Vet Assistant or Vet Tech – Which One Is Right For You?

August 10th, 2012 by admin

If you have ever considered a career in veterinary medicine, you may have wondered about the difference between a licensed veterinarian, a vet assistant and a vet tech, short for veterinary technician. Veterinarians must undergo many years of graduate schooling to eventually earn a degree in veterinary medicine, just as medical doctors do to become licensed physicians. But becoming a vet assistant or a vet tech requires far less education than becoming a veterinarian. Veterinary assistants typically require very little schooling. Students can complete most vet assistant programs within a year. Becoming a vet tech takes more time, 2 to 4 years, and educational programs for vet techs are more in-depth. Because of this, veterinary tech positions generally pay higher salaries than vet assistant positions, and the people in those positions perform more complex tasks in their jobs than vet assistants.

Both positions require hands-on work with both animals and people. Vet assistants, however, will likely spend more time working with people, since their duties frequently encompass front office work, such as checking in animals as they arrive, taking payment for services and communicating with clients and pet owners. Veterinary assistants also educate people about how best to care for their animals. In addition, they clean the facilities, groom the animals and feed them. They offer assistance in the exam and operating rooms as well. Part of their job duties include bringing animals to and from the rooms, holding animals down when needed during procedures and sometimes administering medicines.

Vet techs spend less of their time working with people and more time doing research, lab work and surgery. They give exams to animals and give them injections like vaccines. They also do work that requires more precision and training, such as or performing surgical procedures alongside a licensed veterinarian or euthanizing seriously ill or injured animals. Like vet assistants, they also clean as part of their job. Vet techs must sterilize the equipment used at the veterinary hospital. Additionally, they may hold positions that require them to spend most of their time working in a lab or doing biomedical research.

Because of the difference in the type of work performed, to become a vet tech demands that you undergo much more schooling and training than a vet assistant. Someone who wants to become a veterinary assistant must complete a certificate program, which takes about a year of full-time study. The program generally consists of classroom learning, lab experience and an internship at a veterinary clinic or hospital. Once the certificate program has been completed, the new vet assistant can expect to earn anywhere from $17,000 to $34,000 annually, depending on salary rates in her area, according to VetTechs.com. By contrast, they state that vet tech salaries cap at about the same level but have a higher starting point, generally ranging from $25,000 to about $35,000 per year. For those who specialize in research, salaries can exceed $35,000 depending on the type of research and the employer. To become a veterinary technician, one must obtain an Associate’s or Bachelor’s degree in veterinary technology by an accredited college or university, which typically takes 2 years of full-time study for an associate’s degree and 4 years for a bachelor’s degree.

When deciding which career path to choose, understand what you desire from your career. Becoming a vet assistant requires less upfront cost and work, but has lower starting salaries and lacks opportunities for upward mobility without additional education. Becoming a vet tech means you will spend more and devote more time to your education at first, but you will have a higher starting salary as well as greater opportunities to conduct research and to advance your career should you ever decide you want to become a veterinarian.

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What a Vet Tech College Grad Will Tell You About Chocolates and Pets

July 8th, 2011 by rebeccac

So you want to go to vet tech school? It’s a great career, and there’s so much that people don’t know about their pets.

For instance, many people know that while chocolate may be a treat for them, it’s definitely not a treat for their dogs. In fact, chocolate can be life-threatening, as any veterinary technician school graduate will tell you. But how many people know why it’s so dangerous?

Chocolate contains fats, sugar, carbohydrates, proteins and approximately 800 chemical compounds, one of which is the alkaloid theobromine. In fact, chocolate’s botanical name is Theobroma cacao.

Among humans, theobromine is generally not toxic except at very high doses. Theobromine is a central nervous system stimulant that affects the brain and the heart. Theobromine actually has medical uses: It’s used as a vasodilator, a diuretic and a heart stimulant.

But courses at a veterinary technician college can teach you that dogs digest theobromine more slowly. Theobromine poisoning can occur in dogs from a dose as low as five grams in a small dog and 40 grams in a larger dog.

Vet tech college graduates are trained to diagnose the initial symptoms of chocolate-related theobromine ingestion in dogs, like vomiting, diarrhea and extreme restlessness, related to theobromine’s properties as a stimulant. He also may be urinating more frequently than usual due to theobromine’s properties as a diuretic. You may notice excessive panting and twitching muscles. If you could listen to your dog’s heart, you’d hear that it was beating much more rapidly than usual.

Left untreated over time, this chocolate overdose could lead to hyperthermia, seizures, coma and even death.

How much is too much? That varies with the age of your dog, the weight of your dog and whether he or she is in shape. If a 50-pound dog steals a bite from your Snickers bar, chances are he’s not going to get sick.

The problem, as graduates of a veterinary technician school can tell you, is that chocolate has addictive properties: When you give your dog a chocolate treat, it leaves him wanting more. Then, when your back is turned, he’ll go for that entire box of Godiva truffles on the kitchen counter. That’s when he gets into trouble.

It’s not just the characteristics of your dog that determine whether or not he’ll get sick from chocolate; it’s also the characteristics of the chocolate itself. Some types of chocolate have more theobromine than others. For example, milk chocolate has much less theobromine than semi-sweet baking chocolate. What determines whether your dog gets sick or not is the quantity of theobromine he consumes in proportion to his weight.

If Fido does ingest a dangerous amount of chocolate, you’ll want to get him to a veterinarian as quickly as possible.

As a graduate of a veterinary technician college, one of your roles is education in the community at large. Sharing what you know is not only a neighborly thing to do, it can also create business for your place of work since people naturally want to bring their beloved animals to someone they already trust. Vet tech school can lead to a rewarding career for those individuals who love animals – their own and other people’s as well!

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The facts about rhino poaching

July 8th, 2011 by rebeccac

The effect of poaching on the world’s rhinoceros population has been devastating. They are killed for their horn, which is rumored to do everything from cure typhoid to make you more fertile, but their horn has no true medicinal value. These magnificent creatures die for what amounts to a substance no more beneficial than the human toenail.

Outrageous amounts are paid for ground rhino horn. A kilo is currently worth twice the price of gold. Buyers refuse to admit that there is no medicinal value to this folk medicine.

Both the Black Rhino and the larger White Rhino (both which are actually gray) are endangered. Hunters use M99, one drop of which could kill a human. This powerful substance can bring down both types of rhinos despite their massive size. At least 333 of the multi-ton beasts were killed in South Africa last year alone.

Fewer than 2,800 exist in the wild, and estimates show that if the current poaching remains unchecked, then by 2031 there will be no more rhinos. Although vets and vet techs take good care of those living in research facilities and zoos, the rhino won’t be saved without an educated public, which is one of the goals of a good veterinary technician school.

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Veterinary technician college prepares people to become active members of the animal care community. A degree from vet tech college or a vet tech school can prepare you for a wonderful career assisting in veterinarian offices. More importantly, for endangered species like the rhino, veterinary technician school can prepare you to work for zoos or research facilities where skilled help is needed.

The battle to stop poaching is fought in Africa, but it needs more knowledgeable people all over the world. Getting a degree from a vet tech college can help. Vet tech school has prepared many people to be part of the solution. Is it time for you to get a veterinary technician college degree?

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Vet Tech or Vet Assistant: Which is Which?

July 8th, 2011 by admin

Among those looking to enter the field of veterinary medicine, there is often confusion between the terms “veterinary technician” and “veterinary assistant.” Some might even think that the two positions are interchangeable. This is not the case, however, as anyone attending a veterinary technician school will verify. The positions differ significantly in job scope, whether attending a veterinary technician college is required, salary and benefits, and job opportunities.

The first difference between the two positions is in the scopes of the jobs. While each position entails assisting a veterinarian, they do so in very different manners. A veterinary technician is someone who has graduated from a veterinary technician college and, therefore, has learned the skills necessary to act as a nurse, anesthetist, lab technician and/or radiology technician, as needed. While at vet tech school, he or she will also have learned how to administer shots, set bones and perform many other aspects of the daily care for animals.

Veterinary assistants, on the other hand, may or may not have attended a vet tech college as well, but they are trained for a different set of tasks. They generally serve as an extra set of hands for performing the routine clinical work. Their jobs may include cleaning and sterilizing the tables and instruments, scheduling appointments, answering phones, and taking care of the front desk. They may also assist in the feeding, exercising, and cleaning of overnight patients.

The next significant difference between the two positions is in the degree of education required. In order to become a veterinary technician, one must earn a degree from a two-, three- or four-year program at a vet tech college. Vet techs are also required to pass a state exam and become licensed. While a veterinary assistant may have attended a vet tech school, it is not always required because an assistant does not generally take part in the higher-level medical care of the animals. Often veterinarians train their assistants on the job.

Yet another difference is the annual salary for each position. Because of their advanced training and greater responsibilities, veterinary technicians command a much higher salary than do veterinary assistants. The annual salary of a vet tech ranges from $26,000 to $40,000 while that of a veterinary assistant is generally in the range of $14,000 to $25,000.

Job opportunities are also more available for those with degrees from accredited veterinary technician schools. In addition to working in veterinary hospitals and clinics, vet techs can often find work in zoos, animal shelters, biomedical facilities and research laboratories. Opportunities may also exist in wildlife medicine, livestock management and with humane societies. The veterinary assistant’s prospects are often more limited. Most find work in clinics, pet hospitals, private practices, pet stores and shelters.

While there is plenty of need for smart, hard-working people in both positions, for those who are willing to put in the time and effort to earn a degree from an accredited veterinary technician college, the opportunities and benefits abound.

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Is there a demand for veterinarians in the U.S.?

July 8th, 2011 by rebeccac

Are you considering attending a veterinary technician school? Or perhaps you are debating about what path you want to take and a vet tech college is one of your options?

It may help you to know that 37% of the households in the U.S. already own a dog. That’s over 52 million people who have spent anywhere from $30 to $2,000 on a pet. A vet tech school will prepare you to help take care of all of those potential clients with ease. Attending a vet tech college is a great choice for anyone who loves animals and wants to help others and their pets.

Maybe you’re not a dog person. You’re not alone – over 31% of the U.S. owns a cat, and most of them (right at 57 million people) have at least two cats. Cat owners tend to spend less on their pets (between $10 to $800), but they are also more likely than dog owners to have them groomed and taken care of properly. Attending a veterinary technician college will give you the skills to help all of those cat owners, allowing you to create a successful business treating all of those furry felines.

One of the best things about attending a vet tech school is that you will work with a huge range of animals while studying. From larger animals like horses (owned by 5% of the population) to tiny pets like gerbils (owned by .4% of the population), you will get hands-on training that will prove indispensable when you finish your veterinary technician college.

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So if you are debating about joining a veterinary technician school, these numbers should help you realize that your patients are out there, waiting for someone with the right touch and right training to come along and take care of them.

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The Benefits of Pet Insurance

July 8th, 2011 by admin

 It’s no secret that no person wants to live without health insurance: the risks are high, the costs are even higher, and there’s constant worry about health problems and complications that might arise. So why should anyone inflict that type of worry on their pets? Health problems affecting pets need treatment just as urgently and as expertly as human ailments, so insuring a pet provides some key benefits.

Help with Costs

Anyone who has attended a veterinary technician school can attest to just how heartbreaking it is to have the skills to help an animal in desperate need of treatment but to be hamstrung by the fact that the animal’s owner simply cannot afford the procedure required to nurse them back to health.

With pet insurance, the cost of treatment is often mostly covered and may require only a deductible – much like regular insurance plans for pet owners. And the best news is that problems can be treated right away by someone who spent years in vet tech school training to help pets and animals who cannot help themselves.

Another major cost-saving advantage comes in the form of a prescription drug plan for pets and animals. Veterinary technician school is just as challenging and exciting as a nursing school or doctoral program in that it teaches its students about drugs, dosages, prescriptions and drug interactions – but for pets. Those drugs come at a price, of course, just like any pill on the market, and the best way to save on them is to purchase prescription drug coverage as part of a pet insurance plan.

Plenty of Options

One of the other major benefits of choosing pet insurance is that you’ll be buying into a secure industry that is rapidly expanding and growing as more and more pet owners and animal lovers discover the utility and savings they can achieve by purchasing insurance from a respected provider.

Even more good news for the discerning consumer: The number of those respected providers is growing, and that means there is ample competition in the marketplace to offer the best services and plans for the lowest monthly premium amount. Those who have attended a veterinary technician college are best-equipped with the knowledge to help consumers make the top choice for their pet; they’ll know all of the best services for each pet, whether it’s a small dog or cat or a larger, outdoor animal.

Going to a vet tech school is a great way to learn not only about what ails our pets and animals, but also about the best ways to keep them healthy or nurse them back to health in the event of an emergency or illness. Often, it is the people who attend and graduate from a vet tech college who are there when pet insurance really pays off; they’re able to provide comfort to concerned pet owners and animal lovers and reassure them that they’ve made the right choice in their insurance and in planning well for the health and longevity of their furry member of the family.

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Small Animal Veterinary Technician Profile

March 29th, 2011 by admin

Small Animal Veterinary Technician Profile

A love for animals and a passion for their well being are two basic qualities of an aspiring veterinary technician. The gratification of being a part of an animal’s recovery whether it is from an illness, injury or a surgery can be personally rewarding. Proper training at a vet technical school is the first step to obtaining the necessary skills. These professionals assist and work closely with Veterinarians in providing quality care for small animals.

Routine Duties of a Vet Tech

Supporting and assisting a veterinarian is the main function of a veterinary technician. Day-to-day care for an animal includes comforting, grooming, cleaning kennels and other duties as assigned. The more technical aspects of the job are drawing blood and running the blood tests, inserting intravenous catheters and prepping animals for surgery. To perform these duties it is vital that the proper training is obtained through vet tech school.

It is not all work and no play for a veterinary technician because there are opportunities to playfully interact with recovering animals, during down time.

Vet Tech School Training

The care of an animal extends beyond routine checkups and the veterinary technician is an integral part of that care. A person interested in attending vet. technician school should primarily have a strong aptitude in science with math as a close second. These two subjects will help the veterinary technician competently perform complex duties associated with the care of animals.

Additional Traits of a Vet Tech

Besides caring for animals, a veterinary technician must be a people person and a team player. The ability to communicate and work with doctors, other techs and front office staff are necessary for success in this field. The care and safety of the animal are the focal points that must come first. These professionals’ help to meet those goals by ensuring that every pet gets competent care. Pet owners have peace of mind knowing that the furriest member of their family is being cared for by caring and competent professionals. Veterinarians know and trust that the animals are properly cared for by trained veterinary technicians.

The work of a veterinary technician is a balance of heart and specialized training. Without their assistance the care of sick and ailing animals could be greatly compromised.

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Being a Vet Tech at a Zoo

March 29th, 2011 by admin

A veterinary technician, or vet tech, provides similar services to a veterinarian as a nurse provides to a doctor. Vetvet tech at a  zoo ts_87728516 techs are trained in various areas of animal care. They also have the opportunity to specialize in the care of specific animal groups, such as wildlife, marine animals or farm animals. Vet techs differ from veterinary assistants in the amount of training they are required to have. To become a vet tech requires either an Associate’s or a Bachelor’s degree, whereas assistants do not need a degree.

This field of veterinary technology is relatively new, gaining prominence in the last half of the 20th century. Several national and international societies have emerged to help regulate best practices and standardize a learning track for students in this field. The American Veterinary Medical Association performs this task through the Committee on Veterinary Technician Education and Activities.

Though many vet techs start off working for a veterinarian in a private practice, there are many other opportunities. Aquariums, zoos and wildlife rescue centers provide more advanced experiences in working with animals. It is usually necessary for a vet tech to gain some practical experience before moving on to one of these venues. This article will focus on the zoological specialty and its requirements.

Job Skills Required For A Zoological Vet Tech

In addition to basic veterinary skills, a vet tech must have other specialized skills to work with zoo animals. They must have a certain level of physical strength to maneuver the larger animals. They must also be able to think quickly and make educated decisions as situations arise. They must have a firm knowledge regarding the specific animals in their care, including eating and sleeping habits, common medical issues as well as temperament and behavior. Above all, the vet tech must have a passion for working with animals and an eye toward protection and preservation.

Duties Required By A Zoological Vet Tech

Vet Techs are responsible for routine health maintenance and vaccinations, bathing and hygiene, wound care and distribution of medications. Vet techs also assist with prenatal care and infant care. Other duties include processing animals for shipment offsite, cleaning and maintaining lab and medical equipment, performing x-rays and specimen testing.

The Path To Becoming A Zoological Vet Tech

As previously mentioned, vet techs must earn an Associate’s or a Bachelor’s degree usually from a vet tech college. It is wise to also gain a specialty certification in zoological veterinary technology.  The American Veterinary Medical Association provides a list of all accredited schools nationwide. The next step is to gain some experience at a veterinary clinic or hospital. Placements at zoos are extremely competitive. To get a leg up and gain more experience at the same time, look for opportunities to volunteer at zoos or wildlife centers. This will also allow you to network with other animal specialists in your field. Finally, present yourself as a candidate with the credentials and experience to work as a zoological vet tech.

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Strange Facts About Cats

March 24th, 2011 by admin

Some interesting facts  about cats, some of which are not as well-known. These relate to cats’ diet, behavior, physical characteristics, reproductive habits, and lifespan. Students at a vet tech school can benefit from keeping some of these facts in mind; this knowledge can sometimes help a vet tech in arriving at a diagnosis. A good veterinary technician is able to recognize which of these cat characteristics are normal and which may be causes for concern.

The name “cat” refers to a general family of meat-eating felines, including lions and tigers. The average house cat can live between 14 and 20 years. A female cat can give birth every 4 months if not sterilized, and females can begin having kittens when they are between 5 and 9 months old. Male cats generally begin mating when they are 7 to 10 months old. The average pregnant female cat has a litter after about 58 days of gestation, and kittens stick with their mother for roughly the first 9 weeks of life.

Once fully grown, a cat has 500 different skeletal muscles; it also has up to 10% of its total number of bones within its tail. A cat that is in good physical shape can jump up to 7 times the length of its tail. Unlike some other animals with fur, cats have a true undercoat and overcoat. Cats that have white fur and pale skin on their ears should be kept indoors during sunny weather, since they can get sunburned much more easily.

Cats reportedly respond more positively to women than to men, and they also react to higher-pitched “ee” names. Since women have higher voices, these facts may be related. Cat owners can gauge a cat’s mood by the appearance of its eyes. Cats’ bodies can not produce fat on their own, so it must be included in their diets to maintain proper health. Some owners give their cats cow’s milk without realizing that cats can not digest it, leading to diarrhea. Owners may also wonder why cats have trouble finding treats dropped on the floor; this is because cats can not directly see underneath their noses.

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Veterinary Technician and Technologist

March 24th, 2011 by admin

There is nothing more adorable than having pets in the house; it brings fun activities to keep the stressful factors from invading your home. One thing that cannot be avoided is that animals are like humans too, they tend to get sick; in this generation pet owners tend to seek professional help and would rather pay a visit to the best veterinary clinic in their area than to experiment. In the clinical area veterinarians are dependent on their immediate right hand or helper, the veterinary technician or technologist.

Veterinary technicians are a very reliable partner of a licensed veterinarian. To be able to provide a quality animal health care vet techs and veterinarians work together to achieve it. Veterinary technologists are often compared to nurses in the usual hospitals they are in charge in the initial assessment of the animal upon admission; they handle extracting specimen samples and run these test samples in the laboratory. They are subject to the diverse responsibility in the animal health care delivery system. For instances where surgery is needed vet techs stand near the veterinarian for handing instruments and other items during surgical procedures. Also, they are responsible for monitoring the heart and respiratory rates of the animals.

Additional workload for these animal health care workers includes evaluating the hygiene of the animals where their teeth are being examined and cleaned by using specialized equipment; they are in charge in discussing the condition of the pet to its owner and even training new clinic personnel. Other than working in a private clinic or animal hospitals veterinary technicians can also spread its expertise in a research facility under the supervision of a licensed veterinarian. In this field, the tasks of a vet tech are administering drugs, monitoring animals’ records, vaccination, and even perform euthanasia for seriously ill or injured animals. More experienced veterinary technologist who works hand-in-hand with other scientists tend to develop present researches on gene therapy and cloning.

These vet techs are people who gain satisfaction in helping animals, they possess extreme patience and empathy in order to perform accordingly. The job requires great strength for lifting heavy non-domestic and domestic animals, cleaning and lifting cages, and restraining animals as well. Danger in this line of work is just around the corner, exposure to animal bites and scratches are unavoidable which brings greater risk for rabies and other diseases that originates from animals.

To acquire the said occupation vet technician schools requires finishing two levels of education and training, these are: (1) two-year program for veterinary technician and (2) four-year program for veterinary technologist. The vet school should be accredited by American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) to ensure validity and quality of the education. After finishing a degree in the said field the aspiring vet tech is required to pass the license exam (which includes oral, written and practical set of examinations) in order to become a certified veterinary technologist. As they progress in this profession they tend to gain more assignments which mean exposure to a higher level of tasks that will develop skills and maximize the knowledge.

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