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10 Reasons Vet Techs Are Awesome Human Beings

Even though I no longer practice as a Vet Tech, I am thankful for the training and all the long hours studying for that certification exam. Every time I take our dogs to the clinic, I know the tasks that are going on behind the scenes. And some of these tasks include talking about the treatment schedule and when I should have return appointments on my calendar. Techs are well-versed in medication, so we also may talk about what I can expect when my dogs are taking certain drugs.

A Vet Tech’s ability to multitask is superhuman—something I know from experience.

Vet Techs are the Unsung Heroes

It’s a dirty job but someone has to do it! Techs spend a lot of time cleaning up after your animal. For example, when a dog goes to the clinic after eating chocolate candy on Halloween, it’s usually the Vet Tech who induces vomiting.

Many of my colleagues were not only dog whisperers but could also read a cat’s behavior from across the room. Some cats are opportunistic, and knowing when they may need some extra tending-to and loving care is important.

There are so many reasons Vet Techs are awesome, but here’s just TEN. I could come up with hundreds. And the last three may be the most important, as they love your pet when you can’t! This is a photo of my graduating Vet Tech Class at Portland Community College.

Top 10 Reasons Vet Techs Are Amazing

  1. They know how to administer subcutaneous injections (under the skin) and fluids without causing undue pain to the patients (cats)!
  2. They understand low-stress handling when it comes to trimming nails, which isn’t limited to just dogs, but includes cats and sheep.
  3. Diagnostics are a big part of the job! They can identify yeast under a microscope and let the Veterinarian know the yeast count with 100% certainty. As a Certified Vet Tech, I identified ringworm under a microscope when Walter was diagnosed after a trip to the beach.
  4. They know how to efficiently take X-rays of your animals in order to avoid unneeded exposure.
  5. A Tech can differentiate between a male and female guinea pig. Can you?
  6. Vet Techs are also dental techs! Part of the training includes knowing dental formulas and how to address dental disease.
  7. Wound care, bandaging, and how to use adhesive tape are all part of their skill set. It’s very impressive when you watch the bandage being placed, and it takes practice.
  8. They make your dogs feel comfortable in what can appear to be a “scary” environment, full of strange people and smells.
  9. They never stop learning to ensure they know how to best care for your animals. Some even pursue specialties.
  10. They act as grief counselors too, and offer hugs and a shoulder to cry on.

Depending on where you live, there may be different titles for a Vet Technician. Here’s some help if you see these letters on their name tag!

Deciphering Vet Tech Credentials

  • Certified Veterinary Technician (CVT)
  • Registered Veterinary Technician (RVT)
  • Licensed Veterinary Technician (LVT)
  • Licensed Veterinary Medical Technician (LVMT)

There’s a lot of talk about whether the public would better understand the title “nurse” versus “technician,” as well.

With that in mind, Vet Techs have a variety of roles that are similar to human nurses, including (but not limited to) hospice care, radiology, surgery, anesthesia, emergency and critical care, dental surgery, internal medicine, and general practice. That’s a ton of responsibility, and yet another reason to thank (or hug) your Vet Tech today!

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Dog Thanksgiving Tips: Can Dogs Eat Turkey?

We all look forward to spending Thanksgiving dinner with our families — which often includes our dogs.

t="_blank" rel="noopener">Talking Turkey With Your Dog

Dogs and turkey bones don't mix! Be sure to place Thanksgiving leftovers and plates with food scraps out of reach

Other Thanksgiving Dangers For Dogs

Never leave turkey (or other food) on the table or counter where your dog can get it while everyone is enjoying the holiday festivities.

Dog cannot reach the food placed in the center of the table and far back on the countertop

If your dog has a dog run, kennel, or crate, your best bet is to keep him safely inside it until all of the food has been put away and the scraps and bones disposed of.

Other Thanksgiving dangers for dogs include turkey pop-ups, string, skewers, cellophane wrap, tin foil and plastic bags.

The best way I’ve found to dispose of these things is in metal coffee cans with a tight-fitting lid.

Once the meal is over, place the turkey bones in the garbage and remove the garbage bag from the room. (It should immediately be placed in a garbage bin — where it can’t be accessed by pets or wildlife.)

As a reminder, dogs and alcohol don’t mix either.

Warning Signs That Something’s Wrong After Your Dog Ate Turkey

If your dog eats a lot of turkey (or other foods dangerous to dogs), it can take up to a week before symptoms are evident.

Most symptoms of food-related illnesses in dogs include:

  • depression
  • diarrhea
  • loss of appetite
  • vomiting
  • bloat

Can dogs eat turkey? Yes, But this dog has canine pancreatitis from eating TOO MUCH turkey.

Canine bloat can be fatal if not treated immediately.

Bloat is caused by excess fluid and/or gas in the intestines and stomach — which can cause the stomach to dilate and rotate. Rotation of your dog’s stomach is known as gastric dilation or torsion. This is common in larger dogs that have a deep chest. It is a life-threatening condition.

Symptoms of bloat in dogs include:

  • excessive salivating
  • lethargy
  • stomach distention
  • rapid pulse
  • retching
  • weakness

Here’s how to tell if your dog is at risk for bloat.

In Case Of Emergency…

So, can dogs eat turkey? YES!

But if you think someone gave your dog too much turkey or table food, contact your vet.

The same is true if your dog got into the trash and ate something he shouldn’t have.

Since most vet offices are closed on weekends and holidays (including Thanksgiving), you should have an emergency vet contact number on hand. Most likely, this will be the Pet Emergency Center closest to your home.

TIP: Be sure to caution your Thanksgiving guests about giving turkey and other table food to your dog. Insist that there be no sharing… and stick to your guns!

dog thanksgiving dinner at the tableDog Thanksgiving Turkey Alternatives

It’s up to you to keep your dog safe this Thanksgiving.

Instead of giving table scraps for a dog Thanksgiving dinner, make some Thanksgiving dog treats as a way to include your dog in the family meal.

Here are my favorite Thanksgiving recipes for dogs.

This video by veterinarian Dr. Marty Becker highlights the dangers of feeding your dog table scraps:

I love writing about almost anything, especially my life experiences. Other favorite things to write are how-tos, household hints, nature and fishing articles, among others.

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