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Courses open for VSPNer registration

TECH153-0709: Equine Laboratory Diagnostics

Shelley Shopsowitz-Durand, RVT

July 29-September 4, 2009
Real Time Sessions: Tuesday evenings, August 4, 11, 18, and 25, 2009; 9:00pm-10:30pm ET (USA)


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 course will be presented in four (4) 90 minute real time interactive live sessions and will include online handouts, quizzes, and message boards discussion interaction with both the instructor and other course participants. Ms. Shopsowitz-Durand has taught several courses online for VSPN CE and adds this essential component for all veterinary staff in proper collection, sample handling, and diagnostic testing specific to an equine practice.

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

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


Week 1: 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: 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: 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: 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.

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.


$120 ($108.00 early bird special if registered before July 15, 2009).
*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

**The Participant's Resource Center includes all you need to know about online CE with VIN and VSPN:


  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 course has been approved for 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).
This course has also been submitted to VHMA for approval for CVPM CE credits.

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

VSPN CE Services
1-800-846-0028 or 1-530-756-4881
Charlotte Waack (, ext 193
Chris Upchurch (
Darci Palmer (; ext 179
Debbie Bess (; ext 178

**For More Information on VSPN's upcoming CE Courses, check out


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