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Courses open for VSPNer registration

TECH138-0207 : Reptilian and Amphibian Internal and External Parasitology

Jenni Jenkins-Perez, LVT, CVT, BA

February 15-March 10, 2007
Real Time Sessions: Wednesday evenings, February 21 and 28; 9:00pm-10:30pm ET (USA)


This course is designed to help the veterinary technician understand the basics of reptilian parasitology. The course will include sample collection and preparation, staining techniques, zoonosis, and identification of the most common endo- and ectoparasites in lizard, snake, and turtle/tortoise species.

The course will have two 90-minute online sessions covering reptile parasites, online quizzes and suggested reading. All veterinary technicians and assistants interested in reptile parasitology are welcome to take this course and join in on the online discussions.

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

  1. advise clients and know the most accurate way to submit samples for parasitology examination.
  2. understand the differences in the fecal examination methods and which are recommended for reptilian samples.
  3. understand the staining techniques and indications for proper parasite identification.
  4. identify basic reptilian endo- and ectoparasites and be able to distinguish them from non-pathogenic organisms or prey parasites so the veterinarian can choose the best course of treatment.
TEXTBOOKS: There are no required texts for this course; however, the instructor has supplied a list of suggested references below:
  1. Klingenberg, R. J. (1993). Understanding Reptile Parasites, A Basic Manual for Herpetoculturists & Veterinarians. Advanced Vivarium Systems.
  2. Frye, F. (1994). Applied Clinical Nonhemic Parasitology of Reptiles. In Reptile Care: An Atlas of Diseases and Treatment, Vol. 1. Krieger Publishing.
  3. Barnard, S. M. & Upton, S. J. (1994). Veterinary Guide to the Parasites of Reptiles - Vol 1 and 2. Krieger Publishing.
  4. Zajac, A. & Conboy, G. (2005). Veterinary Clinical Parasitology, 7th ed. Blackwell Publishing. (Reference for rodent/prey parasites). This text can be purchased from the VIN Store at:
  5. Mader, D. (2005). Reptile Medicine and Sugery. Elsevier Health. This text can be purchased from the VIN Store at:
  6. Bowman, D. D. (2003). Georgis' Parasitology for Veterinarians. 8th ed. Elsevier Health. This text can be purchased from the VIN Store at:
  7. Wright, K., & Whitaker, B. (2001). Amphibian Medicine and Captive Husbandry. Krieger Publishing.
  8. Spencer, F. M., & Monroe, L. S. (1982). The Color Atlas of Intestinal Parasites, 2nd ed. Charles C. Thomas Publisher.
  9. Barnard. S. M. (1986). Color Atlas of Reptilian Parasites, Parts I-IV. in Exotic Animal Medicine in Practice: The Compendium Collection. Veterinary Learning Systems.
Week 1: Sample collection, preparation and identification.
Content: This session will include sample collection (stool samples vs. cloacal swabbing) and prevention of zoonotic infection as well as the different examination methods. We will also cover the basic staining techniques for identification of protozoan parasites. Week one will also cover identification of common protozoan, nematode, trematode, and cestodes of different species of snakes.

Week 2: Parasite identification
Content: This session will pick up from the previous week and cover identification of common ectoparasites of snake species. Also covered this week will include identification of common protozoan, nematode, trematode, cestode and ectoparasites of turtles, tortoises and different lizard species (Iguanas, Bearded Dragons, Anoles, Agamas, etc.). This session also covers non-pathogenic or commensal organisms commonly found it reptiles as well as common parasites found in prey items. Amphibian parasitology will be covered as time allows.

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 early bird special if registered before February 1, 2007)
* 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).

* 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.

** 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 enrollee must individually be a registered member of VSPN or VIN ( Membership in VSPN is free; VIN membership includes VSPN membership.
  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 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, 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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