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VSPN CE Course TECH227-0613: Anesthesia for Companion Exotic Small Mammals

INSTRUCTOR(S): Jody Nugent-Deal, RVT, VTS (Anesthesia, Exotic Companion Animal)
COURSE OPEN: June 3-July 11, 2013
REAL TIME SESSIONS (RTS): Mondays, June 10, 17, 24, and July 1, 2013; 9:30pm-11:00pm 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 slideshows used during the Real Time Sessions will contain one or more videos with an audio component 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 a Practice Session.

Level and Prerequisites: This intermediate level course will cover basic to advanced anesthetic techniques in exotic small mammals seen in companion animal practice such as rabbits, ferrets, Guinea pigs, chinchillas, and small rodents. Veterinarians and their technicians will benefit from this course to enhance team medicine and patient care. Participants in this course should have some prior clinical experience with anesthesia delivery in small companion animals such as dogs, cats, and/or exotic small mammals.
VSPN CE Course: This course has been submitted for RACE approval for veterinarians and veterinary technicians.

Course Description:
This course will introduce credentialed veterinary technicians to both basic and advanced anesthesia techniques which can be utilized on common exotic small mammals such as rabbits, ferrets, Guinea pigs, chinchillas, and small rodents. Special equipment, drug protocol selection, monitoring techniques, catheterization, and intubation techniques will be emphasized. Advanced anesthetic techniques such as epidural anesthesia/analgesia and analgesic constant rate infusions will be discussed in detail.

This course will consist of four (4) ninety (90) minute Real Time Session, supplemental library materials, interactive message board discussions, and a mandatory end-of-course test. Successful completion (scoring 80% or better) on the end-of-course test is required to be considered for a course certificate of completion.

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:
About the Instructor: Jody Nugent-Deal graduated from Yuba College Veterinary Technology Program in 1998, and worked in a small animal practice in northern California until starting her career at UC Davis Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital (VMTH) in 1999. She worked almost 10 years in the Companion Avian and Exotic Pet Medicine and Surgery Service before moving to the Small Animal Anesthesia Department where she is the primary veterinary technician providing anesthesia care for the exotic animals. Jody achieved her VTS in Anesthesia in 2009 and is actively involved in the credentials committee. She is a founding member of the Academy of Veterinary Technicians in Clinical Practice - Exotic Companion Animal group serving as the acting executive secretary and appeals committee chair. Jody has a special interest in pain management, anesthesia, analgesia, and emergency and critical care management of dogs, cats, and exotic animals.

Course Outline:
Week 1: (Real Time Session June 10): Equipment Selection for Anesthesia Delivery and Monitoring
Content: This session will include information about how and why specific monitoring equipment is chosen for exotic animal anesthesia. Specific equipment such as the ECG, ETCO2, pulse oximetry, Doppler, blood pressure monitoring (direct and indirect), ventilators, and spirometry will be discussed in detail. This session will end with case based discussion relating to anesthetic equipment selection.

Week 2: (Real Time Session June 17): Physical Examination Techniques & Anesthesia Drug Selection for Premedication, Induction, Maintenance, CRI, and Epidurals
Content: This session will start a brief discussion on performing a proper physical examination in exotic small mammals followed by a basic pharmacologic review of common anesthetic drugs used in these unique species. There will be a detailed discussion about how and why a specific anesthetic drug protocol is chosen including how different disease processes and ASA status affect protocol selection. The session will end with a clinical presentation of a patient requiring anesthesia. As a group, we will design an anesthetic protocol together to sum up what has been learned.

Week 3: (Real Time Session June 24): In-Depth Discussion of the Usefulness of Balanced Anesthesia, Calculating CRIs, and Epidurals
Content: This session will discuss the usefulness and benefits of multi-modal or "balanced" anesthetic techniques in exotic small mammals. Participants will learn how to calculate and administer drugs into the epidural space as well as what drugs are commonly used for epidural anesthesia and analgesia. Common drugs used for constant rate infusions (CRIs) and local blocks will also be discussed. Participants will learn how to properly and safely calculate dosages on even the smallest patients.

Week 4: (Real Time Session July 1): Intubation Techniques and IV and IO Catheterization and Fluid Therapy
Content: This session will discuss tips and tricks to make rabbit and ferret intubation more successful. Several different techniques will be discussed in depth and a variety of pictures and videos will be used to aid in teaching. Vascular access and intraosseous catheter placement will be presented as well as common fluids used in exotic small mammals before, during, and after anesthesia. This session will also include a brief discussion on how to calculate percent solutions such as dextrose.


Tuition: $120 ($108 early bird special if enrolled by May 20, 2013).
* 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 has been submitted for approval 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/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)
Barb Burri (; ext 764 (New Hampshire)
Lisa Kernaghan (; ext 159 (Arizona)
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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