A snapshot of a Vet Tech’s Job

March 22nd, 2011 by admin

A snapshot of a Vet Tech’s Job

This video interviewed two women, Maggie who was a grad of a vet technician school, and Ashley, a student at vet tech school. Both were excited about their work as a veterinary technician. In the interview, Maggie made a comment that many people say they want to become a veterinary technician because they love animals. While a love for animals is important, to do the job well Maggie stressed that you have to love people as well. In her daily work Maggie comes in contact with all different types of personalities, and she has had to learn how to interact with various types of people, as they are the ones who will be bringing their animals in and explaining what is wrong. Ashley rattled off several areas of study that she had completed in her training as a veterinary technician. Among the subjects she studied were animal care management, animal biology, clinical pathology, surgical nursing, veterinary office procedures, and animal diseases. Maggie added that the two-year program is a lot of work but that it is definitely worth it, and that you meet a lot of great people in the process. Ashley said that it is a very, very popular program.

While the interviews were playing the video showed several images of veterinary technicians in their jobs and in school. The video shows veterinary technicians in surgery, performing checkups on the animals, and holding the animals down to collect blood samples or administer intravenous medicine. The vet techs are also shown in the labs using microscopes, taking blood samples, examining eyes and using a stethoscope. In a classroom setting vet techs are seen working on an assignment and interacting in class.

Veterinary tech school usually lasts about two to three years. During that time the students learn in a classroom setting but perform many hours practicing what they have learned in a clinic setting, either as an employee or as a volunteer at the clinic. Upon completing their coursework, vet techs will take a certification exam. The requirements for vet techs will vary from state to state, as do what is covered on the certification.

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Canine Family Tree

March 22nd, 2011 by admin

Canine Family Tree

All canines can trace their roots back to wolves, but it took several thousands of years for most breeds to appear as how we recognize them today. The story begins about 30,000 years ago, when all dogs ran wild and none were domesticated. Somewhere between 30,000 and 15,000 years ago some dogs began hanging around humans, most likely attracted by discarded bones and scraps. It is theorized that these might have been the more docile of the pack, as they would have become less likely over time to mate with territorial, pack-running wolves. Because of their somewhat selective mating, their appearance started to change. Fast forward to somewhere between 15,000 and 200 years ago, when farming was becoming more prevalent. Dogs become more domesticated and genetic mutations start to appear, such as the stumpy legs of present-day basset hounds. Terrier-sized dogs also make their first appearance between 15,000 and 20,000 years ago. 200 years ago, man began selectively breeding dogs to get the gene variants they wanted. It was during this time that the flat face of the bulldog first appeared, as well as the gene variants of the poodle. Today, dogs are still selectively bred for their personality, coat, or appearance. “Designer dogs” have started making an appearance, such as the Labradoodle (Labrador cross-bred with a poodle) or a puggle (pug bred with a beagle).

For a career that will give you up-close contact with a wide variety of dogs and maybe even an occasional wolf, consider becoming a veterinary technician. In two years you can complete vet technician school, which will also include many hours of clinical experience where you can practice what you have learned in the classroom. Upon graduation you can apply for a job at a veterinary clinic, a wildlife sanctuary, or even a zoo! Veterinary technicians choose their career path usually because they love animals and love to help them, although many vet techs also argue that you need to love people too, since you’ll be interacting with the animals’ owners as well. The duties of a vet tech are similar to the duties of a nurse in human care, and might include tasks such as drawing blood, administering medication, assisting in surgery, monitoring anesthesia, and educating owners on the care of their animals. Classes can be completed online, in person, or a combination of both.

Infograph from Dog Files

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Who has a Sphynx Cat?

March 21st, 2011 by admin

infographic about the sphynx cat

Who has a Sphynx Cat?

This infographic provides a set of useful and interesting facts about Sphynx cats, including those pertaining to this unique breed’s personality traits, special care needs, and physical characteristics. The information may be helpful to vet tech students who are not familiar with Sphynx cats. A vet tech school that incorporates cat breed studies could easily include these facts on the Sphynx.

The first consideration for both an owner and veterinary technician is that while the Sphynx is not completely hairless, this cat breed does require some special hygiene care. A Sphynx actually has a fine covering of very thin hair that may be thicker or longer on its tail, ears, nose, and toes. This sparse hair is the result of a genetic mutation that naturally occurs approximately every 25 years. One area the Sphynx does not have hair is within the ear canals, so owners need to clean out their cat’s ears on a regular basis.

A Sphynx cat should also be bathed on a weekly basis to remove dirt and built-up skin oils. Nailbeds need to be cleaned as well to prevent discharge. Sphynx cat coloring is unique, resulting from skin pigmentation; this coloring can be any range of colors that also appear in other cat breeds. If a Sphynx cat carries the genetic trait of fine white hair, this cat often has two differently-colored eyes.

Sphynx cats have quite friendly personalities and will socialize even with strangers, so owners should be cautious about this trait. These cats can be quite expensive, costing up to $1,500. Unfortunately, it is not unheard of for them to be stolen as a result. Sphynx cats are known for following their owners everywhere throughout the house and will even try to curl up in the owner’s bed as well.

A Sphynx cat owner should invest in high quality meats and remember that a Sphynx cat needs to eat about twice the amount of food as other cat breeds in order to generate enough body heat. A Sphynx will also seek the warmest areas possible within the house. Due to near-hairlessness, a Sphynx needs to be kept indoors to avoid becoming sunburned.

Other characteristics of a Sphynx cat are strong joints and flexible toes that can actually pick up small objects. Good news about a Sphynx is that it can live for up to 15 years with no major health problems. A Sphynx cat can also be easily obtained in over 50 different countries.

Infographic from: http://sphynxcatblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/11/sphynx-cat-inforgraphic.jpg

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Don’t Touch the Cat!

March 21st, 2011 by admin

cat anatomy

Don’t Touch the Cat!

This image is a tongue in cheek illustration of the willingness of cats to have various parts of their anatomy touched. Vet techs and those in vet school can find this a fun source of trade humor, but can also use it as a quick and easy way of learning how to best handle cats. This is important information for veterinary technicians and individuals who are studying to become a vet tech as an understanding of cat behavior and touchiness about its body will minimize stress on the animal and the vet tech safe and performing their job most efficiently. It is also useful information to pass on to new pet owners as well as important to teach young children who are living with cats. However silly, vet techs can consider using this image as a teaching tool for people unfamiliar with cats. If cats are mistreated by rough handling, it can break any trust developed with the animal and result in painful bites or scratches from the cat.

This image, which diagrams feline anatomy to illustrate areas that cats do not appreciate having handled, shows that cats are particularly sensitive about their undersides and their feet being touched. Cat tails and ears are other areas that should be handled with care as many cats are irritable about these areas being touched as well. The danger of reaching into these sensitive areas is, as the image shows, that cats are well equipped and well prepared to defend themselves with the use of all four sets of claws and their bites. Cats usually have an independent feline attitude and are typically not hesitant to enforce their boundaries. It behooves human owners and other handlers of cats to learn the rules that cats have set and adapt to ease feline comfort. By avoiding the stomach, feet, ears, and tail of a cat one can generally also avoid meeting the claws or teeth of a cat.

Although cats are portrayed as having unpredictable thought processes, this isn’t exactly true. Knowing the rules of anatomy to avoid touching is a good start. Cat behavior can be read in the eyes by checking if they are dilated, in the tail by responding to anxious twitching, in the ears which are back if the cat is angered, and in their overall condition of the fur and body language of the cat if it is crouching or defensive.

Infographic from: http://catsareassholes.tumblr.com/post/3680454163/thedailywhat-fixed-infographic-of-the

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How Much does your Pet Eat

March 21st, 2011 by admin
Pet Food Costs by Pet

How Much does your Pet Eat?

This infographic lists several sets of statistics related to pet ownership in the UK. The numbers specifically break down the trends in spending per year on pet food, accessories, and even Christmas presents. This information would be of particular interest to a veterinary technician or to someone considering a vet tech career. Students at a vet tech school are advised to keep current on these types of trends in order to have a good idea of the pet clientele they will be helping to care for once finished with school.

According to the infographic, 43% of UK households have at least one pet. Fish are the most popular, followed by dogs, cats, rabbits, birds, hamsters, horses, and turtles. Over 50 million pet fish are in UK households, as opposed to 8 million dogs and cats combined. Interestingly, the average household spending on prepared food for both dogs and cats has increased by 6% since 2007. Christmas gifts for pets are also frequently purchased items, with earnings of £2 bn in a given year. Pet accessories posted yearly sales of £647 m in 2008, with 21% of that amount spent on food and storage, 32% on pet care products, and 37% on pet toys. An additional 8% was spent on items such as dog leashes and collars.

An interesting point for a vet tech to note relates to insurance claims for dogs. Larger dog breeds such as labradors, retrievers, and rottweilers made up some of the most frequent claims by breed. Other breeds that made this list included English cocker spaniels and alsatians. A knowledgeable veterinary technician is aware of certain health concerns for larger dog breeds that can be the root causes of more insurance claims. Educating owners of these dog breeds about these health issues is good for the dogs, the owners, and the veterinary practice. Insurance statistics for cats are not included, though the infographic does mention that 92% of the cats in UK households in 2008 were mixed or non-pedigree breeds.

Infographic from: http://dogcare-training.blogspot.com/2010/04/pets-food-infographic.html

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A Day In the Life of Vet Tech

March 21st, 2011 by admin

A Day In the Life of Vet Tech

This video followed veterinary technician student Rachel Hinson on a day at her job at Banfield Clinic. In the video, Ms. Hinson explained that she was a senior student in vet tech school at Harrison College, but that she already was working full time at Banfield. What started out as an externship for her quickly turned into full time employment. After working at Banfield for a month, Rachel was moved up to a job as a “pet nurse”. Her pay was doubled, and she received numerous benefits including vacation time. Rachel credits the excellent teaching that she got at Harrison College as the reason why she was hired so quickly. “If you apply what you learned at school, they’re going to want to keep you as a tech,” Ms. Hinson says. The video also interviewed Jessica McBride, the Regional Hospital Director at Banfield. Ms. McBride said that although Banfield employs Vet Techs from many different schools, the ones that have come from Harrison have always been high-quality, superior to the students from other schools.

Rachel Hinson really appreciated the teachers, professors and doctors that trained her at the school. She said the teachers get to know you, and they will push you to do better rather than just letting you coast through. Because of her high-quality training at Harrsion’s vet technician school, Ms. Hinson was able to hit the ground running with what she had learned.

Ms. Hinson says that it is really rewarding for her to be able to help animals. She said that there are opportunities in this career to work with large and small animals, and like human health care this is a growing field. Ms. McBride confirmed this, stating that for many families pets are treated like kids, and as long as people want to have pets there will be a need for high-quality veterinary technicians.

Ms. Hinson showed the cameras some of the different areas of the clinic. She showed the kennel where the dogs are kept, and also the whiteboard where all current patients are listed. She said that the pets requiring surgery receive top priority, and showed the cameras the surgery suite. Banfield Clinic is only a year old so all the equipment in the suite and throughout is state of the art. Ms. Hinson commented that much of the equipment was the same as what she used in vet tech school, but that she received hands-on training for any equipment she was not familiar with.

Ms. Hinson’s heart for animals and her love for her job were apparent throughout the video. She echoed Ms. McBride by saying that pets are often treated like kids in a family, and although they don’t cry or whine like human patients, she can tell when they are in pain. She said, “These pets are children to most people, they’re part of their family, and I help them get better.”


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A Vet Tech’s Duty to Animals

March 18th, 2011 by admin

Some jobs are just that–jobs. These jobs only require that a person show up, fill their hours with mundane work, and wait for a paycheck. This is nothing like the job of a veterinary technician.

Veterinary technicians are professionals that have spent years training at a vet tech school, in order to commit their lives to helping animals that are unable to help themselves. A job as a vet tech requires patience, compassion, and motivation. These individuals have a duty to the animals they serve.

Three Ways Every Veterinary Technician Fills Their Duty to Animals:

1. By showing compassion and understanding to each animal, as well as the family that loves them.
Even the best vet technician school cannot teach compassion. People that choose to be vet techs usually love animals and have a desire to help them to the best of their ability. This is a necessary personality trait considering the tasks that veterinary technicians are expected to perform.

vet-tech's-duty-to-animals ts_78035091In veterinary hospitals, the veterinary technician is the person who speaks with the patient’s owner and conducts the initial exam. The vet tech will talk to the pet owner about any problems, answer questions, and document the animal’s weight, temperature, appetite, and any unusual behaviors, before the veterinarian is brought in. Pet owners that are concerned or upset about their pet’s condition will usually voice their concern to the vet tech, who will relay the concern to the veterinarian.

Vet techs are also responsible for grooming patients, dressing wounds, restraining animals before procedures, and other tasks that require both patience and kindness.

2. Staying cool and working efficiently under pressure.
Vet techs also fulfill their duty to animals by caring for them in high pressure situations. Not everyone can keep a cool head in emergency situations. Veterinary technicians are responsible for performing first aid, assisting surgeries, administering IVs, giving anesthesia, and other tasks that require a steady hand and clear head. While these professionals are trained for emergency situations in vet technician school, no amount of training can guarantee that a person will really perform when the pressure is on.

3. By being adaptable, accurate, and hard working.
No day in the life of a veterinary technician is the same. One day a vet tech many take inventory, stock supplies, and carry out administrative duties. The next day may require the same person to collect samples, carry out lab testing, give x-rays, and administer medication to patients. This not only requires a good work ethic, but these tasks also require a person to be very accurate. When it comes to medication and testing, small mistakes can cause big problems.

People that do not easily adapt to change will not succeed in this field. Vet techs are self-motivated and dependable. These professionals don’t need to be constantly supervised to provide their best work. Vet techs fulfill their duty to animals by being compassionate, working well under pressure, and completing a variety of tasks that ultimately provides patients with the highest standard of care possible.

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Veterinary Technician — Career Considerations

March 18th, 2011 by admin

Veterinary Technician — Career Considerations 

The reality of being a veterinary technician should be carefully considered prior to deciding to enroll in a vet technician school. While there are many rewards, there are also many different kinds of stressors related to the work that must be dealt with. Preparing for this in advance can help you to make an informed and educated decision before enrolling to become a veterinary technician.

There are many times when the technician must interact with animals who are hurt, scared, and who may try to lash out. This can be very difficult for some people, but it is a reality of the field.

The potential disadvantages of working as a veterinary technician to consider:

• Stress — It is not always an easy thing to be seeing the different procedures that occur routinely in veterinary medicine. Many people are not used to it, and must develop the coping skills so that they can be an effective member of the veterinary team. This might take an extra effort, so it is extremely helpful to be realistic about your stress management skills before investing in training.

• Unpleasant Job Duties — When assisting in the performance of procedures, the animals must be handled in the prescribed manner, and this can be difficult for some people to be able to do on a regular basis. Doing research on what kinds of tasks you will need to do, how you will be trained, and how frequently you can expect to perform them can help relieve the uncertainties around this issue.

• Euthanasia — It can be a sad experience to have to euthanize an animal that you have been interacting with for years. This is another area where it is important to assess your coping skills.

• Public Interaction — People will have questions about the various procedures, including euthanasia. It is sometimes necessary to console them as well as answering all of their questions. If you are considering enrolling in a vet technician school, and are concerned about your ability to handle the public, be sure to ask them what their program does to train veterinary technicians to handle these situations.

Advantages of working as a veterinary technician:

It can be a very rewarding field to be in, because the nature of your work will be to interact with animals on a regular basis, and sometimes for the long term. If working with animals is what you love to do, the advantages of being able to help animals through the different stages of their life can be a serious consideration — just as important as a paycheck.

There may be very difficult days when you have to deal with different types of stress, but for people who really love helping animals it can be a great career decision. You get the rewards of helping animals through the different stages of their life. There is always a need for veterinary technicians, and the job security factor can be a considerable advantage. You may also enjoy steady work and good benefits.

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The Science Behind Mega Shark

March 17th, 2011 by admin

The Science Behind Mega Shark

Those who appreciate B-Horror films such as “Attack of the Killer Tomatoes” will delight in the film “Mega Shark vs. Giant Octopus”. Filmed in 2009, this schlock-y film is about two prehistoric sea creatures battling each other and causing chaos in the sea, and in one memorable instance, in the air. During the course of the film Mega Shark leaps out of the water and takes out a passenger plane at cruising altitude. This scenario is certainly laughable, but some might wonder, could such a thing actually happen?

In this illustration the physics behind such a feat are examined. First of all, Mega Shark must be fast. At minimum it would need to have a speed of 709.2 KM/H (or about 435 MPH). By comparison, this is about 150% of the top speed of a bullet train, and although still slower than a tomahawk missile’s speed of 880 KM/H. Secondly, Mega Shark needs to dive before it can climb. A descent of at least 1500 meters will be necessary to pick up enough speed to burst out of the water. Smaller objects, like small submarines and other marine life, might be hauled to the surface in the wake of Mega Shark’s speed. Finally, once in the air Mega Shark must do its best Superman impersonation and fly to plane in a mere 20 seconds before bringing it out of the sky.

Happily, there is no such thing as Mega Shark, but those with a love for marine life might consider a career path that would bring them up close and personal with some of Mega Shark’s smaller cousins. A veterinary technician can work in a variety of different arenas, including marine veterinary work. This type of career might lead to a job at a marine park or even rehabilitating wild marine life from the sea. These types of jobs can be very rewarding but also very competitive. If a student in vet tech school is thinking about following this career path, it is a good idea to get involved with professional associations that might help them network to their dream job. Also whenever possible, take classes in vet technician school specifically having to do with marine life. With careful planning and networking, you can look forward to a job in the marine world.

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Dogs and Social Networking

March 17th, 2011 by admin

Dogs and Social Networking

Dogs and social networking are two incredibly popular phenomena, one old, and one new, so it only makes sense that the two will have some interactions. Out of all dog owners, over half (55 percent) have one dog, 32 percent have two, another 8 percent own three dogs, 3 percent own four, and 2 percent own more than four. Fourteen percent of dog owners have created Facebook accounts for their computer-savvy canines, and maybe the internet is going to the dogs, since most of these dogs have more than 25 friends.

Flickr and Twitter are less popular with dogs, however, since only 6 percent of canines have an account with each service. However, 27 percent of pet owners report their dog has their own Youtube channel. Some pet owners even report that social networking has impacted their dog’s perception of the world!

When dog owners are asked whether they’d rather keep their dog or a piece of modern technology, most people reply they’d rather have the dog. However, 26 percent would rather have their cell phone, 29 percent would keep their laptop, 38 percent would prefer the Internet, and a mere 7 percent consider Facebook more important.

Everyone loves to walk their dog, but only 53 percent of dog owners pick up their dog’s poop every time. Twenty-five percent say they do on most occasions, 9 percent stated that they did only rarely, and 13 percent never do.

When asked how much money they spend on their dog each year, 35 percent said they paid $500 to $1000 annually to pamper their pup. 1 percent even reported spending more than $10,000, but only 19 percent spent less than $500. Of this money spent, 56 percent said they spent the most money on food and treats, 21 percent said vet bills, 9 percent said clothing and accessories, and the rest spent the most on “other” products.

Whether or not you have a Facebook account for your dog, you may enjoy a job as a vet tech. Start your path to becoming a veterinary technician today by looking at vet tech schools online.

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