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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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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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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What is a registered veterinary technician?

March 17th, 2011 by admin

A registered veterinary technician is a trained professional that provides essential tasks that may consist of animal care, laboratory diagnostics, application of medicines, and veterinary clinical assistance. A vet tech school is ideal for someone who has passion for the care and well-being for animals. You can transform your love for animals into a rewarding career and future. Attending a popular veterinary technician schoolwhat-is-a-registered-veterinary-technician ts_86536219 will prepare you with all the training and skills you need to become a part of the veterinary technicians’ team. In this field, students have to take certain courses that may include math, animal health, medicine, biology, dentistry and hands on training in a veterinary office.

A vet technician school can help a student attain substantial qualifications that will enable them to succeed in the vet tech marketplace. Since this particular field is in high demand, the outlook for veterinary technicians is very positive. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment rate for vet techs has been estimated by an increase of 41 percent, and this number is deemed to increase in the future. In some regions in the United States, the National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America reported that registered veterinary technicians earn as much as $31,030 annually. This is good news for those who are considering a great career where they can have a lot of interaction with animals.

Normally, before a student gets his or her degree, a two or four-year formal academic course is required in combination with a state-administered certification. It is suggested that a professional veterinary technician should continue with their education. This continued education will allow them to keep-up-to-date with the latest technology and they will also learn new techniques in the field. An aspiring vet tech has the choice to attend classes on campus or online.

Information gathered from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

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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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