Back to School Blues
Back to School Stress in Pets
Meet our Vet Techs!
8 Tips for a Happy Howl-o-ween
Back to School Stress in Pets
Both dogs and cats live by routines. They feel the most secure and happy when you wake up at the same time every day, feed them at the same time daily, and keep walks or play time on schedule. When the schedule changes, it can cause some stress in our pets. Our pets know when school is starting and may act up at this time of year. Back packs, folders, binders, kids getting up early and leaving on school buses are all big signals that school is back in session.
Some dogs show signs of anxiety - pacing, carrying around an article of clothing, whining, or even house soiling. This is a form of separation anxiety. Cats may meow more, avoid using the litter box, knock more things off of the shelves or have more spats with other house cats. You can't keep everyone home, so how do we help these pets?
First of all, maintain the feeding time, play time, exercise routines for your pets as school is starting up. Don't let the business of life cause you to skip walks, play times or vary the feeding time. Routines are the basis for all anxiety management for both dogs and cats.
Secondly - tell your veterinarian about what you see. Sometimes there can be pain problems, or other health problems behind the anxiety signs as well. Maybe from all the summer activities you did not notice as much how hard it was for your dog to move around. Now it hurts for your dog to avoid the busy breakfast table as everyone is rushing to get off to school. Anxiety can cause loose stools or increased urination but there may be diabetes, or early liver and kidney disease lurking there too. Please do not wait - make an appointment for an exam and discuss any anxiety problems as well. It could be a combined problem.
There are medications, supplements, special foods, pheromones and a host of other products to help both the dog and the cat that is affected by back to school anxiety. Thundershirts, Adaptil collars, the new Calm diet are easy products to use. Consult with a veterinarian who has additional training in behavior to help determine the product that would help your pet the most. This is not a training problem, and the root cause of the anxiety must be determined.
If your child is college bound, you may be seeing some separation anxiety in your pet. Keep up the routines and discuss any "depression" your pet is feeling. Some of our pets are older, like our college kids and a decrease in appetite or interest in play can accelerate a health problem that was brewing.
So, I hope everyone has a good start to the new school year. Good luck to all our students, teachers, and school staff and summer will be here before we know it!
Meet our Vet Techs!
October 11 - 17 is National Veterinary Technician Week. We are celebrating it here by telling you a little bit about what a technician does and a little bit about our technicians. To become a Certified Veterinary Technician (CVT), you must go through a Vet Tech course at a college and then pass a certification test to be licensed in your state. Parkland College has a Veterinary Technology course. Most tech courses are two years of intense classes and an internship at a veterinary clinic. After receiving the college degree, we study for the state test. After passing the state test, we are now a CVT. We must earn 15 hours of continuing education every two years to keep our license. To earn our continuing education, we attend educational seminars and read articles. CVTs can do many tasks at a veterinary clinic including drawing blood, administering and monitoring anesthesia, assisting during surgery,performing dental cleanings, evaluating slides of urine, skin and other samples under the microscope, giving injections and many other tasks.
We have three CVTs at our clinic. All three attended Parkland College and are licensed by the state. Get to know our techs:
11 years at Okaw Vet Clinic
I grew up in a small town and have had pets my entire life. We have always had at least one dog and outdoor cats. We live on a farm, so I also grew up around horses, donkeys, cows, pigs, chickens and a goat.
I decided to work in an biology related field when I was in high school and started my general studies at Lake Land, where I received my Associate in Applied Sciences. Then I transferred to Eastern and looked into various Zoology degrees. I wanted to help animals and I started looking into what degree I would need to work in a veterinary field. I did a bit of research and found the Vet Tech program at Parkland College. I thought this would be a great way to help animals. I applied and got into the program. It was a tough - lots of studying and long hours of classes. But it was worth it. I have enjoyed working with animals and helping keep them healthy.
I have one cat named Effie that lives with me in my apartment. I also have two dogs, Keyser and Mac, who live at home with my parents. Effie was found as a stray in Tuscola. Keyser and Mac were found as strays where my parents live. In my spare time I like to take photos, sketch, tat and crochet. I also spend time on Facebook.
10 years at Okaw Vet Clinic
From a very young age, I just knew that I was going to work with animals. Back in 1988, I had the opportunity to work at an Animal Emergency Clinic. Oh boy, was I hooked! I just knew that this was what I was meant to do.
Upon arriving in Illinois (from my native Rhode Island), I learned about Parkland College's Veterinary Technology program. I jumped at the chance to learn more and get some more training. It was great to know there was a program to gain more knowledge and training for the field I had come to love.
Every day as a veterinary technician is a learning experience. There are always new medicines, techniques, diagnostics constantly coming out to keep this field so fresh and exciting. (Not to mention all the great animals and people I meet!)
In my spare time I spend time with Brad, my husband of 5 years. Crafting with plastic canvas, learning how to knit and reading are favorite things as well. We have 2 feline children that keep us busy as well as entertained.
Lazarus was 5 weeks old when I got him. He was a C-section kitty that I assisted in, he had a heart beat, but was unable to breathe on his own, it took me 30 minutes of CPR to get him to breathe on his own. At the time his mom's owner said " If he lives his name will be Lazarus and Debbie should be the only one to get him as she brought him back from the dead."
Our little girl, Simone was adopted by Brad & I together as our first wedding anniversary present to ourselves. We adopted her at PetSmart through Prairie-Land Anticruetly cat rescue. Her grey & white markings reminded us of Hoppy, one of our previous cats, but then she turned her head showed us her "torti mask" we knew we had to have her.
I am blessed that I love my job and look forward to going to work to see what each day will bring.
5 1/2 years at Okaw Vet Clinic
I have wanted to work in the veterinary field for as long as I can remember. I used to bring home stray animals. My mother wasn't too happy, but I wanted to keep them. In second grade, I announced that I wanted to be a veterinarian. In fifth or sixth grade I decided that I would like to work in a vet office, but not be a vet. I decided to look into other jobs that would allow me to work in a vet office. I found information about veterinary technology and decide to be a veterinary technician.
I have a dog named Delilah, she graduated from the Parkland Vet Tech program and came home with me. In my spare time I like to scrapbook and spend time with my nieces and nephews.
8 Tips for a Happy Howl-o-ween
- Keep candles out of your pet's reach. Your pet may be burned by the candle. Dogs and cats can also knock over the candle and may start a fire.
- Keep fake cobwebs out of your pet's reach. Dogs and cats may eat the webbing. The webbing can cause a blockage or cut off blood to part of your pet's intestines.
- Put your pet in a bedroom, kennel or other confined area during Trick or Treating. Your pet won't be able to dart out the door when you open it for Trick or Treaters. Your pet may get scared by the funny and scary costumes children wear.
- Keep candy away from your pet. Chocolate and sugar free candy containing Xylitol can make your pet very sick. Your pet can eat candy wrappers which can cause vomiting and diarrhea.
- No nuts from the yard. Falling walnuts, hickory nuts, buckeyes and other nuts may be fun to play with, but they can cause your pet to become sick. The nuts and shells can scratch and get stuck in your pet's intestine. Buckeyes are poisonous to dogs.
- No sticks. Sticks are fun for dogs to chew on, but if your dog eats the stick, it can get stuck in their intestines.
- Do not let your pet eat Asian beetles (orange lady bugs). The bugs secrete an irritating liquid that will make your pet sick.
- Be aware of rat and mouse poison. Neighbors may putout poison to control these pests. If your pet eats the poison or a mouse or rat that ate the poison, your pet will get sick.