Featured, Winter 2020, Personal/Professional Development

The Art of Teaching in Higher Education

Alysha McDaniel CVT

Alysha obtained her veterinary technician degree from San Juan College in 2014. She started working in emergency medicine at the University of Illinois in 2015 and quickly found her love for teaching. Now she works at the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine in the Clinical Skills Learning Center as a clinical instructor to veterinary students. Alysha enjoys speaking at conferences in central Illinois and lecturing to student organizations. She is currently completing her bachelor’s degree with plans to pursue a master’s degree in education.

Veterinary medicine has evolved so vastly in recent years that veterinary nurses have many potential career paths available. One path many people in our field don’t realize veterinary nurses can take is teaching and writing curriculum, specifically in a college or university setting. This path greatly utilizes the skills and knowledge that veterinary nurses spend years perfecting and is also very rewarding.

Continuing Education, Featured, 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, Director of Veterinary Nursing

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 director of veterinary nursing for the NAVC as well as 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 patients is prudent, and the use of analgesia, including general anesthesia, is essential to the comprehensive treatment plan.

Featured, Winter 2020, Oncology

Working to Cure Cancer in Animals

Don Vaughan

Donald Vaughan is a freelance writer based in Raleigh, North Carolina. His work has appeared in Writer’s Digest, Boys’ Life, Military Officer Magazine, Today’s Veterinary Business, and numerous other publications. He is also the founder of Triangle Association of Freelancers.

Veterinary oncology research strives to advance the diagnosis and treatment of cancer in dogs, cats, and other species. Across the nation, veterinary schools and other institutions are conducting clinical studies on a variety of cancers, many of which hold promise for both animals and humans.

regenerative therapy for dogs and cats
Fall 2019, Featured, Integrative/Alternative Medicine

Regenerative Modalities Used for Pain Control

Nicole LaForest BSc, LVT, RVT, CCFT

Nicole is a Licensed and Registered Veterinary Technician in Washington and California. She is the immediate past president of the Washington State Association of Veterinary Technicians and holds multiple advanced degrees in veterinary technology, psychology, and human health care management. She has worked in private and corporate settings. Nicole manages an ambulatory surgery practice based in the Puget Sound area of Washington. When not working in the clinic, Nicole is a frequent lecturer at various national and international  conferences and meetings. She is also a tireless advocate for the appropriate use of regenerative therapies in veterinary medicine.

Each year in the U.S., an estimated 10 to 12 million dogs and cats experience the pain and discomfort associated with osteoarthritis. Regenerative medicine shows promise in stimulating healing and regeneration.

Fall 2019, Featured, Personal/Professional Development

A Recipe for Disaster Response

Beckie Mossor RVT

Beckie is a Registered Veterinary Technician living in Southport, North Carolina. Beckie graduated from Central Carolina Community College in 2007 with her AAS in Veterinary Medical Technology and will graduate from the University of North Carolina Pembroke with her Bachelors in Non-Profit and Public Administration in 2019. Beckie has enjoyed a diverse career in small animal, large animal, and mixed practices; academia; and management and consulting. Beckie co-founded Veterinary Advancement, is a professional medical responder with the ASPCA Field Investigations Response (FIR) Team, is Volunteer Director of Operations 3K9 Working Dogs, and co-hosts the podcast Veterinary Viewfinder.

When floods, fires, hurricanes, mudslides, and other natural disasters strike, chaos ensues. But within the chaos, there is a group of individuals who are organized, trained, and prepared to mobilize and bring order where there is complete turmoil, panic, and upheaval. Within the group of first responders, but often overlooked, are the veterinary response teams.

Fall 2019, Featured, Internal Medicine

A Foreign Body That Is “Sew” Unusual

Brittany Laflen RVT, VTS (Neurology)

Brittany provides clinical case work and teaches fundamentals of neurology and neurologic diseases to students in the veterinary nursing program at Purdue University. In 2010, she received her Associate of Science degree in Veterinary Technology from Purdue University, and in 2012, she began working in the Purdue neurology department as a Registered Veterinary Technician. She recently became a credentialed Veterinary Technician Specialist in Neurology.

Foreign bodies within the spinal cord are uncommon, but when they occur the prognosis is often grave. Find out what happened to Leon, an 18-month-old Maltese, when he accidentally ingested a sewing needle.

Featured, Summer 2019, Wound Management

Long-Term Nursing Care of a Self-Mutilating Moluccan Cockatoo

Jodi Berls CVA, LVT

Jodi Berls worked in another field for 25 years before heeding the call to veterinary medicine. Fascinated with birds and their welfare, she enrolled in Houston Community College’s Veterinary Paramedics Program in 2011. She achieved state-level certification as a Certified Veterinary Assistant (CVA) in 2013, then earned her Associate of Applied Science (AAS), veterinary technology, degree from Cedar Valley College, in Lancaster, Texas, and her license in 2016. Her passion for avian and exotic companion animals continues to grow, and she is particularly interested in maximizing the healing power of the hospital environment.

The challenge? A Moluccan cockatoo named Chula who had been engaging in self-mutilating behavior and hated being restrained. Here’s how a veterinary team helped her recover.

Featured, Summer 2019, Personal/Professional Development

ASPCA and the Arms of Angels

Pam Dickens CVT

Pam Dickens, CVT, graduated from Saint Petersburg College in 1982. She worked in private specialty practice (ophthalmology) from 1980 to 2001 and worked in small animal private practice from 2001 to present. In 1999, she became a Nutrition Consultant with Nestle Purina Petcare. Dickens is a Florida State Animal Response Coalition (FLSARC) member, a Florida Association of Credentialed Veterinary Technicians (FACVT) member, a NAVTA member, and an ASPCA FIR Team Responder. She also volunteers with the Animal Balance, HSI, HSUS and Operation Catnip HQHVSN campaigns. Pam enjoys participating in pet therapy volunteering, and her hobbies include ultra running and photography.

As veterinary nurses, we dedicate our lives to helping animals because we are animal welfare warriors. Together, all of us can create an environment to help these animals gain a better life—one they all deserve. Please consider volunteering at the ASPCA.

Featured, Summer 2019, Emergency Medicine/Critical Care

Providing Care for Dogs with Heatstroke

Amy Newfield CVT, VTS (ECC)

Amy is employed by BluePearl Veterinary Partners as a Training Project Manager. After working in general practice, she found her passion in emergency medicine and in 2003 became a Veterinary Technician Specialist in Emergency and Critical Care. She has held several board positions in the Academy of Veterinary Emergency & Critical Care Technicians & Nurses, including president. Amy has published numerous articles, is an international speaker, has received numerous awards (including 2 Speaker of the Year awards), and is highly involved in her community. She and her wonderful furry kids live in Massachusetts, where you can find her eating chocolate, running in the woods, competing her dogs in agility, and scuba diving in the ocean.

Because every second counts: A discussion of the physiology of normal thermoregulation and the pathophysiology of heatstroke in dogs; plus, how to recognize, treat, and care for the heatstroke patient.

Featured, Summer 2019, Infectious Disease , Parasitology

The 3 Rs of Tick-Borne Diseases

Holly Morss LVT

Holly currently works in the diagnostic imaging department at Washington State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine. She also enjoys working the occasional Saturday at Lewiston Veterinary Clinic. She serves on the board of the Companion Animal Parasite Council (CAPC) and is a charter member of the Boehringer Ingelheim Tech Champion Team, which provides continuing education in the United States. Holly’s passion for teaching developed during her many years as an educator and administrator of veterinary technology programs in Minnesota, Utah, and Idaho. Holly spends any free time that she can find exploring the wilds of eastern Washington and the Idaho panhandle.

The veterinary medical team must use effective communication and education to ensure clients understand the threat of tick-borne disease and the best preventive methods.

Featured, Spring 2019, Toxicology

Illicit Drugs: What Veterinary Nurses Need to Know

Erin Freed CVT, BAS | ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center

Erin has been employed with the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center (APCC) since 2006. She earned her associate’s degree in applied science in veterinary technology from Parkland Community College and her bachelor’s degree in applied science in veterinary hospital management from St. Petersburg College in 2016. Erin’s interests include toxicology, but her true passion is sharing knowledge and educating veterinary staff. She has been an instructor for a toxicology continuing education (CE) course for the Veterinary Support Personnel Network and has spoken at several APCC CE conferences. Erin has had peer-reviewed articles published in Veterinary Technician, the NAVTA Journal, and Veterinary Medicine and has authored a chapter on the renal system in Small Animal Toxicology Essentials.

Marijuana, amphetamines, cocaine, heroin, and hallucinogenic mushrooms are five of the most common illicit drugs companion animals are exposed to. Here is everything you need to know about them.

Continuing Education, Featured, 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.

Featured, Spring 2019, Oncology

Canine Digit Osteosarcoma Results in Toe Amputation

Stephani Hrabnicky LVT

Stephani obtained her license in 2013 after earning a bachelor’s of science degree in veterinary technology from Michigan State University. She got her start in general practice, but has spent the past 3 years dedicated to the busy surgery department of BluePearl Veterinary Partners in Southfield, Michigan, where she is currently the primary nurse for her surgeon. When not in the operating room, she can be found planning for a future VTS in anesthesia and analgesia.

A dog’s digits are amputated for reasons ranging from osteomyelitis to benign masses to SCC and melanoma. Bella’s case was the author’s first experience with a diagnosis of digit osteosarcoma.

Featured, Spring 2019, Toxicology

Guide to Managing Toxin Ingestion

Courtney Waxman CVT, VTS (ECC) | VetMed Emergency and Specialty Hospital | Phoenix, Arizona

Courtney Waxman practices at VetMed Emergency and Specialty Hospital in Phoenix, Arizona. In 2008 Courtney graduated with her AAS in Veterinary Technology/Animal Health and obtained her CVT in 2009. She has spent the past 10 years working in emergency medicine and has presented technician case reports at the ACVIM Forum and IVECCS conferences, winning best case presentation at ACVIM 2017. Courtney has published continuing education articles in the NAVTA Journal and Today’s Veterinary Nurse. She is the Arizona state representative for NAVTA and the Technician’s Community Chairperson for Arizona’s state association. She lectures locally to referring veterinary practices, veterinary technology students, and the public on topics relating to emergency medicine. She obtained her VTS (ECC) in September 2017. Her special interests include mechanical ventilation, shock, cardiopulmonary resuscitation, environmental hazards, one-on-one case management, critical care nursing, and technician training.

Companion animals are susceptible to several potentially life-threatening toxicants, ranging from human food and medication to animal medication, common plants, illicit drugs, routine household products, and more. Is your veterinary clinic prepared?

Morris Animal Foundation logo
Featured, News,

Morris Animal Foundation Awards $1 Million for New Studies Benefiting Canine and Feline Health

Patricia Wuest Editorial Director, NAVC

DENVER/January 24, 2019 – Worth more than a few happy barks and meows, Morris Animal Foundation announced it awarded nearly $1 million in grants for nine canine and feline research projects. The studies will help veterinary scientists improve the health and quality of life of cats and dogs suffering from deadly and debilitating diseases including …

Veterinary Nurse Initiative
Featured, News,

The Veterinary Nurse Initiative Update

Patricia Wuest Editorial Director, NAVC

The Veterinary Nurse Initiative (VNI), which seeks to unite the veterinary technician profession under a single veterinary nurse title, standardize credentialing requirements and define scope of practice, continues to make progress despite some challenges, including resistance from the human health nursing profession, say those who are leading the call for change. In June 2017, the …

PALS Place Play Area
Featured, News,

The Pet and Women Safety (PAWS) Act Is Signed Into Law

Patricia Wuest Editorial Director, NAVC

Press Release from Urban Resource Institute and Nestle Purina PetCare (This story was updated on Jan. 4, 2019) A group of nonprofit and for-profit organizations lauded the passage of the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 (the Farm Bill) after advocating for legislation to better protect domestic violence survivors by establishing the critical importance of protecting …

Featured, Winter 2019, Practice Management

Opioid Shortage: What’s a Veterinary Clinic to Do?

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.

In the past, the veterinary profession may have relied more heavily on opioids and not used adjunct therapies to their full advantage. We need to rethink our strategy.

Featured, Winter 2019, Preventive Medicine

Preventive Care for Cats: Making the Case to Owners

Michelle D. Krasicki-Aune MBA, BS, CVT Vet Teams, LLC Coon Rapids, MN

Michelle D. Krasicki-Aune, MBA, BS, CVT, is the founder, owner, and lead relief Certified Veterinary Technician (CVT) for Vet Teams, LLC. She loves drawing on her more than 20 years of experience as a CVT to meet the challenges that relief work brings in her daily experiences and also loves all things related to boxer dogs! She also dedicates her time to the National Association of Veterinary Technicians as the organization’s treasurer, works behind the scenes to help further veterinary nurse education, and helps teach and train the veterinary community in Fear Free practices.

Veterinary nurses can communicate with owners to pave the way for a lifelong healthcare plan for their cats.

Featured, Winter 2019, Pain Management

Veterinary Nurses as Pain Management Advocates

Mary Ellen Goldberg BS, LVT, CVT, SRA, CCRA | Canine Rehabilitation Institute, Wellington, FL

Mary Ellen is a graduate of Harcum College and the University of Pennsylvania. She has been an instructor of anesthesia and pain management for VetMedTeam since 2003. In 2007, she became a surgical research anesthetist certified through the Academy of Surgical Research. In 2008, she became the executive secretary of the International Veterinary Academy of Pain Management. In addition, she is on the Proposed Organizing Committee for the Academy of Physical Rehabilitation Veterinary Technicians for the formation of a NAVTA recognized VTS-physical rehabilitation program.

Mary Ellen has written several books and contributed to numerous chapters regarding anesthesia, pain management, and rehabilitation. She has worked in various aspects of veterinary medicine ranging from small animal to zoo animal medicine.

As a veterinary nurse, you are in a position to recognize signs of pain in your patient and to make management recommendations.

Featured, Winter 2019, Personal/Professional Development

Developing Your Role in Hospice and Palliative Care

Valarie Adams CVT Pine River, Wisconsin

Valarie Adams is a certified veterinary technician with over 40 years working in veterinary medicine. Her graduation from the Medical Institute of Minnesota in 1973 puts her in the “aged but still useful” graduating class.

In May 2008 she created the Healing Heart Foundation, Inc., a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that supported programs honoring the spirit of the Human Animal Bond. The Healing Heart Pet Hospice program delivered hospice and palliative care to pet families.

For fun and to feed her spirituality, Valarie plays with her horses and sings in a blues/rock band.

Veterinary hospice focuses on palliative care for an animal who is terminally ill and support for the animal’s family members.


An Arizona Community Program Benefits Feral Cats and Veterinary Students

Midwestern University and We Care for Animals AZ are partnering in a trap-neuter-release program for feral cats. Every community has them: feral cats. They are generally fearful of people and are highly unsociable, making veterinary care extremely difficult. And the sheer number of feral cats in the U.S. makes the challenge even more daunting. Their …


Help Pet Owners Keep Their Pets Safe This Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving can be a fun time for both humans and their pets, but it can also pose dangers, some of which your patients’ owners may not be considering. Now is a good time to share tips for keeping pets safe during this festive holiday. As the Thanksgiving holiday quickly approaches, Pet Sitters International emphasized the …

Featured, Spring 2018, Parasitology , Preventive Medicine

Have Dog, Will Travel

Karen S Walsh LVMT, CFE, CAWA

Karen S Walsh, LVMT, CFE, CAWA, is the Director of the Animal Relocation Initiative for the ASPCA and the former executive director of the McKamey Animal Center in Chattanooga, TN. She graduated from Blue Ridge in Virginia with a degree in veterinary technology and has achieved designations as a Certified Animal Welfare Administrator and a Certified Compassion Fatigue Educator. Karen has held leadership positions in both veterinary and animal welfare organizations and was appointed to serve on the Tennessee state Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners. Karen lives in Tennessee with her husband, Tom, their four children, and a menagerie of furry and feathered family members on their small, but beautiful farm.

No question: dogs are on the move. Whether it’s a homeless dog being relocated following a major hurricane event, a canine companion accompanying his owner on vacation or a show dog traveling for competition or exhibition, road trips can be life-enhancing—or even lifesaving—for dogs.

Featured, Spring 2018, Preventive Medicine

Focus on Overweight and Obesity in Cats

Rachel Beck CVT, PMP

Rachel Beck is a certified veterinary technician and credentialed project manager on the Veterinary Medical Programs team at Banfield Pet Hospital. She currently leads a team of project managers who specialize in implementation. Having been in the veterinary field for over 15 years, she has served roles both in hospitals and at Banfield’s central office. She is passionate about engaging the whole veterinary team in proactive health and wellness as well as about career pathing for paraprofessionals in the industry. She resides in Portland, Oregon, with her significant other and 2 cats.

When it comes to weight, cats are faring worse than their canine counterparts, with more than a 169% increase in overweight cats over the past 10 years, according to Banfield Pet Hospital.

Continuing Education, Featured, 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.

Featured, Spring 2018, Internal Medicine

Hematemesis, Abdominal Pain and Anemia in an Older Cat

Kimberly Harper LVT, VCA Southern Maryland Veterinary Referral Center Waldorf, MD

Kimberly Harper, LVT received her AAS in veterinary technology from San Juan College in 2011. She began her career at VCA SouthPaws where she spent almost 6 years in the ICU. She is currently employed by Southern Maryland Veterinary Referral and Emergency Center in Waldorf, MD.

Abnormal fatigue, lack of appetite, faster-than-normal pulse, weight loss, pale gums, and loss of energy are common symptoms of feline anemia.

Featured, Spring 2018, Dermatology , Parasitology

Flea Allergy Dermatitis: What Your Clients Need to Know

Shilo Anderson LVT, VTS (Dermatology), Dermatology for Animals, Salt Lake City, Utah

Shilo started her veterinary technician career at a general practice clinic in 2000. In 2001 Shilo started working with at specialty clinic with the ophthalmology and dermatology services. In 2005 she became a licensed veterinary technician. In June 2017 she received her veterinary technician specialty certification in dermatology. She is currently the practice leader for Dermatology for Animals for the Salt Lake City, Utah and Spokane, Washington locations.

Unless fleas or flea dirt (flea feces) are found on the pet, it may be difficult to convince owners that their pet may be dealing with FAD.

Featured, Spring 2018, Nutrition

Giant Expectations: Nutrition for the Large-Breed Puppy

Victoria L. Kerby LVT, VTS (SAIM, Nutrition) BluePearl Veterinary Partners, Southfield, Michigan

Victoria (Tori) is a 2007 graduate of Bel Rea Institute, Denver CO with an Associates in Applied Animal Science.

She has worked at BluePearl Veterinary Partners with in the Internal Medicine Department, as a primary technician since 2007.

Tori obtained her first veterinary technical specialty in Small Animal Internal Medicine in 2011, her second in Nutrition in 2017. She is also board member for the Academy of Internal
Medicine Veterinary Technicians, as Small Animal Director at Large.

Clinical interest include clinical nutrition and its use in disease management and prevention, feline hyperthyroidism, and acid base disorders.

Diet selection and growth rate management are equally critical in preventing developmental orthopedic disease in growing large-breed dogs.

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