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Courses open for VSPNer registration

TECH169-0309 : Large Animal Disease Overview

Shelley Shopsowitz-Durand, RVT

March 11-April 17, 2009
Real Time Sessions: Tuesday evenings, March 17, 24, 31, and April 7, 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.

Diseases in large animals can be devastating to farmers as these pathologies can spread rapidly throughout a herd and have serious affects on income potential. Horse pathological conditions can have a negative economic impact on performance animals such as race horses and breeding sires and mares. Horses that are kept as animals either for riding or for companionship may also become ill causing heartbreak and disappointment to their owners and caretakers. It is useful for those working in animal care facilities and veterinary clinics to have a good understanding of diseases that can affect farm animals as well as control of transmission of these diseases from animal to animal. In this course we will be considering diseases in cows, sheep, goats and pigs as well as horses.

The course will be presented in four (4) 90 minute real time interactive live sessions and will include online handouts, quizzes, and message board discussion interaction with both the instructor and other course participants.

Upon completion of this course, participants should

TEXTBOOKS: There are no required texts for this course. Recommended texts will be presented in the library.


Week 1: Review of normal physiology of farm animals
Content: We will review the systems of the body where disease processes may occur for example the respiratory, reproductive, and digestive systems. We will look at normal values for temperature, pulse, respiration, etc. for farm animals and horses.

Week 2: Diseases of: a) the digestive system b) the respiratory system
Content: We will look at digestive and respiratory diseases in farm animals. Examples of diseases to be considered are bloat in cattle, colic in horses, COPD in horses, swine influenza, and pneumonia in a variety of species. Causes and symptoms will be looked at as well as significance of these diseases in specific animal species.

Week 3: Diseases of: a) the reproductive system b) the endocrine system
Content: We will discuss reproductive abnormalities in breeding males and females as well as congenital problems and diseases of the newborn. The endocrine system will be considered as well both for its affect on the reproductive system as well as its involvement in specific disease processes such as, for example, Cushing's disease in horses.

Week 4: Herd health and disease prevention
Content: We will consider ways of maintaining healthy herds and stables. Vaccinations, testing for specific disease will all be discussed. Disease transmission as well as zoonoses will be looked at as well.

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 ($108.00 early bird special if enrolled before February 25, 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 (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 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
Debbie Bess (, ext 178
Darci Palmer (, ext 179
VSPN CE Services
1-800-846-0028 or 1-530-297-4950


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