VSPN TECH297-0419: Exotic Husbandry and Nutrition

The lectures for this course will be presented in an audio format using a webinar platform.

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Instructor: Sarah Kolb, RVT, VTS-CP (Exotic Companion Animals)
Course Open: April 1, 2019 to May 9, 2019
Real Time Sessions (RTS): Mondays, April 8, 15, 22 and 29, 2019, 8:30-10PM ET (USA)
Course RTS Times in Your Area: World Clock Converter

To prepare for your online experience, review the VIN-VSPN CE informational video prior to the course open date.

Level and Prerequisites: This basic course will be open to veterinary technicians/technologists and support staff, actively interested in foundation principles of exotic companion animal husbandry and nutrition.
VSPN CE Course: “This program has been approved for 6 hours of continuing education credit in jurisdictions which recognize RACE approval."(22-35752)

Course Description:
This course is designed to provide the foundation principles of exotic companion animal husbandry and nutrition. Veterinary team members play an integral role in evaluating the husbandry and nutrition of exotic companion animal patients during history taking and examination. Participants will be provided with history taking techniques to assist in obtaining and evaluating husbandry and nutrition information from owners. Recognition of improper husbandry and nutrition, as well as recommendations for making improvements will be discussed at length. Common disease conditions associated with improper husbandry and nutrition techniques will also be discussed.

Week 1 (Real Time Session April 8): Rabbits, Guinea Pigs, Chinchillas & Rodents
Objectives: Upon completion of this session, the participant should be able to
  • Discuss proper husbandry & nutrition for rabbits, guinea pigs, chinchillas, & rodents.
  • Ask questions to adequately evaluate patient husbandry & nutrition during history collection.
  • Recognize improper husbandry techniques.
  • Explain how disease conditions are related to improper husbandry techniques.
  • Understand gastrointestinal stasis & nutrition-related urinary conditions in rabbits, guinea pigs, & chinchillas.
Week 2 (Real Time Session April 15): Sugar Gliders, Hedgehogs & Ferrets
Objectives: Upon completion of this session, the participant should be able to
  • Discuss proper husbandry & nutrition for sugar gliders, hedgehogs, & ferrets.
  • Ask questions to adequately evaluate patient husbandry & nutrition during history collection.
  • Recognize improper husbandry techniques.
  • Explain how disease conditions are related to improper husbandry techniques.
  • Offer nutrition recommendations for sugar gliders, hedgehogs, & ferrets.
Week 3 (Real Time Session April 22): Birds
Objectives: Upon completion of this session, the participant should be able to
  • Discuss proper husbandry & nutrition for birds.
  • Ask questions to adequately evaluate patient husbandry & nutrition during history collection.
  • Recognize improper husbandry techniques.
  • Explain how disease conditions are related to improper nutrition.
  • Discuss the nutritional content of seed vs pelleted diets.
Week 4 (Real Time Session April 29): Reptiles
Objectives: Upon completion of this session, the participant should be able to
  • Discuss proper husbandry & nutrition for a variety of reptile species.
  • Ask questions to adequately evaluate patient husbandry & nutrition during history collection.
  • Recognize improper husbandry techniques.
  • Explain how disease conditions are related to improper husbandry techniques.
  • Understand nutritional secondary hyperparathyroidism in reptiles.
Successful completion (scoring 80% or better) on the end-of-course test is required to earn a certificate of completion for the course.

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

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

Course Materials: Course materials will be available in the course library prior to each Real Time Session.

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

About the Instructor:
Sarah Kolb, RVT VTS-CP (Exotic Companion Animals) graduated from Minnesota School of Health Science/Globe College in 2005 and obtained a bachelor’s degree in veterinary technology through St. Petersburg College in Florida in 2018. She has worked in the Primary Care/Exotic Companion Animal Department and Wildlife Care Clinic at Iowa State University Lloyd Veterinary Medical Center located in Ames, Iowa, since 2006. In 2015, Sarah achieved VTS status with the AVTCP- exotic companion animals. Sarah is also a licensed wildlife rehabilitator and parrot foster home for her local Animal Rescue League. Sarah is a member of the Association of Avian Veterinarians (AAV) and the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants (IAABC) and serves on multiple committees for the Academy of Veterinary Technicians in Clinical Practice (AVTCP). In addition, Sarah has published articles in both the NAVTA Journal and Veterinary Nurses Today and has lectured at various national conferences. Sarah resides in Boone, IA, with her three wonderful kids, 6 parrots, and a small backyard flock of chickens.

Total CE Credit: 6

Tuition: $126 ($113 early bird special if enrolled by March 18, 2019)
Prices are listed in US dollars.

* 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 5pm ET on April 8, 2019, or when the maximum number of participants is reached.
*For more information on how online CE works, see the Participant Resource Center.

To Enroll:
  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 @vspn.org and @vin.com 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.
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*Note: “This program has been approved for 6 hours of continuing education credit in jurisdictions which recognize RACE approval.(22-35752) “

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 office 800-846-0028 ext. 792 to discuss eligibility for a pro-rated refund.

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

Lisa Kernaghan, LVT, RVT, CVT, VTS (ECC)
VSPN CE Coordinator

VSPN CE Services:
800-846-0028 or 530-756-4881; ext. 792
or direct line to VIN/VSPN from the United Kingdom: 01 45 222 6154
or direct line to VIN/VSPN from Australia: 02 6145 2357