virginia association of licensed veterinary technicians

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Learn more about the 2018 Fall Conference lectures and labs below. This page will be continuously updated as we receive additional session descriptions from the speakers.

 Julie Antonellis, LVT, VTS (ECC)

Sponsored by Patterson Veterinary Supply and Antonellis Veterinary Consulting

"Carbon Dioxide: One Very Important Little Compound" - Measuring carbon dioxide gives us extremely helpful and important information about the body's metabolism, perfusion and ventilation. This lecture will explore carbon dioxide and the methods used to measure this important compound. The major focus of this lecture will be on capnography. Attendees will gain practical knowledge of how to interpret what capnographs are telling us, including waveform recognition and interpretation. Helpful videos will be used to reinforce what is lectured.

~LAB~ "CPR: How Can we Improve our Response?" *This is a combination lecture and dry lab where CPR drills are preformed by attendees* - Being prepared for anything is something we strive for in the world of veterinary medicine. We often pride ourselves on being able to make the most out of difficult situations with what we have on hand. Despite our flexibility and ingenuity, there are still times when we struggle with life and death situations involving our patients. When faced with a dying patient on a shift where the people we are working with are not on the same page as we are, an already difficult situation can appear almost impossible. This lecture will provide practical information and guidance that will help participants lead their veterinary team to work together to help any dog or cat who has suffered from cardiopulmonary arrest. Attendees will learn about basic life support and advanced life support following the RECOVER guidelines from a certified ALS instructor. They will gain knowledge that will help them to respond to cardiopulmonary arrest in a calm and organized fashion and an understanding of the importance of teamwork in these situations. Participants will leave this lecture with a solid understanding of how to perform CPR, monitor their patients during CPR and ways to prepare their hospital for this often stressful event. Videos will be used to highlight important aspects of CPR to give attendees a better sense of how to respond. 

"Blood Gases: Making Sense of it All" - Blood gas analysis is a skill that is very important in emergency and critical care and can be very daunting without a good understanding of what the test results mean. This lecture will break down blood gas results so that we can truly understand what we are measuring, why these values are so important, and what these results tell us about our patient's condition. We will put our understanding of these results to practical use by interpreting blood gases from real life cases. Attendees will leave with a thorough understanding of blood gas analysis and will be able to use this knowledge in their practices. 

"Respiratory Emergencies" - No matter how long folks have been working in the veterinary field, the one emergency that makes everyone anxious is the respiratory emergency. It can be very difficult to find the balance in treating our patients and not harming them in the process. Watching a patient struggle with one of the basic body functions necessary for survival can be extremely difficult for the veterinary team. This lecture will address many of the concerns we all face when handling dyspneic patients and provide useful tips on ways to ease the process. Attendees will learn the importance of recognizing different breathing patterns and how they can be used to aid in the diagnosis of their patients. They will gain an understanding of some of the more common respiratory emergencies we see in emergency medicine and how they are treated. Attendees will learn the value of diligent nursing care in these patients as well as advanced procedures that technicians can preform to help them. This lecture will briefly touch on one of the more advanced therapies available for treating severe respiratory emergencies, critical care ventilation. Real life cases will be used to bring the information discussed together in a very practical way.

 Sarah Barrett, DVM, PhD, DACVP

~LAB~ "Hematology Lecture and Lab Work on Blood Film Preparation and Analysis" - the lecture session will be primarily on blood smear analysis, whereas the lab session will comprise both a short intro in blood smear prep (with a station for practicing) and several microscopes set up with unknown slides (and a short case history with signalment, clinical signs, etc.). Attendees will be able to work through the cases on their own (with me circulating to answer questions) , and then at the end of the session, we will go over the cases. 

 Kaitlin Bowes, LVT

"Restraint/Medicating/Anesthesia for Rodents and Rabbits" - The receptionist puts the phone on hold, walks to the treatment room, and doubtfully asks "Can we see a guinea pig with [insert random "sudden" illness or injury]. You look to your DVM and see a momentary flash of horror and confusion. Perhaps these potential clients don't even get this far - the support staff is required to turn them away without a second thought. Fear no more! Continue your role as Super Tech with these nursing care tips and tricks for rodents and other small mammals. 

 Charlene Braman, LVT

~LAB~"Wildlife Neonate Care and Feeding" - For the lecture part I will be covering how to legally and ethically provide veterinary care for wildlife in the vet hospital - laws and regulations regarding wildlife, resources for finding wildlife rehabilitators, critical supplies to have in your hospital if you will be seeing wildlife, and how to properly care for, house, and feed wildlife while they’re at the hospital. For the lab portion I will be demonstrating how to do tube feeding for neonate wildlife and basic restraint principles to know for the different species you might encounter. Participants in the lab portion will actually get hands on experience with tube feeding

 Sierra Burrell, DVM, MPH

"Pet Export Papers" - Planes, Trains and Automobiles are all ways that pets can travel internationally, is your clinic confident in filling out international health cerificates (IHCs) for your globetrotting patients? This session will review the basic steps of filling out IHCs, commonly made mistakes, and how to navigate the USDA Pet Travel Website. There will also be a brief review of the 2016-2017 Screwworm outbreak in Florida and how your clinic can help prevent outbreaks like this in the future. 


Dj Cannon, LVT, MPH

Sponsored by Zoetis

"Emerging Zoonoses - A Deadly Gala. How your Patients can Kill YOU" An interactive and compelling exchange of the case investigations that lead to the discovery of deadly zoonoses. You can be exposed to any of these diseases on a daily basis and understanding them will help you make informed decisions for your own safety, your patients and clients. We will begin with the investigation of crows falling from the sky and venture on from there...

 Erin Casey, DVM

Sponsored by Boehringer Ingelheim

"You've Lost that Loving Feeling: Tips to Combating Compassion Fatigue in the Veterinary Field" - Learn how to combat compassion fatigue by positively impacting your outlook and creating a healthier work and home environment. Attendees will leave with tips on how to stay focused on helping themselves and others while in challenging situations. 

 Andrea Collins, LVT, BBA, VTS (ECC)

"Nutritional Support for the Critical Patient" - Part I of this lecture will cover the importance of nutrition, indications for support, how to assess the patient's nutritional needs and come up with a plan. Part II will discuss the various types of feeding tubes including when and how to use them.


  Rachel Franklin, LVT

Sponsored by the COVE and Jurox

"Anesthetic Menu" 
 - What's best for the patient? A how to guide on patient specific anesthetic protocols. Focusing on premedication and induction, and the importance of a multi modal approach.

"Opioid Free Anesthesia" - Opioids on backorder, now what? Alternative analgesic agents and techniques that can improve your everyday anesthetic protocols. 

  Richard Hartigan, DVM

Sponsored by IDEXX

~LAB~ "Fecal Microscopy"

 Leigh-Ann Horne, LVT

~LAB~ "Hematology for Exotic Patients" - This hands-on lab provides an overview of setting up and reading a manual Complete Blood Count in reptile and avian species.  It includes running a total leukocyte count, a differential count, and identifying morphological abnormalities and hemoparasites.

 Renaud Houyoux, LVT

Sponsored by Companion Animal Health by LiteCure

"Laser Therapy: Calculations for Laser Settings with Live Pt. Positioning/Ergonomics/Tx. Technique Tips" - (There are two sessions, each lasting approx. 0:45 and a 0:10 break in between) (Each session contains a PowerPoint presentation) (The second session also breaks out for hands-on with Tx. Technique Tips) (Sessions to be repeated in the afternoon so as to allow for maximum attendee exposure). The first session will delve with understanding and calculation dosing. Specifically, we will look into the details of adjusting dosing as per the specific condition being treated. The goal for this session is to give the laser operator an understanding and ability to deliver optimal treatments in clinical practice. The second session will focus on treatment techniques and practical tips. This session will start with a lecture portion, then transition to a hands-on workshop for attendees to apply materials discussed during the lectures. If possible, having access to not only a laser unit but one or several live animals to work with would be optimal. The goal for this session is to provide some practical advice that attendees an immediately apply in clinical practice, promoting a less stressful experience for the patient and enabling optimal treatments. 

 Kris Keane, BAS, LVT

~LAB~ "Interosseous Catheter Lab" - Intraosseous catheters are indicated when peripheral vessels are small or collapsed and intravascular access is needed for fluid administration, blood product administration or the administration of resuscitation drugs.  This session will discuss the indications, equipment, anatomy and methods used to place IO catheters in small animal patients and will include hands on practice using neonate cadavers. Session is limited to 10 participants.

 Melinda McCall, DVM

"Urinary Blockages in Small Ruminants and Assessment of Weak Calves" - In the first session, we will discuss how to recognize urinary blockages in small ruminants and how to correct and prevent this disorder. The second session will cover some of the common causes of disease in young calves and how to treat them. 

  Tabitha Moore, DVM

"Back Pain in Horses" - Dr. Moore will be discussing clinical signs of horses with back pain, reviewing anatomy and some pathologies of the equine back and imaging modalities used to diagnose the conditions. Information on cutting edge treatments will be presented as well as rehabilitation tools.


 Tracy Norman, VMD, MA

"Updates on Infectious Equine Diseases"

 Peggy Perry, LVT

Sponsored by Ceva Animal Health

~LAB~ "Fear Free Handling" - Overview of Fear, Stress and Anxiety in Dogs and Cats. With an open round table discussion about things we are seeing in practice and obstacles trying to integrating Fear Free. A handling wet lab demonstrating Fear Free Practices. 

 Stacy Reeder, DVM

~LAB~ "Canine Physical Therapy in the Veterinary Practice" - the goal of this session is to explain the role of physical rehabilitation in general veterinary practice and give an overview of physical therapy modalities including exercise, manual therapy, NMES, therapeutic US and laser evaluation of a patient for physical therapy. 

 Charlotte Robinson, DVM

~LAB~ "Equine Body Condition Scoring" - Equine body condition scoring is a way to objectively assess the current nutritional state of a horse at a point in time. This is a great tool to teach owners about how to properly care for their horse and of course it is often cited as a reason to seize animals in court proceedings. BCS alone is never a reason to start court proceedings but it is just a part of the total package. Learning the principles of the BCS and the proper anatomical areas to check can help you help horses and their owners. 

 Ori Scislowicz, BS, LVT, aPHR

Sponsored by CVCA: Cardiac Care for Pets

"Learn How to Boost your Culture, Engage your Team & Effectively Coach to Success!" - Key components of positive company culture and how to recognize (and repair!) damaged culture will be covered. Speaker will discuss the value of actively engaged employees and how to keep a pulse on employee engagement. Learn how to turn team members around through effective coaching and performance management.

 Keith Tignor

Sponsored by the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services

"Bee Diseases" - Changes to veterinarian oversight in treating food production animals with human important antimicrobials will be addressed. These changes require veterinarian prescribed medication or feed directive in treatment of several honey bee diseases. An overview of honey bee life history and maladies treated with antimicrobials will be covered. 


"Cannabinoids in Veterinary Practice" - The use of CBD oils and cannabidiols in veterinary medicine: Are they legal? Are they safe? What are they used for? And "is it pot or not"? No THC, but you'll get high on knowledge in this lecture discussing the use of "medical marijuana" for pets and get a chance to weigh the controversy surrounding the safety and legality of using these products for small animal medical treatment in Virginia!

"Essential Oil Use in Veterinary Medicine" - Is aromatherapy scientific, does it work, or is it just a lot of fun? Are essential oils safe for cats, birds, and exotic mammals, or deadly? What do I need to know to keep my clients from inadvertently poisoning their beloved pet with inappropriate "smelly science", and how can I use essential oil therapy to make my job easier and safer? Dr. Verna will tell you some of the real science and facts about Essential Oils and their use in veterinary practice! You might even think her lecture stinks!

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