AVTA Annual Continuing Education Conference

Saturday, October 22, 2022
8am-5pm CST
Jefferson State Community College
Judy Merritt Building
4801 Jaguar Drive
Birmingham, AL 35242


Refund Policy

The AVTA is unable to refund registration fees unless in the unlikely event the conference is cancelled. We will, however, offer the option to change from in-person registration to on-demand virtual content and the cost difference will be refunded.  If you are no longer able to attend the event in person, please email alvettech@gmail.com to request an on-demand registration exchange.



7:00 SET UP
8:00 Jay Crisman (Zoetis) Rudolph (Boehringer Ingelheim)
9:00 Kruzer (Nutramax) Carlson workshop (Hills) Negretti
10:00 Kruzer (Nutramax) Carlson workshop (Hills) Negretti
11:00 Grider Carlson lecture (Hills) Negretti
1:00 Paradise Hills lecture Mitchell (An-Vision)
2:00 Paradise Delmain Passmore
3:00 Lea Delmain Passmore
4:00 Jay Crisman (Zoetis) Passmore

Event Speakers



Liza W. Rudolph has been working in veterinary medicine for more than 20 years and is a graduate of the bachelor’s program in veterinary technology at St. Petersburg College in Florida. She is a Veterinary Technician Specialist in canine/feline clinical practice and small animal internal medicine. Ms. Rudolph provides education and training to veterinary technicians as a webinar instructor for Penn Foster, by traditional lecturing and online continuing education opportunities, and by publishing informational articles. When not teaching, she 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.


Talking Hookworms and Roundworms: 6 Strategies to Improve Knowledge Transfer and Retention

Intestinal parasites are a hidden problem in dogs, which can make prevention a challenging topic for veterinary professionals to discuss with owners. That’s why it’s so important that we are clear and attentive in our communication——especially when it comes to talking about the treatment and control of parasites in dogs. This presentation explores the LEARNS acronym: linking, emotion, anchoring, repetition, novelty, and storytelling. By using 1 or more of these 6 strategies when educating clients on roundworms and hookworms, we make pet health messages more memorable to our clients.

Learning Objectives:

1. Educate veterinary professionals on the fundamentals of hookworms and roundworms.

2. Highlight key information about hookworms and roundworms that dog owners should know and provide tools and techniques for having these in-clinic conversations with dog owners.

3. Apply the LEARNS acronym strategies when educating clients on roundworms and hookworms.

Diane Delmain DVM, DABVP (Feline)

Diane Delmain DVM, DABVP (Feline)

Dr. Diane Delmain is a Diplomate of the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners (ABVP) in the Feline Specialty.  She spent much of her career in private feline practice and is currently an Associate Clinical Professor of Community Practice at the Auburn University College of Veterinary Medicine.  As a primary care clinician, she sees patients with fourth year veterinary students, helping them develop clinical and client care skills.  She initiated a cat handling program, Cat Friendly Practice certification and a feline elective course at the College of Veterinary Medicine.  Dr. Delmain teaches in the Professional Communications course, as well as feline topics in the behavior, dentistry and hematology courses. She is passionate about cats, and enjoys speaking about them at veterinary conferences. 

Dr. Delmain is an Institute for Healthcare Communication Certified Trainer and holds Fear Free and Feline Friendly certifications, as well. She is currently obtaining a certificate in Feline Behavior through the International Society for Feline Medicine. She is a graduate of the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine and the Pennsylvania State University. 


Medicating Cats Made Easier

Learning Objectives

  1. Barriers to compliance and solutions.
  2. Techniques for efficient administration of oral medications.
  3. Techniques to encourage cats to take medications voluntarily.

FIP:  What’s New?

Learning Objectives

  1. Current theories on disease and pathogenesis.
  2. Diagnostic strategies.
  3. Novel treatments.
Priscilla Paradise BS, RVT

Priscilla Paradise BS, RVT

Priscilla Paradise received her Bachelor’s degree through Purdue University’s Veterinary Technology Program with a strong interest in critical care and anesthesia. Priscilla pursued her first passion (emergency/critical care) for 4 years in Houston, TX before deciding to change the pace. Mrs. Paradise started working as an anesthesia veterinary technologist at a high pace veterinary surgical practice in Marietta, GA in 2013. Seeking to further challenge herself, she now works within Auburn University College of Veterinary Medicine’s anesthesia department where she teaches the next generation of veterinarians. Priscilla is currently pursuing a veterinary pain practitioner certification and plans to apply for a Master’s degree in veterinary anesthesia and analgesia.


Cardiovascular Physiology and Monitoring for the Veterinary Technician

In this presentation, we will discuss the physiology of the cardiovascular system and how technicians can utilize an electrocardiogram to detect common arrhythmias during anesthesia.

Respiratory Physiology and Monitoring for the Veterinary Technician

In this presentation, we will discuss the physiology of the respiratory system and how technicians can utilize capnography to obtain vital information during anesthesia

Christopher R Lea  DVM, DABVP (Canine/Feline)

Christopher R Lea DVM, DABVP (Canine/Feline)


Updates on Canine and Feline Vaccine Protocols

Vaccines play a crucial role in the protection of canine and feline patients in small animal general practice. Updates on canine and feline vaccine protocols will review current concepts of core and non-core vaccines, their role in practice, rational use, and safety. The goal of the discussion will be to aid the veterinary technician with their understanding and implementation of vaccination in small animal practice.

Lauren S. Grider, DVM, CCFP

Lauren S. Grider, DVM, CCFP

Dr. Grider is a 2008 graduate of Auburn University’s College of Veterinary Medicine. Following graduation, she relocated to the Tennessee River Valley and worked for eleven years in small animal practice as an Associate Veterinarian in both Madison, AL and Huntsville, AL. In 2019, she opened her own full-time veterinary relief business which serves the Tennessee River Valley. She has special interests in internal medicine, oncology, dentistry, and feline medicine. Dr. Grider is a Certified Compassion Fatigue Professional and is currently completing her master’s degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling at the University of North Alabama. She hopes to one day combine her passions for medicine and psychotherapy by providing mental health services to veterinarians and other healthcare professionals. Dr. Grider is the co-host of IntroVETS Podcast, a veterinary podcast by introverts with highfunctioning anxiety. The podcast presents clinical case studies, interviews with veterinary specialists and other veterinary professionals, and mental health episodes with special guest therapists. Her other hobbies include being a “mom” to three cats, gardening, dancing, and competing at the state and national levels in powerlifting.


Healing our Profession: Advocating for Your Colleagues and Yourself

Occupational wellness is an integral ingredient for overall health. Veterinary professionals are uniquely predisposed to compassion fatigue and burnout. Understanding the risk-factors for and early signs of these problems allows us to advocate for our colleagues and ourselves. Developing personal and professional boundary-setting skills is vital. Assertiveness and advocacy are key in promoting wellness in the veterinary field. Employee assistance programs (EAPs) provide an essential pathway for veterinary workers to access mental health services. Presentation Objectives: Upon completion of this 50-minute lecture, participants should be able to:

1. Describe the dimensions of wellbeing, 2. Define compassion fatigue and burnout, 3. Identify risk factors and warning signs for compassion fatigue, 4. Understand personal and professional boundary-setting, 5. Define EPA (employee assistance program), 6. Understand types of EPAs, 7. Identify ways to promote wellness in the veterinary field, 8. Combine knowledge of EPAs and wellness to promote change in individual practice settings and in the field in general, and 9. Describe the best methods to find and evaluate the suitability of mental health professionals.

Jay Crisman, DVM

Jay Crisman, DVM

Dr. Jay Crisman believes that veterinary practice is a team sport that should be fulfilling, profitable, and fun! He is a 1995 graduate of the Auburn University College of Veterinary Medicine and has a diverse background including work with the Nave Group in Las Vegas, Medical Director in private practice, Professional Services with Zoetis Pet Care, and now as the owner of an award-winning companion animal practice in Alabama.

Drawing on more than 26 years of veterinary experience, he has developed approaches to help veterinary professionals adapt and thrive in ever changing market conditions. He is passionate about excellence in patient care and the client experience. Favorite areas of practice include surgery, pain management, dermatology, and preventive care. A full-time practitioner, he takes time away from the hospital to consult with colleagues and provide guest lectures all over the country including the AVMA Symposium in 2019, VMX and WVC in 2020, VMX in 2021, and projects with VetGirl and Clinician’s Brief.

In spare time Jay serves on the Shelby County Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, he is chairman of the Westover Business Alliance, a member of the Westover city council, President of the Jefferson County Veterinary Medical Association, and is a member of the AVMA, ALVMA, AAHA, AHS. He is active in the outdoors, enjoys tinkering on his 1970 Baja Bug, and loves family time; especially with the furry kids dock diving and running agility. 


Professionalism: Up Your Game to Boost Compensation and Job Satisfaction

This session will examine how current market conditions in the veterinary industry have created a prime opportunity for the LVT. We will discuss the current situation of nursing teams regarding utilization, scope of practice, challenges and perceptions that are obstacles to a successful and fulfilling career. Then, we will tackle how to change the status quo. Professionalism will be explored with emphasis on technical performance, communication, leadership, presentation, tactful assertiveness, and putting it all together.

Suffering in Silence: Osteoarthritis and Chronic Pain in Cats 

Feline patients experience chronic pain from osteoarthritis at a rate that is comparable to canines. However, it is often not recognized by owners and not treated by veterinary professionals. This session will present new scientific discoveries about the mechanisms of pain and innovative approaches to treatment. We will cover how to diagnose feline pain with history, physical exam, and partnering with owners. Then we will introduce the first biological treatment approved for the control of pain associated with osteoarthritis in cats. Case studies will be presented.

Stephanie R. Mitchell AAS, LVT

Stephanie R. Mitchell AAS, LVT

Stephanie began her veterinary career at the Auburn University College of Veterinary Medicine (CVM) Small Animal Teaching Hospital in 2002. As a student worker, Stephanie spent her time working in the hospital’s critical care unit. After receiving her Associate in Applied Science in Veterinary Technology from Snead State Community College, and becoming a Licensed Veterinary Technician in 2005, Stephanie returned to Auburn University CVM’s critical care unit as a shift supervisor. She had the opportunity to join the CVM’s small animal anesthesia service in 2010. In 2013, Mrs. Mitchell transitioned into a position as the sole ophthalmology technician (small and large animal). Stephanie has enjoyed being a full-time equine ophthalmology technician since 2018, where she has assisted in growing a thriving equine ophthalmology service. In her roles within the CVM, Stephanie has mentored countless clinical veterinary students, as well as aspiring veterinary technician students.  

Stephanie served as Vice President of the Alabama Veterinary Technicians Association from 2006-2008 and In 2007, was honored to be chosen as the Alabama Veterinary Technician of the Year. Mrs. Mitchell has also been the recipient of Auburn CVM’s “Be the Creed” award in 2014 and 2018. Stephanie is a wife and a mother. She has two rambunctious sons, 2 boxers, and 1 cat. Her passion lies in equine standing ophthalmic surgeries and photodynamic therapy of squamous cell carcinomas in horses.


3 Equine Case Reviews on Photodynamic Therapy

These case reports aim to show the clinical success of using photodynamic therapy as primary treatment for Immune Mediated Keratitis in horses and adjunctive treatment in neoplasia.

Adrienne Kruzer, RVT, LVT

Adrienne Kruzer, RVT, LVT

Adrienne has been in veterinary medicine since 2004 and became credentialed in 2007. Kruzer has experience working with dogs, cats, exotic pets, and native wildlife. Adrienne wrote for 12 years for various online and print publications and worked for 13 years on the floor as an RVT/LVT before pursuing a passion of educating, mentoring, and training on the industry side of vet med. Adrienne worked for Nutramax Veterinary Sciences educating clients, students, and veterinary professionals on veterinary supplements for 4 years and earned a BS in Business Administration before joining Veterinary Emergency Group (VEG) in 2021. Kruzer now enjoys educating veterinary technician students full time about how to have a happy, healthy, and fulfilling career in veterinary medicine as well as what makes VEG different from other animal hospitals. Adrienne also serves on the SCAVT board as a district representative, is Fear Free certified, and has presented at a variety of conferences, dinner meetings, and schools across the country.


The Business of Being a Veterinary Technician:
Career Options and Personal Finance

Session Description/Abstract: This presentation discusses the different paths to credentialing, different titles among states, the career opportunities that are available to veterinary technicians and how to choose the right job for you based on personal and professional factors. Personal finance involving savings, budgets, how to ask for a raise, retirement planning, and maximizing employer benefits are also discussed in order to make veterinary medicine a long lasting and financially rewarding career for veterinary technicians.

Veterinary Supplements:
Choosing a Safe and Effective Product When Regulation is Lacking

Session Description/Abstract: The supplement industry is a gray area when it comes to regulation. Concerns for efficacy, safety, and health claims surround many ingredients and products so it can be difficult for veterinary professionals to know what products to recommend. This presentation will discuss the regulation, or lack thereof, of veterinary supplements, what to look for when choosing a product, how things compare to pharmaceuticals, and what resources can be used to aid in quick decision making.

Ed Carlson, CVT, VTS (Nutrition)

Ed Carlson, CVT, VTS (Nutrition)

Ed is the Director of Veterinary Nursing Education for VetBloom. He is the 2022 Immediate Past President of the Massachusetts Veterinary Technician Association and the Treasurer of the New Hampshire Veterinary Technician Association. Ed has served on multiple National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America (NAVTA) committees and is the 2022 NAVTA Immediate Past President. He obtained a VTS (Nutrition) in 2014 and lectures frequently at local, regional, national, and international veterinary conferences on a variety of nutrition topics. Ed was also the recipient of the NAVTA 2019 Technician of the Year award. 


Assisted Feeding Workshop – Feeding Tubes, Nursing Care and More! (2 hours)

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. Participants in this workshop will learn techniques for the placement of nasoesophageal, nasogastric, esophageal, and percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy tubes and the veterinary technicians’ role in the placement of each of these tube types. 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.

Participants will learn and practice performing nutritional calculations necessary for assisted feeding, appropriate types of foods to use, and how to troubleshoot feeding tubes.Feeding tube maintenance, troubleshooting and client education of each of these types of feeding tubes will also be discussed.

Learning objectives

1. Attendees will learn when feeding tubes may be indicated, their benefits, and management.

2. How to place a variety of feeding tubes, with a focus on NE & NG tubes, including proper suturing techniques will be taught.

3. Attendees will learn to perform nutritional calculations needed for assisted feeding, appropriate types of foods to use, and how to troubleshoot feeding tubes.


Nutritional Calculations Made Fun and Easy

Attendees of this basic lecture will learn how to determine the daily caloric requirement of a variety of patient life stages, how to calculate the dry matter basis in order to compare a canned food to a dry food, how to determine the amount of carbohydrates in a pet food and how to estimate the caloric content of pet foods. Multiple sample calculations are used in an interactive forum allowing attendees to practice the skills learned.

Learning objectives:

1. Resting energy requirement (RER) and how to calculate patientRER using multiple formulas are taught

2. Attendees will learn how to calculate the daily caloric requirement of a variety of patient life stages.

3. How to calculate dry matter basis to compare a canned food to a dry food will be covered.

Mary Passmore, LVMT, VTS (LAIM), MSSW

Mary Passmore, LVMT, VTS (LAIM), MSSW

Mary Passmore has been working in the large animal hospital at the University of Tennessee for 16 years. She has spent the majority of her time caring for production animals and companion livestock. She has her veterinary technician specialty (VTS) in large animal internal medicine and a master’s degree in social work. Mary enjoys teaching veterinary students and seeing the joy on their faces as they master clinical skills. She lives on a small hobby farm with her husband, daughter, and a menagerie of animals. The only thing missing is a camel.


Care of the neonatal camelid

Providing proper neonatal care is important when working with camelid patients in both the field and hospital setting. Understanding what is normal will help the technician to recognize any abnormalities. The technician will learn how to identify at risk crias, recognize common congenital defects, and care for the critical neonate.

Learning objectives:

Understand the normal gestation and parturition of camelids
Identify at risk crias
Identify congenital defects
Calculate feeding requirements


Battling GI parasites in small ruminants

In the southeastern United States, gastrointestinal parasites are very prevalent in small ruminants. This lecture will help the technician understand how to identify parasitized animals, choose the correct diagnostic tests, and help clients with a parasite control strategy. It will also provide a basic overview of blood transfusion methods.


Learning objectives:
Identify parasitized animals
Choose the diagnostic test that will be most valuable, recognizing limitations and advantages of each
Be familiar with the tools available to help fight GI parasites
Develop a parasite control plan based on the animal and environment.
Understand how to do a blood transfusion for anemic animals


Medical problems of pet pigs

Potbellied pigs are treated by both large and small animal veterinary practices. An overview of common problems seen with pet pigs will provide a foundation and give technicians tools for their piggy toolbox.


Learning objectives:
Be familiar with handling and restraint options
Identify venipuncture and catheterization sites
Make vaccine and deworming recommendations
Recognize common medical problems and how to treat them

Becky Negretti CVT, VTS (ECC)

Becky Negretti CVT, VTS (ECC)

Becky is a CVT, VTS (ECC) who has been in veterinary medicine since 2007. She has been employed at the University of Florida as a technician in their ER and ICU since 2015 and at City College in Gainesville, Florida as a Clinical Instructor since November 2021.  She has experience in general practice, emergency and critical care, exotics, internal medicine, neurology, and dermatology.  Becky’s special interests include toxicology, pharmacology, wellness, and patient advocacy. Negretti enjoys speaking at conferences, teaching UF veterinary students, and mentoring.  She’s been voted “Most Valuable Technician” by students during their clinical rotations and coordinates the department’s annual Veterinary Technician Week.  In her free time, she enjoys yoga and running, reading, burning off stress by singing karaoke, and hanging out with her husband and their “fur-babies”.


There’s Nothing Basic About Basic Bloodwork, Part 1.

This first part in our lecture series will look at the “Big 3” in assessing our basic bloodwork – PCV/TS and glucose, as well as the importance of BUN and USG.  We will also breakdown the diagnostic interpretation of abnormalities of each of these and what it could possibly mean for our patient.

There’s Nothing Basic About Basic Bloodwork, Part 2.

The second part of our lecture series will move on to the values in our blood gas parameters, their roles within the body, and what abnormalities may clinically present as and indicate.  

Learning objectives: 

1.  Reviewing the role of the “Big 3” in basic bloodwork and their indications. 

2.  Review the major electrolytes used at point of care assessments. 

3.  How to assess and interpret the bloodwork to build a differential diagnosis list.

Is it asthma?  Is it syncope? No, It’s Anaphylaxis!

Because clinical signs may subside and recur and it may resemble other pathologies, anaphylaxis is often overlooked as a diagnosis.  If not recognized and treated appropriately, patients are at risk for increased mortality.  We will discuss the causes of anaphylaxis, clinical signs, and treatment options, including severe cases.   

Learning objectives: 

1.  Identify the different types of anaphylaxis. 

2.  Identify clinical signs of anaphylaxis. 

3.  How to diagnose and treat anaphylaxis. 

4.  How to identify and treat anaphylactic shock.


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Southern Veterinary Partners logo
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