Enrollment is closed.
MULT109-0814: Science of Old Age
Not all that Glitters is Gold: The science of old age, the art of death,
the stigma of euthanasia, and getting past compassion fatigue.
The lectures for this course will be presented in a predominantly audio format.
Please come prepared to listen.
Mary Gardner, DVM and Dani McVety, DVM
August 27-September 20, 2014
Real Time Sessions (RTS):
Wednesdays, September 3 and 10, 2014; 9:30-11:30 pm ET (USA)
Course RTS Times in Your Area:
World Clock Converter
In order to prepare you for a successful experience
in your CE course, we request you attend a Practice Session prior to the first
Real Time Session. Please arrive promptly at the start time; each Practice Session
is up to 1 hour in length.
For more information, please visit the
CE Practice Area
*The instructors for this course will be using audio which will require you to have a headset or speakers to listen.
If you have any concerns regarding your computer's audio capabilities, please be sure to attend
one of the Practice Sessions.
Level and Prerequisites:
course will be open to veterinarians interested in
hospice and end-of-life care. It is recommended for those already offering animal hospice services.
VIN CE Course:
Open to veterinarians.
This course has been submitted for RACE approval for veterinarians.
The Veterinary Information Network (VIN) is RACE Provider #22.
Although all veterinarians agree that old age is not a disease - it is a common reason
why many families decide to euthanize a pet. Many pet owners will not seek out an actual
diagnosis but the myriad of ailments fall under the excuse of "old age."
Understanding how the body changes as an animal ages is important so that we can educate
owners and treat pets appropriately. Doing so earlier in the pet's life may allow for
a longer quality of life and prevent premature euthanasias.
Most owners do not want to make the decision to euthanize their pet - they would
prefer to have their pet "die naturally." But what exactly happens to the body as
it starts the dying process and what happens after cardiac cessation?
What are the physical manifestations of death that can occur?
If owners do elect euthanasia - it is vital that the entire staff handles it perfectly.
The euthanasia appointment is unparalleled in emotion and sentiment.
There are few things in veterinary medicine, or life moreover, that require as many
outward displays of empathy, compassion, and commiseration from a doctor.
The tone of voice, delivery of words, bedside manner with both patient and client,
and the medical procedure itself become a delicate dance around death that doctor
and staff should carefully choreograph and continually improve.
This course consists of two (2) 2-hour Real Time Sessions, supplemental library materials,
interactive message board discussions, and a mandatory end-of-course test.
Successful completion (scoring 80% or better) on the end-of-course test is required
to earn a certificate of completion for the course.
To learn more about the requirements for earning a CE certificate, please refer to
Receiving Your CE Credit and Course Completion Certificate
*The lecture portion of this course will be an audio presentation, please be prepared to listen.
Upon completion of this course, the participant should be able to
- recognize the specific symptoms that occur as animals age.
- treat the aging symptoms - both medically for the pet and emotionally for the owner.
- utilize various methods to explain the aging process to owners.
- explain the dying process to owners in a compassionate manner.
- recognize the importance of nonverbal communication when dealing with
the emotionally stressed owner.
- improve their nonverbal communication in the exam room during a euthanasia
using specific examples provided in the course.
- utilize various methods for handling clients before, during, and
after a euthanasia appointment.
- recognize specific ways to improve in-hospital euthanasia.
- utilize specific words and phrases that are appropriate for dealing with clients
facing an end-of-life decision for their pet.
- discuss the importance of euthanasia with regards to client satisfaction and retention.
Course materials will be available
in the course library prior to each Real Time Session.
Required Textbook(s): There is no required textbook for this course.
About the Instructors:
Dr. Mary Gardner
is a University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine
graduate who now resides in Los Angeles, California.
Dr. Gardner is the co-founder of Lap of LoveTM
With over 60 veterinarians around the country, they are the
nation's largest network of doctors that dedicate their practice to veterinary hospice
and end-of-life care. Dr. Gardner's passion is geriatric pet care and empowering owners
to assess quality of life to help guide them in important decisions. Dr. Gardner and
Lap of LoveTM
have been featured in Entrepreneur® magazine,
The Doctors® television program,
various veterinary trade publications, the Huffington Post®, the Associated Press® and
on the cover of the New York Times® in November 2013. She speaks internationally on hospice
and euthanasia, internet business marketing, and finding your passion in veterinary medicine.
With a deep love for the human-animal bond, Dr. Dani McVety
found her calling
while volunteering with human hospice in college. She wanted to bring the same passion for life
and respect for death that hospice upholds into her profession. Together with her friend
and classmate, Dr. Mary Gardner, Dr. McVety co-founded Lap of LoveTM
Veterinary Hospice, one of the most unique businesses in the veterinary industry.
Lap of LoveTM
now partners with over 60 of the most
compassionate doctors bringing in-home end of life veterinary care to families around the country.
Dr. McVety frequently writes and speaks for professional and lay audiences in hopes
of empowering both parties to seek the highest standards of care. Dr. McVety and
Lap of LoveTM
have been featured on numerous local, national,
and professional media outlets including the Associated Press®, The New York Times®,
Washington Post®, Entrepreneur Magazine®, Huffington Post®, and many more.
She proudly graduated from the University of Florida - College of Veterinary Medicine
and is the youngest recipient of the college's Distinguished Young Alumni Award (2013).
(Real Time Session September 3, 2014):
Old Age, Death, and Euthanasia
Instructor(s): Mary Gardner, DVM
- Old age is not a disease but it sure is a killer!
- What are the most common symptoms as pet's age
- What symptoms effect quality of life
- How to manage those symptoms appropriately
- How to help families cope with the aging pet
- The science of death
- What are the processes of death
- What are the events that occur with natural death
- The art of euthanasia
- Why euthanasia in the first place
- Common practices in clinics
- How they may be interpreted by clients
- Ways to improve these common practices
- Verbal communication with clients
- Explaining the process
- Discussing complications
- Soft phrases to use when it gets difficult
- Nonverbal communication with clients
- Quick tips to soften your approach
- Going above and beyond - wowing the client
- Memorial items that mean the world
- The extra touches that bring them back to you
(Real Time Session September 10, 2014):
The Stigma of Euthanasia and Compassion Fatigue
Instructor(s): Dani McVety, DVM
CE Credits: 4
- The stigma of euthanasia
- The veterinary industry's view on euthanasia is widely varied.
What are we taught to believe about euthanasia?
- What is the evolution of our interpretation of euthanasia from when we
graduate through becoming a seasoned veterinarian?
- Why do we turn down euthanasias in our clinics?
What are the ramifications of those decisions?
- Getting past compassion fatigue
- What is the root of compassion fatigue?
Is this really why we have such a high suicide rate?
- Is 'compassion fatigue' the best term to describe the inner
turmoil we face as veterinarians?
- How do we help ourselves, our staff, and the families that entrust us
with their pet's care face difficult end of life decisions, accept and
honor them, and face each day anew?
Member $84 ($76 early bird special if enrolled by August 20, 2014)
Non-Member $157 ($141 early bird special if enrolled by August 20, 2014)
*To ensure participants are ready and prepared for classes,
enrollment will close at 5 pm ET on September 3, 2014
or when the maximum number of participants is reached.
*For more information on how online CE works, see the
Participant Resource Center
Enrollment is closed.
- Enrollment qualifications: VIN CE courses are open to
VIN member and non-member veterinarians. Veterinarians enrolling in a VSPN CE course
must be a VIN member. Veterinary support staff must be a VSPN member to enroll in a
VSPN CE or a VIN CE course open to VSPN member enrollment.
- Each enrollee must be able to receive emails from @vspn.org
and @vin.com addresses. Email is our major form of communication with participants;
personal emails are highly recommended rather than clinic/hospital email addresses.
- Each person is individually responsible for his/her own registration.
To ensure that all information received is secure and correct, please do not enroll
for a course on behalf of another individual.
- For further assistance call 1-800-700-INFO (4636) or email
Please include the course title, your full name, and contact information in your correspondence.
*Note: "This course is submitted for approval for 4 continuing education credits in jurisdictions
which recognize AAVSB RACE approval; however participants should be aware that some
boards have limitations on the number of hours accepted in certain categories and/or
restrictions on certain methods of delivery of continuing education."
Call VSPN/VIN CE at 1-800-700-4636 for further information.
(Attendees are encouraged to check with their licensing jurisdiction(s) for
information regarding recognition by their board).
Course withdrawal and refund policy:
A complete refund of the paid course price will be
issued when your withdrawal request is received prior to the listed start date of the course.
If you wish to withdraw after the start date please contact the VIN/VSPN office 1-800-700-INFO (4636)
to discuss eligibility for a pro-rated refund.
* Note: To ensure rapid handling of your request for withdrawal, we recommend that you
call the VIN/VSPN office at 1-800-700-INFO (4636).
*For more information on VIN's upcoming CE courses, check the
VIN Course Catalog
The CE team:
Katherine James, DVM, PhD, DACVIM (SAIM)
VIN Education Coordinator
VIN CE Services: CEonVIN@vin.com
800-846-0028 or 530-756-4881; ext. 797
or direct line to VIN/VSPN from the United Kingdom: 01452226154
800.700.4636 | CEonVIN@vin.com | 530.756.4881 | Fax: 530.756.6035|
777 West Covell Blvd, Davis, CA 95616
Copyright 2002, Veterinary Information Network, Inc.