What does a Veterinary Assistant and Laboratory Animal Caretaker do?

Feed, water, and examine pets and other nonfarm animals for signs of illness, disease, or injury in laboratories and animal hospitals and clinics. Clean and disinfect cages and work areas, and sterilize laboratory and surgical equipment. May provide routine post-operative care, administer medication orally or topically, or prepare samples for laboratory examination under the supervision of veterinary or laboratory animal technologists or technicians, veterinarians, or scientists.

Jobs Roles

  • Monitor animals recovering from surgery and notify veterinarians of any unusual changes or symptoms.
  • Administer anesthetics during surgery and monitor the effects on animals.
  • Clean, maintain, and sterilize instruments or equipment.
  • Administer medication, immunizations, or blood plasma to animals as prescribed by veterinarians.
  • Provide emergency first aid to sick or injured animals.
  • Clean and maintain kennels, animal holding areas, examination or operating rooms, or animal loading or unloading facilities to control the spread of disease.
  • Hold or restrain animals during veterinary procedures.
  • Perform routine laboratory tests or diagnostic tests, such as taking or developing x-rays.
  • Fill medication prescriptions.
  • Collect laboratory specimens, such as blood, urine, or feces for testing.
  • Examine animals to detect behavioral changes or clinical symptoms that could indicate illness or injury.
  • Assist veterinarians in examining animals to determine the nature of illnesses or injuries.
  • Prepare surgical equipment and pass instruments or materials to veterinarians during surgical procedures.
  • Perform enemas, catheterizations, ear flushes, intravenous feedings, or gavages.
  • Prepare feed for animals according to specific instructions, such as diet lists or schedules.
  • Exercise animals or provide them with companionship.
  • Record information relating to animal genealogy, feeding schedules, appearance, behavior, or breeding.
  • Educate or advise clients on animal health care, nutrition, or behavior problems.
  • Perform hygiene-related duties, such as clipping animals' claws or cleaning and polishing teeth.
  • Prepare examination or treatment rooms by stocking them with appropriate supplies.
  • Provide assistance with euthanasia of animals or disposal of corpses.
  • Perform office reception duties, such as scheduling appointments or helping customers.
  • Dust, spray, or bathe animals to control insect pests.
  • Write reports, maintain research information, or perform clerical duties.
  • Perform accounting duties, such as bookkeeping, billing customers for services, or maintaining inventories.
  • Sell pet food or supplies to customers.
  • Groom, trim, or clip animals' coats.
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