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.

vet tech school, veterinary technician college

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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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.

vet tech college, veterinary technician college

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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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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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.

Start your college search t US College Search or find us on Facebook and Twitter and check out all of our online degree options.

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You Had Me at “Woof”

March 16th, 2011 by admin

You Had Me at “Woof”

Dogs bark for all kinds of reasons, they are hungry, they’re scared, they want attention, they want to warn the family, or they’ve been commanded to do so. But few people stop to consider the science behind barking, or why dogs bark to begin with. It’s well known that dogs are closely related to wolves, yet wolves do not bark unless they are threatened or as an alarm for other wolves. So why do domesticated dogs bark more frequently? It’s possible that earlier humans chose to domesticate dogs that bark to serve as an early warning for a group. As a result, dogs that were predisposed to barking would have been more likely to be domesticated. Also some believe that domesticated dogs are in a constant state of “doggie adolescence” and therefore bark more frequently because of their lack of maturity.

Dogs are not the only animals that bark…foxes, monkeys, sea lions and even deer have all been known to use barking as a warning call. Around the world different words are used to signify the sound of barking. In English the word “woof” is most commonly used for barking, but in Bali it would be “kong kong”. In Ireland dogs say “amh amh”, while in Albania it’s “ham ham”. South Korea dogs say “meong meong”, which to us might sound more like the sound a cat would make!

There are many methods to quiet a dog’s barking, such counter conditioning and special collars. Certain drugs can also quiet a dog, although they can also have the side effect of making the dog sluggish. Some owners resort to surgery in the form of a chordectomy, although this will not silence the dog completely. If you can’t stand the loud barking of your dog, be thankful that you are not the owner of Daz, a white German Shepherd with a recorded bark of 108 decibels!

Interested in learning more about the biology of “man’s best friend”? Consider a career as a veterinary technician. At vet technician school students learn about the biology and anatomy of many animals, including cats and dogs. Upon graduation from vet tech school students can work in veterinary clinics, where they’ll come in daily contact with dogs, cats, and many other pets as well.

Infographic from: Dog The Blog

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