What Do Vet Techs Really Do?

What Do Vet Techs Really Do?

Most of you who read my blog know that I am a Veterinary Technician if you are just joining in today I currently am employed at a small animal clinic in south eastern Wisconsin. I have been a Veterinary Technician for 25 years with 13 of those years being at my current job. I’m not a hoarder but I always have a few animals living with me. I have one cat MK who I saved from the brink of death because of my dog Gambler a Chesapeake Bay Retriever who are now best buds. I have 2 other Chesapeake Bay Retrievers Nellie and Glory (mom and daughter), Glory who is expecting a litter of puppies in less than 3 weeks. I have a pen full of chickens, ducks and pheasants. I couldn’t see myself in any other career.

Andrea from veterinarytechnicianguide.com  sums up the life of a Veterinary Technician really well through this infographic.

What Do Vet Techs Really Do?

If you would like to read the details of each of their points in this infographic you can do so by clicking here. If you would like to read more about A Veterinary Technician & Veterinary Assistant career guide you can do so by clicking here.


Will There Be Glorious-Thunder Puppies In The Near Future?

The time has come, after 4 weeks of wondering we finally have our answer. For those of you just joining in today four weeks ago I bred my Chesapeake Bay Retriever Glory to a blogging friends stud dog. You may know them, Thunder from 2browndawgs blog was the lucky boyfriend to Glory. They met up a month ago, had some puppy making days of love and the wait was on. It seemed like a whole year had passed but really it has only been four weeks. Boy does time drag on when you are awaiting what may be some very happy news. If you have been following along my blog since last fall you will know that I bred Glory and the pregnancy didn’t take, you can read about it here. That was a very sad time for me so I was hoping for better news this time around.

So now yesterday you were left with this question.

Glory B pregnant or Glory B not pregnant?

Is Thunder going to be a puppy daddy?

Before I give up the goods let me start from the beginning of our visit to Veterinary Village yesterday where I had Glory’s ultrasound done to confirm or not confirm a pregnancy.

Our appointment was for 3:30 pm. We arrived at Veterinary Village Glory weighed in had her microchipped checked then was put into a examination room where we waited for Dr. Greer and her staff to come in and preform the ultrasound.

Before the Dr came in Glory checked out the ultrasound machine. Sorry for the blurry picture, Glory was on the move.

Hanging out waiting for the doctor.

A good luck kiss.

Don’t worry mom, it will all be good.

Mom your feet stink!

The time has come Dr. Greer her technician Marissa along with Dr. Jen Roberts who currently is employed at Michigan State University doing her clinical studies at Veterinary Village before she takes her boards to become board certified in Theriogenetics. (Theriogenology is the branch of veterinary medicine concerned with reproduction – according to Wikipedia).

Dr. Greer palpating.

Dr. Greer palpated Glory to see if she could tell from palpation if she was pregnant or not. She wouldn’t divulge her verdict yet…..oh the suspense!

Wetting down the fur to get good contact.

Using the ultrasound to look for puppies.

One has been spotted!

Two, three, four and five were spotted.

A short video of the ultrasound.

Glory is going to have a litter of puppies, at least five were seen and there maybe more hiding in there. Glory was a good patient so she was used as a teaching subject for Dr. Roberts. The doctors looked for the heartbeats (which were beating strong) they then measured the fetuses (which were all normal). Glory has a healthy pregnancy going on. The next doctor visit will be in three weeks to take a xray of her abdomen and count puppies.

So to answer the question – Glory B pregnant and Thunder is going to be a puppy daddy again if all goes well.

Glory’s due date will be around July 10-13th.

Thank you Dr. Greer, Dr. Roberts, Marissa for some really wonderful news. Thank you again to Linda, Jim, Cindy and Thunder for your part in this breeding, without you all it couldn’t of happened. Stay tuned for more updates on the pregnancy, whelp and puppy raising.

Great News~Nellie’s Ultrasound

Nellie had her ultrasound today because I thought I was seeing something in her abdomen.

The doctor doing a physical exam on Nellie.

I’m starving where’s my food?

Is there food in here?

Mom’s mean, I didn’t get breakfast.

Time for the ultrasound, they even shaved my belly!

Is that my spleen on the screen?

Mom you worry too much, see I’m fine!

I am happy to report the doctor didn’t see anything of any significance on the ultrasound. All her internal organs were just fine and no tumors or anything else found. She did see a couple small nodules on her spleen but the size is of no concern right now. So my mind must be playing tricks on me and all that it was is her fat reserves. I’m actually calling it beaveritis as this happens after she goes and finds the carcass pile and eats herself full. So relieve knowing Nellie is fine. No more feeling sorry for herself and  time to exercise and get that weight off so I stop seeing things.

Canine Influenza~Causing Mischief In The Midwest

You’ve probably heard by now about the outbreak of the Canine Influenza Virus, mainly it hit the Chicago, IL area hard with over 1000 dogs sick and 5 that have died, Chicago has been the first outbreak in the US from the H3N2 strain. They are calling this a outbreak that may last several weeks. There has been one case diagnosed in Madison, WI last week, a dog that traveled to Chicago as well as cases in Indiana and Iowa. CIV is a highly contagious virus which was discovered in 2004, the CIV strains have been identified as H3N8 and H3N2. The disease also has a higher mortatlity rate in young and  older or immunosuppressed dogs.

Merck Animal Heath sent out this helpful sheet to our vet clinic.

Tips to Protect Your Dog from Dog Flu (Canine Influenza)                             

Between March 16 and April 1, 2015, Canine Influenza Virus (CIV) has been positively diagnosed in 89 dogs in the Chicago area. Canine influenza virus causes a respiratory infection in dogs that is often referred to as canine influenza or “dog flu.” Canine influenza virus was first isolated in Florida in 2004 at a Greyhound racing facility. Since then, the virus has been confirmed in dogs across 40 states and the District of Columbia. Since it is a relatively new virus, almost all dogs are susceptible to infection when they are newly exposed because they have not built up natural immunity.

Most infected dogs show only mild symptoms, but some dogs become very sick and require veterinary treatment. Most common clinical signs include lethargy, anorexia, low-grade fever, nasal discharge, and cough. Dogs with more severe disease can present with a high fever and pneumonia.

What You Need to Know and Do

  • CIV is not the same as Bordetella and Bordetella is not the only pathogen that causes kennel cough.
  • Canine influenza is highly infectious and the virus spreads very quickly from dog to dog.
  • Canine influenza virus can be spread by direct contact with respiratory discharge from infected dogs, through the air via a cough, bark, or sneeze, and by contact with contaminated objects such as dog bowls and clothing.
  • To prevent the spread of disease, wash your hands with soap and water or disinfect them with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer after contact with dogs.
  • Dog owners whose dogs are coughing or showing other signs of respiratory disease should not participate in activities or bring their dogs to facilities where other dogs can be exposed to the virus.
  • Call your veterinarian immediately if your dog has the following symptoms:
    • Coughing
    • Discharge from the nose or eyes
    • Loss of appetite
    • Lethargy/lack of energy
  • Canine influenza can be prevented through vaccination. Talk to your veterinarian about whether or not your pet is at risk. Merck Animal Health offers a Canine influenza vaccine which is available through veterinarians.
  • Information on Merck Novibac Canine Influenza Vaccine can be viewed here.

Should you be worried and what should you do about it?

If your dog(s) don’t come in contact with other dogs especially in close confinement (dog performance events, groomer, doggy daycare, boarding, training class, dog shows) then you probably don’t have much to worry about unless you work  in any of these area’s where an infectious  dog  may be and you bring the virus home on your hands or clothing. If you work in any of these area’s or your dog(s) will be in these area’s or staying for any length of time then I suggest you talk to your Veterinarian about getting the CIV vaccine. Since I train with a training group, bring my dog’s to work when needed and participate in performance events I did vaccinate my dog’s this week. Now remember when you do get the vaccination done for your dog it doesn’t work immediately, after the first shot the body is building up immunity but until you get that second vaccination and until two weeks later your dog won’t be protected so you still need to stay away from high risk areas. The vaccine currently offers protection against the H3N8 strain, the Midwest outbreak is the H3N2 Asian strain. They are hoping there will be some crossover protection but can’t be certain.

Canine Influenza FAQ ~ AVMA

Canine Influenza ~ AVMA

Dog Flu: Canine Influenza ~ Huffington Post

Key points from this link if you don’t have a chance to view it:

Morbidity: 20-50 percent of the dogs exposed to this virus will make antibodies against this virus and will successfully clear the infection. These pets will not show overt signs of their infection.

50-80 percent of the dogs exposed to the virus will show flu like symptoms — like fever, lethargy, coughing and purulent nasal discharge. A small percentage of these pets will develop pneumonia and it is this population that is at risk for death.

Mortality: 5-8 percent.
Most pets will recover with supportive care only.

Incubation Period: 2-5 days.

Length of Infection: 2 weeks.

Immunity: Dogs that recover from Canine Influenza are believed to be protective for 2 years. A Canine Influenza (H3N8) vaccine exists and aids in reducing the shedding and severity of the infection. This vaccine does NOT prevent the disease. The vaccine is given in two doses separated by 2-3 weeks. Yearly re-vaccination is recommended for high-risk dogs.

Hopefully this outbreak will subside soon and no more dogs become sick or die. Be proactive on keeping your gang safe.

monday mischief

This is a Blog Hop. Thanks to Alfie’s BlogSnoopy’s Dog Blog , Luna, a Dog’s Life , and My Brown Newfies for setting up this hop. Please go to any of the sponsoring blogs to find out who else has been mischievous.



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Glory’s Annual Vet Visit

Every March Glory is due for her annual physical exam and vaccinations.

First we weigh in and oh boy what a surprise we got!

Glory gained 8# this past winter! I switched her food last summer to a performance food so she could have the calories to help her with all her training, running tests and hunting. It takes 8-12 weeks for the body to use the food properly so you don’t want to switch back and forth from a regular diet to a performance diet you should thou adjust the amount of food fed. Of course I would feed her less but the husband kept feeding her the same about and when you don’t get the exercise like one does in the summer months you tend to put on a little weight.

Glory got a full physical from head to tail. She got her eyes and ears checked, she had her lymph nodes and abdomen palpated, her heart listed too and a all body feel over for any lumps. She passed with flying colors.

Of course Glory was like any kid at the doctor and had to listen to her own heartbeat to make sure she really was live.

Glory also got her blood drawn for her annual Heartworm test which was negative and we continue to give her monthly Heartworm preventative. This years Distemper vaccination was given a 3 year expiration so she will continue to get her Bordetella, Lyme and Lepto (part of the distemper vaccination but only good for one year) each year. Her Rabies is also every three years. She also had a stool sample checked for intestinal parasites which was negative. She is up to date on her Vaccinations and Heartworm test, her physical exam said she was healthy so she is ready for her upcoming breeding this summer.

Side note:

Remember to download the Pose A Pet App for your phone to help take great pictures, make flyers for animals in need and help support CRROW – Chesapeake Retriever Rescue Of Wisconsin as they will get half the proceeds from the downloads this week. Read my blog post here about this great App.


We are joining Linda at 2browndawgs and Jodi at Heart Like A Dog for this great blog hop.


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Cleaning The Pipes~Monday Mischief

Last week I got a inquiry about using Gambler as a stud. Gambler is going to be four years old this coming May and hasn’t had any hanky panky  so I’m assuming there might be some rust in the pipes. Who wants to pay for rust? Not I if I was buying so this was a good time to make sure that he also had swimmers, no sense doing a breeding waiting a month for a confirmed pregnancy to find out there are no puppies and it’s because the stud dog is sterile. I didn’t want that happening to me and Gambler so off to the clinic we went for a Brucellosis test, pipe cleaning and a semen check.

They tell me to go into a room and grab a magazine….what’s up with that?

Gambler was a willing fast participant. We got the goods and surprising no rust!

Time to look under the microscope to see if any swimmers.

This is the view under low power, lots and lots of swimmers very active little buggers.

Looking at the swimmers under high power now to check for double heads, bent tails, dead ones.

If you would like to see the active swimmers you can by watching this video.

ahhh where’s my cigarette?

At some point I do plan on collecting and freezing Gamblers semen. At that time they will do a proper semen analysis on him with numbers to tell me how much sperm he is producing, how motile they are and percentage of abnormal ones. This day I just wanted to make sure he had swimmers that were alive and he did so if he does have a breeding he should get the deed done on his end.

If you are planning a natural breeding each party should have a Brucellosis test done.

Taken from the AKC Canine Health Foundation webpage:

Brucellosis: An Overview

Brucellosis is a bacterial infection which affects the reproductive organs of both male and female dogs. The disease is spread by body fluids, with the main route of transmission being by sexual means. In addition to sexual means the disease can be transmitted by ingesting contaminated fluids such as vaginal discharge or urine. Airborne transmission is very rare but has been reported. The disease spreads quickly among dogs that are kept in closely confined areas especially during breeding times and when abortions occur. You can read the rest of the article here.

Basically Brucellosis is a disease that can cause litters to abort and cause sterility in both the stud and bitches it can also be spread to humans so for sure don’t want that in my kennel, it’s a breeders nightmare so best to take all precautions.

I will keep you posted on Gamblers inquiry.

monday mischief

This is a Blog Hop. Thanks to Alfie’s BlogSnoopy’s Dog Blog , Luna, a Dog’s Life , and My Brown Newfies for setting up this hop. Please go to any of the sponsoring blogs to find out who else has been mischievous.

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Damaged Puppy Teeth=Trip To UW Vet School

Last week for February is National Pet Dental month I wrote a post about products you can get at your Veterinary Clinic to keep your pets teeth healthy, if you missed it you can read it here. I spoke in the post that I had a lot of work done on Gamblers teeth when he was young that cost me a lot of money so I need to keep his teeth healthy. I said I would write about it later and later is today.

When I got Gambler at 7 weeks of age he was just a little bitty thing that just wanted the love of his daddy Norman. Norman was having no part of the loving bit so each time Gambler came near him, he growled to tell him to back away and Gambler not listening went in closer. A couple times in two weeks was too close for Norman and he bit him each time in the head. They were some pretty bad bites and I can’t believe Gambler isn’t anymore touched than he already is.

I got to close to my daddy’s teeth.

Mom didn’t have peas so I got a ice pack.

Little did I know at the time that Gambler would be in for dental work when he was older. Gambler healed up from his bites and never learned to stay away from Norman. When Gambler was 8 months old I had him in the clinic for a exam and the doctor noticed the enamel on his adult teeth was coming off. He had enamel hypoplasia. His teeth were a brown color and you could see groves (last of enamel) in his teeth. Time to go see a dental specialist. I chose to go to the Veterinary School in Madison for his exam and dental work.

They examined his teeth, took radiographs, extracted one, restored the others and come to find out when Norman bit him one time, he displaced his adult pre molar one and it was in the back of his mouth above his pre molar four.

Top arrow is the displaced tooth, bottom arrow is the broken tooth.

Broken molar.

The broken upper left molar needed to be extracted. They wanted to do a cat scan of his head to see exactly where that displaced tooth was and then go in and extract it because if left in it could cause a bony cyst that would need to be removed at a later date. I chose to not do the cat scan and to wait and see what happened. He had enough done to him this day.

They restored his damaged teeth which consisted of cleaning his teeth and prepping them to put a sealer on the teeth to prevent the enamel left on from coming off and because the enamel was off in spots that meant there were tiny microscopic holes in the teeth and that was cause for future infections as well as the teeth could be sensitive.

Enamel defect by arrow.

Enamel defect by arrow.

Enamel defect by arrow.

Restoration complete.

Restoration complete.

Restoration complete.

The doctors at the vet school told me that when their is trauma to the baby teeth when the adult teeth come it it can cause them to have enamel hypoplasia. I never knew this before and know now to really be careful with puppy mouths.

Gambler had to spend one night at the vet school and I had to may a $1200.00 bill to fix his teeth. That first year I was very compliant on brushing his teeth everyday as I spent a lot of money to fix them I wanted him to keep them. I must admit thou I’m not as good about brushing them.

More on enamel hypoplasia by clicking here.

I leave you with this adorable picture of baby Gamblers little toes taken the day he was bitten.

Have a great day and go brush those chompers.