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VSPN CE Course TECH237-0314: Anesthesia for the Reptile Patient
Text only: The lectures for this course will be presented in a predominantly text format.


INSTRUCTOR(S): Jody Nugent-Deal, RVT, VTS (Anesthesia; Exotic Companion Animal)
COURSE OPEN: March 31-May 8, 2014
REAL TIME SESSIONS (RTS): Mondays, April 7, 14, 21 and 28, 2014; 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.

Level and Prerequisites: This intermediate course will cover basic to advanced anesthetic techniques in reptile species commonly seen in companion animal practice including but not limited to snakes, lizards and chelonians (turtles and tortoises). Veterinarians and their technicians will benefit from this course to enhance team medicine and patient 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:
This course will introduce credentialed veterinary technicians and veterinarians to both basic and advanced anesthesia techniques that can be utilized in common pet reptile species such as snakes, turtles, tortoises, and lizards. Basic anatomy and physiology, special anesthetic equipment, drug protocol selection, monitoring techniques, intravenous and intraosseous catheterization, and intubation techniques will be emphasized.

This course consists of four (4) 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.

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 Textbook(s):

About the Instructors:
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: (Note: This order of topics on this outline was changed on March 26, 2014)
Week 1 (Real Time Session April 7): Overview of Reptilian Anatomy and Physiology and Anesthesia Drug Selection for Premedication, Induction and Maintenance Anesthesia
Content: This session will discuss a basic overview of snake, lizard, turtle and tortoise anatomy and physiology. Major organ systems for each reptile group will be discussed giving participants a better understanding of the anatomical and physiologic differences between various reptile species. The lecture will conclude with 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. The evening will finish with a clinical presentation of a patient requiring anesthesia. As a group, we will design an anesthetic protocol to review what has been learned.

Week 2 (Real Time Session April 14): Equipment Selection for Anesthesia Delivery and Monitoring
Content: This session will include information about how and why specific monitoring equipment is chosen for reptilian anesthesia. Specific equipment such as the ECG, ETCO2, pulse oximetry, Doppler, blood pressure monitoring, ventilators, and spirometry will be discussed in detail. This session will end with case based discussion relating to anesthetic equipment selection.

Week 3 (Real Time Session April 21): Physical Examination and Venipuncture Techniques
Content: This session will start with a discussion on performing a proper physical examination in chelonians, lizards, and snakes followed by an in-depth discussion on venipuncture techniques. Having the ability to perform a physical examination and obtain blood samples is as important as being able to induce and maintain anesthesia. Since reptiles are so different from mammals, we will spend an entire class discussing these two techniques.

Week 4 (Real Time Session April 28): In-Depth Discussion on IV and IO Catheterization, Fluid Therapy, Intubation, and Post-operative Recovery and Nursing Care
Content: Vascular access and intraosseous catheter placement will be discussed in detail as well as common fluids used in companion reptilian patients before, during, and after anesthesia. Intubation techniques and tips will also be discussed in detail. This session will conclude with a discussion on post-operative recovery and nursing care in these unique species.


Tuition: $120 ($108 early bird special if enrolled by March 17, 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 Monday April 7, 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 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 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/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.

The CE team:

Charlotte Waack, RVT, CVT
VSPN CE Director

VSPN CE Services:
800-846-0028 or 530-756-4881; ext. 972
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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