Course Overview

Small animal patients are living longer, well into their senior years. Many clients care deeply about their pets and will go to great lengths to ensure they enjoy a quality life as they age. Renal disease is not uncommon as these patients age and the veterinary practice team must be able to identify, diagnose and manage these cases in an efficient manner. It is important to be able to accurately identify the type of renal disease the patient is experiencing, stage of the disease and appropriate treatments. Complications and side effects of the disease must also be managed, ensuring the patient experiences a high quality of life.

Course participants will be able to effectively evaluate the nephrology system through history, physical exams, and diagnostic testing in order to accurately identify the disease process, and provide clients with options that will ensure patient comfort and client satisfaction. Additionally, the student will study the pathiophysiology and laboratory findings for breed-specific syndromes. Unfortunately, many breeds come with genetic abnormalities, and renal disease is one of them. Team members should be able to identify these breeds immediately and implement protocols early in the patient’s life, including client education and diagnostic testing, yielding the best result for the client and their pet.

Internal Medicine: Advanced Concepts in Small Animal Nephrology is a 6-week course that will guide the participant to a practical understanding of the factors in renal disease diagnosis and treatment, either as the supervising veterinarian or as the practice team member involved in assisting the veterinarian with such cases. Participants are not required to work in practice to complete this course. 


Continuing Education Credits

Course meets the requirements for 25 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 57-10451.


Veterinary Technician Specialty Academy Acceptance

The Academy of Internal Medicine for Veterinary Technicians (AIMVT)

The Internal Medicine: Advanced Concepts in Small Animal Nephrology course is accepted by the Academy towards continuing education requirements.

The Academy of Veterinary Technicians in Clinical Practice (AVTCP)

The Internal Medicine: Advanced Concepts in Small Animal Nephrology course is accepted by the Academy towards continuing education requirements.


Course Content

Internal Medicine: Advanced Concepts in Small Animal Nephrology is an advanced course that addresses the diagnostic indicators and clinically advanced treatment protocols for dogs and cats experiencing renal disease. Acute renal failure, chronic renal failure, glomerular disease, and familial renal diseases are covered in detail, providing practitioners with the tools to manage such intense cases.


Course Focus and Learning Objectives

This course is designed for the veterinarian and the advanced veterinary technician. It is an intense course that covers all aspects of renal disease.

Many of the assignments and case studies for this course require the use of hospital resources for completion. Students must have prior work experience or be presently employed in a veterinary practice in order to complete the assignments.

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

  • Differentiate between pre-renal, renal and post-renal azotemia
  • Select and interpret basic and specialized laboratory tests related to renal function
  • Recognize the relationship between BUN, Creatinine and GFR
  • Compare and contrast use and limitations of diagnostic imaging
  • Differentiate between pre-renal, post-renal and intrinsic acute renal failure
  • Distinguish phases of acute renal failure, and develop a treatment plan
  • Describe, diagnose and treat specific causes of acute renal failure, including ethylene glycol, leptospirosis, aminoglycosides, grapes, raisins, lilies and NSAIDs
  • Differentiate acute and chronic renal failure
  • Stage chronic renal failure/chronic kidney disease through IRIS recommendations
  • Implement treatment protocols for chronic renal failure, according to IRIS recommendations
  • Consider factors that contribute the to progression of chronic renal disease
  • Describe hormonal therapies available to treat chronic renal failure, including the use of erythropoietin and darbepoetin
  • Assess and manage proteinuria
  • Describe the pathogenesis and causes of, and identify complications associated, with glomerular disease
  • Evaluate familial renal disease, and identify breed-specific syndromes


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

...I thought Dr. Allison O’Kell was an exceptional instructor. Dr. O’Kell is highly a knowledgeable clinician, provided insightful comments to assignments and case studies, provided up to date supplemental information, and provided students with an additional learning resource; kudos to Dr. O’Kell.

...I did this course differently than previous ones- I did a lot of independent reading first and then used the assignments to test my memory and understanding of the subject. The assignments were very useful at picking out take home points to remember and testing my memory. Being able to ask specific case management questions was very useful.

...Consensus statements of proteinuria. These were new and there was lot of information which I can use right away in my practice. Treatment of acute renal failure was also very important. Also thank you for answering many questions regarding my own patient.

...The articles assigned were really helpful, especially the consensus statement on proteinuria and the one on treatement of AKI - I would have never known to look for these without this course, and they will be valuable resources for me in practice. I also appreciated the instructor's thoughtful responses to my questions.

...The scope and depth of the reading material was quite helpful in covering and extremely important subject seen in everyday practice. The section quizzes were effective in reinforcing the materials presented. Having an instructor to supply feedback for my exercise responses also provided an excellent way for me to gauge my understanding of the material.

...I liked the journal article links. I thought they were more or as valuable as the book since they reflect the most recent consensus on treating renal disease. The instructor was very available and gave very good feedback. I would have liked to utilize her knowledge base more extensively via forums but time management is not my strong point.


Required Materials

Canine and Feline Nephrology and Urology, 2nd Edition Dennis Chew, DVM, DACVIM; Stephan DiBartola, DVM, DACVIM; Patricia Schenck, DVM, PhD; 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.


Additional Courses Using Required Text

The textbook used in this course is also used in the following course. Click on the course title below to view details regarding that course. Use your browser's back button to return to this course.

Internal Medicine: Advanced Concepts in Urology


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

July 01, 2015 - Registration deadline is 11:00 PM Eastern July 10, 2015



Price: $209.00



VetMedTeam 2014