Feature Articles

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.

Combining a variety of treatment modalities optimizes pain management and patient comfort.

Atlanto-Occipital
Luxation in a Caprine Patient

Jessica Bowditch RVT, Purdue University Veterinary Teaching Hospital Lafayette, Indiana

Jessica Bowditch, RVT, provides clinical case work and teaches fundamentals of physical rehabilitation to veterinary technician students in the veterinary technician program at Purdue University. She received her associate of science degree in veterinary technology from Baker College in Jackson, Michigan, in 2013. She began working in the neurology and physical rehabilitation department at Purdue University as a registered veterinary technician in 2015. She is pursuing her credential as a Certified Canine Rehab Practitioner through the University of Tennessee.

Brittany Laflen RVT, Purdue University Veterinary Teaching Hospital Lafayette, Indiana

Brittany Laflen, RVT, provides clinical case work and teaches fundamentals of neurology and neurologic diseases to students in the veterinary technician program at Purdue University. She received her associate of science degree in veterinary technology from Purdue University in 2010. She began working in the Neurology Department at Purdue University as a registered veterinary technician in 2012. She is pursuing a Veterinary Technician Specialist credential in neurology.

Patient is placed in a body sling and patient lift. Assisted standing and walking improve circulation and respiration, strengthen and re-educate the muscles, and encourage neuromuscular function.

Take a Bite Out of Dental Radiology: Positioning for Picture-Perfect Views

Liane Shaw BS, RVT | Purdue University Veterinary Teaching Hospital | Lafayette, Indiana

Liane K. Shaw, BS, RVT, is the diagnostic imaging instructional technologist at Purdue University. She earned an associate’s degree and bachelor’s degree in applied science at the Veterinary Technology Program at Purdue University. She then worked at a private practice for 7 years and was a supervisor for the clinic before coming back to Purdue University to pursue her love for teaching. In 2011 she received an award for teaching excellence from Purdue University and Elanco Animal Health. She has spoken at conferences about dental radiography and digital radiography. In 2017 she coauthored 2 articles on radiology positioning published in Today’s Veterinary Technician.

Cynthia Voglewede BS, RVT, AVTCP-Canine/Feline | Purdue University Veterinary Teaching Hospital | Lafayette, Indiana

Cynthia Voglewede, BS, RVT, AVTCP-Canine/Feline, has taught at the Purdue University Veterinary Teaching Hospital since 1996. She earned her bachelor of science degree in biology education from Ball State University and later graduated from the Purdue University Veterinary Technology program. She was a founding member and treasurer for the Academy of Veterinary Technicians in Clinical Practice, which was approved in 2010. She received the Outstanding Staff Award in June 2015.

This article will help veterinary team members refresh themselves about common dental radiography procedures. Topics covered include safety, equipment, views, and positioning.

Discospondylitis: An Overview

Heather Anderson RVT, VTS (Neurology) | The Ohio State University Veterinary Medical Center | Columbus, Ohio

Heather Anderson works at The Ohio State University Veterinary Medical Center as a neurology/neurosurgery technician. She graduated with an associate’s degree in Veterinary Technology from Stautzenberger College in Ohio in 2003 and became a credentialed Veterinary Technician Specialist in 2016. She is a member of the Academy of Internal Medicine Veterinary Technicians and the National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America and enjoys teaching neurology to her 4th-year veterinary students.

Discospondylitis is an infection of the vertebral endplates and associated intervertebral disk. The infection typically starts in the vertebral end plate, then spreads to the adjacent intervertebral disc. The blood supply within the vertebral endplates consists of capillary beds with reduced blood flow velocity. Pores in the end plate that normally allow for distribution of …

Equine Pythiosis: An Overview

Sharon Klingler RVT, VTS (Anesthesia and Analgesia, EVN) | Premier Equine Veterinary Services | Whitesboro, Texas

Sharon Klingler RVT, VTS (Anesthesia, EVN) has been a veterinary technician for almost 40 years. She worked in private practice for almost 20 years where she worked in both an emergency and a general practice as the office manager, the anesthesia technician, and emergency technician. In 1997, Sharon joined the anesthesia department at the University of Georgia Veterinary Teaching Hospital to pursue a career as an anesthesia technician specialist. She is a credentialed member of the Academy of Veterinary Technicians in Anesthesia and Analgesia. and the Academy of Equine Nursing Technicians. At Georgia she was the emergency on-call anesthesia technician. Sharon joined the staff of Premier Equine Veterinary Services with Dr. William Rhoads in 2006. She currently provides anesthesia to Dr. Rhoads’ surgical patients as well as serving as the office manager. She also assists Dr. Wendy Rhoads at All About Pets Animal Hospital.

Over the years, Sharon has been involved with the American Association of Equine Veterinary Technicians and was a member of the organizing committee for the Equine Veterinary Nursing Academy and is now a charter member and Past President of the Academy. She is often asked to speak to technicians at both local and national conferences.

Sharon resides in Whitesboro, Texas, with her daughter Megan and grandson Bradley. Sharon enjoys horseback riding, gardening, watching Bradley play sports, and taking care of her menagerie of animals.

Pythiosis is a noncontagious disease caused by Pythiosis insidiosum, a fungus-like, protozoan organism. Until recently, it was considered to be a threat only to horses living in tropical or subtropical environments; however, it has been seen in many other areas of the United States, such as Illinois, New York, and even Wisconsin.1 Although dogs, cats, …

Otitis Externa: Inflammation of the Ear Canal

Sandra Grable AAS, CVT | University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine

Sandra Grable, AAS, CVT, graduated from Parkland College’s veterinary technology program in Champaign, Illinois, in 1999 and began work at the University of Illinois Diagnostic Laboratory. In 2001, she became the technician for the dermatology and otology clinic. She has an interest in mycology and enjoys reading skin cytology slides and assisting her doctors with dermatologic procedures, especially video otoscopy. She has chaired roundtable discussions, given several lectures, written for online publications, and wrote a book chapter on dermatophytes. She is a charter member of the Academy of Dermatology Veterinary Technicians, which was officially recognized by the National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America in 2015.

Otitis externa is a common condition that is frequently seen in specialty dermatology clinics and small animal general practices.1,2 It is defined as inflammation of the ear canal with or without involvement of the pinna.1–3 Otitis is often considered a final diagnosis, but it is merely a clinical sign. The many factors that can contribute …

Clinical Pathology, MDR1, Genetics, MDR1 Mutation,

MDR1 Genetic Testing: What You Need to Know

Rebecca Connors LVT | Washington State University

Rebecca has been employed at the Veterinary Clinical Pharmacology Laboratory at Washington State University since 2011. After graduation from the Michigan State University Veterinary Technology Program, she worked in several small- and mixed-animal veterinary practices in Michigan and Arizona. In 1996 she became the neurology technician at Washington State University’s Veterinary Teaching Hospital, followed by a 6-year stretch as a cardiology technician for Ohio State University’s Veterinary Medical Center. In 2008 she returned to Washington State University to work in veterinary genetics and Holter interpretation. She lives in Idaho with her husband, 2 sons, and a variety of dogs and cats.

Hidden in the genetic code of many herding-breed dogs is a mutation that increases their susceptibility to drug toxicosis. It is important for veterinary technicians to recognize which dogs are at risk and which drugs to avoid or administer with a reduced dose.

Behavior concerns are the number-one cause for pet relinquishment. Through preventive behavior services, veterinary technicians can help preserve the human–animal bond.

Technician-Driven Preventive Behavior Services

Debbie Martin LVT, VTS (Behavior), Veterinary Behavior Consultations, LLC, Austin, TX

Debbie has been a full-time registered/licensed veterinary technician since 1996 and worked in private practice for more than 14 years. Since 2005, she has been the animal behavior technician for Veterinary Behavior Consultations, LLC. She assists Kenneth Martin, DVM, DACVB, during behavior consultations. Debbie is also a co-owner of TEAM Education in Animal Behavior, LLC. She is a contributing author and coeditor of the textbook Canine and Feline Behavior for Veterinary Technicians and Nurses. She is also a coauthor of the book Puppy Start Right: Foundation Training for the Companion Dog and the Karen Pryor Academy course “Puppy Start Right for Instructors.” She is honored to be representing veterinary technicians on the Fear Free executive council.

Behavior concerns are the number-one cause for pet relinquishment. Through preventive behavior services, veterinary technicians can help preserve the human–animal bond.

Canine Uveitis and the Veterinary Technician

Canine Uveitis and the Veterinary Technician

Sondra Kuruts BS, LVT | Veterinary Eye Center | Austin, Texas

Sondra graduated with a bachelor’s degree in veterinary technology from Mercy College in Dobbs Ferry, New York, in 2006. She passed her licensing exam in Texas in January 2007. Since then she has worked at Veterinary Eye Center, PLLC, in Austin.

She lives with her husband, a crazy 2-year-old, 2 dogs, 2 cats and a sulphur-crested cockatoo in Round Rock, Texas. She hopes to pursue her specialty in veterinary ophthalmology in 2018.

Uveitis can be not only a confusing and frustrating diagnosis for owners, but also a sign of underlying, potentially zoonotic disease. This article provides an overview of essential information for assisting clients and protecting the veterinary team.

Luxating Patellas: Pathology and Treatment Options

Luxating Patellas: Pathology and Treatment Options

Maria Maddox LVT, CCRP, AMCP

Maria Maddox, LVT, CCRP, AMCP, received her bachelor’s degree in biology from Bryn Mawr College and her associate’s degree from Bel-Rea Institute of Animal Technology. She is a licensed veterinary technician in Colorado, Nevada, and Georgia, and earned her certification as a Canine Physical Rehabilitation Practitioner (CCRP) in 2006 from the University of Tennessee. She is the Membership Chair of the Academy of Physical Rehabilitation Veterinary Technicians. Her professional interests include nutrition and hospice care. Having recently moved to Georgia, she is starting her own business, subcontracting with local veterinarians to provide physical rehabilitation to their canine and feline patients.

Patellar luxation is one of the most common hindlimb orthopedic abnormalities seen in dogs. This article discusses the anatomy, diagnosis, management, and other aspects of patellar luxation with which veterinary technicians should be familiar.

The Veterinary Technician’s Role in Implementing Fear Free

The Veterinary Technician’s Role in Implementing Fear Free

Debbie Martin LVT, VTS (Behavior), Veterinary Behavior Consultations, LLC, Austin, TX

Debbie has been a full-time registered/licensed veterinary technician since 1996 and worked in private practice for more than 14 years. Since 2005, she has been the animal behavior technician for Veterinary Behavior Consultations, LLC. She assists Kenneth Martin, DVM, DACVB, during behavior consultations. Debbie is also a co-owner of TEAM Education in Animal Behavior, LLC. She is a contributing author and coeditor of the textbook Canine and Feline Behavior for Veterinary Technicians and Nurses. She is also a coauthor of the book Puppy Start Right: Foundation Training for the Companion Dog and the Karen Pryor Academy course “Puppy Start Right for Instructors.” She is honored to be representing veterinary technicians on the Fear Free executive council.

Currently, Fear Freesm certification is only possible for individuals; however, starting in 2018, veterinary hospitals will be able to become Fear Free certified. Learn how you can play a role in decreasing patient stress to improve patient care.

Feline Heartworm Disease: Fact or Fiction?

Ann Wortinger BIS, LVT, VTS (ECC, SAIM, Nutrition) | Belleville, Michigan

Ann is a 1983 graduate of Michigan State University. She has worked in general, emergency, and specialty practice, as well as education and management.

Ann is active in her state, national, and specialty organizations and served on the organizing committees for the internal medicine and nutrition veterinary technician specialties. She has mentored over 15 fellow veterinary technician specialists.

She has published over 45 articles in professional magazines, as well as book chapters, and is a coauthor of Nutrition and Disease Management for Veterinary Technicians and Nurses, now in its second edition.

In areas where dogs are exposed to mosquitoes that carry Dirofilaria immitis, so are cats. Feline heartworm disease differs from canine disease in many ways, making it important for veterinary technicians to be aware of the risks and clinical signs in cats.

A Technician’s Role in the Treatment of Demodex Patients

A Technician’s Role in the Treatment of Demodex Patients

Missy Streicher AAS, CVT | Auburn University College of Veterinary Medicine

Missy graduated from the Veterinary Technology program at Portland Community College in Portland, Oregon, and worked in small animal general practice until finding a fulfilling career working at a private dermatology practice in 2000. Since 2006, she has been the dermatology technician at the Auburn University College of Veterinary Medicine. Missy is one of 8 technicians recognized as an Organizing Committee Member of the Academy of Dermatology Veterinary Technicians, which was recognized by NAVTA in 2015.

Diagnosis of demodicosis depends on identifying Demodex mites in dermal samples. Read this article for tips on how to obtain and analyze diagnostic samples.

Pain Management and Becoming a Patient Advocate

Jody Nugent-Deal RVT, VTS (Anesthesia/Analgesia, Clinical Practice – Exotic Companion Animal) | University of California, Davis Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital

Jody has worked at the University of California, Davis Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital since 1999. Currently, she is the supervisor of the Small Animal Anesthesia Department. She is also the executive secretary, appeals committee chair, and a founding member of the Academy of Veterinary Technicians in Clinical Practice as well as a Member at Large for the Academy of Veterinary Technicians in Anesthesia and Analgesia.

Jody has lectured throughout North America on anesthesia and exotic animal topics and has published numerous articles and book chapters. She is an instructor for VSPN and VetMedTeam and an adjunct professor for the Penn Foster Veterinary Technician Program. Her special interests are anesthesia, analgesia, pain management, and critical care in exotics, dogs, and cats.

In Jody’s spare time, she loves to read, visit the ocean, run, and road and mountain bike.

Information on pain management and assessment in veterinary patients has grown tremendously. This article provides an overview of common pharmaceuticals as well as advanced multimodal techniques to help veterinary technicians realize their role as patient advocates in minimizing pain.

Radiographic Positioning: Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes, Part 2

Radiographic Positioning: Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes, Part 2

Liane K. Shaw BS, RVT | Purdue University

Liane grew up in Valparaiso, Indiana, on a small hobby farm with horses, goats, pigs, chickens, geese, cats, a dog, and one duck named Daffy. A 10-year member of 4-H, she followed her passion for animals by applying to the veterinary technology program at Purdue University, where she earned not only an associate’s degree, but also a bachelor’s in applied science, with a minor in organizational leadership and supervision.

After working as a supervisor in private practice for 6 years, Liane returned to Purdue to pursue her love of teaching. In the past 9 years as Purdue’s Diagnostic Imaging Instructional Technologist, she has completely remodeled the diagnostic imaging curriculum to include many labs for a more hands-on approach. In 2011, she received a Teaching Excellence award from Purdue University and Elanco Animal Health. In 2013, she spoke at Purdue’s fall conference on the topic of dental radiography.

Liane stays busy by spending the evenings outside with her husband and two sons on their 22-acre farm in Attica, Indiana, which is home to horses, dogs, cats, and a donkey!

Jeannine E. Henry BA, RVT | Purdue University

Jeannine was born and raised in Logansport, Indiana, where she welcomed any opportunity to spend time with animals. In 2005, she earned a bachelor’s degree in English, in pursuit of her passion for reading and writing, but soon realized that something was missing from her life: her love for animals. While working at a private practice, she was introduced to the role of veterinary technician. She graduated from Purdue with an associate’s degree in veterinary technology in 2007.

One month after graduation, Jeannine accepted a position at Purdue University as a Versatech, a position created to fill gaps in various departments all over the hospital, including diagnostic imaging. This was how she discovered her love for radiology. She has now been working in diagnostic imaging for
6 years and is PennHIP certified.

In her spare time, Jeannine enjoys reading, writing, cooking, and spending time with her husband, son, two dogs, and adopted blood donor cat. She hopes to combine her love for animals and writing in the future to pursue a career in journalism for the veterinary medicine profession.

This second of two articles on radiographic positioning provides an overview of proper patient restraint as well as techniques to obtain good-quality radiographs of the stifles, pelvis, and phalanges.

Puppies for the Holidays: Keeping Them Fear Free℠

Puppies for the Holidays: Keeping Them Fear Free℠

Debbie Martin LVT, VTS (Behavior), Veterinary Behavior Consultations, LLC, Austin, TX

Debbie has been a full-time registered/licensed veterinary technician since 1996 and worked in private practice for more than 14 years. Since 2005, she has been the animal behavior technician for Veterinary Behavior Consultations, LLC. She assists Kenneth Martin, DVM, DACVB, during behavior consultations. Debbie is also a co-owner of TEAM Education in Animal Behavior, LLC. She is a contributing author and coeditor of the textbook Canine and Feline Behavior for Veterinary Technicians and Nurses. She is also a coauthor of the book Puppy Start Right: Foundation Training for the Companion Dog and the Karen Pryor Academy course “Puppy Start Right for Instructors.” She is honored to be representing veterinary technicians on the Fear Free executive council.

Inevitably, January brings new patients that were given as gifts for the holidays. Help your clients get their new puppies off to a good start in the family and at the clinic with advice on positive training techniques.

Many veterinary practices incorporate digital images of new patients when creating patient records. Veterinary practices also use digital imaging to document specific patient conditions and, increasingly, to obtain images in the radiology suite. Many practices take “before and after” images of patients undergoing dental procedures to provide visual evidence of treatment to clients. Photographs can be used to help explain concepts or disease conditions to pet owners, which may lead to increased client compliance. Digital images can also be used to share patient information during consultations with other veterinary professionals and to create an image library for teaching purposes.

Digital Microscopy

Margi Sirois EdD, MS, RVT, CVT, LAT | Ashworth College | Norcross, Georgia

Margi received her doctorate in instructional technology and distance education from Nova Southeastern University. She also holds an associate in applied science degree in veterinary technology, and bachelor’s and master’s degrees in biology. She is certified as a veterinary technician and a laboratory animal technician and has over 25 years of experience as a veterinary technician educator in both traditional and distance education programs. Dr. Sirois is program director for the veterinary technology program at Ashworth College and a frequent speaker at veterinary technician education conferences. She has numerous publications, including several textbooks for veterinary technicians. She is past-president of the Kansas Veterinary Technician Association and co-chair of the proposed Academy of Veterinary Technician Specialists in Education.

Adding digital microscopy to a veterinary practice can greatly enhance recordkeeping and serve as a valuable tool for client education. This article provides an overview of the benefits of this technology and some useful resources for learning more.

When Caring Hurts: Dealing with Depression in Veterinary Medicine

When Caring Hurts: Dealing with Depression in Veterinary Medicine

Melanie Codi LVT, CVT, VTS (Nutrition) | Blue Pearl Veterinary Partners | Paramus, New Jersey

Melanie obtained her veterinary technology degree from SUNY Ulster in 2008 and has been in specialty practices for the past 9 years, working in emergency/critical care and with boarded veterinary nutritionists and internists. Before changing her focus to veterinary technology, she majored in psychology. In 2011, she decided to obtain her veterinary technician specialist credential in nutrition because she felt that nutrition is often overlooked in general practice, critical care, and disease management.

Melanie is an active member of the American Academy of Veterinary Nutrition and the committee of the Pet Nutrition Alliance. She gives lectures for owners as well as veterinary professionals on many topics.

Depression is one of the most common mental health disorders in the United States and is strikingly prevalent in the veterinary community. Get tips on how to differentiate depression from burnout and how to find help for yourself or your coworkers.

Radiographic Positioning: Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes, Part 1

Radiographic Positioning: Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes, Part 1

Liane K. Shaw BS, RVT | Purdue University

Liane grew up in Valparaiso, Indiana, on a small hobby farm with horses, goats, pigs, chickens, geese, cats, a dog, and one duck named Daffy. A 10-year member of 4-H, she followed her passion for animals by applying to the veterinary technology program at Purdue University, where she earned not only an associate’s degree, but also a bachelor’s in applied science, with a minor in organizational leadership and supervision.

After working as a supervisor in private practice for 6 years, Liane returned to Purdue to pursue her love of teaching. In the past 9 years as Purdue’s Diagnostic Imaging Instructional Technologist, she has completely remodeled the diagnostic imaging curriculum to include many labs for a more hands-on approach. In 2011, she received a Teaching Excellence award from Purdue University and Elanco Animal Health. In 2013, she spoke at Purdue’s fall conference on the topic of dental radiography.

Liane stays busy by spending the evenings outside with her husband and two sons on their 22-acre farm in Attica, Indiana, which is home to horses, dogs, cats, and a donkey!

Jeannine E. Henry BA, RVT | Purdue University

Jeannine was born and raised in Logansport, Indiana, where she welcomed any opportunity to spend time with animals. In 2005, she earned a bachelor’s degree in English, in pursuit of her passion for reading and writing, but soon realized that something was missing from her life: her love for animals. While working at a private practice, she was introduced to the role of veterinary technician. She graduated from Purdue with an associate’s degree in veterinary technology in 2007.

One month after graduation, Jeannine accepted a position at Purdue University as a Versatech, a position created to fill gaps in various departments all over the hospital, including diagnostic imaging. This was how she discovered her love for radiology. She has now been working in diagnostic imaging for
6 years and is PennHIP certified.

In her spare time, Jeannine enjoys reading, writing, cooking, and spending time with her husband, son, two dogs, and adopted blood donor cat. She hopes to combine her love for animals and writing in the future to pursue a career in journalism for the veterinary medicine profession.

This first of two articles on radiographic positioning provides an overview of radiation safety as well as the techniques used to obtain good-quality orthopedic radiographs of the skull, shoulders, and elbows.

How to Recognize Autoimmune Skin Disease: Tips for Spotting Pemphigus Foliaceus

How to Recognize Autoimmune Skin Disease: Tips for Spotting Pemphigus Foliaceus

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.

Pemphigus foliaceus (PF) is the most common autoimmune skin condition in dogs and cats. Timely diagnosis is essential. This article is intended to help the healthcare team narrow in on a diagnosis of PF at a patient’s initial presentation.

Feline Physical Rehabilitation

Feline Physical Rehabilitation

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.

Although rehabilitation is more commonly used for dogs, cats can also benefit from many of the same techniques—even swimming! Learn more about the whats, hows, and whys of feline physical rehabilitation.

The Case for Veterinary Midlevel Professionals

The Case for Veterinary Midlevel Professionals

Kenichiro Yagi BS, RVT, VTS (ECC, SAIM) | Adobe Animal Hospital | Los Altos, California

Ken practices at Adobe Animal Hospital as an ICU and Blood Bank Manager. He is an active educator, lecturing internationally, providing practical instruction, and authoring texts, chapters, and articles on transfusion medicine, respiratory care, and critical care nursing. He serves on the boards of the Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care Society and the Academy of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care Technicians, on the Veterinary Innovation Council, and as the NAVTA State Representative Chairperson. He is a graduate student in veterinary medicine and surgery through the University of Missouri. Ken invites all veterinary technicians to ask “Why?” to understand the “What” and “How” of our field and to constantly pursue new goals as veterinary professionals.

Mandy Fults BS, LVT, CVPP, VTS (Clinical Practice — Canine/Feline) | Comanche Trail Veterinary Center | Liberty Hill, Texas

Mandy is a veterinary technician with more than 15 years of experience. She is currently employed with Comanche Trail Veterinary Center in Liberty Hill, Texas, as the clinical care coordinator. She earned her veterinary technology degree in 2001 and her bachelor of science degree in agriculture economics from Texas A&M University. Currently, she is pursuing a master’s degree in veterinary biomedical science, with small animal endocrinology as her primary interest.

This year, the 13th veterinary technician specialty—ophthalmology—was recognized by NAVTA. Is time for a new level of veterinary technician? This article looks at the parallels in the growth of the veterinary technician and nursing professions.

Laboratory tests are invaluable medical tools…if the results are reliable. Aside from sample collection and handling, many other factors can affect test outcomes, from patient stress to client misunderstanding. This article addresses the seemingly unimportant details that can have significant effects.

The Non-pathologic, Non-collection, and Non-sample Preanalytical Small “Stuff” That Influences Reliable Laboratory Results

Daniel J. Walsh MPS, LVT, RVT, VTS (Clinical Pathology) | Academy of Veterinary Clinical Pathology Technicians | West Lafayette, Indiana

Dan’s veterinary career began when he worked in a small animal practice during college. Upon graduation, he served in the Army as a Veterinary Care Specialist and had the privilege of caring for the Army mascot mules for a time. After discharge, he worked in mixed animal practice. Dan subsequently taught in the veterinary technology programs at SUNY Delhi for 28 years and Purdue University for over 11 years.

Dan holds an associate degree in veterinary technology; associate, bachelor’s, and master’s degrees in animal science; and a graduate certificate in veterinary homeland security. He is a member of several associations, including NAVTA and the Uniformed Veterinary Medical Association.

Laboratory tests are invaluable medical tools…if the results are reliable. Aside from sample collection and handling, many other factors can affect test outcomes, from patient stress to client misunderstanding. This article addresses the seemingly unimportant details that can have significant effects.

This article from the British journal Feline Focus describes one clinic’s experience in—and benefits from—making the effort to become “feline friendly.”

How Being Cat Friendly Has Made a Difference in Our Practice

Sarah Dawson RVN | Walton Vale Vets4Pets, Liverpool, UK

Sarah Dawson started work in veterinary practice in 2005 and at present is the Head Nurse and Cat Advocate for Walton Vale Vets4Pets in Liverpool, UK. She recently completed the ISFM Certificate in Feline Friendly Nursing with Distinction. Sarah was integral in implementing the Cat Friendly Clinic scheme in her practice, which was awarded silver, and she is working hard to change this to gold.

This article from the British journal Feline Focus describes one clinic’s experience in—and benefits from—making the effort to become “feline friendly.”

The field of shelter medicine has made enormous strides since the first shelter medicine residency was established at UC Davis in 2000. Get an inside look at the people who started the program and how they did it.

15 Years: A Brief History of Shelter Medicine

Michael Bannasch BS, RVT | UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine

Michael began his career in high school working as an animal care attendant, groomer, and veterinary assistant at a family-owned veterinary practice in the suburbs of Detroit, Michigan. He spent nearly a decade working at the Virginia–Maryland Veterinary Emergency Service and over a year at the National Institutes of Health National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. In 1998, Michael moved to California to accept a position in UC Davis’s Small Animal Intensive Care Unit. He joined Dr. Niels Pedersen’s lab 2 years later, and shortly after that he became program coordinator of the first shelter medicine veterinary training program in the world. After 15 years in that position, Michael joined the UC Davis Veterinary Center for Clinical Trials.

The field of shelter medicine has made enormous strides since the first shelter medicine residency was established at UC Davis in 2000. Get an inside look at the people who started the program and how they did it.

Behavioral Aspects of Caring for Elderly Cats

Behavioral Aspects of Caring for Elderly Cats

Vicky Halls RVN, Dip Couns MBACP

Vicky Halls is a registered veterinary nurse and full member of the Association of Pet Behaviour Counsellors, consulting widely as a feline specialist. She is a member of the International Cat Care behavior and welfare panels and the author of a number of best-selling books. She was also voted The Nation’s Favourite Cat Behaviour Author in the United Kingdom.

This article from the British journal Feline Focus reviews common behavioral changes in senior and geriatric cats and provides recommendations that clients can use in enriching and adapting the home environment for their older pets.

Emergencies cannot be predicted, but they can be anticipated. Learn how to create and stock a crash cart to prepare for the kinds of emergencies your clinic typically handles.

Crash Carts: Preparation and Maintenance

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.

Emergencies cannot be predicted, but they can be anticipated. Learn how to create and stock a crash cart to prepare for the kinds of emergencies your clinic typically handles.

Go With the Flow: The Basics of Fluid Therapy for Small Animal Veterinary Technicians

Go With the Flow: The Basics of Fluid Therapy for Small Animal Veterinary Technicians

Liz Hughston MEd, RVT, CVT, VTS (SAIM, ECC)

Liz practices as a relief veterinary technician and consultant in the San Francisco Bay Area for both general and emergency/specialty practices. She graduated from Foothill College in 2006 and went on to earn her certification as a veterinary technician specialist in both small animal internal medicine and emergency and critical care in 2012. Liz is dedicated to advancing veterinary nursing through training and mentorship and is a frequent and sought-after national and international speaker. In 2013, Liz was awarded the California Registered Veterinary Technician’s Association’s inaugural RVT of the Year Award, recognizing her efforts to improve veterinary nursing in California and beyond.

Fluid therapy is one of the most common therapies in small animal medicine, and knowing what, why, and how to deliver it is a core competency for veterinary technicians. This article provides a brief overview of each aspect.

Preventing Motion Sickness in Dogs

Amy Newfield CVT, VTS (ECC) | BluePearl Veterinary Partners

Amy is currently employed with BluePearl Veterinary Partners as the National Technician Training Manager. In 2003, she became boarded as a veterinary technician specialist in emergency and critical care. She currently sits on the Academy of Veterinary Emergency & Critical Care Technicians board as the president-elect. Amy is well published in more than 15 subjects, is an international speaker, has received numerous awards, and is highly involved in her community. Most recently, Amy was awarded Speaker of the Year at the 2014 NAVC Conference as well as the 2015 Western Veterinary Conference. She lives in Massachusetts with her wonderful furry kids.

In animals, motion sickness may be a behavior issue rather than a physical one. This article describes the potential causes of motion sickness in dogs and available therapeutic options.

Iron Toxicosis

Iron Toxicosis

Erin Freed CVT | 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 is currently pursuing a bachelor’s degree in applied science in veterinary business management from St. Petersburg College. 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.

Many common household items contain elemental iron, which can be toxic if consumed in great enough quantities. Learn how to calculate ingested amounts and the steps of decontamination and treatment in affected animals.

Helping Pets Enjoy Their Golden Years: The Technician’s Role

Heather Lynch LVT | BluePearl Veterinary Partners, Gilbert, Arizona

Heather is the supervising technician at BluePearl Veterinary Partners in Gilbert, Arizona. She is a frequent lecturer at state and national veterinary conferences and is the author of several articles on nutrition, patient care, and management of diabetes.

With improved wellness care, more pets are reaching their senior years. To help ensure good quality of life for aging pets, veterinary technicians should be knowledgeable about signs of emerging chronic illnesses and special considerations for nursing geriatric patients.

Veterinary Pathology

Preanalytic Variables: Effects on CBC and Serum Chemistry Results

Katie Foust BS, CVT | Pima Medical Institute, Tucson, Arizona

Katie earned an associate’s degree in science from Pima Community College in 2004 and a bachelor’s degree in veterinary science from the University of Arizona in 2008. She has been a certified veterinary technician in the state of Arizona since 2010 and has over 10 years of clinical experience in small and large animal practice and 5 years’ experience as a veterinary technician educator. As a board member of the Animal Welfare Alliance of Southern Arizona, she organizes and volunteers for community service events that provide free or low-cost preventive veterinary care for local pets. She also promotes pet health care awareness by speaking at public events, including community workshops and conventions. Currently, she is the clinical director for the veterinary technology program at Pima Medical Institute in Tucson, Arizona.

Margi Sirois EdD, MS, RVT, LAT | Ashworth College, Norcross, Georgia

Margi received her doctorate in instructional technology and distance education from Nova Southeastern University. She also holds an associate in applied science degree in veterinary technology, and bachelor’s and master’s degrees in biology. She is certified as a veterinary technician and a laboratory animal technician and has over 25 years of experience as a veterinary technician educator in both traditional and distance education programs. Dr. Sirois is program director for the veterinary technology program at Ashworth College and a frequent speaker at veterinary technician education conferences. She has numerous publications, including several textbooks for veterinary technicians. She is past-president of the Kansas Veterinary Technician Association and co-chair of the proposed Academy of Veterinary Technician Specialists in Education.

Complete blood counts (CBCs) and serum chemistry testing results can be influenced by several factors. This article gives an overview of some of the most common factors pertaining to sample handling.

Zoonosis: What Is All the Fuss About?

Zoonosis: What Is All the Fuss About?

Ann Wortinger BIS, LVT, VTS (ECC, SAIM, Nutrition) | Belleville, Michigan

Ann is a 1983 graduate of Michigan State University. She has worked in general, emergency, and specialty practice, as well as education and management.

Ann is active in her state, national, and specialty organizations and served on the organizing committees for the internal medicine and nutrition veterinary technician specialties. She has mentored over 15 fellow veterinary technician specialists.

She has published over 45 articles in professional magazines, as well as book chapters, and is a coauthor of Nutrition and Disease Management for Veterinary Technicians and Nurses, now in its second edition.

For those who live and work with animals, zoonoses are occupational hazards that most other professionals do not encounter. These hazards extend to pet owners, and humans can also transmit disease to their companion animals.

Pain Recognition and Management in Critical Care Patients

Pain Recognition and Management in Critical Care Patients

Brandy Tabor CVT, VTS (ECC) | Animal Emergency & Specialty Center | Parker, Colorado

Brandy Tabor, CVT, VTS (ECC), is a senior emergency/critical care technician at Animal Emergency & Specialty Center in Parker, Colorado. She is also chair of the Academy of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care Technicians Credentials Committee, a board moderator with Veterinary Support Personnel Network, and an instructor of several courses at VetMedTeam.com. While pursuing her bachelor’s degree in equine science at Colorado State University, Ms. Tabor worked as an assistant in the critical care unit at the CSU Veterinary Teaching Hospital. There, the talented and knowledgeable nursing staff inspired her to become a veterinary technician specialist in emergency and critical care.

Pain has multiple negative effects that can delay or prevent healing, and veterinary technicians play a central role in pain management. Understanding pain, its consequences, and how it can be addressed helps veterinary technicians ensure that patients are comfortable during hospitalization and when they go home.

The Hairy Eyeball

The Hairy Eyeball: What’s Your Culprit?

Shannon Daley BS | Portland Veterinary Specialists | Portland, Maine

Shannon’s love for animals started long before she got into veterinary medicine. She attended University of Southern Maine to earn her bachelor’s degree in biology. Shortly after graduation, she started working in the animal field and became a veterinary technician with on-the-job learning. Her veterinary career began 6 years ago in a general practice, and she has been with Portland Veterinary Specialists for the past 2 years.

Shannon says, “I couldn’t be happier in the field I have chosen. I get to have animals as patients throughout the day, aiding in their care, and also get to come home to my personal 4-legged kids. Life in the veterinary medicine field, in my opinion, is as good as it gets.”

Ocular problems are often described as “red” and “irritated” eyes. Myriad problems can present as “red eye.” Commonly missed causes of red eye are irritants that arise from the eye itself. Surprisingly, in practice, it seems that the most common causes are not external irritants or trauma, but rather abnormal hairs arising from the eyelids or periocular region.

Rehabilitation

Getting Started in Physical Rehabilitation

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.

Physical rehabilitation is an exciting and challenging field in which veterinary technicians can develop new skills and grow in their career development. Over the past decade, awareness of animal physical rehabilitation has increased, and rehabilitation has become a rapidly growing service within veterinary specialty hospitals, referral centers, and primary care practices.

Taking the Bite out of Feline Mites

Taking the Bite out of Feline Mites

Kim Horne AAS, CVT, VTS (Dermatology) | University of Minnesota

Kim is a member of the dermatology service at University of Minnesota Veterinary Medical Center. She is a charter member of the Academy of Dermatology Veterinary Technicians and its current president. Kim is also an active member of the Minnesota Association of Veterinary Technicians and NAVTA, actively participating in committees. She has spoken at many national meetings, has several publications to her credit, and is currently working on a dermatology text for veterinary technicians. Kim received her degree from University of Minnesota’s Technical College of Waseca. In her spare time, she enjoys hiking, kayaking, and spending time with her family.

Besides fleas, lice, and ticks, a number of ectoparasites can affect cats. Veterinary technicians should be aware of the many ectoparasites that can cause skin disease in cats, be proficient in performing the necessary diagnostic tests, and understand the various available treatment options in order to educate cat owners.

Veterinary Technicians and Neurologic Rehabilitation

Veterinary Technicians
and Neurologic Rehabilitation

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

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.

Adapted with permission from the 2015 Tampa AAHA Yearly Conference Proceedings ©American Animal Hospital Association (aaha.org).

Increasing Clients’—and Your Own—Dental Awareness From the Exam Room to the Dental Suite

Patricia M. Dominguez BS, LVT, VTS (Dentistry) | Gotham Veterinary Center | New York, NY

Patricia received her bachelor’s degree in biology and Spanish literature from Syracuse University in 1999 and was subsequently licensed in veterinary technology at SUNY Delhi. In 2003, she became the primary dental technician at Shaker Veterinary Hospital in Albany, New York, which, through improvements to its dental program and extensive client and community education, earned the Hill’s National Pet Dental Health Month Award 2 years in a row. One of the first to become a credentialed veterinary dental technician specialist through the Academy of Veterinary Dental Technicians, Patricia is the president elect of the academy and an adjunct professor at Westchester Community College.

Congratulations! You have decided to improve the dental services your practice offers to pet owners by becoming an advocate for pets’ oral health.

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