Favourite Part of Being an RVT..

We asked RVTs to share what their favourite part of being an RVT is..

My favourite part of being a RVT is working with the doctors and coming up with a plan to help sick patients.  Working as a team and then getting to send the animal home to very happy owners makes my job very rewarding.

My favorite part of being an RVT is the education I can provide to kids and adults! I love speaking with Pony club groups, the Pre Vet club, Riding groups and at other venues. I enjoy the teaching aspect of my job. The response is always great when they can interact and dissect or ask questions.

One thing I discovered I love about being an RVT is pulling quills. Grab some gloves, a stool and settle in for a nice relaxing pull session.

My favourite part about being an RVT over the last 10 years is, witnessing the magic between pet and owner. Call it love or bond but when I see a cat purring and rubbing up on their owner when just 5 minutes prior to the owner arriving they were trying to attack me, is just humbling to see.

To enter into our next contest comment with what your favourite part is on the blog or by emailing savt@savt.ca. Winner gets chocolate, swag, and a heartworm!

The Buzz on Bees

Submitted by Marlayna Morgan, RVT

A few weeks ago we had a rather unusual visitor come into our clinic. About an inch long, 6 legs, 4 wings, and a whole lot of fluff. I named him Bernard. Bernard the bumblebee. The first time we found him, he sent a staff member screaming to the bathroom! He wasn’t something to be scared of, though, especially in his state. He was flying low and was very easy to catch, so I scooped him up and brought him outside to the bush in front of our building. The next time Bernard came to visit he was doing much worse. Not flying much at all and seemed out of sorts.  I didn’t want to just send him on his way again, he needed help! So I grabbed the raw honey off the shelf and decided to give that a shot. Well he lapped it right up! In the picture you can see him on my thumb licking up the honey. That evening I posted this same picture to social media where it blew up. People were fascinated by this little guy, and apparently with saving the bees.  (article continues below the picture)

Research suggests that 1 in every 3 bites of food we eat is made possible by bees. Bees pollinate our crops and our orchards, they bring us the snacks we all enjoy every day. From apples to almonds, our precious coffee, and of course honey. Bees are the only insects that produce food for human consumption, not like those good-for-nothing pesky mosquitoes. So, now we know why we need to #savethebees, but how do we do this?

There are many ways to help our fuzzy buzzing friends! Firstly, bees enjoy diversity, which is why many prefer urban settings. Planting bee friendly flowers and plants like daisies, peonies, lilacs, as well as herbs like mint, thyme, oregano, and chives can help give them the variety they crave. Next, if you have a bee problem, call a beekeeper instead of pest control. Beekeepers will relocate the bees safely rather than use harmful insecticides to kill them. Speaking of insecticides, consider using other alternatives like barriers, crop rotation, or companion plants in your garden. If nothing else, try a low toxicity pesticide. Another bee saving tactic, and a neat craft to do with the kids, is build a bee hotel. There are many different blueprints online for these home away from homes. I’ve included a link to one article below. Finally, keep informed and get involved. Remember these bees can’t speak for themselves.

In the veterinary profession we have recently seen an increase in bee clientele. This is in part because of the new antimicrobial resistance bylaws. Bees are food animals, and as such they need veterinary care. Bee diseases such as American Foulbrood are widespread and can have a devastating effect on hives. American Foulbrood is a bacterial infection that is regularly thwarted by use of preventative action using Tetracycline.Keepers will mix Tetracycline powder with sugar and dust the tops of the hives giving access to the bees below. With the recent bylaw changes, beekeepers will need a VCPR to access these antibiotics. This means we can have a greater role in both getting rid of antimicrobial resistance, and the sustainability of bees. It’s a lot of work, but the bees deserve it! 

Links of interest: 

https://www.canadianveterinarians.net/documents/treating-honey-bees-and-pollinators-what-veterinary-medical-professionals-need-to-know

https://www.cheerios.ca/bringbackthebees/

https://www.huffingtonpost.ca/the-nature-conservancy-of-canada/bee-our-guest-how-to-build-a-bee-hotel_a_23189810/

RVT Month!

Today is the first day of RVT Month.  RVT Month is all about celebrating and recognizing the work that RVTs accomplish every day.  RVT month used to be RVT week but that just wasn’t enough and with Ontario leading the way this is the second year we’ve had RVT Month.  Every clinic in Saskatchewan will have an RVT Month Kit delivered to them via WDDC.  A shout out to WDDC for their continued support of RVTs and the SAVT.

SAVT will also have eight contests on our social media platforms throughout the month of October.  These platforms include: Facebook, Instagram, eblasts, our blog.  Keep a keen eye out for them.  The RVT Month ends for the SAVT with our conference November 1-3 – have you registered yet? Since June the SAVT has also been working with cities throughout Saskatchewan to ask them to recognize the work that RVTs do.  We are pleased to share with you that the following cities have declared a period of time in October as RVT Week: Ministry of Agriculture, Meadow Lake, Melfort, Moose Jaw, North Battleford, Prince Albert, Regina, Saskatoon, and Warman. 

We encourage every clinic to celebrate their RVTs and we encourage all RVTs to celebrate themselves and their colleagues.  There are many ways to celebrate and we would love to see your celebrations.  Share them with us and tag us in them so we can celebrate with you.  

Wildlife Rehabilitation Society of Saskatchewan

From Bonnie Dell, WRSOS Co-President

The Wildlife Rehabilitation Society of Saskatchewan (WRSOS) is an entirely volunteer run organization but despite our name, we do not do the actual rehabilitation. We operate the provincial Wildlife 911 hotline for injured and orphaned wildlife. This hotline is staffed by volunteers from 9 – 9 every day of the year – yes we answer the phone on Christmas Day! Through this hotline, we facilitate the rescue of injured and orphaned wildlife and arrange transportation for these animals through our network of volunteers throughout the province from north to south. We work with 10 licensed wildlife rehabilitators and numerous target veterinarians who provide the actual care, as well as Conservation Officers and other government agencies.

When our organization began in 2006 we had 177 calls to our hotline and in 2018 we had over 3200! We have established ourselves as an essential service and with calls up by 30% this year, the need for our services is evident. We receive no funding and depend on donations as well as the fundraising efforts of our volunteers.

Because of this increase in demand, we are actively recruiting volunteers. You can work the hotline from home or pretty much anywhere, because calls are retrieved by calling a message manager system. A lot of our calls are education only, with many just being told to leave the animal in the wild for its’ parents to take care of, while other calls are much more in depth. All training and information will be provided and we pair all new volunteers with a mentor for their first few shifts or until they feel comfortable.

We also need rescue and transport people in every corner of the province. If you live rurally, you might not be called upon very often and may be required to keep an animal overnight depending on the circumstances. As a transport volunteer, we ask that you keep track of your mileage in order to receive a tax receipt at the end of the year for .50 per kilometer.

We offer online training as well as several in person orientations throughout the year. A minimum commitment of four hours per month is required in order to remain an active volunteer. This is a great way to get a glimpse in to a world that most don’t get to see, not to mention helping wildlife and adding something unique to your resume. It’s also a great way to meet the rehabbers and see what they do.

If this sounds like something you might be interested please contact info@wrsos.org or check out our website wrsos.org.

#WSAVA2019

Submitted by: Breanne Barber, RVT, SAVT President

I hope everyone enjoyed my Instagram takeover last month while I was in Toronto, Ontario attending the World Small Animal Veterinary Congress (WSAVA) and the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association (CVMA) annual conference. Didn’t see it?! Check out the SAVT Instagram (saskvettechs).

The WSAVA Congress has been hosted by Canada three times, 1987 in Montreal, 2001 in Vancouver and lastly 2019 in Toronto. This year was their 60th Anniversary! WSAVA was created in 1961, following a decision by the then International Association of Small Animal Specialists (IASAS) to rename itself as the World Small Animal Veterinary Association. Today they have 110 veterinary association members globally and represent more than 200,000 companion animal veterinarians. Initial progress was slow but, with each World Congress, more associations joined, attendance increased, and the committees became more effective. The Journal of Small Animal Practice, which had become the WSAVA’s official publication, helped to share information between countries.

I was invited to attend a socialization meet and greet hosted by the Registered Veterinary Technologists and Technicians of Canada (RVTTC) Board of Directors which was held on Tuesday night. I was able to introduce myself to other province’s RVTTC representatives, meet local Registered Veterinary Technologists (RVT) and Veterinarians and I also had a great conversation with a representative from Association des Techniciens en Santé Animale du Quebec (ATSAQ). I attended the RVTTC annual general meeting which had very enlightening information that I look forward to using to help our association grow.

I also attended the CVMA’s annual general meeting which included the transfer of presidency. Congratulations to Dr. Melanie Hicks! I look forward to seeing what the CVMA can accomplish in the next year for the veterinary community. I was thankful to see RVTs recognized at the highest veterinary level in Canada as an important member of the team by not only all of the CVMA representatives I met but also the CVMA council members. RVTs have a voice and it is starting to be heard! Also, congratulations to the Canadian RVT of the year Ivana Novosel, RVT. She is creator of IMLocum, IMThriving, RVTTC Alberta Representative and so much more. Well deserved! 

I took in some continuing education that WSAVA/CVMA had to offer. The speakers and talks I attended were very informative and knowledgeable. I was able to take information I learned and bring it back to my practice to initiate the best patient care for our small animal clients and patients.  We all want what is best for our patients and going to events like this is how we can do that! Continuing education is not only something you do to get enough credits to keep you registered in your province, it allows you to grow as an RVT and bring the best medicine and care back to your clients and patients. 

The congress was hosted by the Metro Convention Centre which just happened to be located in downtown Toronto right next to the CN Tower (which was my view outside my window all week), Rogers Centre (Blue Jays were on the road…), Ripley’s Aquarium, a local brewery (Steam Whistle) and just a short walk away you can visit a few local markets, BMO field (and again the Argos were out of town) and catch the ferry to Toronto Island!

I enjoyed all of my time in Toronto whether it was attending a social event, sitting in on a meeting, creating new connections for the SAVT, checking out all the booths at the trade fair, talking to a DVM student from the Netherlands, or discussing the lack of RVTs with a Veterinarian from Sri Lanka. I was appreciative to attend this event as not only a SAVT representative but also an RVT that is learning what the gold standard of care for all of the patients I love and care for everyday! #ProudlyRVT

Pictured left to right: Lois Ridgway, RVT; Darlene Ford, RVT; Carolyn Cartwright, RVT-VTS (Anesthesia & Analgesia), and Breanne Barber, RVT


Continuing Education Documentation

All Continuing Education credits that are uploaded to accounts need to have the appropriate documentation to prove that you completed it.  What does that even mean?! That could mean a certificate of completion, that could mean an email confirming you completed the quiz, or that could mean a signed letter from your supervisor confirming you did it. 

The Continuing Education Committee recognized that documentation can be a struggle and that sometimes it’s hard to get that documentation.  To help solve that problem and provide RVTs with the tools to make CE easier they brought back and updated the tracking form.  The tracking form can be used by RVTs ask appropriate documentation for CE they’ve completed.  It outlines different information required and can hold up to three different CE activities on each page. 

This form can be completed as you go about your term when traditional certificates and documentation is not available or offered.  Please ensure that you complete all areas of the form to ensure that the documentation is considered acceptable. 

But – where do I find this marvelous form?  Great question!  You can log into your account, click on Continuing Education at the top and in the first part it says CLICK HERE – you should click there.  OR you can just click on the link below!
https://www.savt.ca/images/File/2019/TrackingForm.pdf   

From the desk of Jasmin Carlton, SAVT Executive Director under Benny’s supervision.

Yours in 4-H

Last week I met with Cera, the Executive Director of 4-H Saskatchewan.  This meeting came about after I published a poll on the SAVT Member Communication page on Facebook about 4-H.  There were a lot of 4-H alum and many of their programs are geared towards those interested in animals.  That got me to thinking ‘how can 4-H and the SAVT collaborate?’  How can we get more involved in each other’s worlds?  How do we overlap and how can we get young folks down the path of becoming an RVT and interested in veterinary medicine?  I didn’t have all those answers, but I figured I should ask around and Cera seemed like a great place to start. 

When I sat down with Cera she told me about the 169 active 4-H clubs across Saskatchewan, the 3,000 4-H members working on over 5,000 projects, and the recent introduction of the Veterinary Project.  Cera broke down those 5,000 projects for me into specific projects: 2,000 beef projects, 700 light horse projects, 84 canine projects, 65 sheep projects, 30 poultry projects, 25 small pet projects, 21 veterinary projects, 8 rabbit projects, and one swine project.  She told me that they went from 2 poultry projects two years ago in the province to 30 last year, and the surprise when she saw that canine projects were up to 84, that Saskatchewan is the third highest enrollment of 4-H across Canada but per capita Saskatchewan is first!

I learned that they have only been offering the Veterinary project for 3 years and already they have 21 registered.  The youngest of those registrants is 13 years old but primarily they are 15,16, and 17-year olds in that program.  The Veterinary Project is the most terminology heavy and hardest projects that they offer.  They brought it in from Ontario as a way to challenge their 4-Hers who have already made it though the four courses they offer that are directly related to animals.  When I looked through their project book I was intimidated by what was included but excited that young adults had access to something like this – I also wanted to make sure that those who were completing this program new about RVTs and the rewarding futures they could have as an RVT – so going forward we are going to be including a one-page information piece on RVTs with each project package (how cool is that?!)

Cera then asked me if I thought RVTs throughout Saskatchewan would be willing to get involved with them.  Would RVTs be willing to speak to clubs on nutrition/hoof care/husbandry/etc? Teach some minor first-aid for animals?  Put on animal demonstrations? Host clinic tours? Judge public speaking? What about record books?  But really – what about those speaking opportunities? I told her that we offer CE to RVTs who participate in these activities so absolutely there are interested RVTs are out there who not only like CE but also are passionate about 4-H and the future of veterinary medicine.  That led to an arrangement for space in their printed newsletter about RVTs in exchange for information about 4-H in our conference program and information in our eBlasts. 

This is all extremely exciting for both the SAVT and 4-H Saskatchewan.  It’s also exciting for RVTs – do you want to work with a local 4-H group?  Contact the SAVT office at savt@savt.ca and let me know!

From the desk of Jasmin Carlton, SAVT Executive Director (and this is my desk/kitchen table tonight)