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Courses open for VSPNer registration

TECH119-1104: Basic Canine and Feline Reproduction for the Veterinary Technician

Joni L. Freshman, DVM, MS, DACVIM

November 15, 2004 - January 9, 2005
Real Time Sessions: Thursday evenings, November 18, December 2, 9, 16, and 30 (no class November 25 or December 23); 9:30 - 11:00 pm ET (USA)


Clinical reproduction is uniquely suited to make excellent use of the veterinary technician's skills and abilities. This course is designed to provide the veterinary technician with the knowledge and skills to discuss reproductive concerns with clients, perform and interpret vaginal cytology, perform and assess ovulation-timing tests, collect and evaluate semen, and perform artificial insemination of fresh semen. In addition, the course will provide understanding of canine gestation and parturition, including recognition of dystocia and techniques to maximize success of caesarian section.

The feline section will familiarize technicians with the feline reproductive cycle, including differences from the canine cycle and parturition

This course will consist of five (5), ninety minute real-time sessions; detailed presentations with slides and step-by-step instructions for obtaining vaginal cytology, preparing and reading the specimen, performing and evaluating ovulation timing tests, collecting and evaluating canine semen (including count, motility, and morphology) and performing artificial insemination, as well as assessing the pregnant and term bitch and preparing for caesarian section, as well as feline reproduction basics, parturition, and common problems. Library materials will be provided on all of these topics; there will be multiple choice quizzes designed to enhance course effectiveness and material retention; as well as interactive message board discussions.

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


Week 1: Reproductive Physiology and Vaginal Cytology
Content: This section of the course will explore reproductive physiology of the bitch, with particular emphasis on hormonal, behavioral and physical events of the estrus cycle. Step-by-step instruction on how to obtain and prepare vaginal cytology will be given. The types of vaginal epithelial cells will be shown, as well as their correspondence with stage of the estrus cycle.

Week 2: Ovulation Timing
Content: This section will build upon information from the first week, combining the results of vaginal cytology with hormonal testing performed upon serum from bitches to determine progesterone and luteinizing hormone (LH) levels. We will learn how to obtain appropriate samples, perform tests, and what their results mean.

Week 3: Semen Collection and Evaluation, Artificial Insemination
Content: In this section we will learn the step-by-step technique for collecting semen from male dogs of all sizes, including the use of teaser bitches, artificial vaginas, and problem dogs. We will then learn how to evaluate the sample grossly, obtain a semen count, evaluate progressive motility, and prepare and evaluate a slide for semen morphology. We will also learn how to perform vaginal artificial insemination with fresh semen.

Week 4: Pregnancy and Parturition
Content: In this section we will learn the hormonal, physical and behavioral events of normal pregnancy. We will learn what laboratory parameters are affected by pregnancy. Diagnosis of pregnancy will be discussed with regards to 1) palpation, 2) Witness � pregnancy diagnosis test, which we will learn to perform, 3) ultrasonography, and 4) radiography. Criteria for concern about dystocia will be detailed, as will preparation of the bitch for caesarian section.

Week 5: Feline Reproduction
Content: In this section we will learn the normal reproductive physiology of the queen and how it differs from the bitch (including differences in cytology and ovulation), address the common reproductive issues in the queen and how they differ from the bitch, and learn the differences in parturition between bitch and queen.

Recommended Texts are:

  1. Canine and Feline Theriogenology by Johnston, Kustritz and Olson (WB Saunders, 2001) Available in the VIN Bookstore at:
  2. Canine Reproduction: A Breeders Guide 2nd Ed. by Holst (Alpine Publications, 2002)
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.

CE HOURS: 7.5 CE credits (RACE applied for)

$120.00 ($108.00 early bird special if registered before October 29, 2004). Full time students of an AVMA accredited Veterinary Technician Program will receive a reduced rate for this course of $60.00 (upon verification of student status)
*VT students, please include your program directors name, school, and school phone number) in the comments section of the CE registration form. Your registration will be delayed if this information is not included.
** NOTE: Registration will be closed when the maximum number of participants is reached or at 5pm ET the day of the first real time session.


  1. Each person must individually be a registered member of VSPN ( Membership in VSPN is free.
  2. Each person 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.
  3. VIN Member veterinarians SHOULD NOT register for their staff. Please have the staff member register through VSPN. Please email if you have questions.
*** For More Information on VSPN's upcoming CE Courses, check out

Note: "This course has been submitted for approval for 7.5 hours of continuing education credits in jurisdictions which recognize AAVSB's 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/VSPN 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: 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, RVT, CVT
VSPN Content Director or


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

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