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TECH190-0111: Small Mammal Handling and Restraint

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INSTRUCTOR(S): Shelley Shopsowitz, RVT, BA

COURSE OPEN: January 4-February 4, 2011

REAL TIME SESSIONS: Tuesdays, January 11, 18, and 25, 2010; 9:00pm-10:30pm ET (USA)
Course RTS Times in Your Area: World Clock Converter
Practice Sessions: In order to prepare you for a successful experience in your CE course, we request you attend a practice session prior to the first RTS. Times and dates will be listed in your course confirmation email. Expect to spend up to 1 hour at one of the 2-4 practice sessions held prior to the first RTS.

Level and Prerequisites: All members of the veterinary support staff may join the course and its discussions; however, this course is focused toward veterinary technicians, veterinary assistants and ancillary staff working in small animal facilities.
VSPN CE course: open to all VIN members and VSPN members. This course has been submitted to RACE for approval for veterinary technicians.

Course Description:
Proper restraint and handling of pets that come into the veterinary practice is extremely important to the safety of both veterinary staff and the animals that we see. In addition, veterinary staff positions outside the traditional veterinary practice require the knowledge and adaptability to handle a variety of animals. Safety is the number one concern for both the staff member and for the animal; proper handling is essential. We will also cover a variety of handling and restraint techniques for each common domestic species.

This course is designed to give information that will be helpful to both veterinary assistants and veterinary technicians. It is hoped that in both the message boards and real time sessions, participants will be able to share some of their experiences, as well as pick up helpful techniques and information. Ms. Shopsowitz has taught numerous courses online with VSPN CE and has a multi-species educational background. The course will consist of four (4) 90 minute Real Time Sessions. Each session will address particular species of animals encountered in veterinary practices.

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

Course Materials: Course materials will be available in the course library prior to each Real Time Session.

About the Instructor: Ms. Shopsowitz has taught numerous courses online with VSPN CE and has a multi-species educational background.

Course Outline:
Week 1 (Real Time Session January 11): Dogs
Content: The first week we will cover handling of dogs including a basic understanding of canine behavior, restraint for various injections and procedures, restraint devices such as muzzles, rabies poles, etc. We will also discuss when chemical restraint is recommended. Safety for the animal being treated or examined and the personnel involved in the procedure. Last we will discuss dealing with the aggressive dog and understanding the fearful dog.

Week 2 (Real Time Session January 18): Cats
Content: Basic behavior patterns in cats, restraint devices such as towels, muzzles, cat bags, etc. will be covered this week. We will discuss chemical restraint and when and where it is necessary. A variety of positioning techniques will be covered for injections, blood collection, etc. And finally, safety issues to minimize bites and scratches as well as ensure no injury to the patient will complete this week.

Week 3 (Real Time Session January 25): Pocket Pets and Rabbits
Content: This week we will cover safe handling of mice, rats, hamsters, gerbils, guinea pigs, ferrets and rabbits. Types of procedures that are commonly performed on these types of animals will be covered for both the veterinary practice and basic non veterinary practice handling. Proper housing of these pets in the veterinary clinic is a concern we will also cover. Basic bird handling and housing will be covered as well.


Tuition: $90 ($81 early bird special if enrolled by December 16, 2010).
*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.

** To ensure participants are ready and prepared for classes, enrollment will close when the maximum number of participants is reached or at 5pm ET the day of the first Real Time Session unless otherwise noted. If the first Real Time Session is on a weekend, course will close on the Friday before the first Real Time Session.

**For more on how online CE works see the VSPN Participant's Resource Center

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  1. Enrollment qualifications: VIN CE courses are open to VIN member and non-member veterinarians. Veterinarians enrolling in a VSPN CE course must be a VIN member. Veterinary support staff must be a VSPN member to enroll in a VSPN CE or a VIN CE course open to VSPN member enrollment.
  2. Each enrollee must be able to receive emails from and addresses. Email is our major form of communication with participants; personal emails are highly recommended rather than clinic/hospital email addresses.
  3. Each person is individually responsible for his/her own registration. To ensure that all information received is secure and correct, please do not enroll for a course on behalf of another individual.
  4. For further assistance call 1-800-700-INFO (4636) or email (VIN CE) or (VSPN CE) Please include the course title, your full name, and contact information in your correspondence.
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 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. (Refund policy 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 & VSPN CE Director

VSPN CE Services:
1-800-846-0028 or 1-530-756-4881 or direct line to VIN/VSPN from the United Kingdom: 01452226154
Charlotte Waack (, ext 193
Chris Upchurch (; ext 197
Darci Palmer (; ext 179
Debbie Bess (; ext 178
Mary Mould (; ext 159
Nanette Walker Smith (; ext 187


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