Team Up with Technicians to Keep Your Pet Well
Your family has a new puppy, and you have a lot to learn about caring for Scout.
Duke is still active, but you know six years old is middle age for a large dog.
Contessa is a Persian entering her twilight years. You want to keep her comfortable in her stately bed.
Every pet has different health issues and needs. Your family veterinary practice team can help you understand each one. A key player on that team is the veterinary technician.
Veterinary technicians play an important role in helping to ensure your pet’s long and healthy life. Not only do technicians assist veterinarians in the medical care of your pet, they can also advise you about ways to keep your pet at peak health.
An Ounce of Prevention
All pets are susceptible to certain preventable illnesses and conditions, from worms to dental disease to obesity. Some pets are predisposed to specific conditions or illnesses, such as hip dysplasia or diabetes that can be prevented, postponed, or managed by good wellness care. Many conditions or illnesses can be easily treated if they are spotted early.
As your ally in wellness care, veterinary technicians provide the information and instructions you need to keep your pets well and improve their quality of life. How can you tap into the wealth of knowledge your technician is eager to share? Ask!
See the damage heartworms can do, and find out what other kinds of bugs live on — or in — your pet.
Learn why the benefits of vaccinations outweigh the risks and which vaccinations are necessary for your pet.
Learn what routine monitoring can tell you about your pet’s general health and why special testing is required before surgery or for pets with certain conditions.
Find out whether your pet is obese, and get recommendations for maintaining a diet and exercise program to keep your pet fit.
Explore the world of nutrition, including how the right food or supplements can help relieve allergies, control weight, or help to alleviate joint pain.
Get a hands-on demonstration of how to brush your pet’s teeth and learn about the link between periodontal disease and heart disease.
Ask about changes you should expect as your pet ages, special precautions that can make life easier for your elderly pet, and signs that indicate common geriatric conditions.
Before introducing your dog to any new active regime — agility training, swimming, hunting, jogging — seek advice on conditioning, general fitness, and ongoing care to prevent injuries.
Learn how pets show pain, what you can do if your pet suffers from chronic pain, and the pros and cons of treatment options, from acupuncture to prescription medication.
Call or visit
If you have questions about any of these topics, feel free to ask the technician about them during your next visit — or call now.
Working with your veterinary practice team, it’s easy to do your part to keep your pet in peak health — and in good company with bouncy Scouts, comfortable Dukes, and content Contessas.
Technicians learn wellness information by attending continuing education conferences locally and nationally. They read veterinary publications, and receive data from product companies who provide training tools and seminars to the practice staff.
Credentialed technicians — called certified or registered technicians—may have earned an associate’s or bachelor’s degree, have passed state and national board exams, and attend continuing education courses each year. (Requirements vary by state.)
Technicians know your doctor’s recommendations for the wellness of your pet. They are another open door of communication to the practice.
Becoming a Veterinary Technician, American Veterinary Medical Association
FAQs About Technicians, National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America
This article originally appeared in PetsMatter Volume 3 Issue 4, published by the American Animal Hospital Association. Copyright © 2009 AAHA. Find out more.