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TECH145-0807: Dermatology for Veterinary Technicians Module 1

Shelley Shopsowitz-Durand, AHT, BA

August 29-October 5, 2007
Real Time Sessions: Tuesday evenings, September 4, 11, 18, and 25; 9:00pm-10:30pm ET (USA)


The itching, odor, appearance and general discomfort seen in animals with skin conditions is a major concern to pet owners. This course is designed to help familiarize veterinary technicians with dermatological conditions commonly seen in veterinary practices. Veterinary technicians are instrumental in collecting samples, performing diagnostic tests, and completing procedures or treatments aiding veterinarians with dermatologic diagnoses and care. Ectoparasite and dermatophyte identification will be examined in detail for dogs, and cats, and include a brief section on common large animals, rabbits, and rodents.

Module 1 will cover basic skin anatomy and physiology, terminology, and basic skin conditions commonly seen. Mange mites, fleas, lice and other dermatophytes will be covered in this module as well. Module 2 will delve further into skin cytology, atopy, and food reactions seen dermatologically. Immunotherapy, shampoos and skin treatments, biopsy, and aspirates will also be covered. Ms. Shopsowitz-Durand has a long standing interest in dermatology having worked for a specialty practice focused on dermatology since 1993. Her extensive background also includes lab animal science, clinical pathology, and emergency medicine, and education.

The course is divided into two modules each consisting of four real time interactive sessions of 90 minutes each. Module 1 is required for complete understanding and seamless learning with Module 2.

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

TEXTBOOKS: There are no required texts for this course; however, the instructor recommends the following:
Recommended texts: COURSE OUTLINE:

Week 1: Basic skin anatomy, terminology specific to dermatology
In this first class we will cover the basic structure and function of skin; alopecia, erythema, pruritus and all types of skin lesions commonly seen in dermatological conditions.

Week 2: Mange
The various types of mange mites commonly seen in dogs and cats including scabies, Cheyletiella, Demodex as well as ear mites will all be discussed. Sample collection including skin scraping, tape tests, hair pluck, ear swabs, and microscopic evaluation will be examined in detail.

Week 3: Fleas and Lice
We will cover the specifics of these ectoparasites with a special emphasis on flea control for dogs and cats. We will also cover common ectoparasites in large animals and rabbits and rodents.

Week 4: Dermatophytes
This final class will cover collection of samples for fungal culture, microscopic evaluation of cultures. Use of the Wood's lamp, KOH evaluation, and trichograms will be discussed as we will cover dermatophyte species commonly affecting pets.

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.


$111 ($100.00 early bird special if registered before August 15, 2007).
* Enroll in both Modules before September 4, 2007 and receive a 15% discount off the regular course price.
* 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.

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  1. Each enrollee must individually be a registered member of VSPN or VIN ( Membership in VSPN is free; VIN membership includes VSPN membership.
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Note: "This course has been submitted (but not yet approved) for 6 hours of continuing education credit 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 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).
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

Ginger Sanders (, ext 183
Charlotte Waack (, ext 193
VSPN CE Services
1-800-846-0028 or 1-530-756-4881

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