Monday, January 30, 2017

Vet Tech Tips

Skilled Professional?  Newbie?  Read on to discover some thoughts on what makes for a great Vet Tech. 

Be Creative
It is easy to look at a supplied list and use it as a treatment outline.  A talented  Tech goes beyond the checklist! 
  • Meds--Why has the medication been prescribed? Think about what you are administering and what the patient has previously been prescribed.   Is there a possibility of an interaction?  Any side effects?  Can you group meds or must they be given separately and/or at specific intervals?  What should be expected from the treatment? 
  • Quality of care--A hospital visit or stay is scary; you can help your patient cope with the stress. Is their treatment area clean and soothing?  Is their bedding fresh and dry?  Don't rely on your vision alone.  Let your fingers do the walking through the towels, padding, etc.  Is there water available?  Have they been fed?  Are they allowed either? A gentle word or loving scratch under the chin will go a long way to your patient's comfort.
Checklists are OK, but don't stop there.  Think, Tech, Think...and provide the expert care that your patient deserves.

Predict, Plan, Prepare  
Show your vet and the entire practice team your value by anticipating both the needs of the patient and the needs of the team.    A wise Vet Tech thinks critically, analyzes all the data and, just maybe, listens at the examination room door.  Always consider the practice's rules, both the vet's and client's needs,  and the goal to provide the very best care. 
Think proactive not reactive, and you'll be the "Tech guru" at your practice.

Speak, Vet Tech, Speak
Yes, you're skilled in understanding animals...that's why you became a Vet Tech!  It's up to you to be their voice. Monitor their pain and discuss best choices.  Be sure that all of the critical facts have been conveyed to the vet prior to any procedure.  Sometimes it's as simple as watching over the foods they eat or the time they eat. Would an extra fleece pad in their cage help their arthritis?   Listen to the patient, Communicate their needs. 

Never Stop Learning
The world of veterinary medicine is ever-changing and you have to commit yourself to ever-education.  How to do it?  Read Journals like Clinician’s Brief, Veterinary Team Brief, or scientific journals like the Journal of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care or the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association.  Explore continuing education courses.  Your vet will be thrilled to help you in your question for knowledge and your goal to be the Vet Tech who sets the bar of excellence. 

Those who can...Teach!
Make it your goal to share your knowledge and skills.  Not only will you earn the respect and undying faith of the newest member of the team, you'll  revitalize your own career.    
Do you have a tip or trick that will help the Vet Tech community?  Contact Diagnostic Imaging Systems and let us know.

Monday, January 9, 2017

Meow + Roar = Hybrid Cats

Beautiful, strong and mysterious – just some of the traits driving up the demand for hybrid cat breeds.

It's the closest you’ll get to sharing your home with a lion or tiger; hybrids were developed by crossing a domestic cat breed with a wild cat breed.

They are often categorized as F1, F2, F3, F4 and F6, which indicates how many generations they are removed from the original wild individual.  This means that, unlike the domestic house cat (felis catus), which has had over 9000 years of close contact with humans, and has been selectively bred over centuries for adaption to such a lifestyle, hybrid cat breeds have lived only a few generations with people.  These different hybrids generally look and act quite different from each other, depending on how great a percentage of their bloodline is wild.

Hybrid Health Alert
Hybrids whether early generation or domestic often have the following common health issues which can be expensive:
  • Painful irritable bowel disease (IBD) that causes chronic diarrhea
  • Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy
  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy
  • Tri-Trichamonas Foetus
  • Luxating patella
  • Often high corona titers and the only known test for FIP – Feline Infectious Peritonitis (but not always reliable)
  • Gingivitis and mouth lesions (most common in Chausies)

Common hybrid cats
The beautiful Bengal is a cross between a domestic cat and an Asian Leopard Cat.  High energy, extremely athletic and cat-astrophically clever, the Bengal can be a lot to handle.  All his characteristics make the Bengal tons of fun and capable of learning to walk on a leash.  going for a leash walk. Break out your bikini...Bengals swim!

The Chausie is an outstanding hybrid, crossed between the Egyptian Jungle Cat (Felix chaus) and either the domestic shorthair or the Abyssinian. This feline is fearless, fast and frisky, famous for its jumping skills.  The Chausie cat is smart, smart, smart, and knows all your homes special secret places.  Hide the valuables...owners report this cat burglar has been known to swipe pieces of jewelry!

Cross a 30-pound African Serval with a 8-pound Siamese Sealpoint and do you get?  The Savannah.   The breed has been out-crossed with Domestic and Oriental Shorthairs, Ocicats and Egyptian Maus to develop the modern Savannah cat breed we know and love today – beautiful, athletic, and smart. This cat can be taught to walk on a leash, and has the ability to jump 8 feet straight into the air.   The Savannah may be the ideal cat for dog lovers--it can be trained to "Stay" and "Sit."
Get the Facts
The specific qualities of each hybrid wild cat breed depends on how many generations they are removed from their wild ancestors as well as the traits inherited from their specific parentage. Hybrids, particularly of the F1 variety, can be a handful, and some jurisdictions consider them to be wild animals and do not allow them to be kept in private residences.  Please check your local and state laws before proceeding.

Think this over carefully, and find a rescue organization or breeder you trust before taking the plunge.