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Registered Veterinary Technician Awareness Month: AHT Students “Purrrvide” Services for NAIT’s Pet Owners

Veterinary clinic with vet handling female cat

By Mackenzie McDaniel-Paul

No one is more dependable in my life than my pet cockapoo Marty. I’m sure many could say the same about their pets. In 2018, Marty gave me a scare when he was attacked by another dog at the park. I was told on my

way home from school and immediately noticed his missing presence when

I came home. My father told me what had happened, and I was terrified.

When I arrived at the vet clinic, I saw my dog in a condition I never wanted to. It would be a long month of visits to my clinic, but Marty survived with

nothing more than surface wounds (now invisible thanks to my dog’s fluffy

coat) and some anxiety about the park. I can only thank the veterinary staff

who helped him and comforted him while I could do nothing but worry. Now

that the incident has passed, it helps to know that there is a huge support

system for our animals here at NAIT.

October is RVT (Registered Veterinary Technician) Awareness Month, and new students may not know that NAIT has a veterinary clinic for aspiring RVTs taking NAIT’s Animal Health Technology (AHT) program. The NAIT animal clinic can be found in X-100 and is run by veterinarians, RVTs, support staff, and most importantly, students in training. Many people believe RVTs to be the equivalent of nurses, but this is not necessarily the case. Each RVT is trained to fulfill many roles, including assisting with surgery, monitoring anesthesia, obtaining and processing laboratory samples, filling prescriptions, dental hygiene, administering medication, and x-ray technology. These professionals perform everything from trimming nails to treatment for major emergencies. The study of an RVT is vast, and though their patients are often feline or canine in nature, their contributions to NAIT and Canada at large should not be overlooked.

NAIT students and staff looking to give back to Animal Health Technology students can use the clinic’s services, which include spays and neuters, vaccine checks, dental procedures, wellness exams, and more. Pet owners can also contribute to NAIT’s Animal Blood Bank, a satellite donation center for the Canadian Animal Blood Bank, which is under provincial restructuring. Dogs eligible to give blood must meet certain criteria. While they can be any breed, they must be over 50 pounds, one to six years of age, and not have too much anxiety in the clinic. Donation times and locations are fluctuating, but it never hurts to check with the NAIT Animal Clinic to plan for future donations. Each bag of blood given can save up to two or more dogs. If blood cannot be donated, monetary donations are also accepted. 

For more information on the services that Animal Health Technology students provide, or to book an appointment at NAIT’s animal clinic, call their reception at 780-491-3135.

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