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Winter 2022, Urology & Renal Medicine

“Why Does My Cat Have Trouble Urinating?”

Paula Plummer LVT, VTS (ECC, SAIM) | Texas A&M University

Paula has been at Texas A&M University since 2007, first working in the small animal intensive care unit and then moving to the feline internal medicine service in 2011. She graduated from Murray State College in Tishomingo, Oklahoma, and has been a registered veterinary technician since 2000. In 2011, she earned her veterinary technician specialty in emergency and critical care, and in 2014, she earned her second specialty in small animal internal medicine. Paula is also involved in teaching technicians in online programs and as a guest lecturer and lab instructor at local, regional, and national continuing education symposiums. When she is not working, Paula enjoys spending time with her husband and furry 4-legged family.

This series will help veterinary nurses understand the most effective way to guide clients through common questions, with key communication tips along the way.

Fall 2021, Personal/Professional Development

The Euthanasia Experience

Valarie Adams CVT

Valarie Adams is a CVT with over 40 years working in veterinary medicine. Graduating from the Medical Institute of Minnesota in 1973 puts her in the “aged but still useful” class. Throughout her career in veterinary medicine she has worked with large and small animal, emergency and critical care, and delivering in-home veterinary hospice and palliative care. Valarie has lectured on end-of-life topics nationally as well as written and co-written for textbooks on pet hospice and facilitated pet loss support groups. She fills her soul with her horses, as well as volunteering on a Native American reservation and gathering with free-spirited, wise women. You can also find Valarie at confidesinanimals.com.

Euthanasia is not just a medical event, it is a complex procedure. Emotions are high all around and communication and empathy are your biggest allies.

Summer 2021, Behavior

Empowering Clients to Address Behavior Concerns

Melissa Spooner-Raymond LVT, VTS (Behavior), BS, KPA-CTP, TAGteach Level One, Fear Free Certified

Melissa is passionate about and deeply involved in the community of veterinary behavior and training. She has worked in both general medicine and behavioral specialty medicine. Her focus now remains in the nonprofit arena where she can combine the knowledge that she has gained from her bachelor’s degree in health services administration and her certifications as a VTS in behavior and a Fear Free professional. Melissa enjoys sharing her knowledge with fellow veterinary professionals and training pet parents through presenting at conferences, teaching veterinary hospital staff, or working one on one.

Because behavior issues can negatively impact the human-animal bond, it’s important to discuss and address them as early as possible.

Spring 2021, Practice Management

Postoperative Discharges: Improving Owner Education

Carrie Chandler CVT, CCRP

Carrie is a CVT in the Rehabilitation Department at the University of Illinois Veterinary Teaching Hospital in Urbana, Illinois. Earning her associate of applied science degree from Parkland College in 2011 and physical rehabilitation certificate (CCRP) from the University of Tennessee (Northeast Seminars) in 2016, Carrie provides clinical casework, research assistance, and teaching to both veterinary and veterinary technician students at the university. She has additionally completed the Osteoarthritis Case Manager and Companion Animal Pain Management certificate programs through Northeast Seminars and is currently completing her bachelor’s degree at the University of Illinois. 

Improving your clinic’s ability to provide thoughtful, detailed postoperative instruction helps to ensure a more smooth recovery for the pet, the owner, and your clinic.

Winter 2021, Practice Management

Cutting Through the Noise: Client Interaction During COVID-19

David Traub CVT

After 27 years in the newspaper industry, David went back to school part-time during the evenings to obtain an AAS degree in veterinary technology. He graduated in 2013, passed the VTNE, and has been working at the Animal Emergency and Referral Center of Minnesota for the past 7 years. Working part-time for the first 5 years, David left the newspaper industry for good in 2018 and is now the FT Daytime Triage Technician Lead at the clinic, where he works with a team of 15 triage personnel. He is married with 3 adult children, 2 dogs, and 2 cats and lives in suburban Minneapolis.

The COVID-19 pandemic created a laundry list of challenges for veterinary teams, but some of these challenges could turn into opportunities for improved client support moving forward.

Fall 2020, Anesthesiology

Talking to Clients About the Risks from Anesthesia

Lynda Paul LVT, VTS (Clinical Practice, Canine/Feline), CVPP

Lynda is the lead technician in general practice at Nanuet Animal Hospital, where she has been working for 29 years. In 2013, she achieved her VTS in clinical practice through the Academy of Veterinary Technicians in Clinical Practice (AVTCP). In 2018, she became the vice president of the AVTCP and currently serves as president. In 2015, she earned her Certified Veterinary Pain Practitioner (CVPP) credential. In her spare time Lynda likes to garden. Year-round she loves to train her 3 dogs and shows 2 in Rally Obedience. She also has a rescue pit who is happy to be a homebody, where he is most comfortable!   

As veterinary nurses, we are in a unique position to help alleviate many of our clients’ fears about anesthesia and reduce the stress of a surgical event for them and their pet.

Summer 2020, Ophthalmology

Cataracts in Dogs: The Importance of Early Detection and Management

Tyler Grogan RVT, CVT

Tyler is currently working in Florida as a relief veterinary nurse in areas including ophthalmology, emergency medicine, and general practice. Tyler also works with the Uncharted Veterinary Conference, contributing to their social media marketing. Tyler’s clinical interests include ophthalmology, anesthesia, low-stress handling, and the human-animal bond. She is also passionate about providing veterinary teams an opportunity at wellness in practice through her relief services, SOS Vet Relief. Tyler has written articles for several online publications on topics from client communication to mental wellness in the profession.

Veterinary nurses play a very important role in educating the client about cataracts in dogs and the options for sight-restoration.

Spring 2020, Neurology

Seizing the Moment

Julie Ann Nettifee RVT, BS, VTS (Neurology)

For more than 20 years, Julie Ann has been on the staff at North Carolina State University College of Veterinary Medicine. She earned her AAS in Animal Health Technology at the University of Minnesota, Waseca, and a BA degree in Journalism with a minor in Natural Science at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She holds a Certificate in Nonprofit Management from the Duke Center for Nonprofits. She currently supports clinical research in neurology and nutrition, teaches, and conducts outreach. She has presented locally, nationally, and internationally, and has authored numerous articles on veterinary nursing.

This article will focus on the questions to ask when faced with uncertain seizure events in pets, as well as tips for keeping the pet owner calm and helping them to maintain a safe environment for their pet. It will also outline the best procedure for bringing a pet to the clinic safely and how to communicate that procedure to a stressed and anxious pet owner.

Winter 2020, Dentistry

Dentistry Education for Patients and Practices

Mary L. Berg BS, RVT, RLATG, VTS (Dentistry)

Mary received her B.S. in Biology/Microbiology from South Dakota State University, A.S. in Laboratory Animal Science, and A.S. in Veterinary Technology from St. Petersburg College. She is a Charter member of the Academy of Veterinary Dental Technicians and received her VTS in Dentistry in June 2006. She serves as treasurer of the AVDT, president-elect of the KVTA, and Chair of the District Representative Committee for NAVTA. Mary has been published in various professional publications, and is a speaker/lab instructor at international, national, and state conferences. Mary and her husband have 2 sons and 3 grandchildren and live on a small farm near Lawrence, KS.

Oral disease is one of the most prevalent diseases in dogs and cats, yet 80% of companion animals do not receive dental care at the veterinary hospital. Read more on how to incorporate dental care inside and out of the hospital.

Fall 2019, Practice Management

Can We Talk? Ensuring Owner Compliance

Saleema Lookman RVT

Saleema entered the veterinary field in 2009 and has since held a variety of roles and positions. This diversity led to the discovery of her true passions for patient care, education, and mentoring. In 2015, she took the VTNE and became a Registered Veterinary Technician. Hoping to share her experiences with other veterinary nurses, Saleema has presented as a speaker in many settings. She is currently part of the Boehringer Ingelheim Tech Champion team and delivers CE presentations to veterinary nurses. Currently residing in Santa Fe, New Mexico, Saleema practices as a veterinary nurse in a high-caseload small animal practice. She enjoys trail running, crocheting, and being covered in cat hair.

Communication from the veterinary team and owner compliance go hand-in-hand in making sure the pet stays up-to-date on preventive medications and post-surgery care.