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Celebrating Veterinary Technicians, Unsung Heroes


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Here’s what I know. Veterinarians save lives every day. But they don’t do it alone.

When a pet is rushed into emergency surgery, it’s likely a veterinary technician is administering and overseeing anesthesia.

When a pet has a behavior problem, the initial advice may come from a veterinarian but details and follow up are often communicated by technicians….without that guidance, a pet might be given up to a shelter.

When a pet is euthanized, not only do veterinary technicians compassionately assist in the process  – it’s their wide shoulder that clients may literally cry on.

I am sure the public really may not know what the wide ranging job description of technicians happens to be, or the impact technicians have on treating pets.

The job isn’t easy.

The job is mentally and physically taxing. Not all pets say “hooray, just what I’ve always wanted a veterinary visit.” And naturally, tougher than dealing with aggressive pets are some of us fractious clients.

Technicians are unsung heroes.

Often technicians take one for the team. How often do technicians hear, “I love the so and so veterinary practice,” when we’re  really saying, ‘I love Sally or Tom’ – or whoever the technician is.

Or the technician is greeted with a long speech about Dr. Smith – but really it was that very technician who saved the pet, or at least contributed – but we don’t know.

There’s much to thank technicians for. If technicians somehow earned what they deserved, veterinarians would be charging far more – and veterinary medicine couldn’t be as affordable

Technicians hardly decide on their profession to get rich quick. They are – to a person – all there for one  reason – to help pets and families. Their role is indispensible, and – in fact – growing in importance.

October 14 through 20 is NAVTA National Veterinary Technician Week.

Even this celebration of technicians goes without deserved fanfare.

Some technicians flee the field after a year or two or three – it’s not easy, underpaid, challenging, and typically going without recognition – yet many hang in there and love it, after five years or a decade or more.

I can tell you this: Without technicians, profession wouldn’t be the same – and many beloved pets here today simply wouldn’t be.

I am confident if most pet owners understood the significance of the job technicians routinely labor daily, we’d all cheer one giant ‘thank you!”

In celebration of the 20th Annual National Vet Tech Week held October 14–20, Morris Animal Foundation is releasing a special set of commemorative eCards thanking veterinary technicians for their hard work in keeping animals (and pet owners) healthy and happy.

With a minimum $10 donation to Morris Animal Foundation, clients and veterinarians alike can send their favorite vet techs a beautifully designed eCard that includes a customized message. Donations support science that advances veterinary care for animals.

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Steve Dale is a certified animal behavior specialist who has been a trusted voice in the world of pet health for over 20 years. You have likely heard him on the radio, read him in print and online, and seen him speaking at events all over the world. His contributions to advancing pet wellness have earned him many an award and recognition around the globe.

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