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Tips For A Safe, Happy Holiday With Your Pets

1. ROUTINE: Keeping regular mealtimes and walks or play-times will reduce stress for you and your pets during the hectic holidays.

2. PET SITTING: If you’re traveling, consider leaving your pets in a boarding facility or arranging for a pet sitter rather than burden your hosts with additional guests.

3. VISITING WITH PETS: If your hosts have four-legged companions, the pets should be supervised while they are getting to know one another. If you’re visiting a home without pets, monitor yours at all times – its amazing the trouble they can find in a non-pet-proofed house.

4. DIET: Stock up on pet food before the holidays to avoid a bare cupboard and sudden diet changes, which can cause vomiting and/or diarrhea. It’s also a good idea to carry water from home or bottled water if you are traveling.

5. TREATS AND PEOPLE FOOD: Take it easy on the treats. Excessive amounts of any new food including pet treats can cause digestive upset. If visitors find your little darlings irresistible, then ration out a number of treats each day and be firm–its in their best interest. Some of the foods in abundance at holiday time can be especially troublesome. Chocolate can be poisonous to dogs. Make sure the trash is tightly closed–turkey bones, turkey and gravy can cause serious problems.

6. TEMPTING DECORATIONS: Cats find dangling decorations irresistible and are known to eat tinsel, which can cause fatal intestinal injuries. Secure the tree to the wall or ceiling with a heavy cord or wire – one ambitious kitty can cause a catastrophe. Both dogs and cats might eat decorative plants including poinsettias, which are toxic.

7. WEATHER: Pets should be kept indoors during the coldest weather. They need a dry, draft-free shelter and fresh water (not frozen) at all times. Pets that spend more time outdoors may require more food at this time of year, they will be burning extra calories to keep warm.

8. NEW PETS: The holiday season is not the time to get a new pet. The activity and attention will overwhelm puppies and kittens, and increase the risk of intestinal problems or trouble with house-training. Why not adopt a new pet after the holidays when everyone can spend time welcoming the new member to the family.

9. HEALTH INSURANCE: Consider putting a pet health insurance plan under the tree at Christmas this year. For more information contact your veterinarian for insurance information. Many plans are reasonable priced and offer different types of coverage, and offer peace of mind for you and your pets.

10. TIME AND LOVE: Although you are busy with your family and friends at this time of year, your pets still need you. Take time to enjoy a quiet moment or play a favorite game. You’ll reconnect with them and they will help you relax and enjoy the festive season.

By Faye Whyte, B.Sc, DVM



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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