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VSPN CE Course TECH167-0914: Basic Reptile Nursing Care
Audio and Text: The Real Time Session lecture will be predominantly text with audio used to answer questions.


INSTRUCTOR(S): Jenni Jenkins-Perez, LVT, CVT, AA, BAS (VT)
COURSE OPEN: September 3, 2014-October 11, 2014
REAL TIME SESSIONS (RTS): Wednesdays, September 10, 17, 24 and October 1; 9:00-10:30pm 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 Real Time Session. Please arrive promptly at the start time; each Practice Session is up to 1 hour in length. For more information, please visit the CE Practice Area.

*The instructor 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's audio capabilities, please be sure to attend one of the Practice Sessions.

Level and Prerequisites: This basic course 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.
VSPN CE Course: This course has been RACE approved for veterinary technicians only.
The Veterinary Information Network (VIN) is RACE Provider #22.

Course Description:
The course will cover basic reptile anatomy and physiology and how it differs from mammalian patients. Husbandry, husbandry-related disorders, and common non-nutritional disorders will be covered from the nursing perspective. Proper history taking, the physical examination, and how to properly set up the reptilian hospital ward for hospitalized patients will be discussed. Hospital nursing care will include medication administration, phlebotomy, fluid therapy, and handling common emergencies of the reptile patient. This course will focus on the more commonly seen reptiles and touch on a few less commonly seen species.

This course consists of four (4) ninety (90) minute Real Time Sessions, supplemental library materials, interactive message board discussions, a mandatory end-of-course test, and may include online multiple choice quizzes (after each Real Time Session). Successful completion (scoring 80% or better) on the end-of-course test is required to earn a certificate of completion for the course.

To learn more about the requirements for earning a CE certificate, please refer to Receiving Your CE Credit and Course Completion Certificate.

*The lecture portion of this course will be an audio presentation, please be prepared to listen.

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.

Required Textbook(s): There is no required textbook for this course.

About the Instructor:
Jenni Jenkins-Perez has years of experience with various reptile species ranging from anoles to Nile crocodiles in both zoo/aquarium practice and private practice. Currently, she is a part-time veterinary technician for a veterinary specialty practice and is president of the Veterinary Laboratory Association for 2014.

Course Outline:
Week 1 (Real Time Session September 10): 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 (Real Time Session September 17): Common Disorders of the Reptile Patient
Content: This week's session continue the reptile physical examination, picking up where the PE was covered in week 1. Husbandry and nutritional related disorders such as metabolic bone disease, hypovitaminosis A, shell rot, and aural abscesses will also be discussed. 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 (Real Time Session September 24): 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 (Real Time Session October 1): 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. The focus will include the veterinary technician's role in the event of the above listed emergencies.


Tuition: $120 ($108 early bird special if enrolled by August 20, 2014)

* 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).
*To ensure participants are ready and prepared for classes, enrollment will close at 5 pm ET September 10, 2014, or when the maximum number of participants is reached.
*For more information on how online CE works, see the Participant Resource Center.

  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 800-846-0028, ext. 792 or email Please include the course title, your full name, and contact information in your correspondence.
*Note: "This course is approved for 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 800-846-0028, ext. 792 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 800-846-0028, ext. 792 to discuss eligibility for a pro-rated refund.
* Note: To ensure rapid handling of your request for withdrawal, we recommend that you call the VSPN office at 800-846-0028, ext. 792.

*For more information on VSPN's upcoming CE courses, check the VSPN Course Catalog.

The CE team:

Charlotte Waack, RVT, CVT
VSPN CE Director

VSPN CE Services:
800-846-0028 or 530-756-4881; ext. 792
or direct line to VIN/VSPN from the United Kingdom: 01452226154

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

Copyright 2014, Veterinary Information Network, Inc.