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Author: Karen Tousignant

BComm, CCPE. Publisher, Canadian Vet Practice newsmagazine.

Now is the Time to Celebrate RVTs!

RVTs are valuable members of the veterinary team, supporting veterinarians in endless ways such as meeting with clients to discuss pet health, nutrition, and behavior issues; providing pre and post operative care; assisting in surgery; offering intensive care to the most critical patients and so on.  They are the glue that holds veterinary practices together!

Registered Veterinary Technologists and Technicians of Canada (RVTTC) will be celebrating RVTs throughout the month of October. along with BCVTA, ABVTA, SAVT, MVTA, OAVT, EVTA, and ATSAQ.   This year’s theme, “Power your own career!” aims to showcase the many fields of veterinary medicine that RVTs may pursue.

RVTs are formally educated in several areas within veterinary medicine. From anesthesia to dentistry; lab animal research to industry sales; equine to avian and exotics; nutrition to radiology; large animal to shelter medicine, RVTs use their knowledge, expertise, and passion to help provide animals with the highest quality of healthcare.

Posters available from the RVTTC say it best:


Small animal RVTs have a passion for their job, to give a voice to those who don’t have one,

and are committed to offering the best possible care for companion animals.

For these frontline heroes, going above and beyond is just par for the course.


Large animal RVTs meet the call every day and are essential to the health and well-being of

production animals, helping to ensure herd health and food safety. This includes:

• Nutrition consulting

• Herd health monitoring assistance • Vaccinations

• Pregnancy checks

• Surgical Assistance

• Udder health

• Disease monitoring


RVTs working as industry sales representatives are adaptable and resilient, training veterinary

health care teams and ensuring that practices receive the equipment, medical supplies,

pharmaceuticals and resale goods they require, even during supply chain disruptions.


Clients and veterinarians can count on oncology RVTs to do everything in their power to help

animals in their fight against cancer, and to help clients with their emotional needs.


RVTs in laboratory animal medicine ensure that all animals involved receive the best

veterinary medical care and are treated ethically, humanely and with compassion. Happy RVT Month to all Registered Veterinary Technicians across this country of ours!

Mental health crisis afflicting the field of veterinary medicine

You are an animal lover.

You are a veterinarian.

You are struggling.

You are not alone.

There is always someone there to listen.

A March 2021 CBC news article identified that research published a year prior, by the Ontario Veterinary College (OVC), indicated that more than a quarter of Canadian veterinarians reported suicidal thoughts in the previous 12 months.  Veterinarians say that the pandemic has added to their stress. Sudbury veterinarian, Dr. Darren Stinson, was quoted as saying, “”Veterinary medicine, unfortunately, has the highest suicide rate among professionals in the United States, and it’s very close in Canada as well.” 

An April 3, 2022, CBC news article further addressed this issue, after series of interviews with Canadian veterinarians revealed that overwork, pet owners, and debt load is leading to burnout of veterinary professionals.  The article revealed that the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association estimates that 30 per cent of Canadian veterinarians and 50 per cent of vet technicians are in the advanced stages of burnout.

Supply of vets just can’t meet the growth in demand.  There aren’t enough veterinarians and staff to care for pets and livestock across the country, even as the number of pets — and the intensity of people’s attachment to them — grows, the CBC article explained. 

Animal Calling, a short documentary released in May 2022, follows a recently graduated, young veterinarian as she reflects on the mental health issues currently impacting the field of veterinary medicine.  After a calm moment at home in her garden, we’re transported to her place of work and shown the emotional and psychological challenges faced by those working in animal care.

Alongside the short documentary, Animal Calling, stories of individuals who have dedicated their lives to the care of animals, are shared at  The aim is to raise awareness about the mental health challenges the field is facing and to inspire others to share their stories as well. 

A list of links to various mental health and community resources specifically catered towards veterinarians, veterinary technicians, and animal health support staff is provided on the Animal Calling website, including Not One More Vet (, Reviving Veterinary Medicine by Dr. Marie Holowaychuk (, and i matter. ( as well as several others.

I encourage all veterinary professionals to take steps to address mental health issues that may be impacting them personally or affecting members of the clinic team.  Watching the Animal Calling documentary, and utilizing some of the provided resources, is an excellent starting point.  Stay well.