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Sunday Labs & Lecture Descriptions

*Sponsored by Merck Animal Health
This lab is based on the “Stockmanship” series of the Merck Animal Health Initiative entitled CreatingConnections.™  

The reasons for CreatingConnections are simple:
• How cattle are handled impacts their health, well-being, performance and meat quality.
• Low-stress handling positively affects an animal’s immunity and resistance to disease.
• A low-stress environment is better for the cattle and safer for their handlers.

The Stockmanship series – Helps handlers build trust and enhance cattle well-being. We call it “Nothing in the Hands” stockmanship because cattle are moved with no sticks or paddles, just quiet, confident movements by their handlers. The result is calm cattle that are easier to handle, easier to diagnose and easier to manage.

The Acclimation series – Addresses reducing stress when moving or relocating cattle. You’ll see how handlers use body position, working distance, angles, calm motion and gentle pressure to create voluntary cattle motion as a herd.

At Merck Animal Health, we believe it’s our responsibility to share best practices and innovative concepts that positively impact animal health. That’s why we’re introducing CreatingConnections™ – a program to help cattlemen like you continuously improve the way you interact with, move and transport cattle.

Lee Sinclair-Account Manager, Farm Animal Business Unit
Raised in the Lloydminster, SK area, Lee was mainly a town kid who had access to family farms and spent as much time out there as possible. His family was in rodeo, so he followed that path; riding steers and then saddle broncs. He earned a Diploma in Herd Health Technology from Lakeland College and received a Rodeo Scholarship to Montana State University where he earned his Degree in Animal Science. He worked in a 20,000 head feedlot during university, riding pens. In 1995, Lee started in Ag sales (feed, livestock equipment and animal health) and has been with Merck since September 2015.


Veterinary Dental Radiograph Lab
The Veterinary Dental Radiograph Lab provides technicians the opportunity to perform full mouth dental radiographs in a timely manner on canine and feline cadavers. Prerequisites for the lab include the Saturday lecture and reviewing online videos that will be provided once the participants have registered.  During the lab we will focus on positioning with canine and feline cadavers and reviewing the image anatomy and quality. Upon completing this course participants will have greater confidence and improved patient care as a result of decreasing time for full mouth radiographs and interpretation.  Each participant will be grouped with other participants to work together to maximize their efficiency. Four different radiograph systems (2 DR, 1 CR, 1 manual developing) will be utilized and shared among participants.  

Candace Lowe, DVM, MVetS, DAVDC
Dr. Lowe received her DVM degree from the WCVM in 2005.  Following graduation, she worked as a Clinical Associate in Radiation Oncology at the WCVM.  In 2008 she began a residency in Veterinary Dentistry which she successfully completed in July 2011. Dr. Lowe joined the Department of Small Animal Clinical Sciences as an Assistant Professor in September 2011.  Candace received her Diplomate status in the American Veterinary Dental College in January 2017. 


Introduction to Abdominal Ultrasound
*Sponsored by SCIL Animal Care Company
This lab will allow each participant to gain confidence with ultrasound by performing a live scan of the dog abdomen.  Each group of 3-4 registrants will have direct guidance and supervision by an expert in the field.  The focus will be on obtaining images of each abdominal organ and developing an understanding for how to acquire consistent ultrasound images.  The didactic lecture is a requirement for registration for this lab. 

Sally Sakut, DVM, DACVR
See bio on Saturday session page

Asst: Dr. Brad Cotter, DVM, Resident Medical Imaging, Veterinary Medical Centre
Dr. Cotter is a graduate of WCVM, class of 2001. He did a rotating Small Animal Internship with Rochester Veterinary Specialists in 2002 and has 16 years of experience in Emergency Practice at various private specialty hospitals in Canada and the United States. He completed his Diagnostic Imaging Internship at WCVM in 2018. He is currently a first year Diagnostic Imaging Resident at WCVM.

Asst: Dr Amy Larkin, DVM
Dr. Larkin os a graduate of UCVM (University of Calgary Veterinary Medicine), class of 2016.  Following graduation she completed a rotating small animal medicine and surgery internship (2016-2017) and a diagnostic imaging internship (2017-2018) at WCVM (Western College of Veterinary Medicine).  She is currently a first year Diagnostic Imaging Resident at WCVM.   


Equine Rehabilitation:  Technicians Making Mobility Examinations, Therapeutic Exercise, and Modalities Happen
*Sponsored by Respond Systems Inc and The SPAW 
Bring your boots and warm clothes and join Jenn Panko, RVT, Veterinary Technician Specialist (VTS) in Physical Rehabilitation in The Ryan/Dubé Equine Performance Centre located at WCVM Veterinary Medical Centre. We will work through mobility examinations, rehabilitation techniques, therapeutic exercise, and the use of modalities to improve equine mobility and performance. 

*Pre-laboratory notes will be provided to participants.

Jenn Panko, RVT, CCRP VTS (Physical Rehabilitation) OCMC, CAPMC
See bio on Saturday Session page


Abnormal Hematology
In this lab/lecture, we will review hematology findings seen in cases such as anemias and inflammatory responses.   We will review and discuss the abnormal morphological findings of erythrocytes, leukocytes and thrombocytes.  Participants will have the opportunity to review prepared slides in a laboratory setting from ill patients and we will discuss our results.

Brianne Bellwood, RVT, VTS (Clinical Pathology), CCRVN
See bio on Saturday Session page


How do I do that again; it’s been awhile?
*Sponsored by BD Canada and Saskatchewan Polytechnic
In this lab we will use anatomy models to revisit essential skills for veterinary technologists. We will use needle and syringes as well as a vacutainer system to collect blood from cephalic and jugular veins.  We will practice cephalic vein catheter placement and securing them in place.  We will dust off the cobwebs and do some IV fluid calculations, and then set up various fluid administration systems. 

Bernice Ruf, RVT, FCP
Bernice graduated from SIAST’S Animal Health Technician Program in 1992 and worked in a small animal/exotics practice after graduation.  She taught the VOA program for several years while her children were young and then returned to small animal practice for a few years before starting at Saskatchewan Polytechnic in 2010.  In 2016 she earned an advanced certificate in Faculty Certificate Program (adult education).  She is a passed board member of the SAVT and currently serves on a committee.  Her passion is teaching others about the amazing world of veterinary technology and instilling a passion for the profession in her students.  In her spare time, she enjoys quadding, nature, and gardening.

Asst: Jamie Mamer
bio pending


Mice and Rats 101
This lab will outline basic handling including: the proper approach to these prey animals, how to remove them from a cage and hold them until restraint is required. Restraint methods using hands;  no hard-mechanical devises. Sexing of mice and rats using visual/anatomical methods.   Demonstration of oral gavage, injections (IP and SQ) and methods for blood collection.

Peggy Nelles, RVT, RMLAT
Peggy graduated from Kelsey in the Mid 80’s.  Her entire Vet Tech career has been at the University of Saskatchewan in various departments:  Animal Care Unit –WCVM (1986-1988), Animal Resources Centre (1988–until its closure in April 2012), Animal Order Desk (2011–2014), and Laboratory Animal Service Unit (2014–present.) She has worked with a large variety of research animals ranging from small to large and even fish.  Currently, she works mostly with rodents (mice and rats), rabbits, fish and frogs. Her other interests include:  Motorcycle Training – Chief Motorcycle Instructor with Maximum Training and working with her Newfoundland dogs “Cally” who turned 10 years in June and “Oakley” who was born in March of 2018.

Asst: Michele Moroz, RVT, RMLAT 
Michele Moroz has been working as a Veterinary Technologist since 1983, with experience in a veterinary teaching hospital, clinical practice, and the last 24 years in biomedical research. She has certification from the Canadian Association of Laboratory Animal Science as a Registered Master Laboratory Animal Technician. Michele has been a board/council member of the Saskatchewan Association of Veterinary Technologists, the Registered Veterinary Technician and Technologist Association of Canada (formerly CAAHTT), and the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association. Additional professional activities includes volunteering with the local Veterinary Technology Program Advisory Committee, Canadian Association for Laboratory Animal Science registry committee, Canadian Council on Animal Care assessment panels, American Association of Veterinary State Boards task force member, institutional Animal Research Ethics Board and Occupational Health and Safety Committee.  

Asst: Shawna Sawatzky
Bio pending


Equine Nursing Skills (Student Lab)
This student lab will include Upper Airway Endoscopy followed by ultrasound (one hour for each part).  There will be a demonstration of BAL equipment and tracheal wash equipment for students (we will not perform this procedure on a live horse). 

Rebecca Johnston RVT VTS-EVN
Rebecca graduated from St. Lawrence College Veterinary Technology in 1999 and Olds College Equine Science: Breeding Management in 2001. She obtained her equine nursing specialty in 2013. She has worked in UK, Australia and New Zealand as an equine nurse as well as at OVC for 5 years and has been at the VMC in large animal clinics since 2013.


WORKSHOPS & LECTURES: (No live animals used)

Communication Strategies That Work
This workshop will introduce attendees to communication skills that are effective in working with veterinary clients to achieve compliance, informed consent and difficult conversations around fees and money. Attendees will practice these skills and be coached for skill development in a safe environment using real life scenarios that frontline VT’s face every day. The goal of this workshop is to come away with evidence based,  effective strategies for communication in the veterinary profession.


Building Breed Specific Anesthesia Protocols
This lecture will explore the various nuances associated with brachycephalic breeds, sighthounds, Dobermans, Boxers, and the other special breeds and how they specifically relate to anesthesia. Topics will include pre-medication selection, induction, maintenance, and recovery of all these special patients. We will go over case examples and break into groups to develop anesthetic and analgesic protocols based on real life examples. 

Tasha McNerney, BS, CVT, CVPP, VTS Anesthesia)
See bio on Saturday Session page


Equine Advanced Imaging – A Comparison of Modalities
Equids as sports athletes or trail companions can experience a vast array of injuries and identifying those injuries can be tedious and difficult at times. This lecture will look at the types of modalities commonly available to equine clients and how they differ and compare.

  • Understand the difference between high field and low field MRIs
  • Understand which modalities identify physiological and pathological changes
  • Discussion of when to use which modality including CT, MRI and scintigraphy

Nursing an Acute Equine Colitis
What is Colitis, What causes it in horses, and what does it take to manage a patient suffering from it? This lecture will discuss the various facets of caring for a horse with this critical illness while focusing on technical nursing skills.

  • Tactics related to controlling infectious disease
  • Diagnostics and physical exam details for critical monitoring
  • Treatment therapy options including medical and nutritional concerns

Specialty Certification – The Road to Becoming a VTS
A presentation on what is involved in becoming a Vet Tech Specialist followed by an open question and answer period. There are many facets to the process of becoming a specialty technician. While there are a variety of paths to follow for different specialties, the lengthy application process is still quite similar between the groups.

  • Which specialties are currently available
  • The general application process
  • How and where to get up to date information
  • Advantages to becoming specialized

Nursing Large Animal Neonates – Foals, crias and kids Oh my!
Nursing a sick neonate from illness to recovery is an incredibly intensive and time consuming event. The patient’s status can change significantly from hour to hour and it’s critically important that a technician has good patient assessment skills and knows how to properly care for this type of patient they are dealing with.

  • Discuss processes related to resuscitation, evaluation, stabilization
  • General therapies and monitoring procedures for foals and crias
  • Supplemental nutritional options
  • Management techniques and housing options for the patient and their mothers

Sue Loly, LVT, VTS-Equine Nursing
See bio on Saturday Session page