You Know You’re a Vet Tech if

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One of my favorite surgical technicians down at Lewis-Clark Animal Shelter where I work on Thursdays forwarded this email depicting veterinary humor to me with this note:   Denice, this looked to me to apply to shelter vets as well. Kathy 

She is right. I know this is kind of sick humor, but to tell you the truth? Most of it is true and I have “been there, done that!” I remember when I was young. My mom was cleaning out the freezer and I heard some disgust in her voice as she held up a little baggie. “Ugh! What is THIS?” 

Oh, those are my puppy dog’s tails. I was going to make a necklace with them! Said I. 

Gee, sounds like a poem Baxter Black wrote once involving a veterinarian’s refrigerator. . . 


  1. You look at a cardboard box and recognize its coffin potential.
  2. When you go out to a club and the black light comes on, you check yourself for ringworm.
  3. You can eat lunch while cleaning out a Parvo blowout.
  4. You can keep a milkshake frozen in the freezer with all the pupsicles.
  5. You’re more afraid of a 5 pound cat than a 130 pound Rottweiler.
  6. You know that unlike in human medicine, you use a bag of fluids until it’s gone.  You also know that the empty bag creates a nice sterile place to collect urine or a bandage wrap.
  7. You’ve mastered the art of picking up poop with a plastic bag and know first to check the bag for holes.
  8. You’ve ever set up/checked a fecal sample while eating.
  9. You take your kid’s temperature and think 102 is normal. (It is for a dog or cat.)
  10. After seeing what goes in the washing machine at work, your own laundry at home doesn’t seem so dirty.
  11. Your work clothes look just like your pajamas.
  12. While out shopping you’ve lectured complete strangers on the evils of products like “Old Roy”, Hartz, and Sergeants.  (Yikes—Guilty as charged!)
  13. At least one of your pets was once owned by a client, dumped at the clinic, “put to sleep”, and is either blind, three-legged or lame OR have a problem no vet has ever seen before.
  14. Every piece of clothing you own is covered in cat hair.
  15. You open your lunch container and find a spleen.
  16. Everyone including complete strangers tells you about every little problem their pet has.
  17. You no longer have a gag reflex.
  18. You date guys who don’t mind if you have “bits” in your hair.
  19. You’ve put your finger in nearly every orifice of at least five different species.
  20. You’ve ever treated a wound on yourself with surgical scrub and vet wrap.
  21. You know just how badly a bite hurts.
  22. You know when to muzzle and when to sedate.
  23. You have friends who laugh at your impressions of “kennel cough” and “reverse sneezing”.
  24. Pets are more recognizable than their owners.
  25. When eating lunch, you find hair in your food, pull it out and continue eating.
  26. You see someone’s child having a fit and think that it’s nothing a good dose of Ketamine/Valium wouldn’t cure.
  27. You’ve ever “bare handed” a mess.
  28. You hack up hairballs.
  29. You can play connect the dots with all your scars and puncture wounds.
  30. You get the flu and start to empathize with the Parvo dogs.
  31. You can put a muzzle on with one hand.
  32. Your mantra is “Cats are like potato chips, no one can have just one.”
  33. The first thing you wonder when opening up a big cat abscess is, “Do we have any Ritz crackers.” (Mine was, “Pus is our friend!”)
  34. You can walk through your kennels, and know who everyone is, what medications they’re on without looking at the cage card, while the doctor won’t even recognize clinic animals or know their names.
  35. You get a rash just from looking at a Shar Pei.
  36. You can take a dog’s temperature without looking.
  37. You have no problems lecturing clients about proper vaccination protocol while at least one of your own pets are overdue.
  38. Most of your conversations revolve around pets.
  39. You do not allow your dogs to bark in your presence; you hear enough of that at work.
  40. You can detect maggots and parvo at 100 meters just by the smell.
  41. You know the ins and outs of clipper care.
  42. You believe the best patients are SIR….. Sedated, Intubated, and Restrained
  43. You think a good way to handle the obnoxious drunk that’s hitting on you is with a rabies pole and a muzzle.
  44. You’ve helped save a life, or have saved a life.
  45. When normal people won’t eat meals with you, or won’t allow you to talk about your work.
  46. You know why the cat is frothing at the mouth with each dose of medicine because you’ve touched it to your own tongue to experience what they are experiencing.
  47. You know what canned pet food and dog kibbles taste like.
  48. You say at least once a day, “What am I doing here?” but wouldn’t trade it for anything.
  49. Your paycheck barely covers your food bill.
  50. You leave work for the day feeling like a pro wrestler, smell like a combination of wet-dog and sewage, have cat hair in your bra, have dried cat scratch blood on one arm and have a headache from too much anesthetic gas…. and you feel like you’ve had a good day!