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 (http://mavt.net/education/certification)

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.

 

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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: http://www.equitarianinitiative.org/

Equitarian Initiative Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/EquitarianInitiative

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 (https://www.facebook.com/anokaequine).

If you are unable to attend the event and would like to help support this cause, personal donations can be made here: (https://www.paypal.com/us/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_flow&SESSION=AaIAe1-iDHQlGfzu6qkE0otFuM6VNbth79W7PkSQIyYgntnuhmRIHcKh-Du&dispatch=5885d80a13c0db1f8e263663d3faee8dae318ac9ffd6aa6b72a490566890f82e).

Equitarian Initiative

208586_10151501266119228_1853540683_nThis week in honor of Client Appreciation Day on Saturday, we are introducing the organization our silent auction will be benefiting, the Equitarian Initiative.

Equitarian 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 69115_10151216253734228_1562934646_neducation 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 and 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.

Inspiration – 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: http://www.equitarianinitiative.org/

Equitarian Initiative Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/EquitarianInitiative

Upcoming Events:

902019_182835585239468_182555562_o5th Equitarian Workshop Nicaragua, October 19 – 26, 2014

This is the second year Anoka Equine Veterinary Services is hosting a silent auction during our Client Appreciation Day benefitting 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 (https://www.facebook.com/anokaequine).

If you are unable to attend the event and would like to help support this cause, personal donations can be made here: (https://www.paypal.com/us/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_flow&SESSION=AaIAe1-iDHQlGfzu6qkE0otFuM6VNbth79W7PkSQIyYgntnuhmRIHcKh-Du&dispatch=5885d80a13c0db1f8e263663d3faee8dae318ac9ffd6aa6b72a490566890f82e).

Compounded Drugs

By: Katie Jones, CVT

Every day we are bombarded with drug choices both in stores and through social media. coumponded drugsVeterinarian pharmacies are not any different. Adequan®, Banamine®, and GastroGuard® are all common names many have heard and learned about. A drug is classified by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration “as any substance, food, or nonfood intended for diagnosis, cure, mitigation, or prevention of disease in humans or other animals; any substance intended to affect body structure or function; or any substance administered by infection.”1 There are several different drug classifications a veterinarian can choose from when prescribing medication for their patients. The classifications are generic, brand name or patented drugs, and compounded drugs.

The first type of classification we will discuss is brand name drugs. Brand name drugs were developed and tested by their creating company. Once they are tested and approved by the FDA, the company holds the drug patent up to 12 years. After the patent expires, other manufactures are able to create their own version of the drug and sell it at a lower price; these new drugs are called generic drugs. Generic drugs are marketed under their chemical name but have the same dosage, strength, route of administration, quality, performance characteristics, and intended use as the brand name version. (For example: Acetaminophen is the generic name of Tylenol.) Both the brand and generic versions of a drug are FDA approved. The FDA approves all drugs through their testing for efficacy, quality, purity, strength, bioavailability, and stability before being available to the public. So why choose generic over the brand name version? Simply, PRICE.

Why are generic drugs so much cheaper when they are designed to be identical products to their brand name counterpart? The primary answer is generic drug developers have much less overhead invested into the drug. The original creators of the drug have invested large sums of money and time into the development, clinical trials, and marketing of the drug. By the time a specific drug is FDA approved, the creating company on average has invested 10 years and around $40 million into the product. These costs can skyrocket into the billions once the drug is in the hands of consumers.

Compounded drugsThe final type of drug classification is compounded drugs. Compounding is defined as “the art and science of mixing ingredients, which may be active, inactive, or both, to create a specific dosage form to meet a specific patient’s needs.”2 Many horse owners have used compounded drugs at one time or another. There are multiple reasons why drugs are compounded, here are a few: to add flavor, to combine two different drugs, to suspend a drug for oral administration, or to treat a horse with a drug not currently available with FDA approval. Due to the lower sale cost and the limited demand for certain drugs, drug developers have less incentive to invest millions into creating new drugs. This is where compounding comes in. Compounding allows veterinarians the ability to offer certain drugs as treatment options for horses. Though they are not regulated by the FDA, there are rules regarding the creation and prescription of compounded drugs:

  1. Compounded drugs can only be prescribed in circumstances where a valid veterinarian/client/patient relationship has been established.
  2. A drug can not be compounded if there is a FDA-approved drug available that will effectively treat the horse.
  3. The drug needs to be created from a FDA-approved commercially available drug; not from a bulk source.
  4. The compounding of the drug must be done by a licensed veterinarian or pharmacist.

Even with the previous rules and regulations there are risks associated with compound drug use. For one, mathematical errors can occur when ingredients are mixed. If the mixture doesn’t contain enough active ingredient, the drug will be ineffective; on the other hand, if too much is added, adverse reactions can be seen. Secondly, during the creation of the drug there is always a chance a chemical reaction will take place when multiple drugs are mixed together. Compounded drugs typically have a short shelf life which means they expire fairly quickly, making them a ‘use it or lose it’ drug. Finally, labeling errors can occur which can change the efficiency of the drug. Due to all these complications, it is very important to only purchase compounded drugs through a veterinarian.

Overall, compounded drugs are a great resource in situations where a horse requires treatment when otherwise there would not be one. Compounded drugs should only be used under veterinary direction and should not be purchased from pharmacies that are selling expensive drugs cheaply.

 

References:
1. Food and Drug Administration-Center for Veterinary Medicine. FDA seeks to clear up confusion about compounding. Jam Vet Med Assoc 2003;223:1103-1106