Though my big sister is officially a practicing veterinarian today – sometimes I think she was born a vet.
Which meant I was born a vet tech – at least one in training.
From about the time I could walk – I was enlisted to help her catch, hold, trim and treat all sorts of animals. Cats, kittens, dogs, puppies, horses, a calf, chickens, rabbits, turtles – and even a wolf. We were into it all. And I was usually the one holding – while she was treating the patient. I suppose she and I were a pretty good team – except for the time she did accidentally stick me with a needle. Gah . . .
While at the time – I wasn’t so sure I had the best job, I was actually really lucky then and now. Mary-Catherine taught me when holding an animal to relax when they relax – otherwise, there’s no reason for them to relax when being restrained. It builds trust. But also – be ready for when they . . . unrelax.
I also learned to make it a priority for my pets to be okay with being restrained while having their ears, eyes, teeth and feet examined. I’ve really focused a lot on this with Phenom especially as a puppy. It not only makes a vet’s life easier, it’s also easier on your pet. When they’re hurt – they’re already stressed – so if they’re comfortable with being restrained, the situation is a little easier for them.
It’s also important – especially as puppies – to take them to the vet for just happy visits. My vet let me bring Phenom in just to get treats and practice sitting on the scale.
I’ve been thinking about this more lately because on a recent swimming trip, Phenom and Vega cut their feet on some oyster shells, so I’ve been doctoring that over the last week. They are getting much better, but it’s not easy keeping them calm. We are used to lots of playing, but hopefully soon they will be all better. And they are being good patients. And I am trying to have – patience.
Being a vet is hard work. So is being a vet tech. Every day they work with patients who can’t tell them what hurts. I really appreciate all that vets (especially my sister who is always on call for me) and their staff do for our pets. I don’t know how they do it. I never could.