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Courses open for VSPNer registration

TECH127-1005: Advanced Hematology - Is it really Haemobartonella? Abnormalities and artifacts in a blood smear

Cheryl Stockman, MT(ASCP) & Joyce Knoll, VMD, PhD

October 28 - December 2, 2005
Real Time Sessions: Tuesday Evenings; November 1, 8, 15, and 22; 9:00pm - 10:30pm ET (USA)


Participants in this course will learn to identify the five main white blood cells seen commonly in the circulation of several different species including canines, felines and equines. Further study of the white blood cells will include left shifts, white blood cell inclusion bodies and toxic change. The participants will also become acquainted with normal and abnormal erythrocyte morphology of several different species. Platelet estimation in a blood smear will be discussed along with identification of a few different hemoparasites.

Slide sets are included for each enrolled participant and are included in the enrollment fee. The slide sets will be mailed to each course participant prior to the course open date. The slides will provide hands on experience that will be reviewed weekly in the classroom. The course will use the message boards to further discuss the course materials, weekly homework and differential counts, reading materials/handouts There will be homework assignments after each session that include evaluation of specific blood smears from the slide set and a multiple choice test identifying cells and hematologic abnormalities in photographs taken by the instructor.

This course will not cover phlebotomy techniques and will not directly discuss blood count analysis.

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

  1. recognize normal neutrophils, lymphocytes, eosinophils, basophils and monocytes in several species including felines, canines and equines.
  2. recognize normal erythrocyte morphology in several species including felines, canines and equines.
  3. recognize platelets and estimate the total platelet count using a differential smear.
  4. become familiar with abnormal leukocytes and inclusions seen in several different species including felines, canines and equines.
  5. become familiar with abnormal erythrocytes and inclusions seen in several different species including felines, canines and equines.

Week 1
Content: Normal white blood cells and normal white blood morphology will be discussed in the first week of course work. White blood cells from different species will be exemplified during the real time session through photographs and reinforced through differential counts performed by the student in their own hospital lab as homework. This session will lay the foundation for session three, in which abnormal white blood cells will be discussed. Platelet estimations from a differential smear will also be covered in this session. Photographs will be used for cell identification as an additional homework assignment

Week 2
Content: Normal and abnormal red blood cells and inclusion bodies will be the focus of the week's lesson. Normal morphology of red blood cells will be discussed for various species, including felines, canines and equines. Inclusions in red blood cells such as Howell-Jolly bodies, Heinz bodies and basophilic stippling will be covered. Some erythrocyte parasites will be discussed including, Mycoplasma and Babesia. Blood smears from the slide set will be evaluated by the students in their own hospital lab to further reinforce the material discussed in the real time session. Photographs will be used for cell and inclusion identification as an additional homework assignment.

Week 3
Content: Abnormal white blood cells will be the focus of the week. Left shifts, toxic change and immature leukocytes will be demonstrated during the real time session with photographs taken in the hematology laboratory. Abnormal inclusions in the leukocytes will be discussed, including Dohle bodies and Anaplasma phagocytophilia. Blood smears from the slide set will be evaluated by the students in their own hospital lab to further reinforce the material discussed in the real time session. Photographs will be used for cell and inclusion identification as an additional homework assignment.

Week 4
Content: During this last session, we will discuss interpretation of hematology abnormalities, by looking at a series of hematology cases. These cases will illustrate how hematology abnormalities, including those found on the blood smear, can help make a diagnosis.

Required slide set
A slide set of blood smears prepared by the instructor is required and will be mailed to each enrolled participant prior to the course open. Due to this requirement, please include your current mailing address (preferably home) and phone number so we can verify mailing addresses prior to sending. The slides will be used for homework assignments and instructions will be provided each week to incorporate them.

Textbook: There is no required text for this course.
Recommended texts:

  1. Veterinary Hematology; Atlas of Common Domestic Species. Reagan WJ, Sanders TG, DeNicola DB. (Iowa State Press,1998) To purchase this text from the VIN store, click on this link:
  2. A Guide to Hematology in Dogs and Cats, Rebar, MacWilliams, Feldman, Metzger, Pollock and Roche (2002). To purchase this text from the VIN store, click on this link:
Other course materials will be in the form of handouts and slideshows/web tours. There will also be a list of sources where the materials were retrieved to help create this course.

CE HOURS: 6 (RACE applied for)

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.

$102 + $40 ($92 + $40 early bird special if registered before October 1, 2005)
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) However, the lab fee included for the slide sets will not be discounted. Your fee for this course will be $51 + $40
*VT students: 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 directors name and contact information (email/phone) and school name.

Minimum Requirements for Online CE

** NOTE: Space is limited. REGISTRATION CLOSES October 14, 2005 at 5pm ET (USA) or earlier if the course maximum number of participants is reached so that we may get the course materials to you prior to the first real time session. When you enroll, PLEASE be sure to provide a current mailing address for delivery of the course materials. (Please no P.O. Box addresses for delivery) The fee for this course includes a "laboratory fee" to cover costs associated with the collection, preparation, and shipping of the microscope slides used for this course. It is essential that you have a microscope available for viewing the slides during the course (you will not need to view slides during the real time sessions).


  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 6 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


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