Veterinary Technicians

By: Katie Jones, CVT

When I look into the eyes of an animal I do not see an animal. I see a living being. I see a friend. I feel a soul.

~ A.D. Williams

176_anoka-equine_2012Anoka Equine has always had the health and well-being of the horse at the center of what we do. This idea resides at the heart of our entire staff, including our veterinary technicians. Veterinary technicians are the nurses of the veterinary field. Their roles were first introduced in the United States by the United States Air Force in 1951. This role was then introduced as a civilian program in 1961 at the State University of New York. Currently there are approximately 85,000 veterinary technician positions in the United States.

Based on the Minnesota Association of Veterinary Technicians, veterinary technicians “perform most duties related to animal care, including anesthesia, medical imaging, lab work, dentistry, surgical assisting, patient treatments, as well as client education; however [they] may not diagnose conditions, give a prognosis for conditions, perform surgery or prescribe medication.” At Anoka Equine, the role of the technician includes everything from handling the horse during a lameness exam to running anesthesia. During the day technicians can be seen taking radiographs (x-rays), scoping the upper airways or stomach, administering drugs, and assisting the doctor during appointments. Anoka Equine is a 24-hour referral clinic; therefore, when the client appointments are complete and the doors have been locked-up for the day, many times the duties of the doctors and technicians aren’t over.

191_anokaequine_May_2015Neonatal Care: During the foaling season (Feb-Aug) Anoka Equine assists with a large volume of neonatal cases; both in clinic and in the field. Care for these special foal cases can even begin before birth. For foals admitted to the clinic, the technicians are the first responders to make sure a catheter is placed, blood work is ran, and the treatment plan written up by the doctor is started and scheduled out for the day. Cases involving maladjusted foals require intenseive24 hour management, including: physical exams, feeding, fluids, oxygen, administering medications, and assisting the foal to stand or flipping them so they aren’t continuously lying on the same side. This specific type of care requires long hours and knowledge of what to look for if a foal is not improving. The biggest concern with neonatal care is they can change from improving/healthy looking to dramatically decreasing in health in a matter of hours. Due to this rapid change a physical exam is typically done every other hour to remark on any changes in attitude, manure, or vitals. Subtle changes can redirect the doctor’s treatment plans.

Emergency cases/Surgery: Colics situation rarely enter the clinic during business hours. Typically a doctor has been trying to manage their pain out in the field for an extended period of time, with no improvements before the decision is made to bring the horse into the clinic for close observation and fluids. If the horse’s pain has intensified throughout the day, most often there will be a technician at the clinic with the doctor to help admit the horse, start fluids, and run blood work. Once the horse is connected to fluids, the technician on-call will often stay with them to perform frequent physical exams to monitor any changes. If pain becomes unmanageable the conversation of surgery must be discussed. Colic surgery is a team operation; two doctors perform the surgery, a technician as the surgical nurse, and a technician managing anesthesia.

067_anokaequine_May_2015Anesthesia: At Anoka Equine, just like at many other clinics, technicians are the ones to perform anesthesia for surgical procedures. This is an area technicians are required to learn at school. Once our Anoka Equine technicians are comfortable with their duties at the clinic, anesthesia may become an interest for them and they will be taught by fellow technicians equine specific anesthesia. In addition, equine anesthesia is a common topic regularly covered at annual continuing education events, which broadens our knowledge base as well.

If the field of veterinary technology interests you, consider shadowing at local veterinary clinics to see exactly the job is like.  For more information regarding entering into the profession you can find school and certification information at the MAVT website (

Anoka Equine’s Technician Team

Shannon Gohr, CVT,  Anesthesia, Technician Manager
Shannon joined Anoka Equine in August of 2007. She graduated from Ridgewater College of Willmar in May 2007 with an Associate in Applied Science Degree / Veterinary Technician. Shannon grew up in a VERY small town west of St. Cloud which is where her family’s 10 horses are. She enjoys trail riding and doing parades with her horse Jet, spending time with her family and friends, and basically anything outdoors.


Kelsey Herrboldt, CVT
Kelsey jointed Anoka Equine in the spring of 2008 after graduating from the Minnesota School of Business with an A.A.S. in Veterinary Technology. Most of her time is spent at home with her wonderful family. Kelsey has two boys, Dallas and Tayden, with her boyfriend Todd.  They also have two cats, Ravy and Dooker, and a pug named E-gor. In her spare time you will find her and her boys at the barn with their Arabian gelding, Cisco.


Katie Jones, CVT, Anesthesia
Katie joined Anoka Equine in February 2011. She completed a Bachelors of Science in Animal  Science/ Pre-vet at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cites in May 2010. She went on to complete a A.A.S in Veterinary Technology at Argosy University and graduated in the fall 2011. In Katie’s free time she enjoys volleyball, photography, horse events, fishing, and traveling. She owns a husky, Luke, and horse, Turbo.

Brittany Aanerud, CVT
Brittany started at Anoka Equine in July of 2011 after graduating from North Dakota State University with a B.S. in Veterinary Technology. She grew up on a beef ranch outside of Bismarck, ND and enjoyed every minute of it. Outside of work Brittany enjoys riding her Quarter Horse “Doc”, snowboarding, reading, shopping, and being outdoors.


Katie Jo Hollis, Anesthesia

Katie Jo joined Anoka Equine March of 2012.  She graduated from MN school of Business, Blaine in June 2011 with an AAS in veterinary technology.  Katie Jo’s favorite hobby is gaming her grey Quarter Horse “Banjo” and working with young horses.  She also enjoys hunting, fishing, softball, and spending time with her family.  She also loves her 2 cats and her Blue Heeler X “Dixie”.

Dani Wiederholt, Night Technician

I was given the opportunity to work for Anoka Equine in November of 2014. I am scheduled to graduate from Minnesota School of Business in spring of 2015 majoring in Veterinary Technology. I was given my first horse at 8 years old, and they have been my life ever since. I have 2 quarter horses of my own, Karma and Wilbur that I game and compete with during the summer.  I enjoy spending time outdoors, and spending time with family and friends. I also have 3 cats, and my Mini Australian Shepherd Riley that I love dearly.  ​


Thank you to our amazing team of technicians at Anoka Equine.



Equitarian Initiative

This week in honor of annual Anoka Equine Open House on Saturday, we are introducing the organization our silent auction will be benefiting, the Equitarian Initiative.

398953_10151501267669228_858607070_nEquitarian Initiative is a non-profit organization created by veterinarians to improve the heath of the working horse in low income and developing areas. Collaborating with local veterinarians, other organizations, and veterinary colleges, the Equitarian Initiative works to improve learning opportunities which therefore improves the basic health care found in both the United States and internationally.

Mission Statement:
Equitarian Initiative prepares volunteer veterinarians worldwide to deliver health care and education to improve the health, nutrition, productivity, and welfare of horses, donkeys, and mules, and to empower their care providers for sustainable change.

What They Do:
– Direct aid –
Through hands-on learning and discussion at the Equitarian Workshops 69115_10151216253734228_1562934646_nand Equitarian projects throughout many parts of the world, veterinarians are empowered and mentored to join and start health care delivery and education projects.

Collaboration – Equitarian Initiative and volunteer veterinarians maintain project success by partnering with local veterinarians, veterinary colleges, and charities which share their vision.

Education – An emphasis on community partnership creates a two-way educational discussion between working equid caretakers discussing the value of their animals and volunteers sharing the best methods to provide animal care.

10704239_515898818513342_8800910844890847822_oInspiration – They increase public awareness of the vital role working equids play in developing economies and the critical support they provide for the livelihood of the families which depend on them.

If you are interested in reading more information on the Equitarian Initiative, the link below will direct you to an EQUUS article written by Dr. Julie Wilson; whom is the co-founder of the Equitarian Initiative.

In addition, the following link provides a video documenting the Equitarian Initiative work completed during a workshop in these areas.

Equitarian Initiative Website:

Equitarian Initiative Facebook:

Upcoming Events:

6th Equitarian Workshop Nicaragua, November 2015208586_10151501266119228_1853540683_n

This is the third year Anoka Equine Veterinary Services is hosting a silent auction during our Open House benefiting the Equitarian Initiative’s work. Items are donated to the auction from local businesses; such as, Stone Ridge Equestrian and Cowgirl Tough. For a complete list of donating businesses, please visit our Facebook page (

If you are unable to attend the event and would like to help support this cause, personal donations can be made here: (

Meet Our Summer Help

Throughout the summer you may have seen one of our “summer help” employees running around the clinic. Brianna, Maddy and Kaylin all spent their summers working for Anoka Equine in preparation for veterinary school. Their jobs entitled many different activities including: caring for hospitalized patients, cleaning up the barn, assisting with appointments, and much more! All three girls have intentions of going to vet school in their future. Maddy and Brianna have been accepted to the University of Minnesota and will be attending their first semester of vet school this fall, while Kaylin will soon be submitting her application to begin vet school in fall 2016.

Brianna recently graduated from the University of Minnesota earning a degree in Animal Science. She will be embarking on a new adventure as she starts her first year ofBrianna veterinary school this fall at Minnesota. Her love for animals and interest in veterinary medicine started at a very young age when the local vet would come treat the numerous animals on her parent’s hobby farm. She grew up riding multiple disciplines and caring for her horses in her own backyard. “My experience this summer with Anoka Equine has been simply amazing! The friendly clients, knowledgeable technicians, and excellent doctors all contribute to a perfect learning environment. From farm calls to surgeries, lameness exams to pregnancy checks, giving medications and running blood work, it’s never a dull day here at Anoka! I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to be a part of the team and learn about what running a busy equine hospital entails. The vast exposure to equine medicine I have experienced this summer has confirmed this is the area of veterinary medicine I want to focus in!”

maddyThis is Maddy’s third summer working for Anoka Equine. She has always been a horse person and grew up riding and caring for her own horses. After her freshman year of undergrad, she found an internship with the clinic and has been a part of the Anoka Equine team ever since. She will be starting vet school in the fall and will be specializing in equine. Maddy has specific interests in surgery and equine sports medicine. “Before starting at Anoka Equine, I knew I wanted to become an equine veterinarian from working with my own horses growing up. Working at Anoka has fueled that passion and reassured that this is the right career path for me. Thanks to my wonderful coworkers, I have learned so much about veterinary medicine and what it takes to be successful in this career. Everyone has been so willing to take time to explain things and to allow me to be involved with every aspect of the clinic. Working with various patients and clients from day to day has been so rewarding and I feel incredibly fortunate to be a part of this top notch clinic and people who work there. Moving forward into vet school, I am so grateful to have an immense variety of experiences and skills that I have gained here and the wonderful connections that evolved along the way!”

Kaylin will be entering her senior year as an undergraduate student at the University Kaylinof Minnesota Crookston this fall. She will be earning a degree in Equine Science this spring with hopes to continue on to veterinary school fall of 2016. Her list of prospective vet schools include University of Minnesota, Colorado State University, Louisiana State University, Washington State University and Oregon State University. “After spending a day shadowing the veterinarians and technicians at Anoka Equine this winter, I knew this would be the perfect place to spend my summer in order to complete my undergraduate internship. The staff has given me so many opportunities to learn and grow as a student, and I couldn’t be more thankful for it.  Working at Anoka Equine has not only given me the chance to learn a tremendous amount about equine medicine, it has given me even more passion for veterinary medicine.”

        We love to see the passion of Veterinary Medicine through students’ eyes and this summer has not been any different. The ladies we were able to spend our time with this year reiterate why we love teaching and sharing our own equine passion. We are very fortunate to have Bri, Maddy, and Kaylin this summer! These young women are exceptionally intelligent and we are excited to see them grow in their Veterinary Medicine careers. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for all of your hard work and dedication at the clinic this summer; we couldn’t have asked for a better trio!  If you are someone that would like to gain experience in the veterinary field like these ladies, either through shadowing or interning, please visit our website for more information.

Wellness Program


Anoka Equine’s goal has always been to provide the highest quality health care for your horse. With this in mind, we have updated our wellness program to provide your horse wellness-programwith excellent preventative care for better health and performance. A routine health maintenance program is important for the overall well-being of your horse. Regularly scheduled vaccinations, deworming and dental care along with good nutrition and regular exercise will help keep your horse healthy and happy and improve performance. Preventing problems before they occur makes sense, and so does saving money. The Anoka Equine Wellness Program does both. The wellness program is a comprehensive program that packages the recommended routine health care for horses in the area at a greatly reduced cost.


There are two programs to choose from depending on the situation of your horse. The Basic Program provides all the needs for a horse that lives in a closed herd with minimal contact with outside horses. The Boarding Barn/Show Horse Program is set up for the horse that lives at a boarding barn or travels and has exposure to different horses frequently.

In only two visits per year, we provide the basic physical exams, vaccinations, parasite control, dental care, Coggins testing, and nutritional counseling to help keep your horse healthy. Going along with the changing world of parasites, we will be doing a fecal egg count twice a year. After the results are complete, you will receive a specific tailored parasite program for your horse. You will be able to purchase deworming products through the clinic at a discount or from another source. The Potomac Horse Fever Vaccine will be optional with both programs.

Basic Wellness ProgramWellness Program

Visit 1 – March/April

  • Farm Call Fee
  • Physical Exam
  • Ophthalmic Exam
  • Vaccinations
    • EWTWN – 4 way
  • Coggins (EIA) Testing
  • Fecal Egg Count
  • Deworming Plan

Visit 2 – September/October

  • Farm Call Fee
  • Physical Exam Recheck
  • Sedation
  • Dental Exam and Float
  • Sheath/Udder Cleaning
  • Nutrition Consult
  • Fecal Egg Count
  • Vaccinations 
    • Rabies

*Potomac Horse Vaccine Optional for both programs at an additional fee of $21.00

Boarding Barn/Traveling Horse Wellness Program

Visit 1 – March/AprilConditioning Pic 2

  • Farm Call Fee
  • Physical Exax
  • Ophthalmic Ex
  • Coggins (EIA) Testing
  • Fecal Egg Count
  • Deworming Plan
  • Vaccinations
    • EWTWN – 4 way
    • Flu/Rhino Complex
    • Intra-nasal Strep (Strangles)

Visit 2 – September/October

  • Farm Call Fee
  • Physical Exam Recheck
  • Sedation
  • Dental Exam and Float
  • Sheath/Udder Cleaning
  • Nutrition Consult
  • Fecal Egg Count
  • Vaccinations
    • Rabies
    • Flu/Rhino Complex

Plan Details:

  • PHF vaccine is optional for both programs – either as a dispensed vaccine for the owner to administer or as a third appointment so the veterinarian can administer the vaccine.
  • In order to provide the cost savings to you, a credit card must be put on file with Kari, knowing it will be charged out at time of service for said amount.
  • There will be no refunds or substitutions.
  • If a horse dies or is sold outside of the practice area while participating in the program, a prorated refund will be given. Horses within the practice area may have their program transferred to the new owner.
  • If your horse has never been vaccinated before, it will require an initial series of vaccinations with boosters 3 – 6 weeks later. These booster vaccinations are not included in this program.
  • Horses must be over 1 year old to participate in the wellness program.
  • Dental care includes sedation, complete oral exam, and a performance float including bit seats.
    Extensive dental work such as extractions, periodontal pockets or cavities is not


Pricing: Please call Kari at the clinic for 2015 program questions and information!




Basic Wellness Program $ 591.60 20%
Boarding Barn/Traveling Horse Wellness Program $ 658.00 20%
Optional – Potomac Horse Vaccine    
Dispensed for owner to administer            $ 21.00  
PHF along with farm call for vet to administer vaccine            $ 76.00  

If you would like to enroll, please fill out the Wellness Enrollment form and fax or mail the form to the clinic. You may also contact Kari at the clinic with any questions and to schedule your appointments at 763-452-2682.

For a print out version of all this information, click here.