Tag Archives: vet tech

Today we said goodbye

Today we said goodbye to one of our beloved patients. As a licensed veterinary technician who works in an oncology (cancer) department, I often hear the Oncologist quote things like “with [his type of cancer] the median survival rate without treatment is 3 months and with treatment: 12-18 months.” “T”, as I will call him to give his family the privacy and respect they deserve, outlived those statistics living to a staggering 31 months after his diagnosis! 

T was one of those dogs that everyone was scared of when he first came in, a breed that tends to be “not-so-nice” in the veterinary world, but I’m pretty sure it was love at first sight for me! His mom, tough as nails (just like me), his dad, a big teddy bear kinda guy who laughed despite wanting to cry. I met T right after his diagnosis, a scary time for his owners with a lot of unknowns. They were scared he might bite me when we met and insisted he wore a muzzle every time! Over time though, I showed them that their boy trusted me and that I understood him. In the last two years, we rarely ever muzzled him. 

He was one of those dogs that announced he was in the building, the kind of dog that would bark and bark until you gave him attention or treats! I fell in love with T and his family as each week/month/year passed. T truly has a special place in my heart. 

I’ve written about euthanasia before, and how hard it is for the veterinary technician to deal with the loss of someone else’s pet (so I’ll save the repeat post for another time). But, today that loss is as real as ever – it’s hard not to connect with animals especially when you see them so often and for so long. 

Today, as I saw those eyes, they were not the same as they have been in the past. His pain showed, his lungs struggling for air, my heart broken for him, for his family… I thought about all of the great times I had with T. All of the times I snuck away to hug him and give him extra treats, All the times I laughed with his mom about his quirks. Today, after we said goodbye, I cried, I sobbed, I even hugged multiple people (which is a clear indicator of how sad I was because of you know me, you know hugging just isn’t my thang).

T is sure to be one of the pets who leaves a stamp on my heart forever, one that I will likely shed tears for over and over again.

Tonight, I hope you hug your pets a little tighter… I know I will…. 

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AdvoCare 24 Day Challenge: Day 4 & Charlie is getting a nose job!


Can we just talk about the energy I’ve had today? Holy cow! This morning I woke up at 6am and didn’t even reset the alarm!! I jumped up and started getting ready for the gym and work and then headed out the door – but not before I took my catalyst and drank my spark!! 

Can you tell from the photo above that I was DRENCHED!? 35 minutes on the stairmaster and I was soaked! It felt so good, but my legs were a bit wobbly from all the running and drills I did yesterday! 

So, before I started the challenge group I purchased a few challenges that included the old herbal cleanse. Well a few days later the new simplified cleanse came out so damn I had these two old cleanses — so my cleanse phase is a bit different than my challenge group… With that said, I clearly forgot this and drank my fiber drink today instead of taking the probiotic restore. Oops! Looks like I’m making my own rules haha!  Either way, I feel like a million bucks!

I was offered chocolate and starbursts today and I politely declined saying that I’m challenging myself to 24 days of healthy eating and right now that food is not in line with my goals but if she still has some in June I may take a piece lol but honestly – probably not. 

It’s really strange – hard to explain for someone like me who tends to feel like I wear my food like I’m invisible (stole this idea from Sam but totally true) – but I really haven’t wanted anything today!! I’ll get more into that later when I tell you about my super market trip, but for now…

Work was uneventful – I had mashed potatoes, turkey, green beans and carrots for lunch, and pretzel chips with hummus for a snack. I got hungry around 5 but got busy and then all of a sudden it was 6pm! So I skipped my afternoon snack and just ate dinner – so today I skipped my mid day catalyst — oops!

That’s the beauty of this all though, it’s not a huge deal that I messed up a little today, just do it right tomorrow! 

So, this isn’t challenge related but this IS called “PUGS and push-ups” right?! So I have some news about Charlie!  


He’s going to get a dental on Thursday with Dr. Mary Buelow and then go to surgery with Dr. Bonczynski for a soft palate resection and nare surgery. His mouth is stinky and it’s been about two years since he had a dental, so it’s about time and since he’s going under anesthesia we figure it’s best to get his nose fixed and help him breathe since he’s really having trouble this year with the heat. Needless to say, even though I’m the one who wants to do this, and I’m the one who is paying for it and I’m the one who made the appointment, I’m freaking out! 

Want to know what’s cool about this challenge? It balances your body right!? So, that includes hormones and nutrients so my body is in balance and usual stressors don’t bother me – so sure, I’m stressed out about Charlie and this elective surgery but I’m not eating everything in my house, because I don’t feel the need to! It’s so incredible how quickly ones body can start to feel good once you stop putting crap in it and start supplementing with nutrients you wouldn’t otherwise get! 

For dinner I had chicken, sweet potatoes and green beans and for my snack I had my yogurt with Muscle Gain – so yum!! 

I really cant stress how much I love how I feel and I can’t wait to share this with everyone I know!! 

  And on that note.. Here’s my latest post on my personal Instagram… Because I love what it says, I had to share…..


If you want to get going and change your body let me know!! I can help coach you through your 24 day challenge and beyond!  

If you want more info on the challenge, please email me at teamsuzrice@gmail.com or check out my website: www.advocare.com/140913642

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Dealing with euthanasia: a vet tech perspective 

I recently read a blog by a veterinary technician about how vet techs cry even though you may not see it. At the time I thought “wow this is so true” but today it hits home more than ever (I can’t find the link but once I do I will link to the post). 

Sometimes as a vet tech we have to deal with owners making the hard decision to euthanize their pet, sometimes we have to witness the owner unable to make that decision and therefore the pet essentially suffers until they make the decision for them. As an oncology technician I feel like we may deal with these decisions more often than we’d like to – not because chemo “doesn’t work” but because our patients don’t typically live for 5-10 years after treatment (don’t be mistaken, I’ve seen some beat some pretty grim odds). Typically our patients live anywhere between 3 months and 3 years after we see them, many come to see us for quite a long time and weekly to biweekly – so as you can imaging we become attached to our patients, and their parents. 

I personally feel like I get attached to some parents more than others, mostly because they come the same day at the same time so I tend to do their appointment. These last few weeks have been trying. First we lost one of our most favorite patients, he had lymphoma and wasn’t responding to treatment, his owners ultimately decided that they no longer wanted him to suffer and decided to let him go. I think of him often, and wonder if his sister (who always came in with him as a support buddy) is doing well as an only pup. I miss his mom and dad, they were dedicated and loved him very much but were also becoming like family – since we saw them so much. 

Then we lost one two many of our other patients – some from sudden deaths others from euthanasia. 

Last night one of our long term patients came in through the emergency service – when I saw him this morning my eyes welled up because he just wasn’t the same happy pup I have grown to know and love. He was just in the other day, bobbing along, wagging his tail. He’s always been so happy and today he just was not that way.  

I’ll be honest, I wasn’t in the best of moods this morning, and selfishly stayed away from him as to not bring down my mood more. Before I left though, I made sure to say goodnight, and hug dad – the worst part of my job is when I see their parents crying. 

I consider myself a very strong person, I rarely cry in front of people, but what most people don’t realize is when I get in my car on my way home, I cry. I cry all the way home – I cry for my patient, I cry for their family, I cry for my team, I cry for myself. 

This is not an easy job – it’s not easy to love someone else’s pet like they are your own and not be able to make any life decisions for them – when a pet parent can’t bring themselves to end their suffering sometimes I wish I could make the decision for them – because it breaks my heart to see their baby (my baby) suffer – it breaks my heart to see them (as the owner) suffer. 

The next time you go to the vet, please remember that the people who are caring for your animals love them, and in time will grow to love you as well. Remember that we, as veterinary professionals may not cry with you, we must be strong – but boy do we cry… Even the strongest. 

Tonight I will pray for my friends dad, I will pray for him and pray that his suffering ends soon. For now, the kiss I gave him before I left work will be a “see you later” as I don’t like goodbyes.

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