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VSPN CE Course TECH173-1012: Canine and Feline Pharmacology

INSTRUCTOR(S): Patricia Zehna, RVT, Darci Palmer, BS, LVT, VTS (Anes), & Lee Palmer, DVM
COURSE OPEN: October 2-November 23, 2012
REAL TIME SESSIONS (RTS): Tuesdays, October 9, 16, 23, 30, and November 6 and 13, 2012; 8:00pm-9:30pm 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.

Level and Prerequisites: This intermediate course is designed to help experienced veterinary technicians and soon-to-be graduating veterinary technician students understand the fundamentals of small animal clinical pharmacology. The course will cover the major pharmacological drug classes used in veterinary medicine. A good understanding of physiology is strongly recommended, but not required.

VSPN CE Course: This course has been submitted for RACE approval for veterinary technicians only.

Course Description:
This course is designed to help the veterinary technician understand the fundamentals of small animal clinical pharmacology. The course will cover the major pharmacological drug classes used in veterinary medicine. The drug classes will be organized by the organ system that they have an effect on. An overview of physiology for each organ system is included to help the participant understand how each drug class elicits its effect. The Real Time Sessions will focus on clinical application of select drugs for each organ system.

This course consists of six (6) 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.

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.
Recommended Textbooks: Suggested references will be included within the course library.

About the Instructors: Patricia Zehna, RVT, is the practice manager of Banfield Pet Hospital in Sand City, CA. Pain management is her main area of interest and she has been involved as a board and committee member of the IVAPM for many years. She considers pharmacology her "hobby," coming in very handy during her Surgery and ECC work. Darci Palmer, LVT, VTS (Anesthesia) currently works in the Small Animal Anesthesia Department at Auburn University College of Veterinary Medicine. Her primary areas of interest include anesthesia and pain management. Darci believes that a good working knowledge of pharmacology is essential for proper anesthesia case management. Lee Palmer, DVM, is a resident in Emergency and Critical Care at Auburn University College of Veterinary Medicine. He has a strong interest in pharmacology.

Course Outline:
Week 1 (Real Time Session October 9): Basic Principles of Pharmacokinetics, Pharmacodynamics and Intra-, Inter- Species Differences
Content: This session will define key pharmacological terms and discuss factors that affect drug pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics to include intra-species differences.

Week 2 (Real Time Session October 16): Neuropharmacology and Analgesics
Content: This session will discuss the physiology of the nervous system to include an overview of the autonomic nervous system, the predominant cellular receptors involved, key therapeutic drug classes and specific drugs used in neuropharmacology. We will also review the pain pathway and discuss the key classes of analgesics to include their mechanism of action and common uses.

Week 3 (Real Time Session October 23): Cardiovascular and Respiratory
Content: This session covers the physiology, as well as, the key drug classes associated with the cardiovascular and respiratory organ systems. Key drugs will be discussed according to their mechanism of action, common uses and major drug contraindications.

Week 4 (Real Time Session October 30): Gastrointestinal, Hepatic, and Endocrine
Content: This session covers the physiology, as well as, the key drug classes associated with the gastrointestinal, hepatic, and endocrine organ systems. Key drugs will be discussed according to their mechanism of action, common uses and major drug contraindications. Gastrointestinal drug classes discussed includes anti-emetics, gastroprotectants, prokinetics, emetics and appetite stimulants. The endocrine section will include drugs used for the treatment of hyper- and hypoadrenocorticism, hyper- and hypothyroidism, and diabetes mellitus.

Week 5 (Real Time Session November 6): Corticosteroid, Immunosuppressant and Topical Dermatology
Content: This session covers the physiology, mechanism of action, common uses and contraindications for corticosteroid and immunosuppressant pharmacotherapy. Also included is a review of commonly used topical drugs and formulations for certain dermatological conditions.

Week 6 (Real Time Session November 13): Antimicrobial therapy, Drug Interactions, and Overview of Administrative Drug Aspects
Content: This session provides a review of antimicrobial drug classes, conditions requiring antimicrobial use, the most common pathogenic bacterial organism involved for certain organ system infections, as well as, the most appropriate empirical antimicrobial drug class used to treat those infections. Also covered are factors that contribute to drug interactions and adverse drug reactions. A list of the most common drug interactions encountered in veterinary medicine will be provided. The remainder of the session will be dedicated to the technician's role in prescription labeling, drug inventory and classification of controlled drugs.


Tuition: $180 ($162 early bird special if enrolled by September 18, 2012).
*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 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 enrollment will close on the Friday before the first Real Time Session.

*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 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 is submitted for approval for 9 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/VIN 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.
* Note: To ensure rapid handling of your request for withdrawal, we recommend that you call the VIN/VSPN office at 1-800-700-INFO (4636).

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

Nanette R. Walker Smith, MEd, RVT, CVT, LVT
VSPN Content Director & CE Coordinator

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 (Illinois)
Chris Upchurch (; ext 197 (Florida)
Debbie Bess (; ext 178 (Nevada)
Jennifer Withrow (; ext 159 (Virginia)
Barb Burri (; ext 764 (New Hampshire)
Nanette Walker Smith (; ext 187 (Colorado)

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

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