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What is the Vet Tech’s Role in Preventing Financial Euthanasia?

by Cathy Barnette - Apr 9, 2021 11:08:30 AM


You’re working in your first job as a vet tech in a busy general practice, juggling a new puppy visit and a drop-off lameness workup, when a client comes rushing through the door with an emergency. Her Jack Russell Terrier, Jackie O., has just been hit by a car. One of your fellow vet techs rushes Jackie back to the treatment area for a triage exam, asking you to take Jackie’s owner into an exam room and get a brief history.

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What Your Clients Might Not Know About Wellness Plans

by Cathy Barnette - Apr 1, 2021 10:06:03 AM


VTP02ICONIf you plan on working in small animal general practice, there’s a good chance you may someday find yourself in a practice that offers wellness plans. A 2015 survey found that 20% of the veterinary practices surveyed offered wellness plans as an option for their clients, although the exact number seems to fluctuate from year to year.1

Wellness plans are often touted as a way to help clients with budgeting, while increasing client compliance with preventive care recommendations. 

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Talking to Veterinary Clients About Dental Extractions

by Cathy Barnette - Mar 23, 2021 7:16:50 AM


VTPBLOG03Although dental extractions are a common, everyday procedure in many veterinary practices, they are also a frequent source of frustration for vets, vet techs, and clients. Learning to communicate with clients about extractions more effectively can help alleviate at least a portion of this stress, improving client compliance with these procedures. 

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Addressing Client Misconceptions About Pet Insurance

by Cathy Barnette - Mar 19, 2021 8:38:57 AM


VTP02As you have probably already noticed during your time in vet clinics, high-quality veterinary care is expensive! We have the ability to perform a wide variety of advanced diagnostic tests and treatments for our veterinary patients, but not all clients can afford this level of care. Unfortunately, if clients can’t afford the diagnostics and treatments that we recommend, we can’t provide them… which means that all of the recent advances in veterinary medicine serve little purpose. 

Fortunately, there is a solution to this problem. In many cases, pet insurance can help! If we convince a client to purchase pet insurance while their pet is young, we are far less likely to find ourselves performing an economic euthanasia later in that pet’s life.

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Career Options for Vet Techs who Love Dentistry

by Cathy Barnette - Feb 22, 2021 10:32:49 AM


FebBlog02VTPOne 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 - Feb 15, 2021 1:52:29 PM


VTPBLOG01You 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 - Jan 4, 2021 12:14:00 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 - Dec 21, 2020 2:59:00 PM


VTP02IconAs 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 - Dec 16, 2020 9:53:29 AM


HowToPayVTNEAs 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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Vet Tech Case Study: A Boston Terrier Respiratory Emergency

by Cathy Barnette - Nov 27, 2020 10:43:00 AM


It’s a summer afternoon and you’re working as a vet tech in a busy general practice, shortly after receiving your license. The day is fully booked, with multiple doctors on duty, back-to-back appointments, and several walk-in patients that need to be worked into the schedule.

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Vet Tech Monitoring of Critically Ill Patients

by Cathy Barnette - Nov 20, 2020 10:23:40 AM

When you think about monitoring a critically ill patient, what comes to mind? Do you immediately jump to electrocardiograms, blood gas analysis, and other high-tech tools? The truth is that these advanced monitoring technologies can be immensely helpful, but the most important tools are your own eyes and ears. 

Animals may be critically ill for any number of reasons, including trauma, infection, or organ failure. Some critically ill pets present on an emergency basis, while others are hospitalized for what appears to be a straightforward illness and deteriorate over time. Regardless of the cause or timing of the pet’s deterioration, critically ill pets need specialized round-the-clock monitoring because things can change quickly.

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A Vet Tech’s Guide to Pre-Transfusion Testing in Dogs & Cats

by Cathy Barnette - Nov 16, 2020 1:53:21 PM


If you work in small animal practice, you are bound to one day find yourself somehow involved in giving a blood transfusion.

While the administration of blood transfusions can vary significantly, depending on whether you’re working in a general practice that doesn’t routinely perform transfusions or a high-volume emergency clinic, there are certain steps that should always remain constant. It’s important to have a grasp of these basic steps in pre-transfusion testing. 

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Retired Racing Pets: FAQs for Vet Tech Students

by Cathy Barnette - Oct 12, 2020 7:04:00 PM


As a veterinary technician working in large or small animal clinical practice, you are likely to eventually encounter a retired racing animal as a patient. Former racing Thoroughbreds and greyhounds are often adopted by owners who enjoy these breeds and want to help out by providing a home for a retired working animal. 

While there are many benefits to adopting a retired racing animal, these pets can also be associated with unique behavioral and medical concerns. As a vet tech, it’s important to be familiar with these concerns, so that you can help clients provide the best possible care for these unique pets.

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Alternative Careers in Animal Welfare: 4 Options for Vet Techs

by Cathy Barnette - Oct 5, 2020 6:52:00 PM


While all vet techs care about animal welfare (after all, you don’t invest the time and money in vet tech school if you don’t care about animals), some are more passionate about this field than others.

If you’re a vet tech with a special passion for animal welfare, you may be wondering if there are opportunities outside of private practice. Fortunately, there are a number of career opportunities that will allow you to harness your passion and make a difference.

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Feline Hyperthyroidism: A Vet Tech’s Summary of Treatment Options

by Cathy Barnette - Sep 28, 2020 11:17:36 AM


When it comes to feline hyperthyroidism, there are four treatment options: radioactive iodine, surgery, medication, and iodine-restricted diet. Each of these approaches has unique pros and cons. 

Although radioactive iodine treatment is regarded as the treatment of choice for most cats, the reality is that the optimal treatment for any individual cat is based on a number of patient and client factors.

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