We are Certified in Low Stress Handling
What does that mean?
The Okaw Vet Clinic staff has completed the certification program in low stress handling for veterinary practice. What does this mean? This is a multi lecture, demonstration and self test course of 16 teaching hours, that each technician completed and passed. This course greatly enhanced our knowledge in the most kind and least upsetting techniques of holding, treating, and approaching dogs and cats. This certification, developed and evaluated by the late Dr. Sophia Yin, insures to you the pet owner, that all of the staff knows the best way to handle your pet that is pet friendly. These skills are used every day, with every patient, in every visit.
The extensive education in brewing fear and aggression is so important to keep the stress of exams low for our patients. When we miss those signs, that is the time when the pets struggle, fight and even attempt to bite. There are easy variations to the techniques that the technicians already know that has many more cats relaxed for exams and vaccinations, and that dogs taking rewards during and ear exam.
Low stress handling - pet friendly handling is what we have been doing for years. The certification raises our knowledge and credibility ever more. Our clinic is a part of the change in veterinary medicine to more pet centered practice. By having this certification, it ensures that the staff is well educated and able to do the techniques. Most importantly the staff has also completed veterinary behavior education to also recognize anxiety and aggression before it erupts. This is essential for a safe and calm exam. Pets can get hurt when struggling. Calling in the reinforcements of more assistants is not good for your pet and is a big part of increasing that fear that leads to aggression. There is a better and easier way.
When you take your pet in for care, ask if the staff has learned low stress handling. The low stress certification program is very new; we are one of the first practices nationwide to pass the course. You practice may not be certified, but ask what they do to decrease the fear, timidness, and dread your pet feels when it goes to the vet. If your clinic has been using low stress techniques it is likely your pet likes to go to the clinic. If so, wonderful!!!! Tell that staff you appreciate what they do to make the veterinary visit good for your pet.
So how does a practice hold a pet for injections and not have the pet turn to bite? We use small sharp needles that do not hurt as much; we use muzzles loaded with peanut butter, or baby food to make them yummy and distracting as we examine an infected ear. We apply novacaine cream to areas to decrease the pain BEFORE examining a sore area. My staff offers calming pheromones in the waiting area so your dog or can will relax before the check up begins. There are many more techniques, but I hope you get the idea. We put our patients first - think of their needs physically and mentally before pursuing our need to get samples or into treatment. Yes, our exams take a little longer but after a visit or two the dogs are dragging the owner in the door and hopping right up on the lift table. Cats go into their carriers because we educated our clients on how to leave it out and help the cat like it.