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TECH135-0908 : Basic Avian Hematology

Drew Bickford, AS, CVT

September 11-October 4, 2008
Real Time Sessions: Wednesday evenings, September 17 and 24, 2008; 7:30pm-9:00pm pm ET (USA)

Participants will learn how to perform a full hematological evaluation of the avian patient. Topics will include sample handling and preparation, cell evaluation, calculations and counts, and blood parasites.

Drew Bickford has worked in veterinary medicine with an avian specialty for over 10 years. He has worked in small animal/exotics practices and emergency clinics; was clinic supervisor of the National Audubon Society, Center for Birds of Prey in Orlando; and is now the Senior Veterinary Technician at the University of Minnesota, The Raptor Center. Drew began lectures and labs for veterinary students and has since provided regional CE on avian care, clinical pathology, and nursing.

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

This course is geared toward the veterinary assistant and veterinary technician that are actively involved in avian patient care. Course participants should be familiar with avian medicine and be actively involved in performing laboratory procedures. Veterinarians are welcome to attend for a refresher, but will not receive CE credits upon completion of the course. Email for information about the price breaks for hospitals that enroll 5 or more employees.

There is no required text for this class


Week 1: Sample Handling, Calculations, and White Blood Cell Identification and Morphology
Content: This week will cover sample collection, anticoagulants, and slide preparation. We will look at the different white blood cells in birds and discuss how to properly identify them in various species. We will cover how to perform and calculate an estimated white blood cell count. We will examine the different changes that can occur to white blood cells and how these can paint a picture of the patient's health.

Week 2: Red Blood Cell Identification and Morphology and Avian Blood Parasites
Content: This week we will cover identification of the avian red blood cell and talk about its various morphologic changes. We will also discuss commonly seen avian blood parasites and their significance.

LIBRARY MATERIALS: 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: 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.


$59 ($53 early bird special if registered before August 28, 2008).
*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.

** 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.

** Minimal computer requirements for participating in VSPN and VPSNCE

** Click on "How To's of Online CE" and "Polices & Procedures" for more on how our online CE works


  1. Each person 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 course has been submitted for approval for 3 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 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: Withdrawal prior to the listed start date of a course entitles the registrant to a complete refund or a credit toward a future VSPN or 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 withdraw retroactively.
Note: To ensure rapid handling of your request for withdrawal, we recommend that you call the VIN office at 1-800-700-INFO (4636).
** For More Information on VSPN's upcoming CE Courses, check out

Nanette R. Walker Smith, M.Ed., RVT, CVT, LVT
VSPN Content Director & CE Coordinator
1-800-846-0028 or 1-530-297-4950, ext 187

Charlotte Waack (, ext 193
Chris Upchurch (; ext 197
VSPN CE Services
1-800-846-0028 or 1-530-297-4950


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