Course Overview

Sometimes patients present with a clear indication of the nature of their problem. Unfortunately, others simply present with the owner comment "He's just not right." Evaluating symptoms and determining the cause of medical problems can sometimes take good detective work. Obtaining an accurate history and performing bloodwork are two important diagnostic tools. Once the lab results are back, the challenge of accurately interpreting those results begins.

In order to evaluate the case, the attending veterinarian must have a strong grasp of hematologic diseases and must be able to hone his or her investigative skills in bloodwork. Is it critical for the case to classify anemia as regenerative or non-regenerative? What are the causes of this patient's coagulopathy? Is it a platelet dysfunction or a thrombocytopenia? Could it be a clotting factor deficiency? Perhaps DIC? Although there are many cases of immune-mediated hemolytic anemia, it may be vital to differentiate immune-mediated thrombocytopenia, immune-mediated neutropenia, or idiopathic aplastic anemia.

Internal Medicine: Diseases and Treatments in Small Animal Hematologic Diseases is an intense 4-week course designed to build on the knowledge base of veterinarians, improving diagnostics and treatment options. It includes challenging case studies that require the application of critical thinking skills, along with new concepts and knowledge acquired through course materials. Participants will leave the course feeling more confident in diagnosing and treating hematologic diseases. Participants are not required to work in practice to complete this course. 


Continuing Education Credits

Course meets the requirements for 12 RACE hours of continuing education credit for veterinary technicians and veterinarians in jurisdictions which recognize AAVSB's RACE approval. However, participants should be aware that some boards have limitations on the number of hours accepted in certain categories and/or restrictions on certain methods of delivery.

This course is an interactive online course that meets RACE requirements; program number 57-11177.


Veterinary Technician Specialty Academy Acceptance

The Academy of Veterinary Technicians in Clinical Practice (AVTCP)

The Internal Medicine: Diseases and Treatments in Small Animal Hematologic Diseases course
is accepted by the Academy towards continuing education requirements.


Course Content

Internal Medicine: Diseases and Treatments in Small Animal Hematologic Diseases focuses on the diagnostics and treatment of a variety of hematologic diseases that affect patients. This course explores the differences between regenerative and non-regenerative anemias, and moves into diagnosing and treating erythrocytosis, leukopenia and leukocytosis. Cytopenias and leukoerythroblastosis are defined and classified, allowing the veterinarian to accurately diagnose cases.

Disorders of hemostasis are covered at length, including platelet dysfunction, von Willebrand disease, congenital clotting factor and Vitamin K deficiencies, along with DIC. The course ends with a full module dedicated to immune-mediated hematologic disorders, covering clinical features, diagnostics, treatment options and a potential prognosis for each disorder.

This intense 4-week course will cover dogs and cats; it does not include large or exotic animals. Many case study assignments are presented, allowing the student to apply information learned from the text to real case scenarios. The examinations are designed to assess the retention of the students newly achieved knowledge in advanced hematologic diseases.


Course Focus and Learning Objectives

This course is designed for veterinarians who wish to increase their knowledge of small animal hematologic diseases and improve their treatment protocols. Advanced veterinary technicians will also find this course helpful. While diagnosis remains in the hands of the veterinarian, it is vital for veterinary technicians to have a good understanding of hematologic disease. It is recommended that veterinary technicians have a strong foundation in basic hematology prior to taking this course and be prepared to spend 6-8 hours per week on course work.

Upon completion of the course, the student will be able to:

  • Develop a clinical and diagnostic approach to the anemic dog and cat
  • Differentiate regenerative and non-regenerative anemias and recognize the differential diagnoses for each
  • Describe the basic principles of transfusion therapy
  • Clinically differentiate the various types of erythrocytosis and identify the appropriate diagnostic and therapeutic approaches for each
  • Identify the causes of neutrophilia, neutropenia, eosinophilia, eosinopenia, basophilia, monocytosis, lymphopenia, and lymphocytosis and formulate an appropriate diagnostic plan for each
  • Describe the pathogenesis of bone marrow aplasia-hypoplasia, myelophthisis, and myelodysplastic syndromes
  • Formulate a diagnostic plan for pancytopenic patients
  • Differentiate primary and secondary hemostatic disorders clinically and using various clinical pathology tools
  • Identify conditions that may lead to thrombosis and the therapeutic options for thrombosis
  • Evaluate the pharmacologic agents used to treat immune mediated hematologic diseases, including their mechanism of action, uses in specific diseases, and possible complications
  • Describe the pathophysiology, clinical features, diagnostic approach, treatment, and prognosis for immune-mediated hemolytic anemia, immune-mediated thrombocytopenia, pure red cell aplasia, immune-mediated neutropenia, and aplastic anemia


Participation Access Parameters

The design of this course allows participants to enroll in this course after it has begun, up until the enrollment deadline date. Participants who enroll after the start date do not miss out on any components of this course.

This course allows each student to proceed based on an individual schedule, as long as all assignments are submitted but he assignment submission deadline.



Participant Feedback

...The assignments and case studies with the instructor's notes and feedback.

...The case studies were the best way to use the material and put it to use like we do every day in our jobs.

...Although I feel that the set up of this course is more geared towards veterinarians, I thought that the case studies were great at applying the reading to a clinical setting. AS a technician, we are not trained to work through differential diagnosis, so that piece of the course was a little difficult for me. It was challenging, which is what I was looking for. I appreciated Dr. O'Kell's words of encouragement to work through the case studies. Thank you for a well put together course!

...I felt the case study approach really helped to assimilate the information.

...I have held an interest in small animal hematological medicine for a long time, and this course challaneged me to think hard about various alternative treatment options besides those that I have become comfortable with. I found the case-based assignments excellent - to think through diagnostic processes via a "real" patient allowed me to synthesise the course material with my everyday work as a clinician.

...I liked that we could work on the course on our own time. Our instructor was available and very thorough with grading our assignments.

...The course overall was extremely challenging. I could not have passed this course without the work I put into it.

...I liked the in depth discussions of subjects rarely covered in CE program


Required Material

Small Animal Internal Medicine, 4th or 5th ed by Richard Nelson, C. Guillermo Couto; 2009 or 2014 Elsevier

Important Text Information:

It is mandatory that each participant has access to this textbook as the content of the book is not reproduced within the course. It is up to each person to determine the best way to acquire the text. Some will already have the text in their library and, therefore, will not need to purchase another copy. The text is available as a print publication and as an eBook. Where to purchase and in what format is totally up to the participant. The text is not included in the fee for this course.

USA residents: Elsevier texts, both print and eBook, are available via the VetMedTeam Elsevier Text Portal at discounts off regular retail of 25 - 35 %. If you would like to visit the portal to take advantage of the discount please use this link:

VetMedTeam's Elsevier Text Portal

Important: Regardless of which option the participant chooses, access to a copy of the textbook is mandatory. Without the text, the student will not be able to complete the assignments, case studies and examinations. If enrolling close to or beyond the course start date, it is recommended that the text be purchased as an eBook to prevent text acquisition related delays. VetMedTeam has no control over shipping delays and other related problems.


Course Completion Requirements

Completed students are awarded a certificate of completion. Completion requirements include:

  • Instructor Graded Interactive Module Assignments: Designed to help the participant reinforce newly learned material

  • Instructor Graded Interactive Case Study Assignments: Designed to help the participant apply the newly learned skills and knowledge though patient and practice based scenarios

  • Examinations: All examinations must be submitted with a score of 80% or better

  • Course survey


Course Instructor

Allison O’Kell, DVM, MS, DACVIMAllison O’Kell, DVM, MS, DACVIM

Dr. Allison O’Kell received her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from the Western College of Veterinary Medicine in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada. She completed a rotating small animal medicine and surgery internship at the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine (VMRCVM) at Virginia Tech. Following the internship, Dr. O’Kell completed a residency in small animal internal medicine VMRCVM, along with a Master’s degree in Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences.

She achieved Diplomate status with the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine in July of 2012.

Dr.O'Kell has published several papers in peer-reviewed veterinary journals.


Upcoming Sessions

May 01, 2015 - Registration deadline is 11:00 PM Eastern May 31, 2015
August 15, 2015 - Registration deadline is 11:00 PM Eastern August 20, 2015



Price: $166.00



VetMedTeam 2014