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TECH115-0207: ACTION Program for Overweight Pets

Geneva Keene Acor, DVM, MS

February 5-26, 2007
Real Time Sessions: Friday evenings February 9 and 16; 9:30pm - 11:00pm ET (USA)


Owners of overweight pets need help from the veterinary health care team to achieve a healthy weight. The course begins with information on contributing factors to excess weight in dogs and cats to better understand the problem. Participants learn the importance of patient (pet) assessment for weight and body condition score, feeding history, calculations of RER and DER, sources for calorie content of common pet foods, and recommendations for weight management or loss for the canine and feline. Using the basic information, the second session works through two cases including the calculations and a model protocol for monitoring the pet and coaching the pet owner.

The course includes two (2) 90-minute real time interactive sessions, course specific message boards and library, and transcripts of the real time sessions. It is directed to veterinary technicians and practice nutritional counselors. However, veterinary support staff including receptionists and assistants who may have responsibilities in pet owner education are also encouraged to participate.

Upon completion of this course, the participants should be able to:

TEXTBOOK: There is no required text for this course; however, the instructor highly recommends the following texts.
Recommended Text:
Hand & Novotny. (2002). Pocket Companion to Small Animal Clinical Nutrition, 4th Ed, (available through the VIN Store at a significant discount to participants in this course through a generous educational grant from Hill's Pet Nutrition, Inc.) Use this VIN Store link to purchase this text:
*** Click on the LOGIN link on the VIN Store to get your VIN/VSPN member discount.

Additional recommended text (the large full text is an essential for veterinary libraries):
Hand, Thatcher, Remillard, & Roudebush. Small Animal Clinical Nutrition, 4th Ed., Available at ISBN 0-945837-05-4


Week 1: Patient assessment, energy calculations, recommendations for weight management
Content: This session will cover the elements of weight and body condition score assessment of the canine and feline patient. The student will be guided through the rationale of weight loss recommendations and will practice calculating the DER based on the target weight and the calculation of the recommendation for the volume of food based on the food calorie content. The importance of a feeding history and the common errors in history recording will be emphasized.

Week 2: ACTION implementing the weight management protocol
Content: Using specific case examples, this session will implement the program with recommendations for monitoring and coaching the pet owner to success with the pet's weight management program. Specific tools to use in the practice including weight charting will be included.


Library materials will be made available prior to the topic week so participants will have plenty of time to prepare for the real time sessions and discussion.

Message board discussions regarding the topic presented will begin on the day the course opens and continue for one week following the last real time session. These discussions will be held in the VSPN CE course area.

$56 ($50.00 early bird special if registered before January 2, 2007).
** NOTE: REGISTRATION CLOSES January 16, 2007 (or earlier if the maximum participant number is reached) so that we may mail course materials to you prior to the first real time session. Course materials are provided FREE by Hill'sTM Pet Nutrition, Inc.
*Students currently enrolled in and taking at least 2 classes or 5 units at an AVMA accredited or CAAHT approved Veterinary Technician Program may be eligible to receive a 50% discount off the regular rate for this course (upon verification of student status). You must include the following information in the comments section of the CE enrollment form in order to be eligible for this discount: your program director's name and contact information (email/phone) and school name.

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  1. Each enrollee must individually be a registered member of VSPN ( Membership in VSPN is free.
  2. To enroll in any VSPN CE course click on the ENROLL NOW link below the course title on the right side of the page at
  3. Each enrollee must be able to receive emails from and addresses. This is our major form of communication with participants. It is highly recommended that course participants use their own, personal emails rather than clinic/hospital email addresses.
  4. VIN Member veterinarians SHOULD NOT register for their staff. Please have the staff member register through VSPN. Please email if you have questions.

Note: "This program was submitted (but not yet approved) to the AAVSB's RACE program for continuing education. Please contact the AAVSB's RACE program at should you have any comments/suggestions regarding this program's validity or relevance to the veterinary profession." (Attendees are encouraged to check with their licensing jurisdiction(s) for information regarding recognition by their board.) This course has also been submitted for approval for continual education units toward CVPM requirements by the VHMA.

COURSE WITHDRAWAL AND REFUND POLICY: Withdrawal prior to the listed start date of a course entitles the registrant to a complete refund or a credit toward a future VIN CE course, whichever is preferred. Withdrawal within 1 week after the listed start date (i.e. including no more than one real-time session) entitles the registrant to a credit toward any future VIN CE course. (Does not apply to courses with only one real-time session.) After the first real-time session, a registrant may withdraw due to special circumstances and receive prorated credit towards a future VIN course. These requests will be handled on an individual basis. The amount of the prorated credit will be determined based on 65% of the time remaining in the course at the time of withdrawal. It is not possible to withdrawal retroactively. Note: To ensure rapid handling of your request for withdrawal, we recommend that you call the VIN office at 1-800-700-INFO.
Nanette R. Walker Smith, M.Ed., RVT, CVT, LVT
VSPN Content Director & CE Coordinator
1-800-700-4636 ext 187

Ginger Sanders
VSPN CE Services
1-800-700-4636 ext 183

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