Consider Being a Veterinary Technologist If You Love Animals

This two-year Associate’s Degree program is ideally suited to anyone who is interested in helping animals and wants a steady, reliable job without the long years and heavy investment needed to become a veterinarian. If you love working with animals and are looking for a fast track to a career working with them, consider becoming a veterinary technologist.

The duties of a veterinary technologist are very similar to those of a nurse or physician’s assistant for a medical doctor. If you work as a veterinary technologist in a veterinarian’s office or animal clinic, you will spend part of your time doing crucial paperwork and part of your time working directly with pets of all shapes and sizes. A typical day might include filling out charts and documents, scheduling appointments and updating patient records. Or, you may help in collecting specimens, blood draws and skin scrapings for lab tests. You may even assist in preparing animals, lab equipment and instruments for surgery and other procedures. Other tasks include grooming animals and assisting with routine procedures such as vaccinations, taking x-rays and performing lab tests.

Because there are so many different responsibilities, a veterinary technologist needs to be able to juggle many different tasks and delegate responsibilities effectively. Decision making skills are very important, as is attention to detail. Medical charts must be accurate and readable to avoid the possibility of errors in treatment. A love of animals is, of course, essential to anyone pursuing a degree in veterinary technology. You will spend most of your time around animals and should have a soothing personality for pets in distress, as well as their owners.

There are many career options available for anyone with a veterinary technology Associate’s Degree. While the majority of graduates will work in a veterinarian’s office or animal clinic, there are also many opportunities in other areas. If you are interested in medical research or the sciences, there are many research facilities that rely on veterinary technologists to take care of animals in their biomedical research facilities. In this capacity, you would oversee all work with animals to make sure humane care is provided and track all research protocols for the supervising scientists.

You can combine a love for the outdoors or wildlife with your career by working at a zoo or wildlife park. Many veterinary technologists work behind the scenes at zoos doing everything from preparing special diets for animals to taking care of newborn animals. Larger cities with professionally staffed Humane Societies or SPCA’s often recruit vet techs with Associate’s Degrees to assist in caring for the many abused or abandoned animals that come to them. This is a particularly rewarding but taxing job that involves a great deal of healthcare work.

Many people don’t realize that pet food and pet supply companies also need veterinary technologists for their Research and Development divisions. These companies are always looking for ways to improve the quality and appeal of products like dog treats, cat food and pet toys. They need staff members who can work with their products and their “testing panel” of animals to determine what is most attractive and also healthiest for their target customers.

A career as a veterinary technologist requires a two year Associate’s Degree, which you should seek from a technical school that is approved by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). The program will consist of basic courses in math and business as well as more intensive courses in areas such as zoology, anesthesiology, pharmacology, animal nursing, surgical principles, comparative anatomy, public health and more. You will also be required to serve an externship during which you’ll put what you’ve learned into practice under the supervision of a licensed veterinarian.

If veterinary technology sounds like an exciting career for you, check into various health and business schools in your area. Many of these will offer a vet tech program. Also contact animal hospitals, clinics and veterinarians who can suggest good vet tech programs in your area.

Veterinary Supplies – Pet Grooming and Health

Grooming is an important part of caring for your pet. Not only does it make them look and feel beautiful, it helps keep them healthy too!

Benefits to Grooming Your Pet:

A good grooming session with your pet can be greatly beneficial to both you and your animal. The best part is that there are a lot of grooming methods you can do yourself at home! Granted, there are benefits to using a paid professional because they are trained to not only groom, but spot potential health risks before they develop into major complications. Every so often, you may want to take your pet to a professional groomer.

Regular grooming develops a strong bond between you and your pet. An animal that lets you brush out its fur and clean its ears is showing great trust in you. Grooming involves a great deal of petting and handling which also benefits the pet’s emotional state too. Regular grooming also may uncover any potential health risks- for example, when brushing your pet; you may find a matted section of fur that is hiding some form of skin disease or irritants like clinging plant pods or thorns. Small irritants like these can develop into infection and disease if left uncared for. You should also clean any dirt out of their ears before it becomes compacted and causes complications.

The two greatest benefits to routine pet grooming are, one, it allows you to make observations that may uncover issues like weight problems, vision trouble, skin disease or tumors before they develop and become untreatable. And two, it allows you and your pet to develop a deeper and more trusting relationship together!

How to Properly Groom Your Cat:

Cats clean themselves, so do you really need to groom them too? Yes! Although they spend a great deal of time cleaning their own fur, they still need a little help from their owner. Plus, why would you pass up such an opportunity to bond with Fluffy?

Ideally, you want to start grooming your cat when it’s a kitten. If you start young, it will become routine and normal to them. However some cats, at any age, don’t take kindly to grooming, so don’t force it! Do very short grooming sessions where maybe you only brush one part of its body and another tomorrow. Gradually increase grooming seasons until they are more receptive to this routine.

When grooming your cat, you want to relax them first, so spend some time petting them to get the cat into the idea that you’ll be handling them for a little bit. Then gently begin to brush their fur- hold the brush in one hand and use the other to smooth down their fur in front of the brush to feel for any lumps and matted fur. If you do find matted fur, gently brush out one layer of fur at a time. If it seems to be causing your cat discomfort, slowly brush it out over a few days. If at any time the cat lets you know that it is uncomfortable, be sure to stop and find out what is causing the stress- don’t force additional grooming. Cats need to know they are in control, otherwise they may not trust you next time. One handy trick that works for my frisky cats (who like to attack their brush) is that I try not to let them see the actual brush. For some reason this works- they love the feeling of the brush but don’t like looking at it. Usually, most cats don’t like to be brushed for a long time anyways, so doing a little each day will be more efficient than trying to brush them out for a long time. And always remember to brush in the same direction as their hair is growing.

How to Properly Groom Your Dog:

Now, dogs typically don’t spend as much time self-grooming as cats, so they’ll be relying on you a bit more for their personal hygiene! Brushing your dog before you give him a bath will remove any loose fur which increases the effectiveness of the shampoo. When brushing your dog, be systematic, start at the head and move your way to the tail. Be firm but gentle with your brush strokes to be sure you get the job done but not to hurt your pet or cause them any stress. You want them to enjoy grooming sessions with you! When you find any tangles or matted areas, don’t brush at them firmly! This will hurt the animal’s trust in you- gently and slowly try to detangle the knots and brush the fur free.

When bathing your dog, you have to find a suitable location. Sinks and basins work great for smaller dogs while bathroom tubs or portable pet tubs are best for larger dogs. Using an outside hose is convenient, but not a great alternative. The cold water makes your pet uncomfortable, plus the shampoo won’t work as well in cold water. Never use a shampoo made for humans! Our shampoos contain harsher detergents that may damage your pet’s hair or sensitive skin. When it’s time to dry off, use a cotton towel for short haired dogs and rub the fur vigorously with the grain and then against working head to tail. For long haired dogs, you should comb out the fur to prevent tangles.

Clipping your dog’s nails can be a little tricky, so you’ll need to get clippers specifically for dog nails. You have to be careful not to trim too far back- inside your dog’s nail is a vein referred to as the “quick”, and cutting the quick of the nail can cause pain and bleeding. The longer your dog’s nail, the longer the vein extends into it. So if you haven’t done it in a while, you’ll have to cut their nails in phases. First, taking off just a little bit at the tip and then waiting a week. After the first cut the quick will retract further back away from the tip. Then cut a little more, again waiting a week allowing the vein to retract. Once you get the hang of it cutting your dog’s nails will be as easy as cutting your own!

Products:

Since you’ve already made the choice to properly groom your pet, you also want to be sure you’re using the right grooming supplies! Contact your veterinarian to help you decide what types of products you may need. There is an array of antibacterial shampoos and solutions to choose from, so do your research for Fluffy and Fido and they will look fabulous for you in return! Benzoyl Plus Shampoo is a great choice- it is anti-bacterial, keratolytic, and follicular flushing. It also degreases and rehydrates your pet’s coat. Plus, it’s safe for use on dogs and cats!

Making Veterinary Design User Friendly

WYSIWYG. We’ve all seen the acronym – “What You See Is What You Get”

When building my first website I came across this term. After doing a Google search to discover its meaning, I thought, “Well, that’s software I can use!”

Today WYSIWYG can be applied to architectural design software, but not in the same regard as website development. More accurately, we now have the tools to provide you, our veterinary clients, a peek inside and outside the veterinary facilities we’re developing before they are built. True, the talented veterinary architect and staff could previously render their veterinary design concepts meticulously by hand, but this could be both laborious and time-consuming. These renditions were typically from a particular vantage point and were limiting. When the client asked, “but what does it look like from here?” We would often wave our hands and futilely attempt a word picture. Building Information Modeling or BIM has changed that.

As veterinary design professionals, we are always looking for software to make our job simpler and more productive. We are endlessly seeking the graphic holy grail to effectively communicate how our design concepts are resolving our veterinary client’s needs and desires. In all areas of our lives we’ve seen how digital technology can be transformative. We’ve watched software applications evolve from the floppy disc to instantly deliverable applications on our ‘smart’ devices. No other technological advance has changed and is in the process of changing the architecture profession more than BIM. It is transforming the way we deliver our services. In short, when used to its potential, our veterinary clients experience WYSIWYG in a profound and often beneficial way:

  • More complete and accurate project visualization.
  • A means of delivering multiple solutions quickly and effectively.
  • Parametric documentation that reduces errors and ultimately costs.
  • Assists in identifying possible conflicts that may arise during building construction.
  • Construction sequencing analysis and potentially shortened project schedules.
  • Assists owners in making informed decisions about the proposed project earlier in the design process.

One of the maxims in the construction world is that a project owner may ask for cheaper, faster and better, but will only be able to get two of the three. The evidence from projects constructed utilizing a BIM methodology indicates that it is possible to deliver completed projects that are completed faster, are less expensive, and of higher quality.

BIM does not design veterinary clinics, that will likely always have a human component, but it does help to enhance the collaborative relationship between veterinary architect and veterinary client by providing a means to effectively communicate design solutions through a 3-dimensional data-rich model. Though BIM is helping to close the communication gap, inspiration will always be required to envision solutions to our client’s challenges. The table napkin will remain one of our most cherished tools.