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TECH174-0609 : Basic Blood Chemistry in the Canine and Feline

Ann Wortinger, BIS, LVT, VTS (ECC, SAIM)

June 8-July 6, 2009
Real Time Sessions: Friday evenings, June 12, 19, and 26, 2009; 8:00pm-9:30pm ET (USA)

Many of us run blood tests and chemistry profiles daily. Do you really understand what each of these tests indicate and what they mean? This class will go through the most common chemistry tests and explain what each one indicates, how they correlate with other tests, and what they really mean. We will also cover some of the more common tests done in-house for viruses and parasites. Comment tests sent out to reference labs will be reviewed as well to complete the course.

Ann Wortinger is a published author and has specialty certification in both Emergency Critical Care and Small Animal Internal Medicine. Her experience in general, emergency and specialty practices, as well as an educator at Wayne State University's Veterinary Technology Program provides solid experience in understanding in house and reference laboratory testing for patients. The course will consist of three (3) real time interactive sessions of ninety (90) minutes each; homework to reinforce the handouts and real time sessions; weekly online quizzes for topic comprehension; and an online final exam.

All members of the veterinary support staff may join the course and its discussions; however, this course is focused toward those veterinary personnel who are familiar with laboratory testing and equipment. This course will not cover how to use specific pieces of equipment, but rather help staff identify how to improve sample collection and tests available, and testing procedures to result in more reliable results.

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

Overall Goal: Become more knowledgeable in the basics of laboratory testing.

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


Weeks 1: Introduction to in-house chemistry testing and chemistry machines
Content: In this week we will cover common problems associated with in-house testing such as hemolysis, icterus and lipemia, as well as common non-enzymatic tests done. We will go through what the tests indicate and how they interrelate with other tests, as well as the limitations of some of the tests.

Week 2: Enzyme and electrolyte tests
Content: This week we will discuss enzymatic tests and how they differ from the non-enzymatic tests. We will briefly discuss the causes for enzyme changes in the dog and cat including the organ(s) that produce them and their interrelation to each other. Electrolytes will be discussed regarding their function, charge, and how they differ from enzymes and by-products. Tests commonly sent out to reference labs will be covered including sample preparations and parameters for running the test; bile acids, cortisol, toxicology, and specific drug testing will be included.

Week 3: In house virus and parasite testing, and reference laboratory tests
Content: During our last week we will look at some of the in-house tests as well as those commonly sent out to a reference laboratory such as for bacteria, viruses and parasites. Sample collection and preparation, and the goal of the test will be discussed.

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.


$90 ($81 early bird special if registered before May 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 on the payment page 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.

**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 for 4.5 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


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