Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: Happy Halloween from Pawsitively Pets

Shiner in her Halloween attire

Nibblet posing on a pumpkin
Happy Wordless Wednesday and Happy Halloween from Shiner and Nibblet!

Nibblet is also featured on Blogpaws Wordless Wednesday this week! Click here to see it! 



Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Turtles Are Not Squeaky Toys

For my reptile fans out there, I'd like to share some of my knowledge with dog/cat bite wounds on turtles. Many dogs and cats think that turtles make perfect chew toys. This type of injury is one of the more common ones I have seen inflicted upon turtles over the years.

What Should I Do If the Dog Chews on my Turtle?

Preferably, you should take your turtle to a veterinarian. Dog bites can be very serious and can cause septicemia (blood infection), punctured internal organs, bone exposure, and are painful. The vet can clean up the wounds accordingly and patch up any parts of the carapace that need it. There are many ways to patch up a turtle's shell depending on the problem. Those turtle vets can be very creative. The vet will probably prescribe an injectable antibiotic that can usually be administered at home pretty easily. Reptiles do not heal as quickly as other animals. The healing process can take a very long time - maybe even months.

If the wound seems to be just a minor abrasion you can try cleaning it at home with a very dilute chlorhexadine solution. If  the small wound seems to be getting worse, you need to take the turtle to the vet.

Protect Your Turtle!

I have met many people who like to let their turtles roam around the house and never put them in a cage. This may be OK every once in a while, but is not ideal long term. Other pets can injure the turtle if they get a hold of it. You may trust your cats and dogs enough to be around the turtle, but you should still probably always supervise them when they are together. Just to be safe.

There are other reasons why life as a house turtle is not ideal. Turtles need proper amounts of UVB light in order to stay healthy. If they only roam the house all day, chances are that they are not getting enough UVB.

So keep your little turtle friends safe and make sure they are supervised around other pets at all times. Make sure you keep them safe and cozy in a roomy enclosure when you aren't playing with them.

Caption This Photo

I though that maybe today we could play a little game. It's called "Caption This Photo". Leave a comment below with the most creative, inspiring, funny, cute, or witty caption that you can think of. After I pick my favorite caption, I will share it with everyone on Wednesday. Sorry, I don't really have a prize to give out for this. If you win, you'll just have to accept the fact that you are very creative =) Good luck!


How to Toast Pumpkin Seeds

My oldest daughter decided to carve her pumpkin on Sunday so I decided to save the seeds to toast. I've toasted the seeds of pumpkins on several occasions and thought that they would make an awesome treat for my little rat, Nibblet. Other small mammals can enjoy them too - hamsters, gerbils, mice, etc. Even birds can eat toasted pumpkin seeds! So don't throw out those pumpkin seeds! Here's how you toast them...

Step 1:

Carve your pumpkin and seperate all the seeds from the pulp.

  Step 2:

Rinse the seeds in water, removing any excess pulp.

 Step 3:

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. While the oven preheats, lightly grease a pan with pure vegetable oil. Do not use non-stick pan. These types of pans are not good for birds. Place your pumpkin seeds on the baking sheet and bake them for 30 - 45 minutes. You may want to turn them over every 5 - 10 minutes so that they don't burn.

Step 4:

Share your toasty seeds with your rat, hamster, gerbil, or bird. This is the fun part! Do not add any seasoning or salt to the seeds.


If you want to have some seeds for yourself, you can season them with a little salt or whatever else you prefer. Mmmm tasty! 


Heartworms Aren't Just For the Dogs

Photo: cheesechoker
It's Health Tip Tuesday and I'd like to bring to everyone's attention that dogs aren't the only ones who get heartworms. Did you know that cats can be affected by this parasite as well? Cats are not the intended host for heartworms, but they certainly can get them. I recently did a little research on the topic so I thought I would share some of the details with you.

It all starts when an infected mosquito bites your cat. The larvae (known as microfilariae) travel through the cat's tissue and to the bloodstream. Eventually they end up in the heart and lungs where they may grow to adult worms. Heartworms only have a lifespan of about 3 years in a cat's body. While this is much shorter than their lifespan in a dog, heartworms can still do a lot of damage to a cat's respiratory system - even if they never grow to the adult stage.

Heartworm associated respiratory disease (aka HARD) is the result of feline heartworm disease. A lot of times, the symptoms of HARD are misdiagnosed as asthma or tracheal bronchitis. Chronic symptoms of HARD include coughing, increased respiratory effort, vomiting, lethargy, and weight loss. Sometimes, feline heartworm disease goes undetected and the cat can become ill very quickly without warning. The acute symptoms of feline heartworm disease include blindness, vomitting, diarrhea, increased respiratory rate, convulsions, collapse, and death.

Finding out if your cat has heartworms can be difficult sometimes. There is an antigen test for feline heartworm disease, but it is not always accurate. Veterinarians also use tools like x-rays, cardiac ultrasound, bloodwork, EKG, and more.

Unfortunately, there is no cure for the feline heartworm disease. Many cats are able to fight off heartworm infections on their own. Veterinarians can prescribe anti-inflammatories or antibiotics to help the cat fight off the infection faster. Routine vet visits and tests may also be recommended to check the progress of the infection on a regular basis.

How can feline heartworm disease be prevented? The best option is to use a once a month heartworm prevention for your cat. There are currently four options available on the market today. Many people think that because their cat stays strictly indoors, they are not at risk for heartworms. This is false. It is still possible for indoor cats to get feline heartworm disease, although their chances are lowered. This is another way you can help prevent your cat from getting feline heartworm disease - keep them indoors. And of course, you can minimize mosquito infestations around the home by removing any sources of stagnant water.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Dental Disease in Rabbits

Dental disease in rabbits can be a life-threatening condition. Did you know that a rabbit's teeth never stop growing? That's why it is so important that they chew all the time. In some rabbits, the problem can be genetic. In most rabbits, dental disease is due to poor diet. When rabbits do not have proper things to chew on, their teeth can become overgrown causing points on their teeth. These dental problems are called malocclusions. These points can lead to painful ulcers in their mouth. This is also true for other small mammals like guinea pigs and chinchillas. Learn how you can help prevent dental disease in your rabbit.

Symptoms of Dental Disease in Rabbits


As mentioned above, sharp points on the teeth of rabbits can be painful. Who would want to eat when your mouth hurts? One common symptom of dental disease in rabbits is anorexia. In veterinary medical terms, anorexia means refusal to eat. If the rabbit won't eat, then you can also expect weight loss. The chin of the rabbit may be wet - this is known as "slobbers".

Babalu Bunny

How is Dental Disease in Rabbits Diagnosed?

 

Most people can only see the front incisors of a rabbit. They also have molars or "cheek teeth" which need to be examined by a veterinarian on a regular basis. Veterinarians use a special tool called a speculum to look at a rabbit's molars and decide if there is any dental disease present. Most rabbits hate their oral exams, but they are very important.

Sometimes, the incisors can be overgrown. This is pretty easy to visualize. I have seen a rabbit growing front teeth that looked like mammoth tusks before.

Another good tool for diagnosing dental disease in rabbits is to take an x-ray. Many veterinary offices today have the capability of taking dental x-rays.

What is the Treatment of Dental Disease in Rabbits?

If a veterinarian finds that your rabbit has maloccluded teeth, then they will probably recommend filing down the sharp points of the problem teeth. Typically, the patient needs to be under anaesthesia for this process. The vet is able to safely work in the mouth this way, filing down any malocclusions with a special drill-like tool. The goal is to make all the teeth symmetrical.

In many cases, this procedure will need to be repeated again. Many rabbits with dental disease have recurring problems and need regular malocclusal adjustments.

After the procedure, the mouth may be a little sore. Syringe feeding for a little while may be recommended if the rabbit doesn't want to eat well afterwards. There is a special food that vet's can prescribe to syringe feed your rabbit.

Prevention of Dental Disease in Rabbits


One of the best ways to prevent dental disease in rabbits is to provide them with a proper diet. A rabbit's diet should consist of mostly timothy hay. They should have hay available to them at all times. This is a mistake I have seen many rabbit owners make. Some never knew that their rabbit needed hay in their diet. Pellets can be given in small quantities depending on the rabbit's size. Too many pellets can make a rabbit fat anyways. Dark leafy greens are also good for rabbits. Things like dandelion greens or kale. Iceberg and romaine lettuce have no real nutritional value. Vegetables and fruits can be given occasionally as treats. Just remember - lots of timothy hay!

 Also, try to keep your rabbit from chewing on metal wire if their cage is made of it. Providing them with lots of good chewing toys can help prevent dental disease in rabbits as well. And don't forget to take your rabbit to the vet at least annually so that they can have a proper oral exam. Catching dental disease in early stages is always best, as it's easier to treat.




Sunday, October 28, 2012

Spotlight Sunday: "Dot" - The Kitten With Spina Bifida

Photo via Lisa R Redding
In the spotlight today is "Dot", a kitten who was born with a condition called Spina Bifida. This disease is a rare birth defect. In the womb, the vertebral arch does not fuse normally. Since she has Spina Bifida, Dot is not able to use her back legs. This does not stop her from getting around though! She is still able to move around using her front legs and very quickly at that! She is able to climb up a 7 foot cat tree lightning fast! You can watch the video below. Dot cannot express her bladder or bowels on her own, and needs a little help from her human friends at Tabby's Place in New Jersey where she now lives. She was born in a garage in Virginia a little over a year ago.

Dot is a sweet little kitten who loves to cuddle. Her favorite color is blue and she loves to play with her toys. She is named Dot because she has a dot where many other kitties have tails. She has her own Facebook fan page with more than 2,000 friends! In many of her cute videos, she can be seen playing with one of her good kitty friends, D'art, who is a paraplegic cat that was thought to have been hit by a car at a young age.You can become friends with Dot on her Facebook page here. She has plenty of super cute videos to watch there! 

Photo via Lisa R Redding
Tabby's Place provides Dot with important physical therapy, proper nutritional support, love, care, and pays for her costly medical bills. Dot's condition requires lots of medical attention, including check-ups at the vet and MRI's. If you are interested in donating to Dot, please visit her donation page here.

Photo via Lisa R Redding
Tabby's Place is a wonderful Cat Sanctuary where cats in unfortunate situations can go to seek refuge. They rescue cats in need, many of which would have been euthanized otherwise. They rescue normal kitties as well. Tabby's place is an adoption center, hospital, and hospice all in one. They care for a lot of elderly, handicapped, and chronically or terminally ill cats who have no where else to go. The cats at Tabby's Place can enjoy living and playing with other felines. They have lots of toys, scratching posts, and towers to play with. They also get to play outside sometimes in special outdoor enclosures. Tabby's Place also has a medical facility on site. Basically, this place is special needs kitty heaven! If you want to learn more about Tabby's Place or donate to their cause, please visit their website here!

Photo via Lisa R Redding
Photo via Lisa R Redding

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Happy National Pit Bull Awareness Day!

October 27th is National Pit Bull Awareness Day. Being a pit bull owner myself, I had to celebrate somehow. This day is devoted to bringing awareness to everyone that pit bulls are good dogs. It is not their fault when they are paired up with bad people, just like any other breed of dog. Pit bulls are victims of BSL - Breed Specific Legislation. Your breed could be next! Enjoy my tribute to this brilliant breed of dog.


Original image URL: http://www.flickr.com/photos/lexus-is200/3919519345/
Special thanks to The Red Nose Lucy Foundation for letting me use their picture of Lucy. Visit The Red Nose Lucy Foundation on Facebook!

Friday, October 26, 2012

Interview With Maggie: The Kitten With No Eyelids

Recently, I met a sweet little kitten named Maggie through Facebook. Maggie was rescued by her humans from a dumpster. Poor thing! Her humans soon discovered that she had no eyelids. In my interview, Maggie explains what life is like for her now. She dreams of having new eyelids one day.

Meet Maggie - The Kitten With No Eyelids

 

How did your humans find you?

 

Maggie at her mom's work
My mom works at a very busy Veterinary Clinic that also has a rescue program. One of our vet assistant's boyfriend found me in a dumpster behind his work. I was covered in Maggots which is why I is sometimes lovingly referred to as "Maggot". I was bottle fed by that vet assistant until I could eat on my own. That is when I came to live at my house now.

What did your humans think when they found out you had no eyelids?

 

They wondered at first if it was just a really bad eye infection because there was a lot of crust and goop. However, once that was cleaned off, Dr. Meyer saw that I was simply born without them! They weren't sure if I was going to make it, but they treated my eye infection and got me through it! Once I am 6 lbs, I can have surgery to re-create eye lid.

Where did all the laundry go?

What is life without eyelids like for you?

 

I don't think it makes me much different than other kitties. My mom and dad put lubricating ointment in my eyes at least 3 times a day. It makes my eyes feel wonderful because I sit very nicely for it. I sleep a lot like every other cat and even though my eyes aren't closed all the way it doesn't bother me!

How can people help you achieve your goal of new eyelids?

 

People can like my Facebook page and share it with their friends! My Aunt Nikki also started a Chip-In page to help raise money for my surgery. (Visit Maggie's chip-in page here!)

Do you live with any other animal friends?

 

2 Crested geckos, 2 fat tailed geckos and a Russian tortoise. My dog friends are very nice to me and I love to sleep on their backs. I also love sleeping with the tortoise and watching the geckos play in their terrarium.

Maggie and her friend Peaches the Russian Tortoise

What are your hobbies?

 

I love climbing my cat tree, sitting in the window watching the squirrels, running around like a maniac, and playing with the little squeaky mouse toys my mom gets me!

What is your favorite food or snack?

 

I love to steal crackers from my mom and dad. Whenever they have them out, I always try to steal them. I also love the Whisker Lickin' treats I get after I get my eye goop!

What is your favorite thing to do with your humans?

 

I love napping with my dad. Mom laughs at us because I purr very loudly and my dad snores very loudly! I also love chewing on my moms hair while she works on her computer!

Maggie modeling her Halloween dress
  
All photos are courtesy of Maggie's Mom, Devan

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

And The Winner Is...

Congratulations to Hannah from Animal Tails on winning a custom pet portrait from Carla's Creatures Etsy Shop! Can't wait to see the finished product! Hopefully I can get a photo posted of the portrait. Thank you to all who entered. If you didn't win, you can still purchase a beautiful portrait of your beloved pet at www.etsy.com/shop/carlascreatures. Big thanks to Carla Smale for donating such a lovely prize.
Artwork by Carla Smale

Wordless Wednesday: Caption This Photo Contest



Earlier this week, I asked you to caption this photo. The best caption winner goes to Caren and Cody from "Cat Chat With Caren and Cody"! You can visit their blog here! Congratulations you two! I did alter the crazy bird on the left to look more like a zombie bird to fit in with your caption. Plus, it's Halloween so that means it's zombie season. Thanks for playing everyone! Happy Wordless Wednesday!



Tuesday, October 23, 2012

How to Give CPR to Your Dog

CPR stands for Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation. Knowing how to administer CPR to your dog could come in handy if an emergency were ever present. For your dog's sake, I certainly hope not, but better safe than sorry. If your dog ever stops breathing and/or their heart stops, time is a huge factor and action should be taken immediately.

First, let me tell you about the ABC's of CPR.
  • Airway - Always check to make sure the dog's airway is clear of any debris. 
  • Breathing - Next check to see if the dog is breathing. 
  • Circulation - Check that the dog's heart is still beating. 

A - Airway

After this quick assessment, you can begin performing the necessary life-saving tasks. Sometimes, a dog may stop breathing if their airway is blocked, so removing any sort of blockage can help your dog start breathing immediately in some cases.

B - Breathing

If you cannot find anything blocking the dog's airway and they are not breathing, then you can begin to breath for them. Do this by holding their mouth shut firmly and breathing into their nostrils every 5 seconds. It is important to make sure that their chest is moving when you do this. If it is not, then you should try to check again for a blockage of the airway. If their chest does move when you breath into their nostrils, then you can open their mouth afterwards so that they can exhale.

C - Circulation

If the dog has no heartbeat, then you need to perform chest compressions in conjunction with artificial respiration. This task would be done best with two people. Lay the dog down with his right side down and left side up. Remember that the heart is on the left side of the body, just like humans, and that side needs to be closest to where the compressions are being performed. Place your hand on the ribcage right behind the dog's elbow. Place your other hand on top of the first hand and begin to apply firm pressure. More pressure for larger dogs, and less pressure for smaller ones. Do these compressions a total of 10 times. If the dog is still not breathing, give him/her a breath again.


Repeat the pattern of 10 chest compressions followed by one breath until you can reach a veterinarian. A vet can help by intubating the dog and breathing for him with an oxygen machine, administer medications to start the heart again (epinephrine), start intravenous fluids to help with circulation of the bloodstream, and more.

Unfortunately, CPR on any animal is only effective an extremely small percentage of the time. This includes when it is performed by a veterinarian and medical staff. That small percentage is still enough to know that you might be able to help! I hope these tips on how to give CPR to your dog have come in handy for dog owners and I also hope that you never need to use them.

Thanks to my CPR model, Shiner!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

National Pit Bull Awareness Month

Shiner as a puppy
October is National Pit Bull Awareness Month and today is "Furry Fursday", so I thought I'd put the two together and talk about pit bulls today!

Pit bulls are one of the many breeds stereotyped for being bad dogs. Pit bull owners around the world know that this couldn't be any farther from the truth. They are also a victim of BSL - breed specific legislation. Being a pit bull owner myself, I am partial to the breed. I have worked with many different breeds of dogs at my job in the vet clinic and can tell you that they are big babies! I have never seen a breed of dog act like such scaredy cats! They are not all like this of course, most are very friendly and well-behaved.


Pit bull awareness month started in 2011. There are many pit bull rescue organizations today that fight for fairness for the breed. They try to get the message across to people that there are no bad dogs - just bad owners. Owners need to be responsible and help their dogs live a physically, mentally, and socially healthy life. Pit bulls are banned from living in different parts of the world. Some home owner's insurance companies will not insure you if you own a certain breed of dog. Even apartment complexes have breed bans.

Other breeds of dogs can relate to the pit bull. Dobermans, German Shepards, Mastiffs, Rottweilers, Akitas and more are also victims of "bad dog" breed stereotypes. From my experiences, these breeds are usually a pleasure to work with.

The truth about pit bulls is that they are loyal, friendly, intelligent, obedient, strong, and have a well-working tongue for lots of doggy kisses. Hopefully one day the rest of the world will realize this and give them a chance.

Here are a few Pit Bull Awareness organizations/rescues you can visit to learn more:

Giveaway From Carla's Creatures!

Artwork by Carla Smale
Artwork by Carla Smale
I'm very excited to announce my first contest on Pawsitively Pets! The giveaway prize is from Carla's Creatures Etsy shop owned by artist, Carla Smale. The winner will receive a gorgeous 2.5" by 3.5" trading card sized custom pet portrait. The contest will begin on October 18th and end on October 24th at midnight EST. US, UK, and Canadian contestants only. That gives you one week to get as many entries as possible!

Carla's Creatures is an Etsy store that offers many different sizes of pet portraits, custom greeting cards, trading cards, artist bears, and tye-dye doggy T-shirts. The artwork that Carla produces is beautiful and unique. Now you can have your very own dazzling pet portrait from her store!

Carla's specialty is painting animals. She can paint cats, dogs, birds, fish, reptiles, rodents, and more. If it's an animal she can paint it. She was getting many inquiries from her clients about doing custom paintings of their pets. This is how Carla's Creatures got started. Carla currently works from home full time doing her paintings and crafts. She even has her own blog and website.

You can visit her Etsy store at www.etsy.com/shop/carlascreatures and her website at www.carlaspetportraits.com.

Now let's get started on the contest! You can enter the giveaway below. Be sure to share with your friends.  Best wishes and good luck to everyone! <3
Artwork by Carla Smale

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Interview with Disco the Parakeet - Bird to Your Mother!


For "Winged Wednesday", I wanted to share with you one of the coolest little birds around. His name is "Disco" and he's a parakeet. He will tell you so himself. Disco resides in Rochester, New York with his three humans and dog. He is 2 years old and has been living with his humans since he was 4 months old.

Disco is a famous Youtube superstar with a huge vocabulary. He even has his own Facebook, Twitter, and website with thousands of fans. He can say over 60 cute phrases and is still learning more. He even beat boxes! This precious parakeet can meow, bark, sing, dance, and is bilingual. He speaks English, German, Swedish, and French. If you haven't seen his videos, you are in for a real treat. Disco is amazing!

Courtesy of Judy Bolton
He sings his own version of the Flinstones theme song, "I Can't Get No Satisfaction", and "Domo Arigato, Mr. Roboto" just to name a few. He will profess his innocence to you by saying "I am not a crook!" He even talks in his sleep.

But besides being able to say all of those amazing things, he enjoys other birdy activities too. He loves millet, plays with his toys, does somersaults, throws balls, and chases paper airplanes. He has also trained his humans how to fetch. I had the opportunity to ask Disco a few questions. He had plenty to say.

What is your favorite song?
Courtesy of Judy Bolton
My favorite song to sing is my version of the Flintstones' theme song. I really try hard to hit all the notes, especially at the end with "gay old biiiiiird!" I like to then sing "bird" a few times, at different octaves. I feel it's me being my creative best, LOL.

Where did you learn your awesome dance moves?
My dance moves? Oh, I was born with my dance moves. Well, I admit, I do admire Mick Jagger, but then I think he may have been admiring a chicken when he was honing his moves. We birds just know how to move and groove.

How long have your videos been on the internet?
My videos have been on the Internet since, oh, about January 2011. My humans put them up there just so family and friends in other areas could meet me and see how silly I was, but then other people started enjoying them.

How long did it take you to train your humans to fetch?
My humans did not take long to learn this fetch thing. It's amazing what a few cute looks and promises of more cowbell can attain!



So, there you have it - straight from the bird's mouth. If you would like to see more of Disco the Parakeet, you can visit his website, subscribe to his Youtube page, like Disco on Facebook, or become a follower on Twitter

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: Adorable

My dog Shiner looking cute.
Excited to join my first Wordless Wednesday blog hop! Thanks for visiting friends! Hope to see you again!

National Feral Cat Day: My Personal Experience with Feral Cats


via www.AlleyCat.org
It is National Feral Cat Day today. Alley Cat Allies created the even in 2001. They promote humane care for feral cats and the practice of trap-neuter-return. Remember that feral cats are animals too. Their home is the outdoors and there are lots of ways that people can help them.

I honor of National Feral Cat Day, I think I will write about my experiences with feral cats. I had many cats as a little girl. Now that I really think about it, most of them were feral. I am not sure where exactly they came from.



Hobbes
We found one kitten in our garage when I was very young. We ended up giving it to our grandparents to keep. He was a huge and fluffy kitty! They named him Hobbes and he went on to live for 20 years. Hobbes came to visit sometimes, when the grandparents went out of town. He usually didn't like his stay over at our house.

Baby Snoopy and Garfield
When I was in middle school, we had a long-haired calico feral cat that lived in our barn. She was pretty wild, so we decided to name her "Banshee". Banshee ended up having some kittens under our house. My mother and I crawled under to rescue them, as we could hear them meowing. We rescued two kittens, as the others were dead. We set up a box for Banshee and her 2 remaining kittens, "Garfield" and "Snoopy" in the barn. We ended up keeping them. Banshee became a bit nicer and she would allow us to pet her from time to time. She never became fully tame though.

Kitty Kitty Meow Meow
My most recent cat named "Kitty Kitty Meow Meow" (aka KKMM) came to me as feral cat. Well, I think someone owned her before me because she was very friendly but she was still homeless. I took her in and she lived with me and my family for about 10 years. I guess the "feral" in her never really went away. She preferred to stay in the barn in the summer, and come inside during the winter. She loved to catch and eat wild rabbits no matter how much I scolded her for it. I am not sure how old she was when she came to us. Last month, KKMM passed away due to a nasty mammary tumor.

I have so many more stories of feral cats. I never paid much thought to how many I might have helped in my lifetime. Happy National Feral Cat Day!

Happy National Vet Tech Week!

Thanks for all you do!
So this week is National Vet Tech Week and being a vet tech myself I thought I might share with the readers what it's like. There are many ups and downs to being a vet tech. It's hard work - long hours, low pay, dangerous, and dirty. On the upside, you get to be around cute animals all day, help animals, help people, and learn. It can be very rewarding.

I have worked as a vet tech for 5 years. For 2 years, I worked in a small practice that only saw cats and dogs. Our clinic then merged with a much larger clinic, which I worked at for 3 years. We did a lot of awesome procedures and I learned a lot. My favorite part admittedly was working with the exotic animals and learning many new things. We saw creatures I had never even heard of before.

The dangers of being bitten or scratched are always lurking as a vet tech. My biggest fear at first was birds. One day, we had a relief vet and he asked me to come into a room to hold an animal for him. To my surprise, it was a giant scarlet macaw! My heart began to pound and my palms became sweaty. It's beak was huge and it was not very cooperative. My first time restraining a bird and it has to be this one? I quickly became very good with birds of all sizes. Luckily, my list of bites is very small. The worst one being from a full grown hungry ball python.

Vet technicians have many skills.
Vet techs have to clean up a nice variety of messes - Poop, pee, vomit, blood, and other lovely body fluids. The worst kind of mess though is the one a doctor can make! Especially in surgery. Tools and instruments laying everywhere, opening several sterile packs just to find one they like. They mean well though. =)

Another hard part of the job is talking to clients. Most pet owners are great and understanding. There are a handful out there who insist on giving the vet hospital staff a hard time, however. I was once explaining to a man a dental procedure for his not so friendly dog. I mentioned that we anaesthetize them. His response was - "I don't see why you can't do it while he's awake? I mean if he bites you, then he bites you. That's your job." I didn't say much to that response... only thought to myself "No, my job is to avoid bites..."

Vet techs are extremely dedicated to helping their patients, sometimes becoming attached in the process. I had patients who came in that soon became my favorites. The rewards of helping the animals you love are wonderful. So remember to say thank you to your pet's vet technician this week!
My favorite patient "Shadow"
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