Summer 2019

Summer 2019, Nutrition

Alternative Ways to Discuss Pet Obesity and Weight Loss

Jessie Nelson AAS, CVT, VTS (Nutrition)

Jessie graduated in 2009 from National American University with an Associate’s Degree in Applied Science with an emphasis in veterinary technology. After graduation, she worked in general practice in South Dakota. In 2010, she moved to Arizona and joined Desert Veterinary Medical Specialists in 2012. She found a passion for veterinary nutrition and earned a VTS in nutrition. Jessie was the president of the student chapter of NAVTA while in college, and has continued to be an active member of NAVTA and of the American Academy of Veterinary Nutrition Technicians. In her free time she loves to be outside with her pets, riding her bicycle, reading, and swimming with her dogs in the pool.

Veterinary teams need to find alternative ways to avoid upsetting their clients and to gain their trust in communicating the best nutritional requirements for their patients.

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.

Summer 2019, Rehabilitation

Myofascial Trigger Points in Veterinary Patients

Lis Conarton BS, LVT, VTS (Physical Rehabilitation)

Lis received her bachelor’s degree from Ithaca College and earned her license in veterinary technology shortly after joining the Veterinary Medical Center of CNY’s team. She developed the physical rehabilitation service at the Veterinary Medical Center of CNY and, in 2010, initiated the center’s pain management service. Lis has lectured at professional veterinary conferences nationally and routinely contributes to newspaper articles, journal submissions, and book chapters regarding physical rehabilitation and pain management. She has received special training in Canine Myofascial Trigger Point Therapy through Myopain Seminars and has a special interest in myofascial issues and muscle dysfunction.

A veterinary nurse’s goal is to teach clients tools to promote reduction in Myofascial Trigger Point activation in their pets, thereby relieving pain and providing better outcomes and successful, long-lasting treatments.

Summer 2019, Personal/Professional Development

A Global Perspective on Veterinary Nursing

Kenichiro Yagi MS, RVT, VTS (ECC, SAIM)

Ken has spent nearly 20 years in practice. He obtained his VTS certification in emergency and critical care, as well as small animal internal medicine, and earned his master’s degree in Veterinary Science. He served as ICU Manager and Blood Bank Manager at Adobe Animal Hospital until 2018, and is now Program Director for the RECOVER CPR Initiative and simulation lab manager of the Park Veterinary Innovation Laboratory at Cornell University. He co-chairs the Veterinary Nurse Initiative and serves as a board member of the Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care Society, the Academy of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care Technicians, and the Veterinary Innovation Council.

Many veterinary nurses and organizations across the globe seek to work collaboratively in standardizing credentialing and addressing the challenges facing veterinary nurses.

Summer 2019, Small Animal/Exotic Medicine

Unique and Unusual: Exotic Animal Medicine

Sarah Kolb BAS, RVT, VTS (Exotic Companion Animals)

After obtaining her Bachelor of Applied Science in Veterinary Nursing from St. Petersburg College in 2018, Sarah earned the Veterinary Technician Specialty (Exotic Companion Animals) in 2015. She currently works at ISU Lloyd Veterinary Medical Center, Ames, Iowa. She is a member of the National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America, Central Iowa Veterinary Technician Association, and International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants. She also serves on the Association of Avian Veterinarians Technician Committee. Sarah has had numerous articles published and she has lectured extensively on exotic animal topics. She has fostered birds for the Des Moines Animal Rescue League since 2014. Her interests include avian anatomy, physiology, behavior and enrichment; wildlife rehabilitation; and anesthesia.

The surge in ownership of exotic animals has contributed to an increase in owners seeking veterinary care for their pets. Veterinarians and veterinary nurses are finding themselves faced with providing medical care for nontraditional pets, which presents unique challenges.

Summer 2019, Orthopedics

Improve Outcomes in Arthritic Pets

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.

Veterinary nurses who have conversations with clients about excess weight in pets improve the outcomes of treating osteoarthritis in these animals.

Summer 2019, Practice Management

Teamwork Makes the Dream Work

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.

Each member of the veterinary healthcare team plays an important role that is critical to the overall success of the team and, subsequently, to the overall wellness of the patient and success of the hospital.

Summer 2019, Personal Wellbeing , Practice Management

Nurture Wellbeing in the Veterinary Workplace

Heather Prendergast RVT, CVPM

Heather has spent over 25 years in small animal practice, teaches veterinary technology and assistance programs, and is the author of Front Office Management for the Veterinary Team. She lectures on topics ranging from grief management for health care professionals to nutrition, inventory, communications, and veterinary team management. She has also written several articles and participated in published roundtable discussions on these topics.

Currently, Heather provides consulting services for veterinary hospitals and is an instructor for Patterson Veterinary University and VetMedTeam. She serves on several advisory committees and is the Program Chair of the Technician Program at the North American Veterinary Conference. Heather was named the 2014 Veterinary Technician of the Year and Continuing Educator of the Year for 2016 at the Western Veterinary Conference.

Kenichiro Yagi MS, RVT, VTS (ECC, SAIM)

Ken has spent nearly 20 years in practice. He obtained his VTS certification in emergency and critical care, as well as small animal internal medicine, and earned his master’s degree in Veterinary Science. He served as ICU Manager and Blood Bank Manager at Adobe Animal Hospital until 2018, and is now Program Director for the RECOVER CPR Initiative and simulation lab manager of the Park Veterinary Innovation Laboratory at Cornell University. He co-chairs the Veterinary Nurse Initiative and serves as a board member of the Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care Society, the Academy of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care Technicians, and the Veterinary Innovation Council.

Burnout, compassion fatigue, work-related stress, depression, and suicide are words that we veterinary nurses are unfortunately familiar with. Fostering employee wellbeing has become a focus in the workplace, and, fortunately, various organizations, including NAVTA, have dedicated resources to providing tools and support for veterinary employers and employees.

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.

News, Summer 2019, Personal/Professional Development

Veterinary Professionals Explore Forming a Union

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.

A small grassroots movement of veterinary staff personnel, including associate veterinarians, formed the National Veterinarian Professionals Union (NVPU) in 2018. The NVPU seeks to draw attention to the plight of overworked, underpaid veterinary staff.

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