The Savvy VetTech

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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

Vet Tech Case Study: Eosinophilic Granuloma Complex

by Cathy Barnette - January 18, 2022 at 11:39 AM

Pepper, a 3 yo FS DSH, presents on a busy Friday afternoon for a recent history of skin irritation and licking. She is an indoor/outdoor cat and is up-to-date on FVRCP, Rabies, and FeLV vaccines, but not much is known about her medical history.

She was adopted from a shelter just a few months earlier. Pepper’s owner reports that she tries to give Revolution® monthly, though she has missed a few doses; Pepper’s most recent dose was administered roughly five weeks ago. 

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The Vet Tech’s Role in Managing Rodenticide Toxicity

by Cathy Barnette - September 27, 2021 at 10:30 AM

When you hear the phrase “rodenticide toxicity,” what’s the first type of toxicity that comes to mind? If you’re like most people, you probably think of anticoagulant rodenticides.

However, there are a variety of different rodenticides that can have toxic effects on pets. As a vet tech, it’s important for you to be familiar with these toxins and know your role in managing possible rodenticide toxicity. 

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Handling Client Calls About Possible Toxicities: 5 Tips for Vet Techs

by Cathy Barnette - September 20, 2021 at 12:27 PM

Clients and non-clients alike often call veterinary clinics about possible toxicity concerns. In most cases, the receptionists answer these calls and then forward them to a vet tech for evaluation.

Your job, as the vet tech, is to triage the client’s concern and determine whether the pet needs veterinary care. In some cases, it will be obvious that the client’s concern is unfounded and the item that the pet ate does not pose a risk. In other cases, however, the correct solution will not be so clear. 

When in doubt, you can always ask the veterinarian for a recommendation.

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How Much Damage Can a Few Grapes Cause? A Grape Toxicity Case Study for Vet Techs

by Cathy Barnette - September 6, 2021 at 12:10 PM

You are working a busy day as a vet tech in small animal general practice when a receptionist pages back to the treatment area.

Mrs. Jones, a longtime client, is on the phone. She is concerned because her dog, Maximus, may have just eaten several grapes out of the trash can. Maximus is a 6 yo Miniature Pinscher and, according to your medical records, he weighs about 13 lbs.

How concerned should Mrs. Jones be? What should you tell her to do? 

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Tips for Tackling the TPR

by Cathy Barnette - July 19, 2021 at 10:11 AM

As a vet tech, one of your many responsibilities will be helping the veterinarian see appointments. In many cases, you will be the first to enter the exam room, in order to obtain the patient’s history, assess the TPR, and perform a brief triage exam.

Since this is a routine that you will be performing nearly every day, it makes sense to give some thought to how to do it correctly! 

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