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Fireworks… Fun for everyone?

Summer is on its way, which means BBQ’s, celebrations, and of course fireworks! Everyone loves to watch the big pyrotechnics in the sky. They come in so many colours, designs, and there just gosh darn pretty. But the noise from them can be unfun for many such as people with PTSD and animals (not just your cats and dogs either). So, I am going to give you some information on how you can help prevent disaster for your furry friend or others.

To start with, of course we want to be able to have control of this situation without medications. There are a few ways you can try to do this, but they take a lot of time so you want to start with these weeks to months before you know firework season is coming.

  • Adaptil(dog)/Feliway (cat) – This is a synthetic pheromone spray that can used as something to spray on a blanket or with a diffuser to help keep our friend’s calm. The diffuser can take up to a month to begin working.
  • Thunder Shirt – This is a shirt that you put on your pets tightly and it gives them pressure on their body causing a calming sensation. This is something you have to get them used to wearing to start with. It cannot be just put on and hope that it works.
  • Composure – This is an herbal relaxant that comes in chews for dogs and cats as well as a liquid for dogs. This is a safe product that you can give your pet to help calm them and it works quickly (30 minutes – 4 hours). However, each pet is an individual and will react to this differently so you will want to try it first to make sure you get your desired effect.
  • Ear muffs – Sometimes ear muffs will help muffle sounds from loud bangs such as fireworks. Again, this is something you will want to train to be ok with and nose just use the one time.
  • Calming Caps – These cover your pet’s eyes to help reduce visual stimulation from light. Your friend will still be able to see through it but having less visual stimulation will calm them down. This is something you will want to try on a head of time to make sure you get them used to it or get your desired results.
  • Crating/Kennel – One of the best things you can do is make sure your friend is kennel trained and has a safe space such as a kennel to hide in if needed. Make sure indoor animals do not escape outside by keeping them kenneled or leashed if you’re aware they may be scared, including if they go outside to pee or even if it is a cat. As well make sure outdoor pets are safely inside.

These methods will take some time but can be effective in changing behavior or reaction of our furry pals. However, if you are having difficulties with this or you don’t have enough time there is the possibility of medical intervention (trazadone, fluoxetine, clomipramine) to help our poor anxious pals. It is very important to remember that some of these medications may work quicker and some may still take weeks so it is important to speak to your veterinarian about medications with enough time for them to work. Another important step to having medical intervention to help is understanding when to ask for the medications and knowing that some may require trials before its time for fireworks. Trazadone while one of the quicker medications, can also have the opposite effect that you are seeking so it is very important to trial this one. While Fluoxetine and Clomipramine will need 4-6 weeks to take full effect. The best thing you can do for your furry friend is making sure you plan things well in advance to help them get through their time of need.


Also, if you already get medication for your pet to calm them down and you know what works, the best advice I can give you is get your medication requests in at least 2 weeks before your stressful event to give the clinic the time they may need to get it ready as it could be a busy season for these medications.


Now you could be saying “Wait, I don’t have any pets so why does this apply to me?” Well, this is simple. If you don’t have animals but are planning on setting off fireworks anyway it is highly recommended that you speak to your neighbors and those around that you may set these off so they can also have time to prepare and not loose beloved ones.


Written by: Ashley G, VT



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How do I become a veterinary technician?

This is the end to RVT week, a time to celebrate our technicians and what they do to help our clinics! In honor of this we will be talking about how to become a veterinary technician. To answer this question we must first look at what are veterinary technicians. "A veterinarian’s assistant, trained to provide medical care for animals, as performing diagnostic tests or administering vaccines and medication." - Now that is just putting it in the most simple terms. If we went in depth a bit more you would get the following. "Veterinary technicians are animal nurses (and much more). In addition to their nursing duties, they act as patient advocates, phlebotomists, radiology technicians, laboratory technicians, anesthesia technicians, and surgery technicians. Except tasks legally restricted to veterinarians, such as diagnosing disease conditions, performing surgery, prescribing medications, and prognosing medical outcomes, veterinary technicians are trained to do everything a veterinary hospital requires to run smoothly." - AAHA Certainly! Veterinary technicians play a crucial role in the healthcare of animals. Their responsibilities encompass a wide range of tasks, making them an integral part of the veterinary team. In fact, you may sometimes hear them referred to as veterinary technologists, as they possess a comprehensive understanding of various medical procedures and techniques. To become a veterinary technician, individuals typically undergo rigorous education and training. They typically enroll in specialized programs that span anywhere from 18 to 36 months. These programs provide them with the knowledge and skills necessary to excel in their field. Upon completion, aspiring veterinary technicians may take a national exam known as the Veterinary Technician National Examination (VTNE). The VTNE is a comprehensive assessment that evaluates the breadth of the technician’s understanding across multiple species. With a total of 300 multiple-choice questions, covering various topics, this exam ensures that technicians are well-prepared to handle the diverse challenges encountered in their daily work. From animal anatomy and physiology to pharmacology and radiology, the VTNE examines their proficiency in all essential areas. Successfully passing the VTNE paves the way for technicians to become registered veterinary technicians (RVTs). The RVT title signifies their achievement and signifies their commitment to upholding high standards within the profession. As registered technicians, they can further contribute to the well-being and welfare of animals, working alongside veterinarians to provide exemplary care. In summary, veterinary technicians are highly skilled professionals who have invested significant time and effort into their education and training. Their role in the veterinary field is invaluable, as they bring expertise, compassion, and dedication to ensure the health and happiness of our beloved animal companions. So let’s simplify the steps into a list to become a technician! Research and Understand the Role: Take the time to learn about the responsibilities and duties of a veterinary technician. This will give you a clear understanding of what the profession entails. Obtain a High School Diploma or Equivalent: To pursue a career as an RVT, you will need a high school diploma or an equivalent qualification. Make sure you meet this prerequisite. Research Accredited Veterinary Technology Programs: Look for accredited veterinary technology programs in your area. These programs are designed to provide the necessary education and training to become an RVT. Choose the Right Program: Evaluate different veterinary technology programs based on factors such as curriculum, facilities, faculty, and clinical opportunities. Choose a program that aligns with your interests and career goals. Enroll in a Veterinary Technology Program: Once you’ve selected a program, complete the application process and enroll. Be prepared to meet any admission requirements specific to the program. Attend and Complete the Program: Dedicate yourself to your studies and practical training during the veterinary technology program. Attend lectures, laboratory sessions, and clinical rotations to gain the knowledge and skills required for the profession. Acquire Hands-on Experience: Seek out opportunities to gain practical experience in veterinary clinics or animal hospitals. Many programs offer externships or internships, which provide valuable real-world exposure. Prepare for the VTNE: The Veterinary Technician National Examination (VTNE) is a comprehensive exam that assesses your competency as an aspiring RVT. Study diligently and use preparation resources, such as practice exams and study guides, to enhance your chances of success. Schedule and Take the VTNE: Once you feel prepared, schedule your VTNE. The exam is administered by the American Association of Veterinary State Boards (AAVSB) and can typically be taken at designated testing centers. Obtain State Licensure: After passing the VTNE, you will need to apply for state licensure. Each state has its own requirements, so make sure to complete the application process and submit the necessary documentation. Continuing Education and Career Development: As an RVT, it’s vital to stay current with advancements in veterinary medicine. Pursue continuing education opportunities, attend conferences, and consider specialization or advanced certifications to further enhance your knowledge and skills. Remember, the journey to becoming an RVT requires dedication, hard work, and a passion for animal care. Follow these steps to embark on a fulfilling and rewarding career in veterinary technology. Written by: Ashley G, VT Resources AAHA – NAVTA –

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