Veterinary Technicians: Drugs and Regulation

Published on March 21, 2019 by

Veterinary Technician administering drugs via injection to dogBecoming a Veterinary Technician is an excellent choice for anyone who loves animals and wants a career in pet care. The veterinary technician is an invaluable member of the veterinary team. A veterinary technician performs the administration of drugs and vaccines under the direction of a licensed veterinarian.

What a Veterinary Technician Does

When you bring your pet in for an exam, a veterinary technician greets and escorts you to the exam room. The veterinary technician gathers information about your pet, and passes that information to the veterinarian.

Your veterinary technician may help during the exam. If there’s a need for lab work, the veterinary technician gets samples. The veterinary technician also takes and develops x-ray images.

How Veterinary Technician Regulate Drugs and Vaccines

Every practice has a member of the team who manages drug inventory. In many cases, the person in charge is a veterinary technician. The person in charge of the drug inventory must have extensive knowledge of hospital supplies and their uses.

The veterinary technician in charge of the drug inventory must be knowledgeable about the quantities of medications. The veterinary technician in charge of the inventory must set a regular schedule for re-ordering.

The Importance of Vaccines in Disease Prevention

Vaccinations are important to prevent diseases. Puppies must have vaccines every three to four weeks until they reach sixteen weeks old. Vaccines prevent dogs from getting serious diseases like rabies, parvo, distemper, and hepatitis.

New studies show that vaccines may last longer than previously predicted. Some veterinarians follow guidelines that are tailored to fit a dog’s needs. Guidelines are geared toward the dog’s breed, age and lifestyle. Pet owners should follow the guidelines recommended by their veterinarian.

Common Veterinary Drugs

Advances in veterinary medicine allow veterinary technicians to treat common medical conditions and ailments. Veterinary drugs treat diseases in millions of pets.

Most medications for cats and dogs are similar to medicines for humans. However, drugs for humans should not replace medicine for dogs or cats. The doses of drugs for humans and could be dangerous for a pet. These are the most widely used drugs in veterinary medicine:

If a pet has an infection, there are a lot of treatment options. A veterinarian diagnoses the disease and prescribes the drug that will best treat it. These are the most common, broad-spectrum antibiotics.

Antihistamines for your pet are the most effective way to treat allergies. However, the proper dosage must be administered, which is why a pet should be examined by a veterinarian. These are some of the most common antihistamines.

Glaucoma is a build-up of fluid in the eye which is most commonly treated with eye drops.

Anti fleas and ticks medications are among the most popular medications prescribed by veterinarians. Most flea medication is administered once a month. Veterinarians recommend annual tests for heartworm and prescribe medications to protect dogs.

Canine cognitive dysfunction is similar to Alzheimer’s. When there’s a decrease in dopamine in older dogs, Anipryl improves cognitive function.

NSAID’s can reduce pain, increase mobility, and give dogs a better quality of life when they suffer from arthritis. Drugs are used under the supervision of a veterinarian because they may cause side effects.

Hypothyroidism is the term used for an underactive thyroid in dogs and cats.

Veterinary Technicians and The Administration of Drugs

State laws dictate which duties veterinary technicians perform. Medications stabilizes animals that have injuries and preps for surgery. In some states, the veterinary technician administers IV medications as prescribed.  If an animal goes into cardiac arrest during a procedure, under the supervision of a veterinarian, the veterinary technician administers resuscitation or medication to get the animal’s heart beating again.

A veterinary technician may choose to work in specialty areas, and one of those is anesthesia. With advanced training, the veterinary technician administers anesthesia in surgery. They must monitor the pet closely during the procedure and adjust the dosage of medication as needed. The veterinary technician must monitor the pet closely during recovery, while the pet is coming out of anesthesia.

Use of Math in Administration of Drugs

Excellent skills in math are an essential part of the job of a veterinary technician. Under the supervision of a veterinarian, a technician will administer drugs to pets, and it’s essential to know the exact dosage to give. The veterinary technician must understand how to calculate conversions and how to measure exact dosages based on the weight of the pet.

Want to Learn More?

Did learning about veterinary pharmacology interest you? Ready to start a program to become a veterinary technician? With an associate degree in veterinary technology, you’ll gain the knowledge and skills you need to start an entry-level career as a veterinary technician. Broadview University has been part of the community for more than 40 years, so we’ve developed connections that can help move your career forward. After completing our accredited degree program, you’ll be eligible to sit for the Veterinary Technician National Exam (VTNE). Passing the VTNE allows you to become a Certified Veterinary Technician (CVT), a designation that will give you a competitive advantage when you enter the job market.

Contact us today to learn more about becoming a veterinary technician and working in veterinary technology.

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