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TECH153-0511: Equine Laboratory Diagnostics

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INSTRUCTOR(S): Shelley Shopsowitz, RVT, BA

COURSE OPEN: May 3-June 10, 2011

REAL TIME SESSIONS: Tuesdays, May 10, 17, 24, and 31, 2011; 9:00pm-10:30pm ET (USA)
Course RTS Times in Your Area: World Clock Converter
Practice Sessions: In order to prepare you for a successful experience in your CE course, we request you attend a practice session prior to the first RTS. Times and dates will be listed in your course confirmation email. Expect to spend up to 1 hour at one of the 2-4 practice sessions held prior to the first RTS.

Level and Prerequisites: All members of the veterinary support staff may join the course and its discussions; however, this basic course is focused toward veterinary technicians, veterinary assistants and ancillary staff working in equine practice. VSPN CE course: open to all VIN members and VSPN members. This course has been submitted for RACE approval for veterinary technicians.
VSPN CE course: open to all VIN members and VSPN members. This course has been approved for RACE approval for veterinary technicians and is VHMA approved for CVPM credits.

Course Description:
Diagnostic tests are often recommended for horses. Complete blood counts, biochemical tests, and urinalysis can give important information with regards to a horse's health status. Lumps and bumps can occur - some serious, others may be nothing to worry about - cytology samples can give important diagnostic information. Various infections require testing in order to isolate specific organisms so that the veterinarian will be able to prescribe appropriate treatment regimens. This course will help familiarize those interested in equine veterinary medicine with the various tests and equipment available for equine diagnostics and their significance to the practice of equine medicine.

The basic course will be presented in four (4) 90 minute real time interactive live sessions and will include online materials, discussion of situations and cases, interactive message boards to discuss the Real Time Sessions, and multiple choice online quizzes as well as a mandatory end-of-course exam. Successful completion (scoring 80% or better) on the end-of course-exam is required to be considered for the certificate of completion.

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

Course Materials: Course materials will be available in the course library prior to each Real Time Session.

TEXTBOOKS: There are no required texts for this course. A list of recommended resources will be included in the course area library.

About the Instructors: Ms. Shopsowitz has taught numerous courses online with VSPN CE and has a multi-species educational background.

Course Outline:
Week 1: (Real Time Session May 10): Complete Blood Counts
Content: We will look at how to do a CBC and the tests that make up a CBC, as well as morphology of normal and abnormal red and white blood cells. Conditions associated with abnormal findings will be considered.

Week 2: (Real Time Session May 17): Serum Biochemistry
Content: Equipment for serum analysis will be considered. We will discuss the various biochemical tests available and their significance both in health and disease. Specific conditions in horses and their relationship to blood test results will be examined.

Week 3: (Real Time Session May 24): Urinalysis
Content: Collection and proper handling of equine urine specimens for evaluation will be discussed. We will look at how to do a microscopic examination to identify the various components of normal and abnormal urine samples. The significance of finding various cells, crystals, etc. in urine will be considered.

Week 4: (Real Time Session May 31): Cytology and Microbiology
Content: In this final week, we will discuss fine needle aspirates and skin biopsies and look at examples of microscopic findings. Examples of specific conditions in horses will be considered. We will look at how bacteria are identified under the microscope and will also discuss how bacterial cultures and sensitivities are performed and what diagnostic information can be provided for the veterinarian.


Tuition: $120 ($108 early bird special if enrolled by April 19, 2011).
*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.

** To ensure participants are ready and prepared for classes, enrollment will close when the maximum number of participants is reached or at 5pm ET the day of the first Real Time Session unless otherwise noted. If the first Real Time Session is on a weekend, course will close on the Friday before the first Real Time Session.

**For more on how online CE works see the VSPN Participant's Resource Center

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  1. Enrollment qualifications: VIN CE courses are open to VIN member and non-member veterinarians. Veterinarians enrolling in a VSPN CE course must be a VIN member. Veterinary support staff must be a VSPN member to enroll in a VSPN CE or a VIN CE course open to VSPN member enrollment.
  2. Each enrollee must be able to receive emails from and addresses. Email is our major form of communication with participants; personal emails are highly recommended rather than clinic/hospital email addresses.
  3. Each person is individually responsible for his/her own registration. To ensure that all information received is secure and correct, please do not enroll for a course on behalf of another individual.
  4. For further assistance call 1-800-700-INFO (4636) or email (VIN CE) or (VSPN CE) Please include the course title, your full name, and contact information in your correspondence.
Note: "This course has been submitted for approval for 6 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 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. (Refund policy 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 & VSPN CE Director

VSPN CE Services:
1-800-846-0028 or 1-530-756-4881 or direct line to VIN/VSPN from the United Kingdom: 01452226154
Charlotte Waack (, ext 193
Chris Upchurch (; ext 197
Darci Palmer (; ext 179
Debbie Bess (; ext 178
Mary Mould (; ext 159
Nanette Walker Smith (; ext 187


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