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Feature Articles

Fall 2021, Clinical Pathology

The Veterinary Nurse’s Guide to Fecal Flotation Techniques

JoLynn Haller LVT, VTS - Clinical Practice (Canine/Feline)

JoLynn, a graduate of SUNY Delhi, has been in clinical practice for 16 years. She has experience in shelter medicine, emergency medicine, and is currently in small animal clinical practice. JoLynn serves on the board of the Academy of Veterinary Technicians in Clinical Practice as a Canine/Feline Member at Large to consult on canine and feline updates. She currently works at VCA Fairmount Animal Hospital in Syracuse, New York, as the Veterinary Technician Supervisor. Her current interests are laboratory techniques and anesthesia. JoLynn shares her house with her family, a St. Bernard, and a chocolate Labrador retriever.

The CAPC recommends fecal examination for adult dogs and cats at least twice per year.

Fall 2021, Emergency Medicine/Critical Care

Stabilizing the Critically Ill Patient

Karl R. Alon AS, RVT, VTS (ECC)

Karl has been a veterinary technician for almost 14 years, during which he has worked exclusively in veterinary emergency medicine, both in extended-hour general practices offering emergency care and state-of-the-art multispecialty referral practices. Karl obtained his RVT certification in 2013, after working as an unlicensed veterinary assistant for 6 years, and his VTS certification in 2017. His areas of interest include acid-base derangements, electrolyte abnormalities, trauma, and technician training. He is currently a veterinary technician instructor. He has lectured many times at local continuing education events in California, as well as large international veterinary conferences such as IVECCS.

Stabilizing patients in critical condition include timely triage, interventional therapies, and clear communication with the critical care facility for transfer.

Featured, Summer 2021, Diagnostics

The Veterinary Nurse’s Role in Reading Blood Gases

Heather Ann Sidari RVT, VTS (Anesthesia & Analgesia)

Heather is a graduate of Central Carolina Community College with an AAS in veterinary medical technology. She obtained her VTS in anesthesia and analgesia while working as an anesthesia technician at North Carolina State University Veterinary Teaching Hospital. Currently, she is the ICU supervisor at North Carolina State University and is working to obtain her VTS in emergency and critical care. Heather enjoys lecturing and has lectured at state and national conferences around the United States. She is a member of NAVTA, her state organization, IVAPM, and VECCS and is Fear Free Certified, a Recover Rescuer, and a Healing Touch for Animals Level 2 Practitioner. 

Knowing when and how to draw blood gas samples, as well as how to interpret the results, is critical to good patient care.

Summer 2021, Clinical Pathology

How to Collect and Prepare Samples for the Laboratory

Barbie Papajeski MS, LVT, RLATG, VTS

Barbie teaches clinical pathology and laboratory animal courses in the veterinary technology program at Murray State University and is a continuing education instructor for the Veterinary Support Personnel Network. Before full-time teaching, she worked at the Breathitt Veterinary Center diagnostic laboratory. She currently serves as secretary of the Academy of Veterinary Clinical Pathology Technicians and the Kentucky Veterinary Technician Association. She resides in western Kentucky, near Land Between the Lakes, where she loves to hike with her 2 sons and husband. She shares her home with 3 dogs, 4 cats, and an assortment of feathered and scaled animals.

By researching and staying current with test requirements, veterinary nurses are instrumental in communicating preliminary preparation with clients and discussing with the veterinary team ways to reduce erroneous test results.

Featured, Spring 2021, Radiology/Imaging

Use of Ultrasonography in Veterinary Emergency Rooms

Elana Benasutti CVT

Elana is a graduate of Harcum Junior College. She has worked at Ryan Veterinary Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania for the past 27 years. Her first 10 years were spent as the ultrasound technician in the radiology department and the next 17 years as a critical care veterinary nurse in the intensive care unit. In addition to her interest in ultrasonography and emergency and critical care, Elana loves cows and has spent time working in the dairy industry. She lives with her husband on a small hobby farm with a myriad of much-loved pets.

With proper training, veterinary nurses can perform TFAST and AFAST scans on emergent patients.

Continuing Education, Featured, Winter 2021, Nutrition

Osteoarthritis: Getting Patients Moving Through Nutrition

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

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

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

Winter 2021, Emergency Medicine/Critical Care

Concurrent Immune-Mediated Anemia and Thrombocytopenia in a Dog

Jennifer Lyons LVT, MS

Jennifer is a licensed veterinary technician with a master’s degree in animal biology. She attended the University of California, Davis, and later moved to Utah, where she found her passion for emergency and critical care medicine. Jennifer has worked for BluePearl for the past 5 years and is the emergency and critical care supervisor for the BluePearl Pet Hospital in Midvale, Utah. Her interests include post-cardiopulmonary arrest care, transfusion medicine, and bone marrow disease. She is the proud mother of 4 cats. In her down time, she enjoys spending quality time with her spouse snowboarding, mountain biking, dirt biking, and fishing.

This case report describes a young dog who’s immune system was destroying its own red blood cells due to a rare autoimmune disease called Evans syndrome.

Winter 2021, Radiology/Imaging

Fluoroscopy: Don’t Miss the Show!

Liane Shaw BS, RVT

Liane is a graduate of Purdue University and returned as the Diagnostic Imaging Instructional Technologist after working in private practice. Liane has produced and launched a digital radiography positioning guide for small animals, large animals, and exotics. She stays busy these days by spending the evenings with her family on their small farm in Attica, Ind.

Donna Tudor MS, RT(R)(MR)(MRSO)

Donna earned her degree in radiological sciences from Butler University. She worked in radiology in human medicine for 20 years before transitioning to veterinary medicine. Sixteen years ago, she began her career at Purdue University to bring advanced technologies to the veterinary school. In her spare time, she enjoys coaching, sports, boating, and spending time with her family.

Fluoroscopy produces real-time images that appear as an “x-ray movie,” providing a helpful view for dynamic processes.

Winter 2021, Behavior

Addressing Feline Behavioral Issues

Rachel Lees RVT, KPA CTP, VTS (Behavior)

Rachel is a veterinary nurse and a member of the Academy of Veterinary Behavior Technicians. She is the lead veterinary behavior technician at The Behavior Clinic in Olmsted Falls, Ohio. Rachel is a Certified Training Partner through the Karen Pryor Dog Trainer Professional Academy. She is a Fear Free Certified Level 3 Professional, is on the Fear Free Speakers Bureau, and is a member of the Fear Free Advisory Panel. Rachel is also the speaker committee chair and website chair for the Clinical Animal Behavior Conference and serves as secretary for the Academy of Veterinary Behavior Technicians.

Most feline behavioral issues have fairly easy fixes, and veterinary nurses are in the position to advise.

Fall 2020, Rehabilitation

Physical Rehabilitation for Geriatric Dogs Recovering from Injury or Surgery

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.

The growth of veterinary medicine for geriatric patients provides an opportunity to incorporate more physical rehabilitation in veterinary hospitals. The rehabilitation veterinary nurse is an integral part of the rehabilitation team, helping to assess, develop, and implement the rehabilitation plan for each specific patient.