This is a guest post from Ann Staub of Pawsitively Pets. Ann is a former Veterinary Technician of 5 years. She graduated college as a Vet Tech in 2007 and has worked with all kinds of animals including cats, dogs, birds, small mammals, and reptiles. Now, she’s a professional pet blogger sharing her adventures and knowledge at her blog, Pawsitively Pets.

If you’re unfamiliar with what a veterinary technician does and who they are, they could easily be described as a “jack of all trades” within their career field. Veterinary technicians look after and care for animal patients in veterinary hospitals by performing routine tasks under the supervision of a veterinarian. They are like nurses for our pets.

Some of the tasks veterinary technicians perform regularly include cleaning up, walking dogs, taking x-rays, assisting doctors with surgical procedures, performing dental cleanings, placing IV catheters in patients, drawing blood, running in-house blood tests, answering phones, and so much more. The list really does go on and on.

One of a vet tech’s biggest jobs is to assist the veterinarian. Without veterinary technicians, the doctor’s work would be very difficult. One way vet techs assist veterinarians is by taking on appointments where a veterinarian may not necessarily be needed. This frees up the doctor’s time and allows them to help more patients during the day. Here are some examples of 5 ways veterinary technicians can help you and your pet.

1. Vaccination Appointments

Some animal hospitals will allow you to make a “tech appointment” for routine vaccinations. Pets should still have an exam with a veterinarian at least once a year, so call to see if your pet qualifies for this kind of appointment. Animal hospital policies are different from practice to practice.

2. Post Surgical Discharge

If your pet has been at the vet clinic all day for an anesthetic procedure, chances are that a vet tech will be the one discharging them at the end of the day. The veterinary technician will go over any special at-home treatment and medication instructions with you during this time.

3. At-Home Treatment Instruction

Sometimes when our pets become ill, they require special treatments that may be more practical for the owner to perform at home rather than bring them to the doctor’s office every day. These kinds of treatments might include subcutaneous fluids, injectable medications such as insulin, or syringe feeding. Veterinary technicians are usually responsible for instructing clients on how to administer these treatments properly on their own at home.

4. Nail Trims and Grooming

Veterinary technicians are well-versed in the world of nail trims, anal gland expressions, and ear cleanings. These are simple tasks that do not require a veterinarian.

5. Blood and Urine Tests

If you need to schedule an appointment to have your pet’s bloodwork or urine checked, ask if your clinic offers vet tech appointments to save yourself some time. These are typically easy appointments that simply require a quick blood draw or collection of urine. The veterinarian can then give you a call when the results come in.

Veterinary technicians are knowledgeable and helpful in their field of work, so feel free to ask them questions if you have them. And next time your pet needs an appointment at the vet clinic, ask if they offer vet tech appointments!