As part of The Epstein School's enhancements of its exciting "hands-on" Science program in the elementary school, classrooms now have all kinds of interesting and exotic pets. Recently, the Elementary School's new pets had a visit from an Avian and Exotic Animal Veterinarian, Jason Hutcheson, DVM and owner of For Pet's Sake - The Avian and Exotic Animal Hospital of Atlanta.
"Dr. Jason," as the students have come to know him, came to Epstein to perform health examinations on the animals and be sure their habitats and diets were safe and appropriate. The good doctor also took the time to speak with students about the various animals and their behaviors, instincts, proper nutrition, proper handling and what signs to look for that might indicate a potential health issue for the animal.
The menagerie of animals Dr. Hutcheson examined included a green iguana named Spike, a leopard gecko named Stumpy, a king snake named Bandit, a box-turtle named Houdini and a rose-haired tarantula named Rose. Upon examination of the animals, they all received a clean bill of health. However, on the leopard gecko, it was noted that he had an injury received in battle with a predator prior to his arrival to the school that caused him to loose one of his legs.
But at Epstein, we understand that taking care of injured animals is a tzedakah and a privilege. In addition, Dr. Jason made some changes to the green iguana's diet to improve her skeletal density, which included enhancing her calcium intake through more green leafy vegetables such as collard greens and kale. It was truly an educational and healthy experience for everyone. Dr. Jason will be returning from time to time to provide his professional guidance to the students on the care of their new classroom pets, and to be sure they maintain optimal health!