My name is Candace Lafond and I have worked at Foster Animal Hospital for over 7 years. When i began at Foster Animal hospital I was in school pursuing my Veterinary Assistant Degree. I started out as an assistant in the boarding facility feeding, watering, and loving on the cats and dogs. As time went on I was checking clients in and out and giving medications to the dogs and cats. I have always loved animals so much and wanted to work with them.
Some time later I was training on the exam room hallway with the doctors to be an EXRA (Exam Room Assistant). During this time I was still in school but pursuing my Veterinary Technician Associate’s Degree. Being an EXRA I would restrain the patients for the doctors to perform their exams and for the technicians to perform treatments. I learned how to draw and prepare vaccines as well as administer the vaccines. There were lots of medications I became familiar with while being an EXRA.
I was then trained in the pharmacy department to learn how to fill medications, make compounds and call in prescriptions to pharmacies. You always wanted to be sure and check the bottle of medication with the label to make sure type and milligram was identical. There were liquid, tablet, capsule, chews, and topical medications. Some kinds of medications had the same name but 2 different forms like liquid and tablet. Some foods are considered prescription medications also.
The next step in my future was learning being a laboratory associate. This is where I learned to run the blood machines, ultrasound, and x-ray. I also was trained on how to draw blood from cats and dogs, place catheters, and monitor hospitalized patients. Dealing with emergencies was also important to save a life in this department. Emergencies would include seizures, trauma of some sort, toxicities, and respiratory difficulty.
Being a surgery associate was what was next on my agenda. This included preparing for surgeries, placing catheters, placing endotracheal tubes, and monitoring anesthesia. There are many surges that can take place from normal spay and neuters to eye enucleation and cruciate ligament surgeries. When monitoring the patient under anesthesia you are watching the HR (heart rate), RR (respiratory rate), Oxygen level, BP (blood pressure), and body temperature. Recover of the surgery patient is very important as well to be sure the patient is alert in order to breath and swallow on their on before the endotracheal tube is removed. By this point in my time at Foster Animal Hospital I was thinking about what my goals were and thought it would be great to do some type of rehabilitation with animals. Whether it be exotics or domestics didn’t matter.
I was very excited because in 2013 I got the opportunity to pursue a certification as an assistant in Canine rehabilitation. Dr. Plott and Dr. Foster are both CCRTS (Certified Canine Rehabilitation Therapists). I began my Introduction course through the Canine Rehabilitation Institute in November 2013. I had an exam to take at the end of each course and then a 40 hour internship to complete. The other 2 courses I had to complete for my certification was the Canine Sports Medicine and Canine Rehabilitation Assistant. It was so much fun learning such a wonderful option to treat dogs with lameness whether it be acute or a chronic condition. I also got to meet other veterinarians, technicians, and physical therapists. I have been performing Canine Rehabilitation full time at Foster Animal Hospital known as Paws In Motion Canine Rehabilitation Center since Fall 2014.