Tuesday, October 28, 2014
My decision to go back to school to study Veterinary Technology came in my late 20’s after deciding mental health was not my ideal career choice. I thoroughly enjoyed my 2 years at Northern Virginia Community College and had an affinity for the information I learned. My draw to the profession came from a life of being around horses. Riding was my passion as a child and young adult and during the 2 years I was in school in VA I had the very fortunate opportunity of working at the Marion Dupont Scott Equine Medical Center in the nursing department. I learned so much about horse health in my time there and gained a much better appreciation of my relationships with horses when I came from the point of reference of caregiver. It gave me the ability to take the best care of the horse I had been with since I was 10 years old and ultimately had the pleasure of owning for the last 6 years of his life.
After graduating from the technician program and passing my national board exam I decided I needed a more “normal” schedule and started working at Kingsbrook Animal Hospital. After 14 years in the same clinic I have to say I am so fortunate to have found my way here. My experiences here has shaped me as a professional and a person. I am so lucky to work with a group of doctors and veterinary professionals that have such dedication to what they do and practice kind and thoughtful medicine. My experiences as a seasoned technician include anesthesia monitoring, patient care, radiology, dentistry, nutritional counseling, client education, performing diagnostic tests, phlebotomy (drawing blood samples) and intravenous catheter placement. The diversity of my tasks and my patients keeps my life at work very interesting and non-static. There is always the opportunity to learn and experience something new, even if you have been in the field for many years.
It is a great feeling to be 17 years into a career and still have a passion for it. I am motivated to stay in this line of work based on my experiences thus far. I attribute this outlook to Kingsbrook Animal Hospital. All employers are not created equally. My veterinarians appreciate my contribution to the health care team and utilize me to my fullest potential. This mind set on their part has left me open to learn and grow and feel very useful and productive in my work.
Being a licensed veterinary technician is very rewarding, but can also be very emotionally taxing. Relationships people have with their pets are very personal and heart felt. In helping people care for their pets, especially in critical times, we learn our most important job is helping our clients cope with the stress and heartache of seeing their loved one ill. I greatly appreciate the relationships I have built with owners over the years in helping them care for their pets.
My chosen profession is one I am very grateful for. I can’t imagine doing anything else.
Written by Nora McKay-Clark RVT
Tuesday, October 21, 2014
Ever since I was a child, I have always known that I wanted to work with animals and my family can attest to the fact that I tried to adopt or find homes for every sick or stray animal I encountered. I had the opportunity, shortly after graduating high school, to work in an animal shelter and to intern at a vet clinic in Hagerstown. It was during that point that I decided I wanted to be a veterinary technician. I was in awe of everything the technicians could do! I was also anxious to work in a field where it was not to late to help an animal, which was unfortunately often the case at the Humane Society. I decided to go to Wilson college and get a four year degree in veterinary medical technology. I graduated this past spring, and I am anxiously waiting to take my boards to become licensed in November!
I have been so fortunate to find a home at Kingsbrook Animal Hospital in Frederick, MD! The veterinarians not only appreciate the skill set that has been devloped and practiced for the four years of my schooling, and also truly value the education in which I have invested. I love being in a field where continuing education is not only encouraged, but required as we all know how the veterinary field can change and evolve. Here at Kingsbrook Animal Hospital compassionate, knowledge care is at the heart of everything we do, and I get to work in a field where I learn something new everyday.
Written by Katie Bruner
Wednesday, October 15, 2014
My love for animals started long before I can even remember and as soon as I was old enough to understand what jobs were…I knew I wanted to work with animals. My career in veterinary medicine started in Yokosuka, Japan in 1998 where I worked as a volunteer at the Veterinary Treatment Facility and was Vice President of the local animal shelter. In Japan, at the time, the stray cat population was three times worse than anywhere in the world. Taking care of all of the stray cats that came through the shelter and assisting in there medical treatment and surgery just solidified that this was the career choice for me. I realized then that I could make a difference in the lives of animals and in the lives of the humans that loved them just as much as I did.
After leaving Japan in 2001, I moved to New Jersey and worked in general practice at an animal hospital not far from the military base I lived on. In New Jersey, we treated a lot of dogs that were associated with dog fighting. Client education and patient advocating was an important part of what I learned in New Jersey. From New Jersey, I moved to Italy. It was a challenge to get a job in Italy, but I ended up at the Veterinary Treatment Facility in Naples, in addition to working at an outdoor recreation center. In Italy, I learned that preventative medicine changes depending on the country you live in. There was so much to learn, and I wanted to know more and more about what my career choice had to teach me.
My military travels ended in Italy in 2003 and I found my way back to Maryland. I started working at an animal hospital in College Park just a few days after arriving back in Maryland, and was there for a couple years. I then moved to another hospital in Silver Spring, and then Gaithersburg. I stayed at the animal hospital in Gaithersburg for seven years, where I learned a lot about alternative medicine. It was there, that I decided to become licensed and started taking classes in 2006. I have been taking classes since, and am nearing the end of my certification. It has been quite a challenge working full time, taking care of my family, and going to school…but I am determined to finish.
My love and passion for the veterinary profession is what ultimately brought me to Kingsbrook Animal Hospital in Frederick, Maryland. At Kingsbrook, I have found a team of people that share the same feelings that I have for the job that I love to do. They encourage me every day and support my efforts in obtaining my license. I am so fortunate to work with such a great group of people and look forward to years to come.
Written by Tiffanie Thayer
Written by Tiffanie Thayer
Tuesday, October 7, 2014
A RVT is a registered veterinary technician. While having a strong love of animals is why most of us found our way into this profession, there is a lot more to it then that.
They are educated and knowledgeable.
They have graduated from a 2 or 4 year AVMA-accredited school and has taken and passed the VTNE (a national test) and Maryland boards. Once ‘registered,’ they must complete 24 credit hours of continuing education every three years to maintain their license.
Our vet techs perform a wide range of duties. It is actually easier to define what they can’t do instead! Legally, they can do everything EXCEPT perform surgery, offer prognosis and diagnosis, and write prescriptions.
Vet techs are… radiology technicians.
Vet techs are… dieticians.
Vet techs are… anesthesiologists.
Vet techs are… dental hygienists.
Vet techs are… paramedics.
Vet techs are… grief counselors.
Why are KAH techs the best in Frederick!?
Tuesday, September 30, 2014
New puppy? They're so cute, so much fun, and ... so frustrating sometimes! With house training, nipping, stealing, crate training, barking, and all the other things that come with puppyhood, it can feel like you're in over your head.
Puppy training classes can go a long way to helping you survive puppyhood and to helping you have that well-behaved dog of your dreams. Find a training class that has a small class enrollment, that teaches with force-free, positive reinforcement (clicker) training, and taught by a qualified trainer.
After your veterinarian has seen your pup, deemed him or her healthy, and started the initial series of vaccinations, you are ready to start puppy training! Ideally, bring your dog to puppy school as soon as possible, and get as many classes under his belt before he's 16 weeks old. That's when the socialization window closes. Imagine you're working with clay and making a bowl. If you mold the clay when it's pliable and elastic, creating the exact bowl you want is quite simple. But as the clay gets older and dries out, it's impossible to form the clay into any shape other than the original. That's what the socialization window is like -- your pup needs to get out and experience puppy class each week until he's 16 weeks old.
By: Laurie Luck
By: Laurie Luck
If you are interested in structured puppy classes check out Smart Dog University by clicking HERE. Laurie Luck is a certified pet dog trainer and uses positive reinforcement techniques to help you train your pup. She teaches classes at Kingsbrook Animal Hospital in the evenings.
Tuesday, September 23, 2014
As a veterinarian, I have lots of experience with dogs! I love them. I live with them. I work with them. And I thought I understood a lot about their behavior until Basil became a member of my family. But all individuals are different and my beagle is no exception. I adopted Basil as a rescue at 8 weeks of age, and she immediately made it known that she was a special needs kind of puppy. I was unable to put her in a crate. And house training a puppy, as well as keeping it safe, without a crate is a 24 hour a day challenge. Not only did she hate it, but she had a complete panic attack. I, too, had a panic attack and placed an emergency call to Laurie Luck at Smart Dog University.
With her help and encouragement I started training. Very, very slowly I was able to get Basil to walk into the crate for a special treat, and then to go in for her meals. I worked to close the door and have her sit quietly in the crate as long as I stayed in the room beside her. And finally I was able to move to the opposite side of the room and even out of sight. It was a long 6 weeks before Basil was able to be left home alone for even 1 hour.
It's been a year now. Basil runs to her crate as soon as I get out her special yummy kong. She is comfortable staying home alone for 6 hours or longer. And she will seek out her crate for a nap when she is really tired. I am still unable to crate her at anyone else's house so vacation or travel is extremely difficult. Basil, her anxiety, and her comfort are a work in progress and hopefully her 2 year report will be even better. Anyone experiencing similar struggles can contact Kingsbrook Animal Hospital for sympathy and support!
By Dr Adrienne Cardella
PS: Basil is super cuddly and we love her like crazy!!
Tuesday, September 16, 2014
The most common behavior complaint of cat owners is house soiling, otherwise known as feline inappropriate elimination. The problem may be marking behaviors or urine/stool deposited outside of the litter box. Marking, or spraying, is when a cat urinates on vertical surface or leaves small amounts of urine, or occasionally stool, on horizontal surfaces. In most cases, the spraying cat will back up to a vertical surface, raise it’s tail, which may quiver, and with little or no crouching, will direct a stream of urine backwards.
Cats will mark their territory (locations where they live or visit) to signal “ownership” or to advertise sexual receptivity and availability. Marking can occur when other cats are in the vicinity, either outdoors or in the same household, or when they feel stressed or threatened. Changes in household routine, living arrangements, and other environmental and social changes could also lead to marking behaviors.
What are the diagnostic possibilities for elimination problems?
The first step is to rule out a medical cause. Any disease of the urinary tract or intestinal tract that causes increased discomfort, volume, or frequency can cause house soiling. Medical problems such as incontinence, in which the pet cannot control its urine or stool, should also be ruled out. A complete physical examination and laboratory tests at wit your veterinarian are recommended.
So, how do we determine if the problem is behavioral?
As with all behavior problems, the history will help determine treatment options. The location of the urine marking, the frequency, duration, and number of locations are important. Information regarding the home environment, litter box type and litter used, litter box maintenance (cleaning) and placement are factors to note, as well as any additional pets in the household. The number and placement of litter boxes is extremely important in multi-cat households.
If you have any questions, please contact Kingsbrook Animal Hospital at 301-631-6900. One of our veterinarians would be happy to examine your pet and help you to resolve these issues.