(Battle Ground, Ind., June 9, 2000) — For Randi Golub, certified veterinary technician, nursing animals- especially cats- back to health is one aspect of her job that she truly loves. Golub’s experience as a veterinary technician has included coming up with an inventive therapy to rehabilitate a kitten that had lost the use of her rear legs and restoring good health and eating habits to a feline on a hunger strike. This is one veterinary technician who does not desire a DVM degree. Randi says, “I like my job because I get to do so much nursing.”
Golub says that one of her most rewarding cases nursing an animal back to health was a “Miracle Cat” named Claire. A California TV producer found Claire on the side of the road in Hollywood Hills. The little gray kitten had open wounds and was unable to move. After taking the kitten to a nearby animal hospital for treatment, the kittens wounds were cured, but Claire was still unable to use her hind legs. Not knowing where to turn to next, the kitten’s rescuer found a place at the animal sanctuary where Golub worked, in their special needs unit.
As part of the care that the animal sanctuary provided Claire, Golub took control of giving Claire physical therapy every day. The veterinary technician would try different techniques to restore the kitten’s hind leg muscles. “I made a sling that fit around her belly and lifted her up so that her back toes touched the ground. This forced her to push off with her paws,” Golub said.
She tried many other creative therapies to help Claire. Golub would take the kitten walking in the garden area to get better traction and there was also the “elevator routine.” Golub would tickle Claire down her back and when she got to her hindquarters, she would lift her rear end. Golub said, ” It was a great way to strengthen her back legs.”
The kitten showed improvement within a couple weeks. Golub stated, ” I worked with her every day. I just wouldn’t let her give up.” The final payoff came when they opened Claire’s cage one morning and she walked out.
A cat named O’Malley stricken by hepatic lipidosis or “fatty liver” syndrome is another special case Golub recalls where she says her nursing skills as a certified veterinary technician were really put to task. “O’Malley’s owners had left him at the sanctuary after a dispute with a landlord that prohibited animals,” said Golub. “The cat was fine when he first arrived, but when he joined the other cats things changed. He became very unhappy and went on a hunger strike. He became lethargic, jaundiced, nauseous – and soon placed in the special care unit at the animal sanctuary.”
In the special care unit, Golub went to work on restoring O’Malley’s appetite and health. Her first move was to make sure O’Malley had plenty of sunlight. She arranged for him to spend several hours a day in an outdoor run. She also prepared a customized diet and fed him five times a day. Golub says, ” I also gave him subcutaneous fluids twice daily. For me this always involved sitting with him on my lap and talking to him a lot. He was still very quiet, very dull and depressed.”
Forty days later the sick cat began to show signs of progress as his skin appeared less yellow. The next week his eyes became brighter and he was interested in others. “Finally on day 55 he began to eat. He ate dry food and wet food, liver and chicken and fish. Everything I gave him he ate,” Golub said.”He was grooming, purring and playing.”
Golub received her veterinary technician’s degree from Manor Junior College in Jenkintown, Penn. She worked for a veterinary orthopedic surgeon in Pennsylvania before relocating to the West Coast in 1999. Golub, husband Ken and their family of cats recently moved to Eugene, Ore., where she has taken a job with a veterinarian who specializes in felines. Golub concludes, “Although this profession has its challenges, I know that I have the best job in the world!”
The North American Veterinary Technician Association was organized to represent and promote the profession of veterinary technology. NAVTA provides direction, education, support and coordination for its members across the country and works with other allied professional organizations for the competent care and humane treatment of animals. The association’s headquarters are in Battle Ground, Indiana.