at Open House to answer all your questions. Check the schedule of events page for their scheduled time. Also, this is an event put on entirely by vet students to educate people about what veterinary medicine is all about. Find someone in a green t-shirt and ask away--we love to talk about vet school!


Q: Can I bring family members and friends?

A: Yes! You can bring as many people as you would like to Open House! We'd love to have them!


Q: Can I get a tour guide for my group at Open House?

A: Open House is one giant tour to show you more than you would normally get to see! Unfortunately, all of our student volunteers who would normally be the tour guides will be busy manning the many exhibits and events and won't be able to offer individual tours during that time.


Q: Why is Open House only one day when it's so popular?

A: Unfortunately, as a student-run non-profit organization we simply do not have the resources or volunteers necessary to make this event more than one day. As you will see by the extensive hospital tours, this event does basically incapacitate our ability to take in very many patients. The hospitals cannot be out of commission for any longer than one day. The students involved in planning and staffing this event work extremely hard and while we would love to be able to make Open House a two-day event, it is simply impossible. Thank you for your understanding.


Q: Can I get more information about the 4H Vet Science program?

While the 4H Vet Science Program has had sessions the night before Open House in the past, they are two completely separate events. Open House does not have any information on this program, please contact the Ag Extension Service for more information. http://agrilifeextension.tamu.edu/


Don't see your question answered? Email us and we will do our best to help you out. Please be patient for a response as we are students and do have exams and other assignments to complete in addition to planning this event. Thanks so much for your interest and we look forward to seeing you on April 20, 2013!