For my first hour at the Huntington Beach Pet Vet, I was introduced to the building facility and to the employees working there. I met all of the veterinarians there including Dr. Naito, Dr. Bennington and Dr. Munson. When taking a tour around the building, I got a tour of the consultation room, which is where pet owners take their pets for a doctor’s evaluation. Another room they showed me was the boarding room. The boarding room is a room designed to house dogs while their owners are away. After walking around a little more, I was guided into the surgery room where surgeries are performed on animals.
After speaking with the vets I asked them what safety procedures I must follow and asked what qualifications you must meet in order to become a licensed vet. Hour 2 For the second hour I was able to observe the whole process in taking your pet to the vet. First the pet owners walk into the building and are welcomed by a lady working at the front desk. Her job is to greet the patients and make sure they sign in on the waiting list. Once the pet owners sign in they wait in the lobby for 5-10 minutes before being called in by other staff.
The job of the staff is to go on the computer database and make sure they have all of the information of the pet including insurance, vaccinations… etc. Once this step is complete the pet is then transported over to the evaluation room. There the doctor checks the pets weight, temperature and examines the pet to make sure nothing out of the ordinary is wrong. After the doctor is finished with the evaluation, the pet is then transported to the general treatment center where the staff and doctors work together to get tasks like vaccinations, and dental cleaning done.
Since the vets don’t know every thing that could be wrong with an animal, they always refer to a medical dictionary that gives them all the information they need. Hour 3 For the 3rd hour I was taken to the boarding room to take care of the animals left by their owners. There I came across a bunch of dogs and cats of different species. When I was in the boarding room I was given instructions on how to feed certain dogs based on their owners instructions. I also gave some dogs medication and learned about the various treatments that can be given when they sustain a specific injury or sickness.
In some occasions when certain pets lose their owners, the Vet clinic picks them up and places them in the boarding rooms. Once there, they are either put up for adoption, or are kept by the veterinarians. Hour 4 The 4th hour I was there I got a glimpse of a dog that was believed to have a tumor on its stomach and near its tail. After talking to the vet, I was explained that the tumor could become cancerous if not treated properly. After examining it, the vet told me that it was indeed a tumor and the right step to do is to get it removed before it spread elsewhere.
But before any surgery, the doctor needs to have verification from the owner before proceeding in any type of procedure. Once all liability forms and paper work are completed, the doctor has permission to treat the dog. Hour 5 During my 5th hour there, the owner filled out the paperwork, once everything was completed, the dog was ready to be prepped for surgery. The doctor introduced me to the vet technician who normally preps animals for surgery and showed me the steps in prepping a dog for surgery.
First I put the dog on a scale to measure its weight to get the appropriate amount of sedative. Then the vet technician injected the sedative and put a gas mask that gives the dog anesthesia to make sure it falls asleep completely. Once the dog was completely asleep, I got the chance to clean the area around the tumor by shaving the fur so it wouldn’t get in the way of anything. Once the area around the tumor was shaved, the vet tech placed a reddish iodine based liquid in the area to prevent infection during surgery. Hour 6
Now that the dog was completely ready for surgery, it was time to wheel him over to the surgery room. Since being in the surgery room requires you to go through a whole liability process, I could only watch the 1st surgery from outside of the room. Although I saw the surgery from outside the room, I had learned a lot of things that I had not known before. First the doctor used a scalpel to cut around the are a where the tumor was. Then she carefully removed the tumor and placed it in a soluble liquid for further examination.
Once the surgery was completed and the tumor was removed, I got an opportunity to watch the doctor stitch the dog’s incision. The most difficult part of this surgery was probably the stitching because you need to make sure the wound is covered up completely to prevent infection. The dog was then wheeled over to a cage where they recover and rest until the anesthesia wears off. Any animal that has just come off of surgery has to be given medications, because like humans, animals feel pain after a surgery. Hour 7
Once the dog started waking up from the surgery, you could tell that a minimum amount of anesthesia was still circulating through its body because it would wake up and daze back to sleep. To make sure every animal gets proper medication and treatment after surgery, the veterinarian places a manila folder outside the cage that contains all the paperwork of the pet with specific instructions for proper care. In the general treatment center, there’s a fully written out schedule that has everything from appointments, surgeries, groomings, and dental cleanings to make sure everyone is on the same page.
Although there’s a schedule already made, emergencies and walk-ins are always welcome. When I further examined the schedule, I noticed that it was time for a dog to get neutered. Hour 8 Once the dog came in for its appropriate surgery time, the dog was given anesthesia and not a sedative because there is no need to do so for a simple surgery. After the dog was completely passed out from the anesthesia, the area around the testicles were completely shaved and covered with the iodine-based liquid. Then the dog was wheeled over to the surgery room to begin the neutering process.
First the vet made a tiny incision in the center of the testicles and began cutting around the various layers of skin to properly remove the testicles. Now that the testicles were removed and disposed, the doctor tied the vas deferens together and stitched up the scrotum. Since this was a simple surgery, the dog was given no pain medication because unlike the dog that had the tumors, the incision was minor and required no further care. Hour 9 For the 9th hour at the pet vet, Dr. Munson took me to the x-ray room to further analyze some x-rays he had taken earlier.
The first x-ray he showed me was of a dog that had broken its leg. He pointed out and explained to me the type of fracture the dog had suffered and the steps it took to repair the leg. When viewing the x-ray, you can see a white rod going through the dog’s femur. He explained to me that it wasn’t actually a rod, but a pin that is hammered down the center of the bone to add support to the bone so it can heal properly. He then showed me an x-ray of a dog that had come in with a possible esophagus problem and had experienced vomiting.
The doctor couldn’t figure out what was wrong with the dog. Even with the x-rays, there were no specific signs that gave Dr. Munson a clear idea to what was wrong with the dog. After he showed me more x-rays, I noticed a weird colored substance in the dog’s stomach. He explained to me that he had given the dog some barium to highlight anything abnormal within the dog. Although the barium had not fully spread throughout the dog’s body, Dr. Munson assured me that once it did spread, he would know what was wrong with the dog.
Hour 10 I spent the last hour helping the Dr. Munson analyzing microorganisms through a telescope. He showed me various viruses that could potentially harm an animal and showed me a ringworm specimen that he had extracted from a feline earlier that day. I spent my last moments at the Pet vet interviewing Dr. Munson. When I asked him why he decided to become a vet, he simply answered because animals fascinated him. He then told me his life story about studying veterinary science in Minnesota and how he owned his own practice.
Although in order to become a vet you must go to school for the same amount of years as a regular doctor, Dr. Munson emphasized that a person has to study what they truly have a passion for. When I asked him what the hardest part of his job was, he answered when you have to put an animal down. The reason why is because sometimes pet owners don’t have the sufficient money to pay for treatment of their pet and sometimes have to resort to putting the animal to sleep. Even though the doctor has the ability to fix whatever is wrong, the owners always have the final decision when it comes down to their pet.
After talking with Dr. Munson for a while, he gave me some tips that I can use in life. He told me that when you pursue a career, you must do the best you can to get some experience in that field because when trying to get a job in that area of study, employers prefer people with experience than to someone with no experience. After overlooking the 10 hours I spent at the Pet Vet, I can say that I gained a ton of knowledge and experience that will get me prepared for the field of study I decide to pursue.