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National Veterinary Technician Week – October 20-26, 2024

National Veterinary Technician Week is observed annually in the third week of October and this year, it will be held from October 20 to 26. It appreciates the dedication of veterinary technicians and creates awareness about the work they perform to keep our pets healthy and safe.

The week-long holiday also recognizes the various roles played by veterinary technicians and their dedication to the well-being of our furry friends.

History of National Veterinary Technician Week

Animal husbandry started around 13,000 B.C., beginning with the domestication and breeding of dogs, sheep, and goats. The practice was driven by the need to have food on hand when hunting was sparse. Dogs were the first animals to be domesticated — used for safeguarding hunting parties, assisting with hunting, and later shepherding cattle.

However, animal domestication didn’t take place all at once. Instead, it occurred in waves across continents. For example, the nomads in the Middle East were the first to domesticate sheep and goats, while the South Americans worked on taming alpacas and llamas. Several centuries later, we had domesticated horses as meat sources and later as pack animals, cows as working animals, and camels for traveling across the desert. These animals required maintenance and care, usually provided by animal doctors, local healers, or the owners.

It wasn’t until the Middle Ages that veterinary practice became established when farriers started working as horse doctors and later during the Renaissance, which brought many changes. For example, the first treatise on horse anatomy was published by Carlo Ruini in 1598, followed by the establishment of the Worshipful Company of Farriers in 1674. Yet it wasn’t until 1762 that the first veterinary schools opened in France. Over the ensuing centuries, the practice picked up, and by the 1950s, the role of veterinary technicians had come into existence.

National Veterinary Technician Week timeline

13,000 Years Ago
The Beginning of Animal Domestication

Animal domestication begins and spreads across several continents.

1900 B.C.
A List of Veterinary Medicine

The Papyrus of Kahun lists the uses of specific veterinary medicines.

1762 A.D.
The First Veterinary School

Claude Bourgelat establishes the first veterinary school in Lyon, France.

An Animal Technology Training Program

The first animal technology training program starts in the military and then at the State University of New York.

National Veterinary Technician Week FAQs

What is the earliest evidence of veterinary medicine?

The Papyrus of Kahun is the earliest existing document mentioning veterinary medicine.

Why did Bourgelat establish the first veterinary medicine school?

Bourgelat started the school to find a remedy for the devastation caused by the cattle plague.

How long have vet techs been around?

Veterinary technicians have been around since the early 1950s.

How to Observe National Veterinary Technician Week

  1. Research the profession

    Research the responsibilities of veterinary technicians. Understand how they contribute to a veterinary practice. You’ll be able to appreciate the technician holding your pet the next time you go to the vet.

  2. Send a gift card

    Send a gift card to a veterinary technician you know. Explain to your colleague or friend why you think their work is invaluable. Even a short complimentary phrase will bring a smile to their face.

  3. Spend a day assisting them

    Some veterinary hospitals welcome volunteers. Try to spend a few days on the job and learn how you could assist a veterinary technician.

5 Facts About Vet Services That You Should Know

  1. The father of veterinary technology

    Dr. Walter E. Collins is generally considered the father of veterinary technology in the U.S.

  2. Women as vets

    Around 80% of all vets in the U.S. are women.

  3. Animals to human diseases

    More than half of all human diseases originate in animals.

  4. Not just for cats and dogs

    About 16% of all veterinary services are dedicated to non-companion animals, wildlife, and farm animals.

  5. A promise between horses and vets

    Around 6% of all veterinary services are dedicated to horses.

Why National Veterinary Technician Week is Important

  1. It appreciates animals

    Animals experience emotional, mental, and physical health issues just like humans. Veterinary technicians can take care of the healthcare problems of animals.

  2. It highlights veterinary technicians

    Being a veterinary technician is a highly underappreciated job. So, we love that National Veterinary Technician Week allows us to appreciate the efforts and dedication of veterinary technicians.

  3. It creates awareness

    A job as a veterinary technician comes with its risks. No matter how docile an animal is, there is still a chance that it may attack the technician during the examination. National Veterinary Technician Week creates awareness about this often-ignored aspect of veterinary practice.

National Veterinary Technician Week dates

2022October 16Sunday
2023October 15Sunday
2024October 20Sunday
2025October 19Sunday
2026October 18Sunday

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