Back Print Save Bookmark in my Browser Main : Course Catalog : Basic Reptile Nursing Care

Courses open for VSPNer registration

TECH167-0909 : Basic Reptile Nursing Care

Jenni Jenkins-Perez, LVT, CVT

September 9-October 16, 2009
Real Time Sessions: Tuesday evenings, September 15, 22, 9, and October 6, 2009; 9:00pm-10:30pm ET (USA)

This course is designed for the veterinary technician who occasionally sees a reptile patient in practice or has an interest in learning about reptile nursing care. The course will cover anatomy and physiology, husbandry, nutritional and non-nutritional disorders, care of the hospitalized patient, and common emergencies seen in reptiles. We will focus on the more commonly seen reptiles and touch on a few less commonly seen.

Jenni Jenkins-Perez, LVT, CVT has years of experience with various reptile species ranging from anoles to Nile crocodiles. 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. The course will have four (4) 90-minute online sessions covering basic nursing care, online quizzes, and suggested reading. All veterinary technicians and assistants interested in the basics of reptilian nursing care are welcome to take this course and join in on the online discussions. 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: Anatomy and physiology, husbandry, history taking, and the physical exam.
Content: This session will include the discussion of reptilian anatomy and physiology and how it pertains to the course of treatment of the reptile patient. Also covered this week includes the basic husbandry of certain snake, lizard/iguana, and chelonian species. The final portion of this session covers proper history taking and the physical examination of the reptilian patient.

Week 2: Common disorders of the reptile patient
Content: This week's session will include husbandry and nutritional related disorders such as metabolic bone disease, hypovitaminosis A, shell rot, and aural abscesses. Other non-nutritional related disorders covered this week include parasitism, inclusion body disease, and ophthalmic diseases. Clinical signs and the technician's role in the care of patients with these disorders will be emphasized during this session.

Week 3: Caring for the hospitalized patient, part I
Content: This week's session will cover the basics of what to do when the reptile patient is hospitalized. Topics discussed include how to set up the hospitalized patient cage, phlebotomy, parenteral and oral medication administration, fluid therapy, tube/assist feeding, bandaging, and obtaining various samples.

Week 4: Caring for the hospitalized patient, part II
Content: This session includes caring for the critically ill hospitalized reptile and reptile emergencies. Topics discussed include the more common emergencies seen in practice such as thermal burns, hit by car (HBC) wild reptiles, and reptiles attacked by prey items or the family pet. Other reptile emergencies covered may include hypocalcemia, gastrointestinal obstruction, dystocia, pneumonia, prolapse, toxicity, and hypo/hyperthermia.

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.


$120 ($108 early bird special if registered before August 26, 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 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 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
Darci Palmer (; ext 179
Debbie Bess (; ext 178
VSPN CE Services
1-800-846-0028 or 1-530-297-4950


800.700.4636  |  |  530.756.4881  |  Fax: 530.756.6035
777 West Covell Blvd, Davis, CA 95616

Copyright 2000, Veterinary Information Network, Inc.