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TECH166-0209 : Avian Cytology

Jenni Jenkins-Perez, LVT, CVT

February 11-March 6, 2009
Real Time Sessions: Tuesday evenings, February 17 and 24, 2009; 9:00pm-10:30pm ET (USA)

This course is designed to help the veterinary technician understand the basics of avian cytology. The course will include how to safely collect samples for cytologic evaluation from the avian patient, how to prepare those samples, and how to identify the differences between inflammation and neoplasia in avian species.

Jenni Jenkins-Perez, LVT, CVT has years of experience both in practice and personally with various avian species ranging from ostriches to finches. Currently, she is a trainer and consultant for a small animal and exotic practice in central Florida and is a speaker at various veterinary conferences. Email for information about the price breaks for hospitals that enroll 5 or more employees.

The course will have two 90-minute online sessions covering avian cytology, online quizzes, and suggested reading. All veterinary technicians and assistants interested in the basics of avian cytology are welcome to take this course and join in on the online discussions. Having a basic knowledge of mammalian cytology is helpful, but not required. Space is limited so enroll early.

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

TEXTBOOKS: There are no required texts for this course; however, a list of suggested references will be available in the course area library for all participants.


Week 1: Sample collection, preparation, staining for cytologic evaluation.
Content: This session will include sampling techniques from the more common locations of the avian patient. This includes cloacal swabbing, choanal swabbing, tracheal washing, crop washing, and fine needle aspirates. Also covered this week will include how to properly prepare the samples once collected for cytologic evaluation and normal cytologic findings in various avian species.

Week 2: Avian inflammatory cells, benign neoplasia, criteria for malignancy, and abnormal findings.
Content: This week's session will include the inflammatory process in birds and how it differs from mammalian inflammation as well as other abnormal findings (i.e., parasites, fungal elements, etc). Also covered this week will include identification of the cells to help the technician determine the differences between benign neoplasia and malignancy. Students are encouraged to bring images of avian cytology samples to post on the message board to help with identification of their own slides.

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.


$60 ($54.00 early bird special if enrolled before January 28, 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: Enrollment 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 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 of 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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