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NUTR101-0807: Current Issues in Small Animal Nutrition

Marion Smart, DVM, Ph.D
Claudia Kirk, DVM, Ph.D
Sarah Abood, DVM, Ph.D
Melissa Nixon, DVM

August 26 - September 2, 2007
Real-time session: Sunday, August 26; 9:30 - 11:00 pm ET (USA)

Practice sessions: Monday, August 20 and Thursday, August 23, 9:30 - 11:30 PM ET (USA)

With the recent pet food recall crisis, it is more important than ever that veterinarians have an understanding of the pet food industry and that they have all the necessary tools to assess diets appropriate for their patients.

We may soon see a tremendous political and financial impact globally as the consumer, particularly in developed countries, will start to demand more transparency in where food is coming from and how food safety is assured.

Course Outline:

  1. An overview of pet food manufacturing, including insight as to how this latest pet food boondoggle occurred: Why was it so broad? What was the role of melanine?
  2. Regulation of pet food manufacturers: what policies and safeguards are in place to prevent food contamination? How are they enforced?
  3. How to obtain a diet history
  4. Discussion of the value and limitations of nutritional adequacy statements on pet food labels. How to determine valid claims vs. claims made through marketing to improve customer appeal.
  5. What to do when you suspect food toxicity: what samples and data to collect, where and how to report, what to say to your clients, estimating lifetime costs if there is a claim
  6. Risk assessment of homemade vs. commercial vs. organic/holistic commercial foods
Dr. Smart's paper, "Pet Food & Nutrition: A Necessary Review for Veterinarians" is available now in the VIN library:
This article will be one of the resources for this course.
Feel free to share your thoughts on the paper in this message board discussion:*127*591646
The paper and discussion are accessible to current VIN members.

Discussions will begin on the start date of the course and continue for 7 days following the real-time session.


Attendance at the real-time session is open to ALL veterinarians and veterinary students and does not require registration. You simply need to go to on Sunday, August 26 at 9:30 pm ET (USA) and click on the banner for the Current Issues in Small Animal Nutrition course. All who attend the real-time session will receive a transcript by email. Registration is needed ONLY if you are interested in obtaining CE credits and will be participating at the real-time session and the course message boards (Vet students - please do not register).

Please remember that all VIN members will have access to the transcript and course library materials, so it is not necessary to register if you are a VIN member, unless you are interested in CE credit.

Registration WILL CLOSE on Thursday, August 23, 2007 at 8pm ET (USA) OR as soon as the course capacity is reached. Free courses fill up quickly, so enroll now!

*If you are not a VIN member, you can register for one of our Free CE courses every six months. If you would like to take multiple free courses, there will be a minimum $54 charge to cover your access to VIN during the additional courses.

*Here is a link to past VIN CE free course transcripts for current VINners:

Required Textbook: None

Recommended Textbooks: None

For More Information on VIN's Upcoming CE Courses, check out

"This course has been submitted (but not yet approved) for 1.5 hours of continuing education credit 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 VIN at 1-800-700-4636 for further information."

Debbie Friedler
Continual Education Division
Veterinary Information Network


800.700.4636  |  |  530.756.4881  |  Fax: 530.756.6035
777 West Covell Blvd, Davis, CA 95616

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