Pacific Northwest Veterinary Conference

Online registration will be available soon.

Registration for the 2020 PNWVC is now closed. 



Friday, October 2nd

Liza W Rudolph

Liza W Rudolph


Liza has been working as a veterinary technician for 20 years and is a graduate of the Bachelor’s program in Veterinary Technology at St. Petersburg College. She is a Veterinary Technician Specialist (VTS) in Canine/Feline Clinical Practice and in Small Animal Internal Medicine. Liza provides education and training to veterinary technicians as a webinar instructor for Penn Foster, by traditional lecturing and online continuing education opportunities, and publishing informational articles. When not teaching, Liza is an active member of multiple veterinary organizations and practices as a relief veterinary technician; spending most of her clinical time in specialty practices in both the Mid-Atlantic and Midwest regions.

- 11:59pm
Venipuncture & Vascular Access (Recorded Session)
The indications, types, and methods of vascular access will be discussed. This includes venipuncture techniques, peripheral vs central venous access, catheter types, placement, and proper maintenance. Aseptic technique will be stressed.
- 11:59pm
Nursing the Cat Flu Patient (Recorded Session)
Feline upper respiratory disease involves the mouth, nasal passages, sinuses, and/or upper airway of affected cats. Treatment is mainly supportive and feline patients have their own set of unique considerations. Patient advocacy from the nursing team is often required.
- 11:59pm
Tick-Borne Disease (Recorded Session)
It’s not all about Lyme Disease anymore. This lecture will focus on the foundation of common Tick-Borne Diseases in the small animal patient and address the changing face of tick-borne disease in the US.
- 8:50am
Small Animal Immunology & Vaccination
This lecture will cover the immunological foundation of vaccination and how it relates to small animal medicine. Current vaccine recommendations from AAHA, AAFP, and WASAVA will be discussed as well as the practical use of titers.
- 9:50am
Ins and Outs of Blood Pressure Measurement
Blood pressure measurement is an important vital parameter in small animal patients. Invasive vs non-invasive blood pressure (NIBP) measurement will be discussed. Doppler vs oscillometric devices, their use, limitations, and recommendations for obtaining consistent and accurate values will be stressed.
- 11:20am
Leptospirosis in Small Animals
The presentation, diagnosis, treatment, and prognosis of leptospirosis will be discussed.
- 12:20pm
Challenging Nursing Cases -Concepts of veterinary nursing plans
The nursing process is an organizational tool that has been used in human medicine for a number of years to guide human nursing students and promote patient care. Utilization of the nursing process in veterinary medicine allows veterinary technicians to function in a similar capacity to that of human nurses. In order to correctly use the nursing process, the veterinary technician must be able to apply critical thinking and veterinary nursing knowledge to institute a high standard of care and enhance patient
Sandy Willis

Sandy Willis


Sponsored by Phoenix Labs Dr. Sandy Willis is the small animal internal medicine specialist for Phoenix Laboratory in Mukilteo, Washington. Dr. Willis consults with veterinary staff on interpretation of blood work, diagnostic testing, and treatment of disease in small animals. She also facilitates the Phoenix Continuing Education program consisting of wet labs and seminars on diagnostic testing, communications, and internal medicine. Dr. Willis is originally from Los Angeles, but she loves the Pacific Northwest. She commutes from NE Tacoma near Federal Way and sees most of the Puget Sound daily. She is a graduate of UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine. Dr. Willis was named the WSVMA Veterinarian of the Year in 2015. She currently represents Washington in the AVMA House of Delegates. completed a small animal internship at the University of Minnesota and a residency and master’s program at the University of Saskatchewan. She is board certified in the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine (ACVIM). Dr. Willis serves as staff for her kitties Fiona, McTavish, and Giselle. She enjoys travel, hiking, cycling, and all activities out of doors. She loves ballet, theatre, and music.

- 11:59pm
Optimize your Results Through Sample Submission (Recorded Session)
This talk will provide a general overview of how best to use an outside veterinary diagnostic laboratory alone or in conjunction with an in-clinic laboratory in the diagnosis of disease with a focus on small animals. Topics will include sample collection and submission for studies in hematology, urinalysis, parasitology, and chemistry; cytology and histopathology; culture including urine and tissue. Special testing, such as GI function panels, endocrine testing, and infectious disease testing will also be reviewed.
- 11:59pm
Hematology: Interpreting Slide Review (Recorded Session)
After a brief review of systematic smear evaluation and basic cell identification, abnormal RBC and WBC morphology and platelet estimate are discussed. The goal of this session is to familiarize attendees with RBC poikilocytosis including spherocytes, acanthocytes, schistocytes, and eccentrocytes; neutrophil toxic change and bands, stimulated and atypical lymphocytes, eosinophilia and basophilia, and mast cells; platelet clumping and slide estimation of platelet numbers. The emphasis is on canine and feline hematology although some information is provided on equine and bovine hematology.
- 11:59pm
Urinalysis (Recorded Session)
This excellent review covers the gamut from sample collection to sediment evaluation. It is designed for the clinic doing in-house urinalysis but is also beneficial for those using the reference laboratory. Topics include the four basic parts of the urinalysis, sample collection and handling, sediment preparation, examination, and clinical significance. Identification of bacteria vs. artifact will be stressed, and the technique for urine culture. The additional topics of indications and sample preparation for urine cytology, urine protein:creatinine and cortisol:creatinine ratios are addressed.
- 12:20pm
Parasitology (Recorded Session)
This talk is designed for the clinic doing its own in-house fecal exams, but the information is important for every clinic stressing fecal examination as an important element of ensuring pet wellness. Topics include sample collection and preparation, direct smear evaluation, flotation techniques, fecal centrifugation, parasite identification and clinical significance, pseudoparasites and artifacts, and additional specialized testing such as giardia IFA.
- 2:20pm
This session will cover basic topics in microbiology to include: sample submission, from urinalysis to tissues; sample preparation in the microbiology lab with a description of how samples are cultured, and how sensitivity to antibiotics is determined, Kirby Bauer vs. Mean Inhibitory Concentration (MIC); basics of interpretation of culture and sensitivity results for appropriate antimicrobial therapy. We will also discuss antimicrobial resistance, the scope of the problem, and efforts being made to limit resistance.
- 3:50pm
Endocrine Disease: Diagnostic Testing
This session will cover some of the basics of endocrine testing in the dog and cat to include: diabetes, hypothyroidism, hyperthryoidism, hyperadrenocortisim, hypoadrenocorticism, parathyroid disease, acromegaly and hyperaldosteronism.
- 4:50pm
Communicating Diagnostics to Pet Owners
Advances in veterinary medicine have brought us better diagnostic tests so that we can more quickly and accurately diagnose the pet’s problem, treat appropriately and relieve the pet's distress as quickly as possible. But sometimes our owners get frustrated, put up their hands and say “Enough tests already, just treat”. In this workshop, we will discuss communicating diagnostic tests so that attendees have knowledge to answer clients’ questions including reason the test was run, its interpretation, and next steps. Numerous case examples will be presented but staff is encouraged to bring their own.

Saturday, October 3rd

Ed Carlson

Ed Carlson

CVT, VTS (Nutrition)

Sponsored by Royal Canin Ed Carlson is the Director of Technician Learning and Development for Ethos Veterinary Health. He lectures frequently at local, regional, and national veterinary conferences on a variety of nutrition topics. Ed is the National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America District 1 Representative and serves on multiple NAVTA committees including the Veterinary Nurse Initiative workgroup. He is also the Vice President of the Massachusetts Veterinary Technician Association, the Treasurer of the New Hampshire Veterinary Technician Association and a member Association of Veterinary Technician Educators. Ed is also the recipient of the NAVTA 2019 Technician of the Year award.

- 11:59pm
Chronic Kidney Disease; Current Recommendations for Nutritional Management (Recorded Session)
Chronic Kidney Disease; Current Recommendations for Nutritional Management
Thoughts and recommendations on the nutritional management of chronic kidney disease (CKD) based on the latest literature are discussed in this lecture. Including the optimum time to recommend a therapeutic diet, the benefits of feeding tubes, and when a veterinary renal formula might be contraindicated. Understanding IRIS staging of these patients, critical to providing the appropriate diet for CKD management is discussed. The key nutritional factors and benefits of veterinary therapeutic diets are important for the veterinary technician to understand to provide excellent patient care and to educate clients on kidney disease will be covered.
Learning objectives
1. An understanding of the importance of renal diets as well as when and how to introduce them to the renal patient
2. The importance of client education and tips for educating clients on renal diets
3. How the appropriate nutritional support of the renal patient may slow the clinical signs of the disease and improve quality of life
- 11:59pm
Nutrition for the Hospitalized Veterinary Patient (Recorded Session)
Nutrition is vitally important to the hospitalized patient. Unfortunately, the nutritional needs of hospitalized patients are sometimes overlooked. Nutrition concepts, with a focus on the in-hospital patient, are discussed in this lecture. Topics covered include; nutritional needs of ill patients, determining how much to feed, techniques to encourage patients to eat, assisted feeding, food aversions, and tips to be a great patient nutritional advocate.
Learning objectives
1. How to determine the hospitalized patient’s caloric requirement will be taught.
2. Attendees will learn the importance of providing hospitalizes patients with appropriate nutrition.
3. Techniques for assisted feeding will be discussed
- 11:59pm
Nutritional Approach to the Diabetic Patient (Recorded Session)
Nutrition is an important component of managing diabetic feline and canine patients. This lecture will explain how the proper diet can improve glycemic control potentially reducing or, in cats, possibly eliminating the need for exogenous insulin therapy. Veterinary technicians play an important role in providing nutritional education to the owners of diabetic patients; types of diets appropriate and importance of consistency will be discussed providing attendees an excellent basis to care for diabetic dogs and cats and educate their owners. Case examples are used to illustrate the theories presented.
Learning objectives
1. Attendees will learn how diabetes mellitus differs in dogs and cats
2. The importance of client communication and follow up to improve client compliance will be covered.
3. Nutritional management strategies for both canine and feline diabetic patients will be discussed
- 9:20am
Nutritional Supplements – Fads, Myths, and Facts
Pet owners, breeders, and clients often ask the veterinary health care team about the benefits of supplements. Often their information has come from the internet, breeders, and trends in human nutrition. Coconut oil, vitamin C, fish oil, milk thistle, other supplements, current fads, and myths will be discussed. What we know about a variety of nutraceuticals based on clinical studies and evidence will be presented. The role the FDA, Dietary Supplement and Education Health Act, the National Animal Supplement Council play in the regulation of supplements will be discussed.

Learning objectives
1. Attendees will learn the evidence-based facts on a variety of common nutritional supplements
2. Common misconceptions of the benefits of a variety of nutritional supplements will be discussed.
3. Attendees will learn how federal regulations apply to supplements.
- 10:50am
Veterinary Therapeutic Diets – Traditional and Non-Traditional Options
Trends in pet foods away from traditional diet types to a variety of alternative types are becoming more common. This trend has led to both commercial prepared and recipes for homemade “therapeutic” diets becoming more readily available. Are the claims of providing optimal nutrition for patients suffering for a variety of disease processes supported by scientific evidence? The facts, assumptions, and misconceptions are discussed in this lecture.

Learning objectives
1. How to select therapeutic diets for patients suffering from a variety of diseases will be taught
2. Attendees will learn how to evaluate therapeutic diets
3. Attendees will learn how to explain to clients why the diet is appropriate for the patient.
- 11:50am
Grain Free and Other Diet Trends
Grain-free, vegetarian, and vegan diets have become increasing popular over the past several years. This lecture will discuss some common beliefs, facts and misconceptions of homemade and commercially available diet of these types. The latest information on BEG diets (boutique, exotic, grain free) and the possible relationship to DCM. will be covered in this session. This lecture will provide the veterinary technician with nutritional knowledge to assist owners in making good nutritional choices for their pets.
Learning objectives
1. Attendees will learn facts and common misconceptions of grain free and other diet types.
2. Attendees will learn potential health risks associated with feeding grain-free and other diet types
3. Attendees will learn nutrition facts that may be used to educate clients about grain-free diet and other diet types
- 2:05pm
Raw Diets – Facts and Misconceptions
Raw diets have become increasing popular over the past several years. This lecture will discuss some common beliefs, facts and misconceptions of homemade and commercially available raw diets. This topic can be quite controversial; some clients are adamant in their beliefs; this lecture will provide the veterinary technician with nutritional knowledge to assist owners in making good nutritional choices for their pets. Approaches for client education and nutritional recommendation strategies are also discussed.

Learning objectives
1. Attendees will learn the fats and misconceptions of raw diets.
2. Approaches for client education will be taught.
3. Strategies for making nutritional recommendation will be taught.
Jade Velasquez

Jade Velasquez


Jade Velasquez is an LVT and Practice Manager who works at a general practice in Gig Harbor, Washington. She has been the President-Elect, President and Past President of WSAVT. She also sits on the NAVTA membership committee. She also uses her writing and speaking to reach veterinary professionals with her unique view of veterinary medicine. In 2014, Jade created a Facebook group; Veterinary Support Staff Unleashed to boost positivity and create a dialogue to inspire open communication in the field. She also is a regular contributor to the NAVTA Journal and guest author at who has used her writing to generate some of the most viewed and well-received articles on their website. She enjoys reading, writing, horror movies, music and hanging out with her 12-year-old son, two crazy Basenji’s and her Siamese cat.

- 10:50am
Toxic Teams- A Survival Guide for Veterinary Technicians
In this discussion, I hope to be able to discuss what contributes to a toxic team. How does a well-meaning group of professionals shift to becoming aa toxic team? We will discuss the difference between aggressive behaviors and passive aggressive behaviors. We will also discuss some of the toxic teammates we may encounter and how to deal with their behaviors.
- 3:05pm
Mental Health in Vet Med- Why Aren’t We Talking About It?
In this session we will cover the tendencies of those in the veterinary field that can contribute to mental health issues. We will discuss statistics of veterinarians and support staff regarding mental health issues. We will dive into the triggers specific to veterinary medicine, that can affect our personal mental health and provide resources to reach out for help or help others who may be struggling.
- 5:30pm
Clinic Culture- How To Build Up Your Team Even If You Aren't the Owner
We will discuss the definition of clinic culture and what clinic culture consists of. I hope to be able to tie together how our own personal values should tie into our clinic culture and the effect if we don’t “buy in” to our current culture. We will also elaborate on ways professionals can change their current culture and what to do if they come up against resistance.

Sunday, October 4th

Donna Sisak

Donna Sisak

LVT, VTS (Anesthesia)

Sponsored by Elanco Animal Health

- 9:20am
Ketamine – Not Just the Cat’s “Me-Out”. As an Adjunct for Balanced Analgesia
Ketamine is not a new anesthetic agent; in 2016 it turned 50 yrs old. It was introduced to the veterinary profession in the 1970s; most veterinary professionals associate this drug with the feline patient due to its excellent chemical restraint. The last ~20 year’s ketamine has shown promise for other clinical indications – as an analgesic. The goal of this talk is to review the history of ketamine and its uses as an anesthetic, analgesic and its role as an adjunct to balanced analgesia.
- 10:20am
TIVA (Total IV Anesthesia – An Anesthetic Approach for the “Totally” Challenging Anesthetic Patient.
TIVA – total intravenous anesthesia – administering IV anesthetics during the maintenance period in the absence of inhalational anesthesia; a “multimodal – balanced “approach providing hypnosis, muscle relaxation, and analgesia. The intent of this talk is to remind attendees of the knowledge required of the anesthetist when performing TIVA, advice on choosing appropriate anesthetic/analgesic, monitoring the “TIVA” patient, and TIVA in particular circumstances/clinical experiences.
- 11:20pm
The Anesthesia Record – Friend or Foe? It’s About The “Trends” and “Goals”.
The anesthesia record – one may say “one more “thing” added to my many tasks as anesthetist”. This “thing” – moment by moment documentation - is not just a document of “symbols and numbers” – it is the most comprehensive real-time record of perioperative events – a legal document associated with patient care/response. The intent of this talk is to discuss the history of the anesthesia record and the role it has played over the last 100 years; great advances in safety and understanding the pathophysiology and pharmacology of anesthesia. It is the speaker's hope attendees walk away with a greater understanding and respect for proper anesthetic documentation – the anesthesia record – legal purposes, most importantly improved perioperative anesthetic safety/care – looking at “the trends” with a focus on “a goal”. A quality patient care improvement tool.
- 12:20pm
Anesthesia and The Environment: A Global Concern and Our Responsibility as Anesthetists
The earth is dynamic - ever changing. Global environmental change is evidenced by the increase in severe weather conditions in many parts of the globe- climate change. the climate is warming- virtually all of the world’s climate scientists are in agreement. There are natural causes – such as sun’s intensity, volcanic activity, and changes in natural occurring greenhouse gas concentrations-; and there are anthropogenic causes - scientists attribute human expansion of the “greenhouse effect” - increases in carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide. As veterinary anesthetists we have a responsibility and ability to make an effort to become more environmentally friendly in our every day medical practice. The intent of this talk is to “spark” a greater awareness of the concerns of global environmental change – a threat to the survival of vulnerable species and habitats and how we as medical professionals can become more conscientious and support earth-friendly habits in our every day medical/anesthetic decision making (keeping patient safety the upmost priority).
Ed Carlson

Ed Carlson

CVT, VTS (Nutrition)

Sponsored by Royal Canin Ed Carlson is the Director of Technician Learning and Development for Ethos Veterinary Health. He lectures frequently at local, regional, and national veterinary conferences on a variety of nutrition topics. Ed is the National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America District 1 Representative and serves on multiple NAVTA committees including the Veterinary Nurse Initiative workgroup. He is also the Vice President of the Massachusetts Veterinary Technician Association, the Treasurer of the New Hampshire Veterinary Technician Association, and a member Association of Veterinary Technician Educators. Ed is also the recipient of the NAVTA 2019 Technician of the Year award.

- 12:30pm
Essential Nutritional Skills Workshop
In this interactive session, attendees will learn a variety of important skills that are necessary to educate clients on nutrition, answer client questions about pet food, and make nutritional recommendations, and feeding tube placement and so much more! Topics covered in this session include and may be adjusted to fit the time allowed for this workshop.
• Pet Food Labels, Product Guides, and Online Resources - Reading pet food labels, interpreting product guides, and navigating the internet when researching pet foods can be confusing for the veterinary health care team and pet owners. Working in small groups attendees practice reading pet food labels, product guides and websites in order to make nutritional recommendations and educate clients
• Nutritional Calculations – Grab your calculators! If you love math as much as we do (and even those that don’t) you’ll love this session! Multiple sample calculations are used in an interactive forum to learn how to determine patient resting energy requirement (RER), calculate the daily energy requirement (DER) of a variety of patient life stages, and how to calculate the dry matter basis in order to compare a canned food to a dry food.
• Feeding Tubes - Patients unwilling or unable to eat benefit from assisted feeding via feeding tubes; feeding tubes are generally tolerated well by most patients, and most are relatively easy to place. Veterinary technicians play an important role in the placement and maintenance of feeding tubes as well as educating clients how to use and maintain feeding tubes at home tube. A variety of feeding tube types will be handled; benefits of each will be discussed. Participants will practice the finger trap suture method of securing feeding tubes in place.
• Client Communication – Communication skills are so important to client education and compliance yet not often practiced. Using open-ended questions to easily obtain a complete nutritional history, techniques for making nutritional recommendations will be covered. Using the information learned throughout the session attendees will work in small groups to improve their communication skills, educate clients, and improve compliance.
Learning objectives
4. Resting energy requirement (RER) and how to calculate patient RER using multiple formulas are taught
5. Attendees will learn how to calculate the daily caloric requirement of a variety of patient life stages.
6. How to calculate dry matter basis to compare a canned food to a dry food will be covered.
7. Attendees will learn how to read and understand pet food labels.
8. How to take a nutritional history
9. How to make nutritional recommendations.
10. Asking open-ended questions
11. Active listing skills are important when taking a nutritional history.
12. How to place NE & NG feeding tubes, including proper suturing techniques will be taught.

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