Questions to Ask Your Vet Tech

Approximately 62 percent of American households have pets, reports the Humane Society. This number has been on the rise for decades and all of these pets need veterinary care from time to time. When your dog falls ill or it comes time for her routine check up, you want to be able to trust the person who is caring for her. How do you know this person is well-trained? Ask the following questions:

What are your main responsibilities?

Veterinary technicians are highly skilled professionals who work under the supervision of a licensed veterinarian. They are the first people to handle and interact with your dog. As such, it is important that they are trained to be compassionate, observant and detail oriented. In general, vet techs provide the initial physical examination for your pet, and must be knowledgeable about general animal anatomy and physiology. As Vettechguide.org states, these individuals are responsible for providing first aid when an animal is injured to ensure that no further damage occurs. Additionally, in certain cases, vet techs can also administer anesthesia, dental care, or manage behavior. Vet techs deal closely with your pet from the moment you step into the office. It is important to ask your vet tech what their specialties are, if any, and if they have additional training to deal with special circumstances.

What qualifications can you show me?

A vet tech has to meet particular criteria before being given a state license. Requirements vary from state to state, but the final say comes from the American Veterinary Medical Association. This entity decides which schools are accredited to teach veterinary sciences. According to Penn Foster College, a veterinary technician program runs four semesters and courses range from veterinary technology, animal diseases and pathology, to surgical procedures and anesthesiology. Combined with a passing score on the Veterinary Technician National Exam, candidates are licensed on a state-by-state basis. Ask your technician where she went to school and ask to see her license to practice in your state.

What rights does my dog have?

Animals are not seen as sentient beings and, as such, do not have the type of protection humans do against malpractice and cruelty, reports the Animal Legal Defense Fund. Organizations like this work hard to protect all animals, pets or otherwise. Further, according to the Animal Legal and Historical Center, veterinarians do not face the same type of scrutiny as physicians, and the battle to win a lawsuit in cases of negligence is an uphill one.

Alarmingly, despite our love for our animals, in most states pets are seen as the property of their owners and damages in successful lawsuits are given for the market value of the pet. Losing a loved one can hardly be compensated in any sort of fair manner, therefore, it is crucial that you do the necessary research before putting your dog’s life in the hands of an unknown veterinarian. Get recommendations on trusted veterinarians and technicians, establish a relationship before trouble arises, and get the facts about their work so you can be assured that your dog is in good hands.

Filed under: Dog Care

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