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VSPN CE Course TECH190-0614: Small Mammal Handling and Restraint
Text only: The lectures for this course will be presented in a predominantly text format.


INSTRUCTOR(S): Shelley Shopsowitz, RVT, BA
COURSE OPEN: June 4-July 5, 2014
REAL TIME SESSIONS (RTS): Wednesdays, June 11, 18 & 25, 2014; 8:30-10pm 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 basic course is focused toward veterinary technicians, veterinary assistants and ancillary staff working in small animal facilities.
VSPN CE Course: This course has been RACE approved for veterinary technicians only.
The Veterinary Information Network (VIN) is RACE Provider #22.

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.

This course consists of three (3) Real Time Sessions of ninety (90) minutes each, 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.

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 Instructors:
Shelley Shopsowitz has been a Registered Veterinary Technician for many years. She has worked in small animal general practice, a research institute and was an instructor for the Veterinary Technician course at Seneca College in Ontario, Canada. She has also spent many years as a dermatology technician in a referral practice and as an ER technician. She has significant experience handling a wide variety of animals. In addition to her background in small animal medicine, she has a special interest in equines.

Course Outline:
Week 1 (Real Time Session June 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 June 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 June 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 May 21, 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 June 11, 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 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 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

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