October 18, 2023 Vet Life

Pearls of Wisdom for National Veterinary Technician Week 2023

A group of veterinary professionals

Pearls of Wisdom for National Veterinary Technician Week 2023

This week the Schwarzman Animal Medical Center and veterinary clinics everywhere are celebrating the thirtieth annual National Veterinary Technician Week honoring critical members of the veterinary healthcare team, the veterinary technician. This year’s theme is Pearls of Wisdom. To riff on this theme, this blogpost will offer pet health wisdom from a unique perspective: AMC’s own Licensed Veterinary Technicians (LVTs). In addition to being vital members of the veterinary healthcare team, almost all of them are devoted pet owners, giving them rare insights into healthcare decision-making for pets, which I share below.

Annual Examinations are Critical

Jasper, a handsome gray and white cat had a recent hospitalization for a serious illness. Some tough decisions had to be made. When things settled down, Jasper’s owner, an AMC LVT said, “Don’t ignore what you see, even though you think it might not be anything. Your veterinarian is the best source of information on whether or not what you are seeing is of concern.” She went on to say, “An annual examination is really important for all pets.” I echo that sentiment in a prior blogpost on the best New Year’s Resolutions for pets.

Jasper in his element

You Know Your Pet Best

When your pet is sick, friends and family can be quick to offer advice or comment on your veterinary healthcare decisions. As I have learned from conversations with pet owners over the years, this advice and commentary is often not helpful nor wanted. These feelings are reflected in another veterinary technician’s pearl of wisdom, which is: “Only you know your pet and your circumstances, so only you can make the right decision for yourself and your pet.” While friends and family are not always the best sounding board, your veterinarian, your veterinary technician or a caregiver support group can be very helpful.

Get a Second Opinion

Pilot’s owner offers a different, yet equally important pearl of wisdom. “Trust your gut and get a second opinion if you feel like your pet isn’t getting the proper treatment.” When this furry feline’s primary care veterinarian could not resolve his anemia and ongoing weight loss, his owner sought a second opinion with AMC specialists and credits their diagnosis with saving his life. A second opinion often involves a visit with a board-certified veterinary specialist. Here are some suggestions for optimizing a visit with a board-certified specialist.

In Praise of Pet Owners’ Fortitude

Lancelot as a kitten

Lancelot the cat’s diagnosis of a lung tumor completely changed the relationship between the cat and his LVT owner. “When my cat was sick and I became the owner of a sick pet, rather than a member of the veterinary healthcare team, I learned that our clients and patients’ families are some of the most selfless, strong, and dedicated people I will ever meet. I wasn’t prepared for the exhaustion that comes with being the owner of a chronically ill pet. I wasn’t prepared for the emotional fatigue brought on by the constant worry and dread of the inevitable, and I also wasn’t prepared for how tiring and strenuous the life changing situation can be for an owner. When an owner walks through our doors, having endured their frustration, pain, and daily difficulties, I now see people capable of an endless depth of devotion and an unwavering fortitude. It has made me more patient, compassionate, and empathetic to each person I help, and it has taught me to lead with a greater grace and support for all those we serve.”

These veterinary technicians are pretty special, right? Hats off to the veterinary technicians of the Schwarzman Animal Medical Center for their dedicated patient care and for offering their pearls of wisdom in honor of National Veterinary Technician Week 2023.

Tags: Annual wellness exam, vet tech week, veterinary technician week, wellness exam,

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