I started to pursue my studies in animal health because I love animals; however, I have learned from my peers and teachers that it is the people, not the animals that pose the greater challenges to our love of the profession. After just one year of my studies to become a veterinary technician I have become the resident “know it all” or “go to person” when it comes to people asking for advice about their animal’s health.
Coming from a small town, I have friends, neighbors, friends of friends, and my sister’s boyfriend’s step mom’s uncle all asking me to help treat their animals or to help diagnose them. To most of their inquiries, my response is, “Well if you are worried about it you should bring your animal to the vet,” which is generally met by a series of excuses and, “But what if I just give it an Advil?”
“My rabbit is lethargic.”
“My dog has a sore on his butt cheek.”
“My horse is coughing.”
As a responsible student, my advice is always, call the vet. But I am always plagued with the stress of what if they didn’t, or what if I wasn’t able to convince them enough to go. Situations like this are out of my control and I can only hope that they do what is best for their animals.
My first year of studies has not given me the ability to know all ailments. I do know a lot more than I did than when I started and I am eager to learn more. However, situations like these are ones that affect me and many of my peers. For now, all I can offer is to share my knowledge with whoever is interested or willing to listen and I will do that gladly.