Celebrate

HAPPY VET STAFF WEEK

Veterinary Techinians' resilience is the heart of veterinary medicine.

Every year we take one week to show our absolute appreciation of all the the techs and staff in the veterinary world. They have a very difficult job that absolutely runs them ragged and yet they come back every single day to do it again… and all for our patients and clients! Here is a little bit of insight on what all a vet tech does.

Customer Service

A woman in scrubs talking to a man.

Our veterinary receptionist is the first face you see when you walk in our doors. Their smiles and greetings set the entire tone for your vet visit. She is who you reach out to when your pet is sick, who is there for you when payments are difficult, and when you need advice. Our techs bring you into the rooms, offer advice over the phone, and do many things that define our customer service.

Nurse

A vet tech holding a small dog on a table.

The title “Veterinary Technician” can be a little misleading. A vet tech is basically a veterinary nurse! They are primarily responsible for patient care, medication administration, cleaning kennels, boarding, assisting in surgery, and almost anything you can think of!

They can draw blood, do stitches, and lots of things that veterinarians can do too. It is a fact in the medical world that doctors can only be successful with great nursing staff and veterinarians are no exception!

Technical Skills

Two vet techs taking an x-ray of a dog.

Vet techs are responsible for many of the technical procedures in the vet world. They are usually who takes, or assists, with x-rays, ultrasounds, running blood work, and even monitoring patients during surgery! They have profound medical skills and do much more than just walking dogs and cleaning kennels.

Vet techs are the superheroes behind closed doors.
FYI

National Pet Obesity Awareness Day

October 13th is National Pet Obesity Awareness Day! Just like in humans, pet obesity is a serious health issue that can lead to other concerning medical conditions. Here are some quick facts and tips for keeping your furry kiddos in tip-top shape!

How common is obesity in cats and dogs?

Obesity is the most common chronic health condition in cats and dogs in the U.S. Vets and pet parents alike know that the majority of the pets we see today are unfortunately obese.

This is a huge issue in cats especially. We know fluffy kitties are cute! But we want them to stay healthy to!

How do I know if my pet is obese?

We have some handy, dandy charts for that! The key thing to look for in our furry friends is they want to have a waist like most people want to have a waist. So standing above them and looking down, you should see that waist. It should also be visible from the side!

You should be able to feel your pet’s ribs but NOT see them all except in very thin breeds like Greyhounds (dog) and Sphynxes (cat.

Consequences of Pet Obesity

Obesity in pets, just like in people, leads to several concerning health conditions. Below I have listed some of the more common conditions and how they affect your pet’s overall health.

Arthritis

Arthritis and joint pain are usually the first conditions we see secondary to obesity. Extra weight puts a lot of extra stress on the joints, thus leading to inflammation and pain. We can manage with medications as needed but getting those pounds off are most effective!

Diabetes

Diabetes is the next most common, long-term effect of obesity in our pets. Having so much fat in the body leads to blood sugar regulation issues. That means we will have to monitor their blood sugar levels and they will need insulin injections and/or special food.

Heart Disease

Heart disease is very common in our overweight pets. Once the heart is damaged, it is permanently damaged. That means while we can medically manage it, we cannot undo it.

Heart disease is usually treated with lifelong medications, x-rays, and exams.

How do I put my pet on a diet?

We have all been on diets and they are NOT fun. On the bright side, we are in total control of what and how much our pets eat thus, dieting is pretty simple. We recommend the following steps:

  1. Decrease your pet’s daily amount of food and decrease it by a quarter (ex: If your pet eats 1 cup of food a day, start feeding them 3/4 cup)
    • Yes it is highly recommended to measure their food every time!
  2. Replace that quart of their food with low-calorie, yummy filler food:
    • Boiled sweet potatoes
    • Defrosted carrot slices
    • Defrosted green beans
    • Boiled white meat chicken
  3. No treats!! We have all had our diets ruined by sneaking a brownie or a donut. Let’s be more successful with our pets!
  4. EXERCISE!! Whether we like it or not, exercise is huge for weight loss. Even if it is only throwing the ball, playing with a laser, or short walks, some exercise is better than no exercise!

Just for Fun

Case of the Month

Meet Stripes!

Stripes is an 8-week-old kitten whose new owners found last week. With her owners’ permission, we thought this was a good case to share!

Last week

Stripes was very lethargic, wouldn’t stand, eat, or drink! She had fleas, ear mites, and was crying out. We took x-rays (see below) and very quickly found out what happened to poor Stripes. Can you figure it out?

Right lateral view of Stripes on x-ray

What do you you see wonky in this image? Hint: Look at the head!

Here is what we found!

Right lateral of Stripes on x-ray

The green bracket shows us blunt force trauma on the back of the skull (she got hit really hard on the head) and what looks like a probable fracture in her neck.

What does that mean?

Stripes had severe neurologic signs (eyes flicking, crying, unable to stand, no reflexes in her limbs) because she got hit in the back of the head and neck so hard she had a concussion, a couple fractures, and serious pain in that area. That’s why she couldn’t walk and everything else.

What’s next?

Neck and skull fractures in very young animals tend to heal pretty quickly with intense TLC. We gave her medications for pain, to decrease the swelling, and strict instructions for food/water by syringe every few hours and such.

What about now?

Check out the x-rays we took today! Stripes is trying to walk, has normal reflexes, immediately rubs and purrs to say hi! She can even eat and drink on her own!! Thanks to her wonderful new owners, Stripes is healing up very well! She does still have side-to-side swaying of her head and is unsteady. These symptoms will probably improve to a certain extent but she might stay a little neurologic but she can still live a happy, wonderful life!

Right lateral of Stripes on x-ray

The bright white at the back of her head is new bone growth to heal over those fractures! Her neck bones are much more normally spaced out now although it still has some healing to do.

Take-home Points

A broken neck is NOT always a death sentence! Stripes obviously had a rough start to her life but, she found an absolutely wonderful home! Her progress would NOT have happened without such wonderful nursing care at home!!

Stripes & myself (Dr. Alisa Boomer) this morning