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Courses open for VSPNer registration

TECH196-0711: Small Animal Nutrition-Digging Deeper

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INSTRUCTOR(S): Geneva Keene Acor, DVM, MS

COURSE OPEN: July 8-August 15, 2011

REAL TIME SESSIONS: Fridays, July 15, 22, and August 5, 2011 (no class July 29); 9:30-10:30pm 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.
**The instructor(s) for this course will be using audio which will require you to have a headset or speakers to listen. If you have any concerns regarding your computer´┐Żs audio capabilities, please be sure to attend a Practice Session.

Level and Prerequisites: This advanced course is designed for veterinary technicians, especially those serving as nutrition counselors in private small animal practice.Participants must be familiar with basic nutrition and chemistry as well as some knowledge of commercially available pet foods. Basic nutrition includes understanding the functions of proteins, fats, and carbohydrates in the healthy pet. Since nutrients are chemicals, some knowledge of chemistry is also recommended. VSPN CE course. This course has been submitted for RACE approval for veterinary technicians only.

Course Description:
Many veterinary technicians have completed basic nutrition courses as part of their curriculum in school or through continuing education courses. After completing the basic course, some have a desire to understand the role of nutrients in more detail and specifics than learned in the basic course. Participants will be encouraged to discuss ingredients of pet foods on the message boards and to research the ingredients relative to nutrient content. Topics such as the definition of "quality protein" and how is determined, the significance of "grain free" pet foods, and the realities of the benefits of "low fat" versus "low calorie" pet foods will be discussed.

The course will be presented in three (3) sixty (60) minute Real Time Sessions and will include online handouts, quizzes, and message board discussions with both the instructor and other course participants as well as a mandatory end-of-course test. Successful completion (scoring 80% or better) on the end-of course-test is required to be considered for the certificate of completion.

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

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

Textbook: There is no required text for this course; however, the instructor recommends the following texts.

About the Instructor: Dr. Geneva Acor has taught many nutrition classes on VSPN including Pet Food Fundamentals, Canine Large Breed Nutrition, ACTION for Weight Management, and Feline Urinary Problems. Formerly, Dr. Acor was the director of Brevard College Veterinary Technology Program and the Veterinary Affairs Manager, Technician Schools for Hill's Pet Nutrition. Currently Dr. Acor works as an independent consultant.

Course Outline:
Week 1: (Real Time Session July 15): Digging Deeper-Are All Proteins Created Equal?
Content: The meaning of "quality protein" in reference to nutrition evaluation may be different than the designation on a pet food label. The importance of amino acids in determining complete, incomplete and finally the quality of protein in pet food will be discussed. Also, the concepts of biologic value and limiting amino acid(s) will be explained. Questions such as "Is chicken, beef, vegetables, or corn gluten a better source of protein?" will be discussed.

Week 2: (Real Time Session July 22): Digging Deeper-Is Low Fat Content Good For Pets?
Content: With pet obesity so prominent, many pet owners are attracted to low fat pet foods. However, while some fats provide primarily calories, others serve specific biologic functions. The fats with biologic function and the ingredients in pet foods that provide those fats will be discussed. Also, the need for preservatives to maintain the quality of the fats will be offered.

Week 3: (Real Time Session August 5): Digging Deeper - Do Pets Need Carbohydrates Or Are They Just Filler?
Content: The difference between carbohydrate as an energy source and complex carbohydrates as a fiber source will be discussed. Common pet food ingredients that contribute carbohydrate to the diet will be compared including the myths and facts around "grain free" pet foods.


Tuition: $60 ($54 early bird special if enrolled by June 24, 2011).
*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 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: A complete refund of the paid course price will be issued when your withdrawal request is received prior to the listed start date of the course. If you wish to withdraw after the start date please contact the VIN/VSPN office 1-800-700-INFO (4636) to discuss eligibility for a pro-rated refund.
** 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
Jennifer Withrow (; ext 159
Nanette Walker Smith (; ext 187


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