Archive for April, 2011

Puppy Mills

Thursday, April 28th, 2011

A puppy mill, or puppy farm, is a large, profit-driven dog breeding operation. These facilities frequently operate with little regard for the animals’ health and welfare. Puppy mills are like many other large businesses–only in it for the money. The difference is their inventory is living, breathing puppies.

Currently, hundreds of thousands of dogs are born into puppy mills each year. While many of these dogs survive and are sold to pet stores, others aren’t so lucky. Because of the substandard conditions that many of these puppies are forced to live in, many die or are too unhealthy to be sold. Unsafe living conditions, as well as irresponsible breeding practices, are what makes puppy mills such a large problem.

Inside of a Puppy Mill

While every puppy mill is different, their basic set-up is usually similar. Puppy mills are farms or facilities that house hundreds or thousands of dogs and puppies. The dogs are commonly forced to live in small, filthy wire cages that are frequently stacked on top of one another. These puppies are not taken out for walks, played with, or socialized. Many times, they don’t even receive proper care from a licensed veterinary technician.

If a normal pet owner, or just a normal person for that matter, were to walk into a puppy mill, they would be disgusted. First of all, these operations smell horribly. The dogs are often forced to live in their own filth and are rarely bathed. They are also extremely loud. Imagine hundreds of puppies barking for attention, food and water, and medical care.

However, not every puppy mill is the average, unsanitary facility. Some facilities are decently clean and appear to be operating humanely. These are generally referred to as commercial breeders.

The problem is most commercial breeders do not breed dogs based on their genetics. They simply breed dogs as fast as they can, in order to make as much money as possible. Responsible dog breeders pay attention to blood lines and consider a dog’s health before deciding to breed the animal. This helps them produce puppies that are strong, well-mannered, and healthy. Even sanitary puppy mills usually fail to breed responsibly.

Problems that Puppy Mill Puppies Often Face

Puppy mill puppies are commonly sold to pet stores with a range of health problems. These puppies frequently suffer from:

● Fleas and ticks
● Giardia
● Respiratory infections
● Distemper
● Parasites
● Kennel Cough
● Parvovirus
● Worms
● Mange
● Intestinal problems

Puppy mill puppies are also at an increased risk of suffering from long term health problems, including:

● Respiratory conditions
● Kidney problems
● Heart disease
● Hearing loss
● Eye problems
● Musculoskeletal disorders
● Diabetes
● Hyperthyroidism
● Blood disorders

Many of these health problems are due to irresponsible breeding or a lack of health care. It’s also important for people to understand that puppy mills produce more than physically unhealthy puppies, they also produce puppies with behavioral problems. TS-86537769

It’s important for dogs to be adequately socialized when they are young. Being kept in a small cage, with little human interaction is hardly proper socialization. Many of these puppies are used to fighting with other dogs for food and space, or are afraid of people due to their poor experiences. While many puppies can overcome these problems with training, others suffer long-term behavioral problems.

Of course, this isn’t to say that puppy mill puppies cannot make great pets. They certainly can. However, pet owners need to be aware of where their dog came from, in order to prepare themselves for future problems the dog may suffer.

To become a fighter against puppy mills and help make sure this kind of cruelty doesn’t happen to your new puppy, check into vet tech training to maximize your ability to help!

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Food As Art…

Wednesday, April 27th, 2011

Think cooking is just a bunch of sauté pans and cutting boards? Think again! The latest trend among professional chefs is something called molecular gastronomy. This is the practice of using the chemical and physical reactions that happen during cooking to create unique, innovative dishes. TS-76808652

Want to make something that looks and tastes like a coconut but isn’t actually a coconut? Here’s your chance!

Molecular gastronomy started as the scientific study of cooking, but began to catch on in the late 1990s as a style of food preparation. Using a combination of science, tools and ingredients, chefs create unusual culinary art. And when we say “tools,” we don’t just mean a food processor or stand mixer. We’re talking centrifuges, thermal immersion circulators and anti-griddles (which freezes foods instead of heating them like a normal griddle).

Molecular gastronomy chefs break down and reconstruct food using “ingredients” like carbon dioxide, which adds bubbles and creates foam; liquid nitrogen, for flash freezing and shattering foods; and hydrocolloids like starch, gelatin, pectin and natural gums to thicken, gel, emulsify or stabilize the food.

These techniques have expanded into liquid form in the past few years, as well, into something called molecular mixology. Creating cocktails of different flavor intensities, varieties and forms – like gels, powders, foams and sprays – incorporates many of the same techniques and tools molecular gastronomy does.

Mixologists experiment with the viscosity and density of cocktails, as well as flavor combinations – even some non-edible flavors like leather, tobacco and perfume. Both molecular gastronomy and mixology alike approach the dining experience from a new perspective, often presenting dishes in a whimsical or avant-garde way.

Does this sound like something you may be interested in? Take your first step by enrolling in a top culinary school. Soon, you could be on your way to designing your own new creations!

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The Best Trade Jobs

Thursday, April 21st, 2011

TS-83590560We live in a society that often encourages our youth to pursue the traditional route of attending college in search of a profession that is more often than not, white-collar in nature. The option that many parents and high school career counselors are overlooking is obtaining training and preparation for a trade. Blue collar jobs and jobs within the trades often receive the unfair characterization as jobs that require little intelligence or skill. As a matter of fact, the reality is quite the opposite; careers in the trades require specialized skills that often require technical know-how and extensive training. With the emergence of more specialized equipment, operators in some trade jobs will have the opportunity to acquire advanced technological training.

Trade jobs have a strong presence in the current workforce and those with the most skill, get the best opportunities to advance in blue collar occupations. There is also the misconception that careers in the trades pay at the lower end of the salary spectrum. In reality, the pay for careers in the trades is often comparable to traditional white collar jobs, and many times, depending on the industry, trade workers may even make a significant amount more than the average worker. The following are the top blue color jobs that are still highly demanded in the current job market. The jobs on the subsequent list pay an average salary of over $40,000 per year and require varying skill levels.

Construction and Building Inspector
Most inspectors are trained on the job and they have to learn the building standards and codes that are specific to their industry. Seasoned inspectors often carry out the task of training new staff and may have additional duties that include reporting and record keeping.

Plumber, steamfitters and pipefitters
These careers involve the installation, maintenance and repair of pipe systems. The pipes that they repair are usually from the municipal water treatment plants to commercial, residential and public buildings. Individuals in this trade are typically required to attend a comprehensive training program.

Steel Workers
Steel and structural iron workers are required to complete a three- or four year apprenticeship program. In the program, they learn the skills required to place and install steel or iron to erect structures such as bridges and buildings.

Electricians
There are electrician training programs throughout the country that prepare candidates for the electrician trade. The most competitive programs effectively combine on-the-job training with classroom instruction. The job of an electrician requires hand-eye coordination, manual dexterity and a good sense of balance. Electrician and energy trades training classes.

Elevator Installers
Elevator installers also train for their career through an extensive apprenticeship that can take up to four years to complete. After completing the apprenticeship, the candidates must apply by submitting an application to their local affiliate of the International Union of Elevator Constructors. Admission to the union also requires the successful completion of an aptitude test.

There are many more options of careers in the trades to choose fhigh demand and typically earn salaries of $50,000 or more a year. In these days of economic uncertainty, working in the trades can prove to be a secure and rewarding career option.

**The salaries listed above are just an average range and may be higher or lower based on the location you are employed in, as well as the varying bonus and commission rates included for the chosen field. Metropolitan cities are typically on the higher end of the pay scales. Salaries are cited from Payscale.com, Indeed.com and the US Dept. of Labor, Bureau of Labor

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Book Smarts vs Street Smarts? Really?

Wednesday, April 13th, 2011

“What we’re gonna do right here is go back, way back, back into time. When the only people that existed were troglodytes…cave men…cave women…Neanderthal” (Jimmy Castor, Taking Care Of Business Publishing, 1972). Well, okay, maybe not that far back, but now you mention it, the guy didn’t need a degree in psychology or sociology to get the girl, did he? The debate raging between book smarts and street smarts each have their proponents, but in the beginning there were no book smarts. Modern education as we know it only began around three hundred years ago. Before that, doctor wannabes followed doctors on their rounds, lawyer wannabes studied under established attorneys while others studied smithying under those who practiced their trade. Books had nothing to do with it.

Books have been around from the beginning of recorded time, as seen in the Dead Sea scrolls, the archaeological finds in Egypt, modern day Syria and Turkey plus records of the ancient books in the Library of Alexandria. Both book and street proponents may go back in time to the original street smart Man whose name was Jesus. It is a matter of record that He studied the ancient wisdom of many countries, for there are records in China, ancient America, Wales and India that He studied with priests of their wisdom schools and gained their knowledge, or book smarts, in addition to their love and respect. When He returned to His home to teach, it is also a matter of record that He avoided those who would have censored Him, jailed Him for heresy or punished Him for teaching without a license, or street smarts.

So that’s the ancient history. Moving right along, think of the world of warcraft, for example. Did Hannibal, Alexander or many of the Caesars have manuscripts to study with which to divine methods of attack? No, they thought of it themselves, only after which did these means become the history of warcraft soldiers study today. By the way, George Washington kicked the Brits’ butts with no more education than anyone else had at that time. What began as street smarts ended up being book smarts, but both had to begin somewhere.

Today, there are more college dropouts than they can shake a stick at with names as big as Bill Gates, Dave Thomas of Wendy’s fame and Ray Kroc of McDonald’s fame. Or, to consider one of the most famous fictional characters of all time, Miss Scaahhlett made it to the top on sheer guts and desperation, picking up the knowledge she needed on the way. To even the odds some, do you think Bond. . .James Bond went to college to learn how to capture the interest of Ursula Andress? Nah. Street smarts has a lot to recommend it, including Vivien Leigh and Pierce Brosnan.

Book smarts have famous folk, too, such as George Lucas, and maybe that’s enough said. Both have good points, the main point being any kind of smarts start with the individual.

Oklahoma Vet Tech License Requirements

Wednesday, April 13th, 2011

If you have a love for animals, and plan to attend school and work as a vet tech in Oklahoma, there are some requirements that must be met and plenty of schools to help you get there. A vet tech, or veterinary technician/technologist works at the right hand of a veterinarian, or sometimes in a research laboratory. A vet tech’s job description includes treating and diagnosing patients, testing blood, tissue, and other specimen samples as needed. Vet techs also administer medication, monitor patients progress and activities, and most certainly documenting and creating medical records of all reports, findings, and patient’s medical histories and backgrounds.

The best vet techs are great communicators and show exceptional skills working with animals and people. The average salary for vet techs in the state of Oklahoma will vary on experience and education.

An Oklahoma Veterinary Technician License requires at least two to four years of school, whether you receive an Associate’s degree or Bachelor’s, online or on-campus, are all very good options and all are up to you. Nationally Accredited online options in Oklahoma are also available. Online courses are best for those who like the convenience of being at home, choosing your own hours, no commute, etc. If you prefer a program with more structure, hands-on training and the social experience of college life, then there are multiple campus-based vet tech schools in Oklahoma as well.

At the end of your training, you must be credentialed by passing the Veterinary Technician National Exam, or VTNE, as required by Oklahoma and all 49 other states. The test may vary from state-to-state, and can only be used in other states with the same exam. Once complete, you are then officially certified to be a veterinary technician. Opportunity for advancement with this career is great, and the industry is expected to grow within the coming years, faster than other careers that require the same level of education. If you love animals, work well with people, and have plenty of room to grow, learn, and advance, then this may be the job for you.

Oklahoma State Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners

201 NE 38th Terr Suite 1
Oklahoma City, OK 73105
Phone: 405.524.9006
Fax: 405.524.9012

Oklahoma State Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners

Find Oklahoma vet tech schools that can help you obtain a license as a veterinary technician.

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