Becoming an Equine Vet Tech Specialist
The modern veterinary care sector is marked by a highly trained and well-equipped professional workforce. From local clinics to urban veterinary centers, pets and livestock take advantage of equipment and techniques very similar to those their owners expect to see in a modern hospital.
As a part of this, a wide and growing number of specialties exist to ensure that pets and livestock receive the very best possible care. One of the more important specialty fields for vet techs is the field of equine care.
The Importance of Proper Equine Care
Equine care is an important specialty in veterinary medicine. Horses, unlike many other animals, often face great physical challenges. From long distance riding, racing, and exhibition riding, they engage in a varity of actions, and unlike most other animals, often have the weight of a rider and his or her equipment added to them.
This requires effective veterinary care to ensure that the equine does not develop dangerous medical conditions or illnesses during its life. Finally, horses are considerably different then most pets, and require specialized care on the part of the veterinary practice.
The Equine Veterinary Technician
An equine veterinary tech is a technician who has specialized in assisting veterinarians to provide proper care for equines of all types and breeds. These technicians often carry out the following duties:
- Providing general care for horses under the care of the supervising veterinarian.
- Administering drugs that have been prescribed by the veterinarian in a safe and effective manner.
- Observing and reporting any unusual conditions or behavior on the part of the animal to the veterinarian.
- Assisting the veterinarian before, during and after surgical procedures.
Career Options for Certified Equine Veterinary Techs
There are a wide variety of career options for certified equine care veterinary technicians. Due to the high expense of horses and the importance of maintaining their health, many private and corporate owners are willing to secure high quality veterinary care, no matter the expense. In addition, a number of government agencies make use of equine specialists, especially in wildlife management or as a part of a state or local humane society.
Additionally, due to the importance of complying with federal, state and local regulations regarding animal health and comfort, many ranches and horse breeders place a high priority in having experienced specialists available. In some cases, the vet tech may work with a veterinarian who has been hired to provide care, while in other cases he or she will be an employee of the horse’s owners.
Becoming a Certified Equine Care Veterinary Technician
Becoming a certified veterinary care technician requires that the vet tech work with the American Association of Equine Veterinary Technicians and Assistants (AAEVT). The AAEVT has been recognized by the National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America (NAVTA) as the proper certifying authority for vet techs specializing in equine care.
Certification Requirements for Equine Vet Techs
Becoming a certified equine vet tech requires a course of study that builds upon the traditional American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) course of study. A student intending to become a vet tech specializing in equine medicine must still complete a course of study at an AVMA accredited school and complete any other steps his or her state requires for certification as a veterinary technician. After that, he or she must join the AAEVT in order to be eligible for certification.
The AAEVT course of study focuses on the specific and unique knowledge that the vet tech will need when assisting veterinarians in treating horses or other equines. These include classes in equine pharmacology, anesthesia diagnostics and emergency medicine and treatment. When combined with an AVMA accredited vet tech program, a graduate of the AAEVT course will be well equipped to provide effective assistance for any veterinarian specializing in equine care.
Finally, as an important part of his or her course of study, the candidate will be expected to demonstrate effective horsemanship skills. This verifies that the candidate can effectively handle large equines without risking injury to the animal or any veterinary personnel. After completing the AAEVT course of study the candidate will be certified as a veterinary technician specialist in equine care.
Benefits of AAEVT Certification
AAEVT certification is recognized by the American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP). As such, a certified vet tech can easily obtain employment in the equine care veterinary sector. Due to his or her professional qualifications, the vet tech will also enjoy promising salary and career options.
Given the importance of high quality veterinary care for equines in America, becoming a certified equine vet tech is an excellent choice for those seeking a career in this rapidly growing field. No matter the state, equine care vet techs can expect to be well respected by fellow workers and clients alike.