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Continuing Education

Continuing Education, Featured, Winter 2022, Oncology

Staging Cancer: Digging Deeper Than the Diagnosis

Danielle D. DeCormier LVT, VTS (Oncology)

Danielle has worked for almost 20 years in veterinary medicine, with the last 14 in emergency and specialty practice. Her areas of special interest are oncologic pharmacology, specifically chemotherapy, and paraneoplastic syndromes. Her other passion is the people in veterinary medicine. She currently works as a regional training partner for BluePearl Veterinary Partners and focuses on training and career development for technicians and assistants. She is the current director-at-large for oncology in AIMVT and lectures nationally on various topics, including chemotherapy, grief, compassion fatigue, burnout, and communication. 

Having a deeper understanding of the staging process can help the veterinary nursing staff feel more comfortable facing questions from clients and anticipating the doctor’s needs.

Continuing Education, Fall 2021, Rehabilitation

Key Components of Canine Gait Analysis in the Rehabilitation Exam

Wendy Davies CVT, CCRVN, VTS (Physical Rehabilitation)

Wendy has been a veterinary technician for more than 25 years. She began her career in a private practice setting before moving to the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine as an anesthesia technician. She was lucky enough to move around the veterinary college in different capacities, including research, orthopedics, and shelter medicine, and finally found her niche in rehabilitation. She helped develop the rehabilitation department at the university and has seen it grow and expand tremendously. Wendy is a charter member and the current president of the Academy of Physical Rehabilitation Veterinary Technicians.

The gait analysis is one of the most important components of a physical rehabilitation examination because it allows the veterinary nurse to narrow possible causes of an abnormal gait and help obtain a diagnosis.

Continuing Education, Summer 2021, Hematology

Blood Transfusions in Anemic Dogs and Cats

Rebecca Nusbaum CVT, VTS (ECC)

Rebecca obtained her associate degree in veterinary technology in 1999 and her VTS in emergency and critical care in 2005. While working in ECC, she discovered her passion for transfusion medicine and veterinary blood banking. She was instrumental in starting HemoSolutions animal blood bank in 2004, and in 2014, she purchased the business. Rebecca has always been a strong advocate for the advancement of veterinary transfusion medicine and blood banking by supporting research, development, and education and raising standards in all areas of transfusion medicine. She wrote the chapter on donor program management in the Manual of Veterinary Transfusion Medicine and Blood Banking and has lectured and helped provide hands-on learning workshops. 

Successfully providing blood transfusions for anemic patients requires knowledge of how to support the patient during the procedure, blood product selection, administration of the blood transfusion, how to prevent complications, and more.

Continuing Education, Spring 2021, Ophthalmology

Managing Canine Corneal Ulcers

Pam Kirby RVT, VTS (Ophthalmology)

Pam graduated from Purdue University’s veterinary technology program in 1997. She has been employed at Purdue University ever since, first in the small animal intensive care unit and then in the veterinary ophthalmology department. Pam’s special interests include large animal ophthalmology, ocular imaging, and surgery. She also enjoys teaching veterinary and veterinary nursing students on the clinic floor, in the classroom, in labs, and online. Pam has served on the executive board of the Veterinary Ophthalmic Technician Society as vice president and unseated board member. She is a charter member and current secretary of the Academy of Veterinary Ophthalmic Technicians. She enjoys continuing to learn as much as she can about veterinary ophthalmic nursing.

This review examines corneal anatomy and physiology, basic classifications of corneal ulcers, what owners need to know about caring for dogs with ulcers, and monitoring patients with corneal ulcers.

Continuing Education, Winter 2021, Nutrition

Osteoarthritis: Getting Patients Moving Through Nutrition

Kara M. Burns MS, MEd, LVT, VTS (Nutrition), VTS-H (Internal Medicine, Dentistry), Editor in Chief

Kara Burns is an LVT with master’s degrees in physiology and counseling psychology. She began her career in human medicine working as an emergency psychologist and a poison specialist for humans and animals. Kara is the founder and president of the Academy of Veterinary Nutrition Technicians and has attained her VTS (Nutrition). She is the editor in chief of Today’s Veterinary Nurse. She also works as an independent nutritional consultant, and is the immediate past president of NAVTA. She has authored many articles, textbooks, and textbook chapters and is an internationally invited speaker, focusing on topics of nutrition, leadership, and technician utilization.

Clinical nutrition plays a critical role in successful long-term management of patients with osteoarthritis.

Continuing Education, Fall 2020, Ethics/Welfare

Pediatric Patients in the Shelter Setting

Laura A. Vasquez CVT

Laura attended the veterinary technology program at Hillsborough Community College and attained her CVT in 2013. She has been with the UF College of Veterinary Medicine since 2011. After working in the anesthesia and pain management department for several years, she found her calling in shelter medicine. Currently, she is the manager of the Veterinary Community Outreach Program.

Kali Barber CVT

Kali attended the veterinary technology program at St. Petersburg College and attained her CVT in 2019. She immediately began working at the University of Florida, where she is currently involved in the Veterinary Community Outreach Program. She has a passion for shelter work and caring for the animals that go through the system to make a better, happier life for all involved.

As shelter medicine becomes more widely recognized as an important part of the veterinary field, it is crucial to understand the role shelter professionals play in ensuring the wellbeing of animals and the challenges of treating and caring for pediatric patients in a shelter.

Continuing Education, Summer 2020, Pain Management

Locoregional Anesthesia for Small Animal Patients

Heidi Reuss-Lamky LVT, VTS (Anesthesia & Analgesia, Surgery), FFCP

Heidi Reuss-Lamky graduated from Michigan State University’s Veterinary Technology Program in 1984. She has extensive experience in general practice, and since 1993 has devoted her technical expertise to the surgical department of specialty hospitals. She has been affiliated with Oakland Veterinary Referral Services in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, since 2006.

Heidi became certified through the Academy of Veterinary Technicians in Anesthesia and Analgesia in 2003, and sat on the credentials committee from 2005 to 2009. She served in the president’s role on the Executive Board of the Michigan Association of Veterinary Technicians from 2007 to 2009. She was a charter member of the Academy of Veterinary Surgical Technicians and currently sits on the executive board. She has a special interest in veterinary behavior medicine and earned her Fear Free Certification in November 2017.

Heidi is an ardent advocate for the veterinary technology profession, and serves as a consultant for many allied veterinary industries. She is on the National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America Committee on Veterinary Technician Specialties, and also serves on the editorial review board for Today’s Veterinary Nurse Journal.

Heidi is a prolific author and lecturer, presenting anesthesia, surgical nursing, and Fear Free-related topics at veterinary meetings worldwide. She most recently published Chapter 8, “Waste Anesthetic Gas Collection and Consequences,” in Veterinary Anesthetic and Monitoring Equipment, edited by Kristen Cooley and Rebecca Johnson. She was also honored to receive the 2013 NAVC Dr. Jack L. Mara Memorial Lecturer award.

Heidi currently shares her home with her husband, Bryan, and 3 dogs, 2 cats, an African grey parrot and pond koi. In her spare time she enjoys horseback riding, gardening, travel, lecturing, and quenching her never-ending thirst for knowledge.

Pain management has become an integral part of small animal veterinary care, and the use of anesthetics and analgesics are varied and easy to perform.

veterinary SIRS
Continuing Education, Spring 2020, Emergency Medicine/Critical Care

Recognizing, Treating, and Monitoring Systemic Inflammatory Response Syndrome and Sepsis

Courtney Waxman BAS, CVT, RVT, VTS (ECC)

Courtney has worked in emergency and specialty veterinary practice for almost 15 years. Her areas of special interest include CPR, mechanical ventilation, one-on-one case management, critical care nursing, critical thinking, and technician/nurse training. She currently works as an instructor for Purdue University’s Veterinary Nursing Distance Learning Program and in the veterinary teaching hospital’s intensive care unit. She lectures nationally and internationally on topics relating to emergency and critical care and has been published in several veterinary technician/nursing journals. In 2019, Courtney was awarded New Educator of the Year by the Association of Veterinary Technician Educators.

SIRS and sepsis patients represent some of the most severely critically ill veterinary patients. Following evidence-based medicine and implementing patient care bundles can greatly reduce patient morbidity and mortality, and providing supportive, diligent nursing care is essential in promoting a positive outcome.

Continuing Education, Winter 2020, Dentistry

Multimodal Analgesia for Periodontal Therapy

Tasha McNerney BS, CVT, CVPP, VTS (Anesthesia)

Tasha became a VTS in anesthesia in 2015 and is a certified Veterinary Pain Practitioner who works closely with the IVAPM to educate the public about animal pain awareness. She loves to lecture on various anesthesia and pain management topics around the globe. In her spare time, Tasha enjoys reading and spending time with her son.

Kara M. Burns MS, MEd, LVT, VTS (Nutrition), VTS-H (Internal Medicine, Dentistry), Editor in Chief

Kara Burns is an LVT with master’s degrees in physiology and counseling psychology. She began her career in human medicine working as an emergency psychologist and a poison specialist for humans and animals. Kara is the founder and president of the Academy of Veterinary Nutrition Technicians and has attained her VTS (Nutrition). She is the editor in chief of Today’s Veterinary Nurse. She also works as an independent nutritional consultant, and is the immediate past president of NAVTA. She has authored many articles, textbooks, and textbook chapters and is an internationally invited speaker, focusing on topics of nutrition, leadership, and technician utilization.

Treatment of periodontal disease in all veterinary patients is prudent, and the use of analgesia, including general anesthesia, is essential to the comprehensive treatment plan.

Continuing Education, Fall 2019, Infectious Disease

Leptospirosis in Dogs

Ashley DiPrete RVT, VTS (SAIM)

Ashley attended the veterinary technology program at the College of Southern Nevada and received her registered veterinary technician license in 2009. In 2016, she earned her veterinary technician specialty certification in small animal internal medicine. In 2019, she co-founded Internal Medicine for Pet Parents. She is currently the internal medicine department lead and the technician training supervisor at IronHorse VetCare in Dublin, California, as well as serving as president of the Academy of Internal Medicine for Veterinary Technicians in 2019. In her time off, Ashley enjoys kickboxing and wine tasting at local wineries. She is owned by 2 extraordinary kitties, Tito Bandito DiPrete-Ortiz and Vincenzo Stefano.

Clinical presentations of leptospirosis in dogs can vary, diagnosis is difficult, and the zoonotic potential is serious—here is how to treat leptospirosis in dogs and assist in prevention.

Continuing Education, Summer 2019, Cardiology

A Look at Unusual Congenital Heart Defects in Dogs and Cats

H. Edward Durham, Jr CVT, LATG, VTS (Cardiology)

Ed is Lead Anesthesia Veterinary Technician at Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine. He has worked with cardiology patients for most of his veterinary technical career. As a charter member of the Academy of Internal Medicine for Veterinary Technicians and the academy’s Director at Large for Cardiology for 12 years, he led the effort to create specialization for veterinary technicians in veterinary cardiology. He was the first veterinary technician to receive certification as a Veterinary Technician Specialist in Cardiology. He is the author/editor of Cardiology for Veterinary Technicians and Nurses and more than a dozen peer-reviewed articles, as well as an international speaker and educator on the subject of veterinary cardiology.

Congenital heart defects are well-recognized causes of morbidity and mortality in veterinary medicine. This article explores the rarest CHDs, which present an opportunity to better understand cardiac physiology.

Continuing Education, Spring 2019, Anesthesiology

Anesthesia for Geriatric Patients

Trish Farry CVN, AVN, VTS (ECC, Anesthesia & Analgesia), TAA GCHEd | School of Veterinary Science at The University of Queensland, Australia

Trish Farry is an Australian certified nurse with specialist qualifications in emergency and critical care and anesthesia. She is an associate lecturer and clinical instructor in anesthesia within the School of Veterinary Science at The University of Queensland in Australia and co-coordinates the final year of BAppSci (Veterinary Technology) program. Her areas of teaching include emergency medicine, anesthesia, analgesia, and clinical practices for undergraduate veterinary and veterinary technology students.

Wendy Goodwin BVSc, PhD, FANZCVS (Veterinary Anaesthesia, Critical Care) | School of Veterinary Science at The University of Queensland, Australia

Wendy is a veterinarian with a PhD and specialist qualifications in veterinary anesthesia and critical care. She works at the School of Veterinary Science, University of Queensland, Australia, as a clinical anesthetist, lecturer, and researcher in the areas of anesthesia, analgesia, and critical care.

Older patients may appear “healthy” for their age, but they often have multiple underlying organ dysfunctions that, when challenged by general anesthesia, can result in a cascade of detrimental events. This CE course will help you create an appropriate anesthesia plan for the geriatric patient.

Continuing Education, Winter 2019, Dermatology

Immune-Mediated Skin Disorders of Dogs

Jennie Tait AHT, RVT, VTS (Dermatology) | Guelph Veterinary Specialty Hospital | Guelph, Ontario, Canada

Jennie is a charter member and the current secretary of the Academy of Dermatology Veterinary Technicians and is currently the only VTS (Dermatology) in Canada. Jennie is also a member of the Ontario Association of Veterinary Technicians, where she holds RVT certificate #4, as well several other veterinary organizations, including the Canadian Academy of Veterinary Dermatology. She has more than 30 years’ experience in veterinary medicine, including 24 years of teaching veterinary students at the Ontario Veterinary College and more than 15 years’ experience specializing in veterinary dermatology. Jennie is an accomplished speaker and is currently waiting on her contribution to a dermatology text for technicians to be published.

When an animal’s immune system’s ability to differentiate self from nonself is compromised, immune-mediated skin disorders can occur.

Continuing Education, Summer 2018, Orthopedics , Pain Management

Pain Management After Orthopedic Procedures

Cathy T. Mann RVT, VTS (Surgery) Surgery and Anesthesia Nurse, Veterinary Specialty Hospital of the Carolinas, Cary, NC

Cathy earned her Veterinary Technician Specialty (VTS) in Surgery in 2014 and serves as President Elect and Credentialing Committee member of the Academy of Veterinary Surgical Technicians. She has been a Registered Veterinary Technician (RVT) in North Carolina since graduating from Central Carolina Community College in 2003 and also holds a Bachelor’s degree in Chemistry from Keene State College in Keene, NH.
Cathy works at all three locations of Veterinary Specialty Hospital in North Carolina. She has worked in the specialty surgical field since 2005 and has a particular interest in orthopedic and minimally invasive surgery.

Managing patient recovery from orthopedic surgery presents clients, veterinarians, and veterinary nurses with a diverse set of challenges. This article provides insight into the process including patient discharge, medications, bandage care, home care, rehabilitation, and nutrition.

Continuing Education, Spring 2018, Pain Management

Me-oww! Managing Chronic Feline Pain

Alison Gottlieb BS, CVT, VTS (ECC), CARES Langhorne, Pennsylvania

Alison Gottlieb passed the National Veterinary Technician exam and also the Emergency Critical Care boards sponsored by the Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care Society (VECCS). Her career began at Cat Hospital At Towson (CHAT) where her passion for cats bloomed.

Alison was part of the health care team at the Veterinary Referral Center in Little Falls, New Jersey, serving Senior ICU Nurse. She was also responsible for training new technicians at the hospital, through lectures and hands-on experience.

Ali has served on various boards and professional committees, giving lectures and speeches on her work in the ER/ICU. She is also co-founder of Four Paws Consulting LLC, which focuses on technician education.

Veterinary medicine has made great strides in the treatment of chronic pain in cats. The veterinary paradigm has shifted from questioning whether animals feel pain to recognizing and treating their pain.

Continuing Education, Winter 2018, Anesthesiology

Dangers of Hypothermia: Avoiding the Cold

Brenda K. Feller CVT, RVT, VTS (Anesthesia and Analgesia)

Brenda graduated from Michigan State University, one of the first veterinary technician programs in the United States. She has worked in private practice, a university anesthesia department, and specialty practices during her career. She is not only a board member at large of the Academy of Veterinary Technicians in Anesthesia and Analgesia, but also a member of the academy’s examination, preapplication, and conference committees. She is married to Doug, a retired veterinarian, with three grown children and a growing number of grandchildren! Doug and Brenda share their house with a rescue Westie mix.

Brenda is a frequent speaker at major conferences and teaches online anesthesia classes. In her spare time, she likes to rollerblade and read nonfiction.

Hypothermia is a common yet preventable side effect of anesthesia and surgery. Here is our guide to preventing and detecting hypothermia; and how to treat it should it occur.