Veterinary Technician Archives | Broadview University

The Important Reasons to Get a Pet for Your Family

Father and daughter sitting on the couch with their family pet

A career in veterinary technology is ideal for animal lovers who want to get into the field to help families find a loving pet. The first step to becoming a vet tech is earning a degree in veterinary technology. This degree program can be completed in as little as two years. Once you graduate and pass the VTNE, you’re ready to start working as a vet tech and help families find a pet companion. What are some of the reasons a family should get a pet?

What Are Some of the Reasons A Family Should Have A Pet?

There are many reasons for a family to get a pet. As a vet tech, you can steer them in the right direction. Different families will need different pets that will fit into the family’s day-to-day schedule. They have many choices including dogs, cats, birds or pocket pet. Even a family considering a dog may be more compatible with a small one or big one.

Companionship for Family, Child or Other Animal

Pets are excellent companions for families. It’s essential to choose the pet that will acclimate to your family’s lifestyle. For example, if you have an active lifestyle and enjoy outdoor activities, a large breed dog would be an excellent choice. However, if your family lives in an apartment and don’t have young children, your family may choose a cat or small breed dog.

A family may adopt a pet as a companion for your child. Caring for a dog or cat is a great way to provide companionship. A child that’s withdrawn or insecure gains confidence from spending time with a pet. Caring for a pet teaches a child about compassion and responsibility. Young children can take on some of the responsibility of caring for the family’s pet. They may fill food bowls, brush their pet, and help walk them.

Some people adopt a second pet as a companion for their dog or cat, an ideal option if you’re away during the day and want your pet to have company. Dogs and cats usually enjoy the company of another pet and feel more secure when their owner is away from home.

Teach Child Responsibility

When a child helps to care for their dog or cat, they learn to be responsible. The tasks a child handles should correspond to their age and ability. One of the first lessons a child should remember is to always be gentle with a pet. When children care for their pets, they learn to take on more responsibility as they grow older.

Security for Family and Home

Many people adopt a dog to provide security for their family and home. A dog that’s adopted to provide protection for you is still a family pet and should be treated with kindness and compassion. If your dog is going to live outdoors, make sure your yard is enclosed and has a shelter for your dog that keeps them cool in the summer and warm in the winter. Take time to interact with your dog and allow it to have playtime with your family.

Passion for Pets

Animal lovers are passionate about their pets and want to provide them with a loving home. Some people adopt dogs, cats, or both and treat them like children. Many pet parents feel more comfortable around animals than people. Whatever the reason, if you love animals, adopting a dog or cat can enrich your family’s life.

Rescue A Pet for Adoption

Rescuing a pet helps to save animal lives. When your family adopts from a shelter, you free space for another dog or cat that’s homeless. Animal control facilities and humane societies have dogs, cats, puppies, and kittens all waiting for a forever home. Many shelters spay or neuter pets and provide initial vaccinations before they’re adopted. Rescue groups also have pets available to adopt or foster. Most rescue groups have an application process and conduct a home check before they allow an animal to be adopted. As long as everything checks out, the dog or cat can be placed with your family.

Foster a Pet

Fostering is another option for a pet lover who doesn’t want to make a long-term commitment. A home check is still part of the application process, and in some cases, the homeowner may have to be inspected by local officials to get foster status. A foster home is a temporary solution for pets who need to be placed quickly. A foster family cares for the pet until it can be placed in a permanent home. Fosters are invaluable during kitten season each spring. Many mother cats and their litters are placed with fosters. In some cases, the foster may have to bottle feed newborn kittens that can’t nurse on their own.

Lower Stress and Have More Fun

Being around a pet releases chemicals that reduce stress, so we relax and feel less anxiety. Being a pet owner can alleviate feelings of loneliness and depression. Pet owners can have a lot of fun with their furry friends. Owning a pet is the opportunity to get outside, go for walks, and take trips to the dog park. A lot of retail locations and restaurants are pet-friendly, so pets and their humans can socialize and make new friends.

What Are the Responsibilities of Having A Family Pet?

When a family adopts a pet, everyone can help with the pet’s care, but it must be understood that one person must be responsible for:

  • Pet’s proper nutrition
  • Keeping the pet on a feeding schedule
  • Emptying the litter box and disposing of used litter
  • Walks with your pet
  • Pet’s general care

Dogs and cats need a nutritious diet based on their age, size, breed, and health needs. The food you choose for your family’s pet should contain meat, a combination of vitamins, minerals, and nutrients. Your pet’s food should be free of artificial ingredients and additives that don’t provide any nutritional value. Your pet’s feeding schedule should be at regular times each day and should be the responsibility of one family member.

Cat’s litter boxes should be emptied at least once a day or more often if needed. Litter box liners can be used if that’s your preference and a high-quality litter is preferable. Not only does a clean litter box prevent odors, but it’s healthier for your family’s cat.

If your pet is a dog, you should plan walks each day. If your dog is alone while you’re at work, a walk in the morning and again in the evening is necessary. Also schedule time in the yard in the morning and evening so your dog can get exercise. If your children are old enough, they can help with the yard clean-up. General care of your family pet involves:

  • Bathing
  • Brushing your pet’s coat
  • Keeping nails trimmed
  • Brushing your pet’s teeth
  • Checking your pet’s skin for irritations
  • Regular veterinary visits

Some animals are better for small children or families that are not home during the day. Small pets like rabbits or guinea pigs may be an option for younger children. Rabbits are friendly and have a gentle disposition, making them an excellent choice for families with small children. Rabbits can be trained to use a litter box and live from 8 to 12 years. Guinea pigs are cuddly and have a sweet nature, making them less likely to bite. They don’t mind being handled, so they’re an excellent option for small children.

Where Can A Family Find A Pet to Adopt?

There are many great places to adopt a friendly family pet. From pet adoption associations and pet shelters to animal sanctuaries, if you look hard enough, you will find the best pet for your family dynamic.

Pet Adoption Associations

Pet adoption associations may be non-profit, privately run rescues that adopt pets locally or feature their adoptable pets on nationwide databases like Adopt-A-Pet or PetFinder. Adoption associations may work closely with local animal control facilities. Rescuers often take homeless pets from these shelters, house them at their rescue or find foster families until they’re adopted.

Pet Shelters

Shelters may be municipal facilities or privately operated. Most shelters expect potential adopters to fill out an application and agree to an in-home visit. Some local shelters are humane societies. Not all of them are affiliated with the ASPCA or HSUS, but each has its guidelines about pet adoption.

Animal Sanctuaries

Animal sanctuaries are not-for-profit organizations that rely on donations and fundraising to operate. Sanctuaries care for animals that are homeless or abused and care for them until they can be placed in permanent homes. If a home isn’t found for an animal, it lives its life at the sanctuary where it’s safe and gets compassionate care.

Before You Adopt A Pet

Adopting a pet is an important step for a family. Before you adopt your furry friend, here are some things to consider.

  1. If you don’t own your property, make sure you’re allowed to keep a pet where you live.
  2. Don’t adopt a pet on a whim. Go to the shelter and visit with the pets. The best way to find your new family member is to talk to the staff at the shelter. They know the dogs and cats and understand their unique personalities.
  3. Make any necessary modifications to your home or yard before you bring your new friend home.

When You Bring Your New Pet Home

Give your pet time to adjust to the new surroundings. Provide plenty of love and time with your pet, especially in the first weeks while they get accustomed to their new home. A warm, comfortable bed in a quiet spot, nourishing food, plenty of water, and toys to play with are essentials. Remind families that adopting a pet is a lifetime commitment.

Final Thoughts

The best part about being a vet tech is helping families keep their pets happy and healthy. Take the time to learn about the different adoption organizations and shelters in your area. When someone asks where they can find a pet for their family, you will be ready to help.

Veterinary Technician Program

Interested in learning about becoming a vet tech? With an Associate Degree in Veterinary Technology, you’ll gain the knowledge, qualities 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.

Proper Pet Health: A Vet Tech’s Guide

Dog holding a carrot in it's mouth

A career in veterinary technology is your opportunity to help animals who are sick or injured and to educate owners about pet health. Each species of animal is different, but they all have specific needs. One of the responsibilities of being a pet parent is to keep a pet healthy. When you’re training to become a vet tech, you’ll learn about different animal species and educating pet parents about how to keep their pets healthy.

How to Keep Pets Healthy?

Our pets provide us with unconditional love and companionship. It’s our responsibility to take all the steps necessary to keep them healthy and happy. All species of animals have specific nutritional requirements. All pets need certain vitamins and minerals in their diet for good health. Pet parents should follow the recommended portion sizes and feed high-quality foods.

Pets need exercise for mental stimulation and to keep them physically fit. The activity level of a pet can vary between breeds. Pet owners can determine how much exercise their pet requires during playtime.

Veterinary care is essential for all pets. Yearly exams with the vet can keep a pet healthy and alert the owner to any possible problems. As a pet starts to age, veterinary exams should be done twice a year. Here are some general tips that you can educate pet owners about to keep pets healthy:

Listen to The Pet

Have the owner pay attention to signals from their pet, and they will learn what makes them happy. A dog may love a belly rub or a romp in the yard. Cats often like to sit quietly with their owners. Even birds and small, pocket pets have preferences.

Pet Supplements

There are hundreds of supplements for pets on the market. However, a lot of studies haven’t gone into the long-term effects of some of these products. Some products are helpful for pets with digestive problems or stiff, achy joints as they age. However, it’s always a good idea to discuss any supplement with the pet owner before they feed them to their pets.

Minimize Human Food

An owner should limit the amount and type of human foods that they offer to their pets. Some foods for humans are safe for dogs and cats, but some are toxic. Chocolate, artificial sweetener, grapes, raisins, macadamia nuts, and garlic are especially dangerous.

Proper Training

Some pets, especially many that are adopted from shelters, can be fearful, have aggression issues if they’ve been abused, or suffer from separation anxiety. If a pet has any of these issues, you may recommend a trainer or animal behavior specialist to curb the negative behavior.

Dog Health

All dogs should be fed a healthy diet based on their size, breed, and nutritional requirements. If a dog has a health issue like diabetes or digestive problems, you may recommend a prescription or limited ingredient diet. It’s essential to keep a dog at a weight that’s healthy.

Dog breeds that are high-energy love forms of exercise like jogging with their owners, hiking, swimming, skating, or agility courses. Small dog breeds often enjoy playing with toys and going on walks with their owners.

A dog should be examined once each year for vaccinations, blood work, and any diagnostic tests that are recommended. Educate pet owners about the most effective treatments against ticks, fleas, and heartworm disease to help keep the pet healthy.

Cat Health

Cats can sleep as long as 20 hours each day. When they’re awake, it’s essential for them to have exercise and playtime. Cats enjoy playing with toys and climbing cat trees. When feeding a cat, it’s a good idea for the owner to put out the amount of food the cat will consume for that meal. Let the owner know that cats have a tendency to overeat and get sick from too much food.

Veterinarians recommend a combination or wet dry food for cats, depending on their needs. For example, a vet may recommend dry food to assist with better dental hygeine. If an owner feeds a cat dry food, suggest that they use a flat dish or saucer and spread the food out. The cat isn’t as likely to gobble down too much food at one time. If a cat is being transitioned from dry to wet food, the owner should do it gradually to prevent any digestive upsets.

Although some cats will walk on a leash, most prefer indoor playtime with their owners. Most cats enjoy playing with interactive toys that remind them of prey. Toys with feathers that dangle, or toy mice are good choices. The owner’s cat will get exercise playing with the toys and be mentally stimulated. Cats should have a yearly examination, get the necessary vaccines and diagnostics that are recommended by the vet. Cats should also be check for FIV and FeLV.

Bird Health

Pet birds can be kept happy and healthy with a nutritious diet. Aviary veterinarians recommend against feeding pet birds a diet of only birdseed since it can be detrimental to a bird’s health. A seed-only diet can cause nutritional deficiencies and liver disease.

Organic or natural birdseed mixes are the healthiest for pet birds. Plant-based vegetables, fruits, grains, and nuts are the most nutritious options for pet birds. Some plants, fruits, and grains shouldn’t be fed to pet birds. The most toxic food is avocado. Have bird owners consult with you to discuss the healthiest diet for their pet.

Birds must be protected from extreme heat and cold. Warming perches, ceramic heaters kept far enough away from the cage to prevent overheating, or a warm blanket will keep a bird warm in the winter. For summer, plenty of cool, fresh water and a misting fan works well.

Let the owner know that a bird’s enclosure must be large enough to accommodate perches, toys, food, and water bowls. A cage that’s twice the size that’s recommended is excellent since it allows a bird the freedom to fly from one perch to another.

Pocket Pet Health

Pocket pets have gained popularity with pet owners in recent years. Many people are living in smaller spaces or move frequently, so small pets are ideal as housemates. Chinchillas, guinea pigs, hamsters, rabbits, ferrets, hedgehogs, and sugar gliders are among the most popular pocket pets. They may be small but come with a lot of responsibility.

Wellness checkups and good health aren’t only a necessity for cats and dogs. Pocket pets need vaccinations and dental exams to stay healthy. Disease in these little pets can be prevented through good hygiene and visits to the vet. Pocket pets can thrive with a nutritious diet. Rabbits can be healthy with a diet of crunchy veggies, Timothy Hay, and high-quality pellets.

Why Is Pet Hygiene Important?

Good pet health is essential for dogs, cats, birds, and pocket pets. When pets share our homes, good health is critical for pets and humans. Food and water bowls should be washed each day thoroughly. Cat litter boxes should be emptied one or more times daily, especially if the owner has multiple cats.

An owner should clean a cat’s litter box one or more times a day and change it for a new one when necessary, to prevents odor and keep pets healthy. An owner should keep a bird’s habitat, food and water bowls, and bottoms of cages cleaned each day to be sanitary and prevent disease.

What Are Some Ways to Ensure Good Pet Hygiene?

There are many great ways to ensure that a pet is healthy, and that the owner is keeping up with their pet’s hygiene. Some of the ways include:

Annual Exams

An annual exam is necessary for all pets to ensure they’re healthy and to address any health or behavior issues. It’s easier for a vet to treat any medical problems in the early stage and often has a more positive outcome.

Clean Teeth

Clean teeth can prevent disease and discomfort for a pet. Regular dental cleaning should be part of the annual exam. You can also educate a pet owner on proper teeth cleaning techniques and animal friendly toothpastes.

Brushing Pet’s Hair

Brushing a pet’s hair can prevent mats in the fur and helps to distribute natural oils throughout a pet’s skin. Brushing is an excellent way for an owner to check for any skin irritations that should be treated by the vet.

Regular Baths

Scheduled baths help to keep a pet’s skin and coat healthy and get rid of dead skin cells and dirt in the coat. Pets with skin irritations or dermatitis should be bathed more frequently with a medicated shampoo.

Proper Grooming

Grooming makes a pet look and feel better and keeps their coat clean and neat. This practice can also redistribute the natural oils in the pet’s coat to keep it shiny. Grooming removes the dead hair and skin from the pet’s coat and improves their circulation of blood.

Clean & Sanitized

Promoting excellent pet hygiene means keeping the pet’s bathroom areas clean. A cat owner should clean the litter box out thoroughly whenever the cat has used it. Cats don’t like dirty litter, and owners don’t like the odor. They should use high-quality cat litter. Dog owners should clean their yard up with a poop scoop. If the owner walks their dog or goes to the dog park, they should take disposable bags and a scoop to clean up after their dog.

Final Thoughts

Part of your job as a vet tech is to educate pet owners about how to keep their pet’s happy and healthy. A healthy pet will make the owner a loyal customer. Learn everything you need to know to properly educate pet owners about health and hygiene and you will be a successful vet tech.

Veterinary Technician Program

Want to help other people take care of their pets? Interested in learning about becoming a vet tech? With an Associate Degree in Veterinary Technology, you’ll gain the knowledge, qualities 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.

How to Keep a Cat Healthy

5 healthy cats in a persons arms

Vet techs make a difference in the lives of animals and are an integral part of the veterinary team. Becoming a vet tech allows you to be a positive force in the lives of many animals, including cats. Some people are dog people, and some are cat people. Are you a cat person?

Why Do Pet Parents Choose Cats?

There are a lot of reasons that people choose cats as pets, but the most common criteria is how much time an owner can give to their pet. While dogs have always been one of the most popular of house pets, what makes cat a preferable choice to some?

Cats Are Independent

Cats have a reputation for being more independent than dogs. Cats need their owners to care for them and provide them with companionship and mental stimulation. However, they don’t rely on their pet parents quite as much as dogs. Kittens do require more attention in the same way puppies do. As they get older, they tend to be content lounging around the house. When adopting a cat, the owner should get a sense of their personality to make sure the owner and new pet are compatible. If the owner is looking for a more independent cat, you may suggest that they adopt an older cat or adopt two cats to keep each other company. The owner should provide toys for playtime and a comfortable sleeping space so they can do their independent thing.

Cats Can Stay at Home Alone

Dogs need exercise, walks, and playtime with their owners. Dogs are sociable animals, enjoy human companionship, and most don’t do well being left alone all day. If you’re going to adopt a dog, consider a pet sitter who can walk the dog or a daycare facility so your dog can socialize with other dogs. Cats are content to lie on a sunny windowsill or climb around on a cat tree. They usually sleep most of the day and are more active at night, which makes them ideal pets for owners who are away during the day.

How Do You Keep A Cat Healthy?

Keeping cats healthy is important. Without preventative care and regular checkups at the vet, they can get sick, especially as they get older. Pet parents that care for their cats will look to their vet to learn how to keep them healthy. As a vet tech, you can take on the responsibility of educating cat owners about their different options.

Spay or Neuter

Several behavioral issues and medical problems can be eliminated by spaying or neutering a cat, in addition to being the most effective way to control the homeless pet population. According to the ASPCA, it’s considered safe to spay or neuter a kitten when it’s eight weeks old. To keep male cats from spraying and females from having a litter, it’s recommended to have a kitten spayed or neutered before it’s five months old. As a vet tech, you will provide owners with pre- and post-operative instructions to ensure a cat is comfortable and has a speedy recovery.

Proper Diet

Cats need a combination of vitamins, minerals, and amino acids to stay healthy and happy. Cats need vitamin A, B vitamins, calcium, magnesium, potassium, and iron for optimum health. Taurine is one of the amino acids necessary for a healthy cat. The proper diet for a cat must be a balance of carbohydrates, fats, minerals, proteins and vitamins.

Carbohydrates – nutrients that supply cats with energy. Most of these nutrients are derived from vegetables and plants. Since a cat’s digestive system can effectively digest carbohydrates, a low-carb diet is sufficient for most cats.

Fats – serve a dual purpose in a cat’s diet. They provide flavor and help a cat to absorb vitamins that are fat-soluble. Fats also provide cats with essential fatty acids that keep their skin and coat healthy.

Minerals – support the chemical reactions that take place in a cat’s body. Minerals also develop a cat’s bones and teeth.

Proteins – a nutrient that’s important to the diet of any cat. Proteins supply cats with amino acids that help build healthy tissue throughout the body. A cat’s system can produce 12 of the necessary nutrients needed for them to stay healthy. The remaining nutrients must come from the animal protein in the cat’s diet.

Vitamins – cats require specific vitamins, like vitamin A and various B vitamins, because they can’t manufacture them independently. Vitamins are also needed to support many of the body’s normal chemical reactions.

Clean Supply of Water

Since water comprises about 70 percent of a cat’s body weight, fresh, clean water is necessary to keep cats and kittens hydrated. A percentage of water is in wet cat food, but cats should always have a bowl of fresh water available, whether they eat wet or dry food.

Dental Care

Clean teeth are necessary to prevent a cat from getting gum disease and losing teeth. Yearly dental cleanings should be part of a cat’s wellness examination. Commercial products are available to use at home in between checkups.

Exercise and Toys

Exercise and toys are the best way to keep cats mentally stimulated and physically fit. It is important to plan regular playtime for a cat. Interactive toys are the ideal way to get a cat moving around. A cat tree that they can climb on is an excellent motivator.

Litter Box Maintenance

A cat should always have a clean litter box to get rid of bacteria and odor. The box should be scooped out at least once a day and washed when necessary. The entire contents of your cat’s box should be replaced at least every 7 to 10 days or when required. To cut down on inappropriate urination and defecation, you should aim to have one litter box more than the number of cats. If you have two cats, you should have three litter boxes.

Scratching Posts

A scratching post is the most effective tool for keeping your cat’s claws short. Some cats will scratch at furniture or even the walls if they don’t have a way to keep their claws trim. Small, free-standing scratching posts or scratch pads built into a cat tree are perfect for keeping nails trimmed.

Hair Brushing and Good Hygiene

Hair brushing and hygiene are necessary for cats. Most cats are meticulous about keeping themselves groomed but can always use a bit of help. Brushing excess fur from a cat gets rid of loose hair and can help to prevent hairballs. Regular brushing helps to get rid of matted hair that can be painful for a cat. Brushing a cat’s fur distributes the natural oils in the skin and keeps a cat’s coat clean and shiny. Most cats enjoy being brushed, so it’s an excellent way to bond with a cat while keeping them healthy and well-groomed.

Flea, Tick, And Heartworm Medications

Veterinarians usually recommend regular flea, tick, and heartworm meds to keep cats healthy. The treatment can be administered separately or as part of a more comprehensive plan to prevent disease.

Regular Veterinary Checkups

All pets need regular checkups with their vet, and cats are no exception. A healthy cat should have a wellness exam once a year. The vet will examine the cat, order diagnostic tests or bloodwork, and check heart rate, eyes, ears, and mouth. Cats need protection from feline diseases, including FeLV and FIV. The vet can do a simple test to check for these diseases. Regular vaccines are part of a wellness plan for cats. Senior cats require more monitoring. As a vet tech, you may recommend checkups every six months for older cats to check for any potential health issues that may be addressed with medication.

When to Go to An Emergency Clinic

Taking a cat for regular checkups is the most effective way to determine if there’s a health issue. However, cats don’t always show symptoms of illness like some other species. If a cat is exhibiting behavior that’s not normal, the owner should go to an emergency clinic as soon as possible. These are the issues that require a veterinarian to see a cat immediately.

Abnormal Breathing

A cat that’s breathing through the mouth instead of the nose, is wheezing, making unusual noises as though it’s in respiratory distress, or coughing should be seen by a vet immediately.

Urination Problems

Problems with urination can mean a cat has an obstruction, is diabetic, is going into kidney failure, or has high levels of potassium in the bloodstream. All of these problems are severe and require the immediate attention of a veterinarian.

Sensitivity to Touch

Pain in a cat may be manifested as being sensitive to the touch, excessive vocalizing, hiding in a place where the owner can’t reach them, or panting. The best way to know if a cat may be experiencing pain is to understand them and their behavior. Anything unusual may be a sign that an owner should take their cat to the clinic.

Exhibiting Lethargy

Lethargy can be a sign that a cat isn’t feeling well. If a cat is usually active, then suddenly becomes lethargic and won’t move around, the owner should consult the emergency vet clinic.

Loss of Appetite

A change in eating habits can be a sign of illness in a cat. If a cat usually loves mealtimes and goes for a day without eating, there could be a problem requiring immediate veterinary care.

Signs of Sickness

Most cats vomit or have diarrhea occasionally. However, if a cat is repeatedly vomiting or has persistent diarrhea, the owner should call the vet immediately. Some cats vomit or have loose stools due to a change in diet. If the owner is changing a cat’s diet, they should consult a vet for feeding instructions, so they transition to the new food easily. However, vomiting or diarrhea, especially with blood present, is cause for concern.

Toxic Substances

Ingesting a toxic substance or nibbling on a plant can be fatal to a cat. If a cat has ingested a poisonous substance, the owner should immediately call the ASPCA Poison Control Center at 888-426-4435.

Final Thoughts

Helping cat owners keep their cats healthy can be rewarding as a vet tech. You get to help owners understand what keeps their cats healthy and allow the cat to live a long life. If you are passionate about cats and want to help the cat population, becoming a vet tech may be a great career path for you.

Veterinary Technician Program

Interested in learning about becoming a vet tech? With an Associate Degree in Veterinary Technology, you’ll gain the knowledge, qualities 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.

What Degree Does a Vet Tech Need?

A career as a vet tech is an ideal choice for anyone looking to enter a growing field and has a passion for animals. Did you know that employment for vet techs is anticipated to grow 16 percent through 2029, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics? With a degree in veterinary technology, you can help all types of animals and work in a variety of environments.

How Do You Become A Vet Tech?

To work as a vet tech, you will first enroll in an accredited vet tech program. You can earn an associate’s degree in less than two years, attending full-time. When you graduate, you must pass the Veterinary Technician National Exam (VTNE) to be a Certified Veterinary Technician. The vet tech program will teach you everything you need to know to prepare for the VTNE certification.

What Do You Learn During A Vet Tech Degree Program?

There are many topics that you will learn during a vet tech degree program. From dentistry to surgical assisting, and anesthesiology to small animal emergency. With this knowledge, you will be prepared to take the VTNE and become certified.

Animal Dentistry

Vet tech programs teach animal dentistry to allow a vet tech to properly assess the condition of an animal’s teeth and gums, while preparing feedback for the veterinarian. A vet tech can take ultrasounds and x-rays, perform dental cleanings, and fill medications prescribed by the veterinarian.

X-Rays and Imaging

Taking and developing x-rays and imaging techniques are part of the coursework of a vet tech program. Vet techs take x-rays and images so the veterinarian can diagnose an animal’s illness or injury. A vet tech can specialize in oncology or radiology after earning a degree.

Minor Surgical Assisting

During a vet tech degree program, students learn how to prep animals for surgery, sterilize and prepare the surgical suite, and assist the veterinarian. The vet tech also learns how to monitor the patient during minor surgical procedure.

Animal Anatomy & Physiology

Vet tech students study animal anatomy and physiology to understand how disease and injury can affect an animal’s normal function. They also learn about the treatment and medications that will alleviate the animal’s symptoms and pain.

Anesthesiology and Pain Management

Anesthesiology is mainly used during dental cleanings and minor surgical procedures. Students will learn how to administer anesthesia to animals in the proper dosage according to their species and size.

Small Animal Emergency

Vet techs learn how to care for critically injured and sick animals in emergency clinics and hospitals. Vet tech students learn procedures for treating emergency cases from animals that have been injured to those that have ingested a toxic substance. The vet tech learns how to stabilize the animal in an emergency and accurately report the findings to the veterinarian-in-charge.

Large Animal Care

Large animal care involves farm animals like goats, pigs and cattle. These vet techs also care for horses and other large animals that may be located at a sanctuary or zoo. Vet techs must also learn how to treat exotic and zoo animals like llamas, camels, and deer. If you want to pursue a career as a zoo or exotic animal vet tech, further education is required.

VTNE Prep Course

Licensing exam review for the VTNE is part of the core coursework at many vet tech schools. This course counts as credits toward your degree. After completing the degree program, students are prepared to take the VTNE.

What Can You Do with A Vet Tech Degree?

Once you graduate from a vet tech degree program, there are a lot of options for you to use your skills in different environments. They include:

  • Veterinary Practices
  • Animal Hospital
  • Animal Shelter
  • Sanctuary
  • Kennel
  • Farm
  • Zoo

Veterinary Practices

Most vet techs work in veterinary practices. Vet techs greet owners and their pets, complete a health history and better understand the chief concern for their visit. The vet tech will weigh the animal and do a preliminary exam, giving feedback to the veterinarian for further examination. In a veterinary practice, vet techs may work on weekends as well as weekday hours.

Animal Hospitals

Vet techs in animal hospitals assist veterinarians in caring for and treating animals. The animals that are treated usually include dogs, cats, birds, reptiles, and small mammals. Emergency clinics are often open 24 hours a day so multiple shifts are available.

Animal Shelters

Vet techs that work in animal shelters are an integral part of the shelter team. Their responsibilities include administering medications to animals that are sick or injured. Some animals arrive at the shelter with injuries. These animals are scared and wary of humans, so vet techs must be patient when caring for them. Shelter vet techs often meet with people at the shelter who want to adopt. They educate prospective pet parents about the animal’s history and needs to ensure they’re being adopted into the best home.

Kennels, Daycare and Boarding Facilities

Vet techs that work in kennels at veterinary hospitals, daycare, or boarding facilities are responsible for the care of the animals. They feed the animals, clean the kennels, and ensure the animals get exercise. They must take care of special dietary needs and medications to keep pets healthy in their care.

Large Animal Facilities

Farm vet techs may work on farms or ranches. However, a lot of vet tech professionals work at animal hospitals or clinics and accompany veterinarians on their rounds. Vet techs that care for farm animals may be responsible for:

  • Recording the case histories of animals in a herd
  • Checking the animals once a month for any injuries or signs of illness
  • Assisting with births
  • Providing first aid
  • Administering vaccinations

Zoos and Sanctuaries

Zoo vet techs assist veterinarians with examinations, administer medication and vaccines, collect samples and run diagnostic tests, administer fluids, and care for newborn animals. A two-year degree program is a pre-requisite to work as a zoo vet tech, but additional training and a certification are required.

What Skills Will You Master During A Vet Tech Degree Program?

You will learn many skills during a vet tech degree program. These skills include communication, math, problem solving and compassion, to name a few. Mastering this set of skills will prepare you for your first day of your new career.

Skill #1: Communication

Excellent communication skills are essential in a veterinary setting. Vet techs must actively listen to veterinarian’s instructions, so no errors are made. They must also listen to pet parents during vet appointments, to best help the animal in their care. Vet techs must also convey instructions to veterinary assistants, so they understand what’s expected of them.

Skill #2: Math

Math skills are important for vet techs. The veterinary technician must know how to measure the correct dosage of medication to administer to a pet and explain the proper dosage to a pet parent for at home care.

Skill #3: Problem Solving

Problem-solving skills are a necessity for vet techs. The vet tech is the first person to interact with a pet and its owner. When an emergency arises, or a co-worker is sick, the vet tech must keep the veterinary practice running smoothly while ensuring pets and their owners don’t have a long wait.

Skill #4: Compassion

Vet techs interact with veterinarians, co-workers, and clients each day. They must have compassion for all the animals in their care and do their best to put them at ease. However, it’s not always as easy to treat people with the same respect. When a pet owner is distressed over their dog or cat’s illness or injury, it’s important for the vet tech to treat the owner with compassion and help them to remain calm.

Final Thoughts

Now that you are interested in becoming a vet tech, it is time to prepare for the VTNE exam. The best way to do this is to complete a vet tech program at an accredited vocational school. This program will not only prepare you for the exam but give you the confidence you need to walk into the veterinary practice on day one and hit the ground running.

Veterinary Technician Program

Interested in learning more about becoming a vet tech? With an Associate Degree in Veterinary Technology, you’ll gain the knowledge, qualities 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.

Traveling with a Dog: A Vet Tech’s Guide

man and his dog in the back of a car hugging after travelling with a dog

Many of us travel during the summer. Whether it is a family vacation, couples retreat or solo trip, we all want to take our pets with us. They are of course part of the family. Whether we are at home or travelling, we want to take the best care of our pets. There are some things to consider when travelling with your pets.

How Travel has Changed Since the Pandemic

Since the Covid-19 outbreak began, everyone has undergone some change in their daily routine, and that includes travel. Due to travel restrictions and regulations put in place by airlines, more people are traveling by car. Car travel brings a new set of challenges for pet owners and their dogs.

What Is Important for Dogs When Traveling by Car

Dogs love being with their owners, and a lot of them enjoy going for a ride in the car. If your dog’s only experience with a car ride has been going to the vet, your dog may experience some anxiety. If you’re planning an extended trip and your dog is traveling with you, here are some tips.

Travel with a Family Member or Friend

When another person travels with you, there’s always someone to keep the dog company or hold the leash if you must go into a store or make any stops. Dogs enjoy human companionship and having someone ride with the pet while you’re driving can ease anxiety.

Bathroom Breaks

Make sure to stop every couple of hours for your dog to have a potty break. It’s a good idea for everyone to get out of the car and move around after driving for an extended period. You should have a supply of doggy bags to clean up after your dog.

Make Travel A Positive Experience

Don’t wait for an emergency trip to the vet to acclimate your dog to riding in the car. Get your dog accustomed to riding in the car for short trips. Whether you’re going to the groomer, the vet, or on a trip to the dog park, your dog should associate a ride with something pleasant. When your dog behaves well, praise them and offer a treat for good behavior.

Crates, Carriers, And Restraints

Airbags are dangerous for humans and pets. When you travel with your dog, always keep the crate or carrier restrained with a harness strong enough to prevent the carrier from shifting if you must stop suddenly. Vets and vet techs suggest training puppies and dogs to use a crate at home and for travel. When dogs are properly crate trained, they feel secure in their den and will relax more when riding in the car. There are some excellent travel-friendly crates for dogs that keep them safe.

Calming Jackets and Vests

Many veterinarians recommend calming jackets and vests for dogs. Calming jackets for dogs work on the same principle as swaddling an infant. The apparel keeps them relaxed and calm. The calming jackets and vests are designed to apply constant, gentle pressure to calm dogs that are fearful or anxious. they are helpful for:

  • Separation anxiety
  • Thunderstorms
  • Veterinary visits
  • Travel
  • Fireworks

Keep Your Dog’s Head Inside the Window

Dogs like to have their heads out the window on rides, but it’s not a good idea. Cold air could get into your dog’s lungs and cause respiratory problems. Your dog is also a target for dirt, stones, or any flying debris. Let your pup enjoy the ride while being restrained in the car.

Pet Identification and Medical Records

It’s essential to keep your pet’s ID on the collar and carry veterinary records with you. You may want to schedule a visit with your vet to get your dog microchipped before the trip. In the chance that your dog gets lost, pets that are chipped have a better chance of being reunited with their owners.

Dog Carriers, Backpacks, And First Aid Kits

Food, water and feeding bowls, medications, and your dog’s medical information can all be packed in a backpack with a first aid kit. If your dog has a favorite blanket, take it along. Your dog will be less anxious with familiar belongings. If your dog is a small breed, a sling or backpack is an ideal way to carry them with you.

Enough Food to Eat and Not Overfeeding

Have a supply of your dog’s favorite food to last for the round-trip. If your dog is eating prescription food, order enough to have or get a supply from your veterinarian. If your dog isn’t accustomed to car rides, plan a few short trips to make sure they won’t suffer from motion sickness on a long trip. Each time you go for a ride, gradually make each journey longer.

Feed your dog a light meal several hours before your trip. It’s not advisable to feed your dog while you’re driving or at a rest stop. Too much food can cause motion sickness. As a precaution, dog seat covers for the back seat may be a good investment. Dogs should associate car rides with something positive. If your dog still has anxiety, your veterinarian may recommend an anti-anxiety medication to relax your dog and prevent motion sickness.

Minimum Amount of Human Food for Nutritional Purposes

Some foods for humans can have health benefits for dogs when they’re fed in moderation. When you’re on a trip, safe foods for dogs can be given for nutritional purposes to supplement their diet. Here are some human foods that are safe for dogs to eat:

Cheese in small amounts. Dogs can enjoy a treat of mozzarella or cottage cheese if they aren’t lactose intolerant. Cheese can be mixed in with their food.

Cooked and de-boned fish. If you give your dog tuna, avoid canned tuna and only give them freshly caught fish. Fresh, cooked salmon is also a special treat for dogs.

Peanut butter that doesn’t contain xylitol, an artificial sweetener that’s toxic to dogs.

Cooked turkey or chicken without the skin and bones is fine. Make sure the poultry is cooked without any spices or sauces that could be harmful to dogs.

Plain yogurt without sugar, sweetener, or additives is acceptable as an occasional treat. If you aren’t sure if a food is safe for your dog, consult your vet tech. Always remove seeds and peels from fruits and vegetables. Although these foods are safe, they should only be fed in small amounts to prevent digestive upsets. For a complete list of safe foods for dogs and those they should never eat, visit the American Kennel Club (AKC) website.

Always Use A Leash

It is important to continually keep your dog on a leash when you stop for breaks. A dog who runs loose could get distracted by different sights and smells and run off. Keeping your dog on a leash is a precaution against aggressive or overly curious dogs. Large breed dogs can benefit from a harness with the leash attached.

Never Leave Your Dog in a Locked Car

Every year, as summer approaches, dog owners are warned against leaving their dog alone in a hot car. Heatstroke can be fatal to your pet, and it can happen quickly. What pet parents should know is that the same rule applies in cold weather. A car parked for extended periods can get too cold in the winter. In some states, leaving a pet in a locked vehicle, especially during extreme weather conditions, is against the law or considered animal abuse. Make the necessary plans to keep your pet safe and healthy before you travel.

Finding Pet-Friendly Hotels

Bring Fido is an excellent resource for finding pet-friendly services around the country. The comprehensive directory lists more than 250,000 hotels, restaurants, activities, events, and services that are all pet friendly. If you choose to board your dog instead of taking them on the trip, make sure to find a dog daycare facility instead of a kennel. In a kennel, dogs are confined and don’t have access to other pets. Dog daycare is an excellent alternative since pets have plenty of time for exercise and interaction with other dogs.

Pets That Stay at Home

If you have cats, birds, or other pets that will stay at home while you’re away, have a friend, family member, or a reliable pet-sitting service come in at least once a day to feed, water, and check on your pets. Some pet sitters will stay in your home while you’re away and take care of daily chores like bringing in the mail and watering plants, in addition to caring for your pets.

Be Careful Around Strange Dogs

When dogs are in a strange environment, there are a lot of different smells and activities they aren’t accustomed to. New surroundings can be stressful. Being careful around other dogs that your dog isn’t familiar with can prevent encounters that could result in injuries.

Final Thoughts

Now that you are on your way to an adventurous vacation, make sure to keep your pets safe and healthy. Prepare them for short rides to get them used to riding in your car. Properly restrain them so they are not injured during quick stops. Following this advice will allow you to have a fun journey with the whole family.

Veterinary Technician Program

Want to help other people take care of their pets while travelling? Interested in learning about becoming a vet tech? With an Associate Degree in Veterinary Technology, you’ll gain the knowledge, qualities 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.

Perfect Pets for Small Spaces

small dog that is a perfect pet for small spaces

Becoming a vet tech is an excellent career option if you love being around animals. A degree program to work as a vet tech prepares you to care for all animals. You’ll spend time with pet owners and educate them about compassionate care for their pets. However, many people who want to adopt pets live in apartments or don’t have a lot of space. As a vet tech, you can educate prospective owners on the perfect pet for small spaces.

What Are Good Pets for Small Spaces?

The American Pet Products Association estimates that more than 5 million families share their small spaces with pet birds. For owners that have never cared for a bird, they should consult with an Avian Vet or another avian expert to determine which species would be best for their lifestyle. Some bird species can live for 50 years or more, so they should make sure to choose a species that they will own for life.

Many people living in small spaces like apartments or studios want to adopt dogs but aren’t sure which species would suit their lifestyle and living space. A small breed is more comfortable in an apartment than a larger dog that needs room to run. Some small breeds are high-energy and would be happier in a home with a large, fenced-in yard.

Pocket pets are small animals that include rabbits, gerbils, ferrets, chinchillas, and hamsters. Many people who live in small spaces choose one of these species because they don’t require as much care as dogs or cats. Pocket pets are fantastic companions for anyone who can’t have a dog or cat.

Why Keep Pets Small If You Live in a Small Space?

Keeping small pets is an excellent option when you live in small spaces. Pets, especially dogs, need plenty of room to run around. Dogs also need to be taken out a few times a day. If you live in a small space and want to keep a dog, it’s a good idea to find a dog daycare so your dog can socialize with other pets and get a lot of exercise while you’re away during the day.

What Are Some Different Breeds of Bird, Small Dogs, And Pocket Pets?

There are many pets to choose from that make sense for small spaces. Some kinds of birds, small dogs and pocket pets are a smart decision for owners that live in smaller spaces.

Bird Breeds

Budgerigars or parakeets are affectionate and friendly, easy to train, and low maintenance.Cockatiels are friendly birds that do well in positive, upbeat environments. When cockatiels are hand-fed as babies, they make exceptional pets. Cockatoos are a larger breed of bird that’s affectionate and bonds strongly with their caregivers, so they require extra time with their owners. Keep in mind that, cockatoos can suffer from depression if they don’t get enough attention from their owners.

Small Dog Breeds

Boston Terriers are small and have a lot of energy. They’re well-behaved dogs that are easy to house train and get along well with other pets and children. They aren’t destructive when left at home but love brisk walks and trips to the dog park.

Chihuahuas are excellent dogs for small spaces. They’re well behaved, don’t get into a lot of trouble when left at home, are very gentle, and don’t need grooming. They require bathroom breaks a few times a day and enjoy walks. However, Chihuahuas don’t need a lot of exercise. They’re affectionate dogs who love to be with their owners.

French Bulldogs adapt easily to living in an apartment. They’re devoted lap dogs who love to be with their owners. French Bulldogs don’t need a lot of exercise. However, they do need extra air conditioning in the summer because they can overheat quickly.

Yorkshire Terriers are one of the most popular small dog breeds. They don’t require a lot of grooming but should be bathed and brushed once a week. Yorkies love their owners and do well in apartments. They’re easy to take along while travelling since they’re so small.

Pocket Pets

Chinchillas are beautiful, furry pets that don’t require a lot of attention. They have a lifespan of up to 15 years. They aren’t affectionate like some pets but enjoy watching their surroundings. Females do better solo, and males like to be kept in pairs.

Guinea Pigs have a sweet disposition and are affectionate toward their owners. They need a little more maintenance since they like fresh veggies and fruits and need regular exercise.

Hamsters are nocturnal and solitary, so they won’t be awake a lot during the day. They don’t need a lot of exercise if they have exercise wheels and tunnels in their cages.

Why Do People Get Pets Even in Small Spaces?

Just because a family lives in a small apartment or studio doesn’t mean they can’t have a pet. According to a study conducted by the American Pet Products Association in 2019 and 2020, 85 million families have at least one pet. Statistics indicate an increase of 56 percent since 1988, when the first survey was conducted. What are some of the reason’s families get pets even living in small spaces?

Pets Are Wonderful Companions

Pet parents love spending time with their dogs, cats, and other small pets. Although dogs and cats enjoy playtime, they don’t need to be entertained. Your pet’s favorite activity is spending time with you.

Pets Provide Security

When a pet parent develops a strong bond with their dog, its instinct is to protect its owner. The protective instinct is reinforced when an owner socializes their dog and offers guidance about acceptable behavior. The owner should be the alpha and not allow the dog to get overprotective or aggressive. Anyone who is a first-time dog owner can benefit from obedience classes that teach both dogs and owners. A dog that’s appropriately trained should be protective without posing a threat to other people.

Spending Time Outdoors Is More Fun

Being a pet parent encourages a healthier lifestyle. Dogs get excited when it’s time to go outside and play or go for a walk. Taking walks is part of the socialization process. Regular walks expose a dog to new experiences and people. Exercise keeps dogs and their owners healthy and fit. Cats have a reputation for being standoffish, but many of them love to be with their owners. Cats are naturally curious and love interactive toys, but a couple of empty boxes can keep them entertained for hours and give them plenty of exercise.

Living with Pets Is A Positive Experience for Kids

Having a pet to grow up with is a fun experience for a child. However, before adopting, children should understand that caring for a pet is a lifetime commitment. Caring for a pet teaches children to be responsible. Young children can learn simple tasks like filling a pet’s food bowl or cleaning out a small pet’s enclosure.

Educators know that spending time with pets helps children learn. Children that have challenges learning to read may feel uncomfortable reading out loud in class but may look forward to reading to their pet at night.

Pets are excellent companions for children. Pets comfort them if they feel scared or unsure of themselves and teach them to be compassionate. When kids feel secure being with their pets, they’re less likely to be withdrawn or have anxiety problems.

Unconditional Love and Acceptance

The bond that’s formed between humans and their pets is beneficial to both of their well-being and health. When we come home after a long day to a pet that’s excited to see us, it can help improve our mood and make us feel relaxed. Our pets never judge us and provide us with a lot of joy and unconditional love. Taking time to indulge in activities and spend quality time with our pets strengthens the bond even more.

Therapy dogs can provide emotional support to people when other methods aren’t as effective. Dogs trained for therapy visit patients in hospitals and long-term care facilities with their trainers. Therapy dogs are often brought to disaster areas and provide comfort to victims. People who need speech, physical, or occupational therapy usually respond better to dogs than people and improve faster. Therapy dogs can help healthcare professionals and patients by visiting when they’ve had a stressful shift.

Positive Health Benefits

When feeling stressed, one of the most effective remedies is to pet an animal. The brain’s emotional energy changes from negative to positive, blood pressure will lower, heart rate will slow down, and the body will feel more relaxed.

Pets Help with Emotional Well-being

Pet owners can usually adjust to change better than those who don’t own pets. Playing with a pet reduces the hormones that contribute to stress. Dopamine and serotonin levels rise when people play with dogs or cats. These two hormones contribute to relaxing and calming the nervous system.

Saving A Life Improves Yours

One of the most significant benefits of adopting a pet is saving a life. Millions of cats and dogs enter shelters each year, and all they want is a family of their own. Many of these pets are puppies and kittens, while some are older pets. They all need a second chance. Adopting a pet from a local shelter, not only saves a cat or dog but frees up space for another homeless pet. Many rescues save breed-specific pets. Life improves by saving a homeless pet.

Final Thoughts

Helping pet owners choose the right pet is an important responsibility. Many new pet owners will look to you, as a vet tech, for advice. Steer them in the right direction and you will have a customer for life. Nothing bonds people like pets.

Veterinary Technician Program

Interested in learning more about becoming a vet tech? With an Associate Degree in Veterinary Technology, you’ll gain the knowledge, qualities 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.

Can You Take the VTNE Without Going to School?

Students studying for the VTNE exam

Do you have a passion for animals? Interested in becoming a vet tech but don’t think you have the time to go to vet tech school? Did you know that you can graduate from a vet tech school in less than two years? The vet tech program will teach you everything you need to know to take the VTNE exam and start working as a vet tech.

Can You Take the VTNE Without Going to School?

In order to sit for the VTNE exam in Utah, you must first graduate from an accredited school that offers a vet tech program. However, for some that are grandfathered in, they can take the VTNE if they meet special criteria that includes work experience. But if you are just starting out, the best way to prepare for the VTNE exam is to attend a vet tech program. Why? Both employers and certification associations need to know that you are committed to becoming a vet tech and are prepared to take care of animals in a veterinary practice. During a vet tech program, you will learn how to keep yourself and the animals you work with safe.

It is also important for you to complete a vet tech program because many jobs will focus on only a portion of the duties of a vet tech. Whether you work in an animal practice, animal emergency clinic or other animal care facility, you will only get a limited amount of experience on the job. By attending a vet tech school, you get a well-rounded education and have the ability to work in different roles and progress in your career. Maybe you want to work in a specialty area after you work at a traditional animal practice for a while. Having a degree from a vet tech school provides you with different options and career paths as you progress through your career.

What Do You Learn in a Vet Tech Program?

The vet tech program offers important knowledge to prepare you for a vet tech career. During a vet tech program, you learn about animal dentistry, imaging, and surgical assistance. You learn how to treat domestic pets, large animals, horses, farm animals, birds and many other animals that you might encounter in a zoo or animal sanctuary. The curriculum also includes animal anatomy, physiology, hematology, and anesthesiology. Ultimately, the vet tech program prepares you to take the VTNE exam and become a vet tech. What are some of the courses included in the vet tech program?

Veterinary Medical Terminology

It is important to know veterinary terminology when working as a vet tech. You will talk with colleagues and write reports using this industry jargon. You must also be familiar with word meanings based on the prefixes, root words and suffixes. Each procedure, treatment, diagnosis and medical supply will have unique terminology that you must become familiar with so you can give your patients the best possible care.

Office Procedures

As a vet tech, you will spend most of your time within an office setting, whether at a veterinary practice, clinic, emergency animal hospital or other animal care facility. It is important to learn the basics of animal identification, husbandry, grooming, animal behavior and physical examination. You will also need to be familiar with clerical duties including medical record management, word processing and client billing.

Animal Anatomy and Physiology

During the vet tech program, you will learn about the animal’s different body systems and how they relate to different diseases. The VTNE will test you on your knowledge of different body systems, how they work, the diseases that are associated with them and how to manage the health of those animal body systems. You will also learn how the animal body parts work and how cells function.

Veterinary Pharmacology

As a vet tech, you will learn about the development and regulation of animal drugs and vaccines used in the veterinary practice. You will learn about pain management, flea and tick control, or the uses of many other medicines and vaccines to treat and prevent diseases and disorders. You will also review Math skills including arithmetic of whole numbers, fractions, and decimals. Math will help with drug dosage and water solubility with pharmacology. The VTNE will quiz you on your abilities to measure out drugs, putting the Math skills you learned during a vet tech program to the test.

Imaging

Part of what you do as a vet tech, is take radiographic images of animals. Whether it be X-ray, cat scan or other imaging technology, it will be important to understand how to use the equipment, review the results and make sure that no artifacts skew the test results. During this vet tech program, you will also learn about radiation safety and imaging techniques to practice radiography.

Animal Care

During animal care courses you will learn about animal nutrition, medication, preventative care, and health management. Courses will focus on domestic pets like cats and dogs, large animals including horses and farm animals and exotic or pocket pets. You will learn how to take care of many different types and species of animal as you may encounter unique and exotic pets during your vet tech career.

Part of animal care includes learning how to properly restrain an animal during an examination, kennel management and sanitation, and animal nutritional requirements to prevent disease. You will also learn about preventative medicine and advanced nursing care.

The vet tech program will also include a course in Hematology, which is concerned with causes, treatment and prevention of diseases related to blood. In the lab, you will learn lab safety, OSHA regulations, medical asepsis, infection control, zoonotic diseases, specimen collection and microscopy. You will learn how to obtain blood samples from animals, prepare blood smears and analyze the blood samples.

Another course in animal care will focus on parasitology. This course focuses on internal and external parasitic organisms, their life cycles, how to identify them in an animal, and how to prevent these organisms from entering the animal causing disease.

Surgical Assisting

In addition to assisting the veterinarian during exams, you will also assist with minor surgical procedures like spay and neutering, first aid and dentistry. You will be responsible for the management of surgical instruments, preparation of the patient, and patient recovery.

Further, a course in anesthesiology and pain management will allow you to learn drug protocols, and how to use anesthesia equipment to respond to and monitor an anesthetized animal.

Animal Dentistry

As a vet tech, you will learn how to clean an animal’s teeth and gums to keep them healthy. You will use your imaging experience to find issues with the teeth, roots and overall oral cavity health. You will also learn how to manage dental instruments and equipment. This information will help you better educate pet parents on proper dental care in their animal.

VTNE Review

A vet tech program prepares you to take the VTNE exam. You will take practice tests, learn exam taking skills and become familiar with the exam’s questions and sections to build confidence when it is time to take the exam.

Vet Tech Externship

In addition to classroom lectures and lab work, you will go through an externship program. This externship allows you to obtain real world experience in a supervised veterinary setting. You will perform assignments at a clinic and participate in clinical rotations. When it comes time to apply for an entry-level job as a vet tech, you will already have experience on your resume.

Final Thoughts

Ready to take the VTNE and become a vet tech? Learn more about the vet tech program at Broadview University. Attending full-time, you can graduate in as little as two years. Once you graduate and pass the VTNE exam, you will be well on your way to helping animals stay happy and healthy. Become part of the animal care community and start caring for animals, one dog, cat or exotic animal at a time.

With an Associate Degree in Veterinary Technology, you’ll gain the knowledge, qualities 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.

What are the Signs of a Healthy Dog?

a healthy dog on a walk

If you love animals, helping them can be part of your everyday life. Do you live with dogs, cats, or other pets? Do you have feeders in your yard for birds and squirrels? Do you volunteer your time at an animal shelter? You can make a difference in the lives of thousands of animals, with a career as a vet tech.

Educating a Pet Owner How to Keep Their Dog Healthy

One of the responsibilities of a vet tech is to educate pet owners about how to keep their dogs healthy and happy. Pet parents should be informed about the importance of regular vet visits and staying up-to-date with vaccinations. Vet techs can educate dog owners about the various flea and tick medications and recommend the most appropriate medicine for their dog. Heartworm is another issue that’s important for a vet tech to discuss with a pet parent.

Nutritional Needs

Proper nutrition is an issue that many pet owners have questions about. The nutritional needs of dogs vary greatly depending on the dog’s age, breed, size, and any possible health problems. All dogs need certain nutrients in their diet to stay healthy. They include:

  • Water
  • Protein
  • Fats
  • Carbohydrates
  • Vitamins and Minerals

Water regulates a dog’s body temperature, helps to get nutrients to the cells, aids in digesting food, and flushes waste products from the dog’s body. Water helps to protect a dog’s nervous system and organs.

Protein makes antibodies, neurotransmitters, amino acids, enzymes, and hormones that keep the body functioning properly. Amino acids in the dog’s diet must be derived from their food since a dog’s body can’t produce enough to keep them healthy. Proteins provide dogs with the energy they need to function correctly.

Fat is a concentrated energy source that dogs need to stay healthy. Fat provides dogs with Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids that aid the body in absorbing vitamins that are fat-soluble. Fats in a dog’s diet help to regulate the animal’s body temperature. Healthy fats help to keep the nervous system and internal organs healthy and working properly.

Vitamins are necessary for the healthy functioning of the dog’s nervous system. Vitamins help the dog’s blood to clot; they help to keep the immune system healthy and work as antioxidants. Minerals are essential for moving oxygen through the dog’s body, supporting healthy bones, assisting in healing wounds, improving the nervous system, and aiding antioxidants.

Essential Exercise

Exercise is essential for dogs of every age for their well-being and optimum health. Dogs that get enough exercise and stay trim and lean are less likely to develop health problems, including diabetes, some types of cancer, and joint and mobility problems as they age. A dog’s physical health can improve with regular exercise. Sunshine and fresh air are essential for dogs and humans. Vitamin D is derived from exposure to sunlight and promotes a healthy coat and skin. Vitamin D promotes the development of healthy bones and provides melatonin for proper sleep cycles.

Dogs that don’t get enough exercise may develop behavior problems due to excess energy. Brisk, daily walks, or playtime in the yard release the energy and helps the dog’s emotional well-being. Dogs are very social animals and enjoy meeting other animals and people. Exposing your dog to new people and situations helps to decrease the chances of behavior problems.

Keep Everything Clean

A clean environment is essential for all pets. Dogs should have a comfortable and safe place to sleep away from any dangers inside the home. Household products and plants that could be toxic to pets should be kept away from them. Dogs are curious and like to explore. They don’t understand that items they encounter could be harmful. It’s the responsibility of the pet parent to keep their dog safe.

The dog’s environment, whether it’s a large crate with bedding and blankets or a bed in a quiet area of the home, should be a place where the dog feels safe. Dogs should always be protected from extreme weather conditions and have access to food and clean water.

Proper Dental Health

Good dental health for dogs means regular examinations of the dog’s teeth and gums. A dental exam and teeth cleaning should be part of the yearly exam. It’s essential for any problems with the teeth or gums to be addressed to prevent more severe health problems.

What Are the Signs of a Healthy Dog?

There are many important signs to look for to make sure a dog is healthy. It is important for you to educate pet owners on what to look for and when to visit the vet if something seems wrong.

Bright Coat

A healthy dog has a bright coat that’s free of any rashes, irritations, or scabby areas. The coat should have a glossy appearance and be free of fleas and ticks. There shouldn’t be any areas where the skin is bald, or there are signs of dandruff.

Clean Teeth

The dog should have clean teeth and a pink pigment in the gums. However, some dogs have gums that have a grey or black colored pigment.

Fed a Healthy Diet

A healthy dog is fed a healthy diet that’s formulated for the dog’s breed, age, and size. Veterinarians may recommend a prescription diet for dogs that are older, have mobility or digestive issues, or need food that’s especially for weight management.

Increased Interaction

A healthy dog is playful and enjoys interacting with humans and other animals.

Proper Potty Training

A healthy dog goes to the bathroom in the right place and doesn’t have accidents in the house. The exception is puppies that haven’t been fully trained.

Clear Eyes & Ears

The eyes of a healthy dog are clear and bright, free of any discharge and not watering. The dog’s ears on the inside should be light pink. However, dogs that have dark skin and coats may have dark ears. There shouldn’t be any swelling or discharge.

Proper Temperature & Normal Stool

The dog’s normal temperature is 100 to 102.5 degrees. Stools should be dark without any parasites or blood.

What Are the Signs of a Dog with a Problem?

Healthy dogs that see their veterinarian for regular visits can have health problems. A pet parent knows their dog’s personality and habits. If something isn’t quite right, it may be time for a visit to the veterinarian. Here are some of the signs of a dog that has a health problem:

  • Lethargy
  • Anti-social behavior
  • Sleeps more frequently.
  • Eats very little or stops eating.
  • Has potty accidents in the house.
  • Bites themselves or scratches frequently.
  • Starts losing hair.
  • Limps or has mobility problems.

If your dog is experiencing any of these symptoms, you should immediately schedule an appointment with your veterinarian. The sooner you get a diagnosis, the sooner your dog will get the necessary treatment they need to start feeling better.

What Should You Do About A Dog That Has A Problem?

If your dog shows any signs of sickness like vomiting, diarrhea, or has an injury, you should immediately take your pet to the veterinarian. When a dog is sick or injured, time is essential. The sooner the vet can examine a pet and make a diagnosis, the faster they will be on the road to recovery. The vet will prescribe the most effective treatment, whether it’s at the animal hospital or at home. There may be situations in which the vet leaves it up to the owner about treatment in the hospital or at home. Some dogs respond well in the animal hospital, while others do better at home with their owner.

Emergency Plan

In an emergency, take your pet to the nearest 24/7 vet clinic. In many areas, an emergency vet clinic opens at night and on weekends when other animal hospitals are closed. Before you have an emergency situation with your dog or puppy, find the nearest emergency clinic and keep their phone number in a prominent place.

If the owner suspects that their dog may have eaten a toxic food or have ingested a poisonous substance, they should call the ASPCA hotline immediately at 888-426-4435. The ASPCA Poison Control Center is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year to assist with all poison-related emergencies. It’s vital that they don’t try to treat their pet until consulting a professional to avoid any further damage.

The ASPCA has resources on its website to educate pet owners about the dangers of poisonous plants, household products and foods that are toxic to pets. The method of treating a poisoning case depends on the substance that the pet has ingested, and professional assistance is vital. The ASPCA has a list of foods that are toxic to pets and the possible side-effects.

Want to help pets stay healthy and happy as a vet tech? With an Associate Degree in Veterinary Technology, you’ll gain the knowledge, qualities 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.

Is Fresh Pet Food Good for My Dog?

cat and dog eating fresh pet food
Little dog maltese and black and white cat eating natural, organic food from a bowl at home

One of the most rewarding reasons to become a vet tech is to help educate pet parents about the essentials of good nutrition for their dogs. At every stage of their development, dogs need specific vitamins and nutrients to stay healthy. Puppies have different nutritional needs than adult dogs. Senior dogs may have health problems that require food with fewer calories or food that helps with joint and mobility issues.

It’s the vet tech’s responsibility to provide pet parents with as much information as possible to help their pets live a long and happy life. As a vet tech, you can educate pet parents by providing them nutritional data that’s relevant to their pet.

Why Do Owners Take Such Good Care of Their Dogs?

People who love animals want to provide them with everything they need to be happy and healthy. Many pet parents treat their dogs like children. They provide them with nutritious food, medical care, and a lot of interaction. Many dog lovers have toys all over their living room and a bed for their dog next to where they sleep at night.

For most people, their dogs are part of the family. They schedule pet-friendly activities, so their dogs can be part of the fun. They choose vacation accommodations and restaurants that accept pets. They have regular outings at the dog park. A concept that’s gotten popular in the last few years is dog daycare. A lot of pet parents don’t want their dog to be alone all day, so they drop them off at a dog care facility so they can play with other dogs.

Some dog owners go as far as feeding their dogs fresh food. Pet owners are more educated about pet food than ever before. They understand that their dogs need nutritious food, but they want them to eat food that tastes good too. Some pet parents cook meat and vegetables just for their dogs to make sure they’re getting quality food.

Pets May Have Medical Problems That Require Special Diets

Some of the medical conditions that can affect the diet a dog should eat are:

  • Allergies
  • Arthritis
  • Cancer
  • Compromised Immune System
  • Diabetes
  • Epilepsy

A dog’s lifestyle can have a significant impact on the kind of food that’s provided. For example, working dogs need a different protein content than a family dog that’s less active. As a vet tech, you can educate pet owners about the percentage of carbohydrates and whether a dog should eat red or white meat. A dog with kidney disease or one that’s diabetic needs a special diet. Dogs that are pregnant or that have recently delivered litters have different nutritional needs. Some dogs will even benefit from fresh pet foods.

What Are Some of The Newest Fresh Pet Foods Available?

There are many ways to prepare fresh pet food, but some companies have started to create ready-made and fresh pet foods.

The Farmer’s Dog

Pet parents create a personalized profile for their dog, including age, breed, size, and food preferences. The food plans are veterinary approved. The owner chooses the ingredients in the dog’s pre-packaged food. Delivery is based on their schedule, and the subscription plan can be adjusted.

Nom Nom

Nom Nom works with a certified veterinary technologist to create pre-packaged, fresh food for pets that doesn’t include any artificial ingredients. Owners create a profile for their pet and choose the ingredients they want in their recipes. Nom Nom offers a discount for multi-pet families. Recipes include chicken, beef, pork, or turkey. Nom Nom also provides support for pets with mobility or joint problems.

Spot & Tango

Spot & Tango creates recipes for pets with foods that are hormone and GMO-free and sourced from local suppliers and farms in the U.S. No artificial preservatives or fillers are used in the recipes. All the ingredients are human grade. The recipes use ingredients including apples, beef, barley, kelp, lamb, salmon, and sweet potatoes.

Ollie

Ollie produces recipes for pets that are veterinary-formulated and highly nutritious. Turkey, chicken, lamb, or beef are used in the recipes, depending on the owner’s preference. Pet parents can purchase a two-week supply of food with each order. Among the additional ingredients in the recipes are root and leafy vegetables, plant-based proteins, and fresh fruit.

Pet Plate

Pet Plate creates fresh, packaged meals for pets based on information about their behavior, preferences, and physical condition. Each of the four recipes is created for specific benefits, including meals for fussy eaters or for weight management. The meals arrive frozen and are stored in the refrigerator until they’re ready for the pet. The packages can be frozen for up to 12 months.

Tailored Pet Nutrition

Tailored pet Nutrition offers a shelf-stable variety of kibble that’s created from fresh fruits, vegetables, and proteins. Veterinarians created the nutritious food blends. Pet parents have the option of choosing a one-time trial or purchasing a subscription.

Hungry Bark

Hungry Bark offers a slow-roasted kibble that’s probiotic-rich and approved by veterinarians. Pet parents fill out a questionnaire about the dog’s age, breed, weight, activity level, and goals for optimum health. Hungry Bark emails a customized meal plan. Owners choose the ingredients they want in their dog’s plan. Chicken, duck, turkey, salmon, or lamb are used in the recipes. Supplements for coat and skin, heart health, joint and mobility issues, and anxiety are included in the meals. To enhance the meals, three mix-ins are available.

How Important Is Nutrition for Pets?

Nutrition is as vital for pets as it is for the humans they live with. A nutritious diet helps dogs live longer and be healthier. When pet foods are made with high-quality ingredients, pets have a better quality of life.

Dogs that eat higher quality pet foods are less likely to develop irritations of the skin and may scratch less. Their coats tend to be softer and shinier, and they’re less prone to having ear infections. Nutritious dog food provides other benefits, including stronger bones and muscles, and dogs that eat fresh foods are less likely to develop conditions like inflammatory bowel disorders. When dogs eat a nutritious diet, they’re more energetic, have a more agreeable temperament, feel better and are much happier.

A diet of fresh, nutritious food also benefits dogs for the long-term. Pet food that contains a lot of artificial colors, chemicals, and preservatives are stressful on a dog’s internal organs, especially the liver and kidneys. Dogs that consume a diet of preservatives and by-products feel full but may not be in optimum physical condition.

What Makes A Quality Pet Food?

The first ingredient in a portion of high-quality pet food should be some type of meat or meat meal. Premium foods usually contain a source of carbohydrates but a minimal amount of grain. Some of the premium foods for dogs are grain-free. Many companies that produce premium foods for dogs are creating fresh, human-grade recipes for pets. These products are all-natural and contain Omega 6 and Omega 3 fatty acids.

What Are Some Foods That Dogs Shouldn’t Eat Even If It Is Fresh?

Avocados are fine for people but not for dogs. They can cause diarrhea or vomiting.

Garlic and onions kill red blood cells and cause anemia in dogs. The onion powder that’s in some baby foods can be harmful to pets. Breathing problems, vomiting, and weakness are some symptoms to look for.

Caffeine in coffee, cola, cocoa, and energy drinks are all harmful to dogs. Coffee and cocoa beans are also fatal to pets. Caffeine is an ingredient in some cold and allergy medicines and should be kept in a safe place away from pets. If your dog consumes any of these, contact your vet as soon as possible.

Raisins and grapes are very dangerous to dogs, even in small amounts.

Dairy and milk-based foods can cause severe allergies and diarrhea in dogs. Allergic reactions may include scratching and skin irritations. If you want to give your dog a treat on a hot day, dog ice cream products are available, or you can find recipes online.

Why Are These Foods Toxic to Dogs?

Diet foods that are xylitol-sweetened, including bakery foods, candy, toothpaste, or gum, can cause a dog to have liver failure. The dog may become lethargic, have problems with coordination, vomit, or have seizures. Avocado seeds that get lodged in the stomach or intestines can be fatal. Alcohol, which pets don’t need anyway, can cause problems with breathing, diarrhea, vomiting, coma, or death. Any foods that are toxic can be fatal because they cause digestive or breathing problems, gastrointestinal upsets, red blood cell loss and have the same effect as poison.

What Should You Do If You Feed Your Dog A Toxic Food?

The first step should always be to call the ASPCA Pet Poison Line at 888-426-4435. The ASPCA operates a 24-hour poison control hotline, 365 days a year. If your pet has ingested a toxic food or poisonous substance, or if you think they may have ingested anything harmful, call the ASPCA immediately for assistance.

The Poison Control Center at the ASPCA has a team of experts that provide pet parents with valuable sources of information about how to recognize symptoms of poisoning and the immediate steps to take. The ASPCA team provides information about foods, plants, and medications that are toxic and potentially fatal to pets.

The ASPCA provides information on their website related to toxic or poisonous substances, food, and even household products that must be kept away from pets. The ASPCA is the most reputable source to learn about foods that are safe and those that are dangerous for our pets.

Final Thoughts

Now that you know more about fresh pet foods, interested in becoming a vet tech? As a vet tech, you can help pets be healthy and happy. By educating pet parents you help the pets to stay healthy and live a longer life. Becoming a vet tech is a rewarding career and the education can be completed in less than two years. Start a new career and help pets at the same time.

Now that you know there is a high demand for vet techs, are you ready to learn more? With an Associate Degree in Veterinary Technology, you’ll gain the knowledge, qualities 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.

How Do I Become an Equine Vet Tech?

Female equine vet tech standing in front of a horse
Female Vet With Digital Tablet Examining Horse In Stable

Enjoy horses, working outdoors and helping animals? Graduates of vet tech programs who love horses are ideal candidates for an equine vet tech career. Many vet techs who choose to specialize in this field grew up on a farm or ranch or spent a lot of time around animals. Compassion for all animals and a willingness to help them are qualities of a person who will succeed in this field. Equine vet techs perform the same duties as vet techs in small animal practices, but their focus is on caring for horses.

An equine vet tech is a highly trained, skilled professional who focuses exclusively on the care and well-being of horses. Veterinary technicians in this field care for horses with disease or injuries as well as preventative care like dental cleaning and hoof maintenance. Volunteering at a farm or ranch and assisting with equine care is an excellent experience before or during a degree program. Many employers prefer applicants that have some basic experience in equine care.

What Does an Equine Vet Tech Do?

An equine vet tech works with a vet to manage the care of horses. Many equine veterinarians operate mobile veterinary practices, and they are traveling to farms, stables, racetracks, or sanctuaries. Equine vet techs may also travel to horse shows and competitions when needed. Equine vet techs must have a lot of strength and stamina to handle horses and keep them calm during examinations. Duties of an equine vet tech include:

  • Assisting the equine veterinarian with births
  • Cleaning a horse’s teeth
  • Maintaining hooves
  • Helping with minor surgery
  • Taking x-rays and performing diagnostic tests
  • Drawing blood for lab work
  • Administering vaccines and injectable medications

Horses that are frightened must be handled in a humane way to calm them and prevent injuries during exams. Vet techs may be asked to ride or walk a horse so the veterinarian can conduct a soundness exam.

Schedule of an Equine Vet Tech

The schedule of an equine vet tech can’t be considered typical since the duties vary from one day to the next. Some days are routine, and others have emergencies. Traveling to stables and farms means an early start to the day. Vet techs may conduct examinations, administer vaccines and medications, and be prepared to respond to emergencies. Most equine vet techs work on a rotating schedule and they have to respond to calls day or night.

Although most equine veterinarians work out of a mobile practice, they also maintain an office. When the vet tech arrives for their shift duties include:

  • Checking messages and responding to emergency calls
  • Returning owners calls and scheduling appointments
  • Discussing cases with the veterinarian on-duty
  • Checking the mobile unit for all the necessary medications and supplies
  • Keeping track of the mobile unit inventory and re-stocking when necessary
  • Going on scheduled visits and emergency calls with the veterinarian
  • Planning the schedule and stops for the following day

Duties at an Equine Hospital, Racing, or Breeding Facility

When working at a horse facility, equine vet techs make early morning rounds to check the horses in their care. During rounds, duties include determining the horse’s general health and response, taking vital signs, and checking on the progress of surgical procedures, wounds, or other injuries. The vet tech checks respiration, temperature, and pulse and reports any changes to the veterinarian.

Preparation for surgery includes clipping the hair at the surgical site, sterilizing instruments, and checking supplies. When surgery is done in a barn, a sterile environment must be created using clean sheets and blankets. During surgery, the equine vet tech assists the veterinarian by handing over instruments and monitoring vital signs. In some cases, a second vet tech may be asked to help.

How Do I Become an Equine Vet Tech?

The first step toward becoming an equine vet tech is to earn an Associate’s degree in Veterinary Technology. Coursework in an equine vet tech program includes:

  • Anesthesiology
  • Animal Medical Techniques
  • Basic Surgical/Medical Principles
  • Communications
  • Humanities
  • Math
  • Microbiology
  • Parasitology
  • Treatment of Disease

Vet tech schools mandate hands-on experience for students. The supervising veterinarians at vet tech schools recommend that students get involved in a preceptorship, which includes practical training and experience for a student in a medical field under a specialist or expert’s supervision. Students at vet tech schools can also gain practical, hands-on experience by attending externships.

What Skills Are Needed to Be an Equine Vet Tech?

There are many different skills that an equine vet tech will need, including communication skills, proper handling of animals, attention to detail, problem solving and stamina. Having these skills will help the equine vet tech manage the horses in their care and provide the best outcomes.

Skill #1: Communication

The vet tech must have excellent communication skills, which means listening carefully to what the owner says and asking questions. An equine vet tech should be sensitive to the needs of the owner while determining the best treatment for the horse.

Horses are used for lessons, compete in shows or races, or are family pets. An owner may worry about lost income and want a horse to compete or work sooner than it’s ready to, which could cause additional health problems. The veterinary team must balance the owner’s concerns with what’s best for the horse and be able to communicate their concerns with the owner effectively.

Working with animals also requires a vet tech to have a calm demeanor and be soft-spoken. Animals that are sick or injured are frightened and need reassurance from their caregiver. When a horse trusts the person handling them, it’s easier for the vet to perform the exam and determine the most effective treatment plan.

Skill #2: Good with Animals

The veterinarian and vet tech can’t assume that the horse they treat will be well-behaved, so being good with animals is a must. Younger horses are often more challenging to handle than older animals. Observing the animal can give the vet tech hints about how the horse may behave during an exam. If an animal has been confined to a stable when it doesn’t feel well or if the weather is inclement, it may be harder to handle.

Skill #3: Attention to Detail

Attention to detail is necessary for determining why the horse isn’t feeling well. Many horses will mask pain, so it is up to the equine vet tech to check every aspect of the horse to understand the problem. They must examine the horse slowly and methodically.

Skill #4: Problem-Solving

Problem-solving skills can help a vet tech determine the cause of a horse’s lameness, loss of appetite, or change in demeanor. A horse’s body language can explain a lot about any possible problems. Observing the horse’s behavior and asking questions of the owner can be beneficial in a successful outcome.

Skill #5: Stamina

Working with horses requires a lot of stamina and patience. The equine vet tech spends long hours outside, sometimes in the middle of the night.

Final Thoughts

Many people own, breed, train, and raise millions of horses in the US. Someone has to have the knowledge and ability to medically care for all of these horses. If you are interested in helping care for animals, have a passion for horses, and have a way with horses, you could become an equine vet tech. Hop in the saddle and start a vet tech program today.

Now that you are more familiar with what an equine vet tech does, want to learn about becoming a vet tech? With an Associate Degree in Veterinary Technology, you’ll gain the knowledge, qualities 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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