The Savvy VetTech

Cathy Barnette

Cathy Barnette is a practicing small animal veterinarian, freelance writer, and contributor to XPrep Learning Solutions. She is passionate about both veterinary medicine and education, working to provide helpful information to veterinary teams and the general public. In her free time, she enjoys spending time in nature with her family and leading a Girl Scout troop.
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Recent Posts

Career Options for Vet Techs who Love Dentistry

by Cathy Barnette - February 22, 2021 at 11:32 AM

One thing you will soon learn in veterinary medicine (if you haven’t already) is that everyone has different interests! In every practice I’ve worked in, there are some techs who love dentistry and others who avoid it at all costs.

If you’re one of those vet techs who loves dentistry, you’re in luck! Veterinary dentistry is a growing field and there are a number of ways that you can translate your love of dentistry into a rewarding career. 

First, ask yourself how committed you are to veterinary dentistry as a career path. If it’s your number one priority, it might make sense to pursue specialization and work exclusively in veterinary dentistry.

If you love dentistry but also love aspects of general practice, you may want to forego specialization in favor of on-the-job training and continuing education, which will allow you to practice high-quality dentistry within the general practice environment.

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Top 7 Tips for Performing Your First Dental as a Vet Tech

by Cathy Barnette - February 15, 2021 at 2:52 PM

You probably have gained some exposure to veterinary dentistry during tech school and/or your externships. You’ve learned the basic steps involved in veterinary dentistry. You may have observed or even assisted with a dental. Still, that doesn’t necessarily mean that you feel completely comfortable jumping in and doing your first independent dental as a vet tech! 

Remember these tips to help your first dental go as smoothly as possible.

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Diagnosing Canine Portosystemic Shunts: A Summary for Vet Techs

by Cathy Barnette - January 4, 2021 at 1:14 PM

A portosystemic shunt (PSS) is an abnormal connection between the portal circulation and the systemic circulation. In many cases, these connections occur between the splenic, phrenic, cranial mesenteric, caudal mesenteric, gastric, or gastroduodenal veins and the caudal vena cava or azygos vein. 

Congenital shunts occur when the fetal circulatory system fails to mature normally, similar to a patent ductus arteriosus or persistent right aortic arch. Intrahepatic congenital shunts are most commonly observed in large breed dogs, while extrahepatic congenital shunts are typically seen in small breed dogs (although there are certainly exceptions in both cases). Single congenital shunts can often be treated surgically.

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Create Your First Vet Tech Resume

by Cathy Barnette - December 21, 2020 at 3:59 PM

As you approach the end of your vet tech training, you will begin the search for your first vet tech job. Even if you have already received an offer from a current or former employer, it’s still a good idea to investigate other openings and compare opportunities. 

Creating a resume immediately out of school can be challenging, because you haven’t yet had an opportunity to work as a vet tech. However, playing up your strengths can play a big role in helping you find the right first job.

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How Will You Pay for Your VTNE® Exam and Licensing? 

by Cathy Barnette - December 16, 2020 at 10:53 AM

As you approach the end of your schooling, you’re likely looking ahead towards beginning your career as a vet tech. You’ve finally made it! The last hurdle that stands between you and your vet tech career is passing the VTNE® and obtaining your license. 

Unfortunately, those things aren’t cheap. 

The actual cost of obtaining your vet tech credentials can vary significantly, depending on the state in which you will be working. Each state sets their own licensing fees and many states require a state licensing exam, in addition to the VTNE®. Realistically, you can expect to pay somewhere in the range of $500-1,000 for your exam(s) and credentials to begin working as a vet tech. 

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