Where to get answers to your anesthesia questions

Screenshot (3)I typed the title of this post into a Google search engine and got 13,700,000 results in 0.60 seconds.  When I modified my search to where to get answers you can trust to your anesthesia questions, I got only half as many results, and it took 0.05 seconds longer.  But still, having 7,000,000 results to sift through is daunting.  As excited as I am to live in a time when I can get answers to any question in fractions of a second, the real question then becomes whose answers can I trust?  In this blog post I am going to introduce two valuable resources for anyone who does animal anesthesia.



Maybe you’ve heard of VIN, the Veterinary Information Network.  VIN pioneered providing instant access to vast amounts of up-to-date veterinary medical information, turning subscribing practitioners who might have once felt like competitors into a community of over 53,000 professional colleagues.  VSPN is an extension of VIN, providing the same up-to-date veterinary medical information, yet tailored to the needs of veterinary support personnel.  One significant difference between VIN and VSPN is cost.  Unlike VIN, which is a fee-based subscription service, VSPN is a free community.  The Veterinary Support Personnel Network brings together people from all over the world to interact with each other, teach each other, and learn from each other.  As a VSPN member, you have access to thousands of colleagues who want to help you and your patients – 24 hours a day!

When you click on this link, you’ll go directly to the VSPN.org home page.  One of the first things to do here is to apply for membership.  Your membership application may take a couple of days to process, but in my experience the folks at VSPN are very responsive.  It’s free to become a member, and the application process is in place only to assure all of us that we are exchanging ideas and experiences with others who share our background and interests.  It can be tough to work in this industry sometimes and it’s nice to have a place to go where everybody understands the pressures.

Nothing makes anesthesia easier than having good up-to-date information at your fingertips, provided by colleagues and experts in the field. The VSPN worldwide community is made up of people just like us, who pool our knowledge and experience to get help and to give help.  And our patients are better served by every question asked and answered.   Benefits to VSPN membership include access to the online version of the VSPN Notebook®, community message boards, rounds sessions and an extensive library of past rounds transcripts and handouts. You’ll also find over 50 continuing education courses per year taught by leaders in the field of veterinary technology.

VSPN is a great place to find out others’ experience with Feliway for improving anxiety in cats, or to learn tips for getting finicky dogs to eat.  Should you increase the IV fluid rate to treat hypotension during anesthesia? Or deliver additional IV fluids as a bolus?  Which is better? Why?  Who has tried the new heated breathing circuits?  Do they work?  Do you like them?  And then sometimes you might just want to connect with people who understand the crazy world you work in.  Give VSPN a visit.


Where VSPN covers every imaginable aspect of veterinary practice, the North American Veterinary Anesthesia Society (NAVAS) is a new collaboration of veterinary anesthesia specialists. As a member of NAVAS, you have access to anesthesia experts from the American College of Veterinary Anesthesia and Analgesia (ACVAA), the European College of Veterinary Anesthesia and Analgesia (ECVAA), the Association of Veterinary Anesthetists (AVA), the Academy of Veterinary Technicians in Anesthesia and Analgesia (AVTAA), and more.  And the best part is that you don’t have to be a specialist to join.  Never has the knowledge and experience of so many specialists in the field of veterinary anesthesia been so available to regular people like you and me.  The heart of the NAVAS mission is to support all animal care givers engaged in providing veterinary anesthesia and analgesia.

NAVAS is a much needed bridge of veterinary anesthesia specialties, expanding their ability to better meet their mission of improved quality of animal anesthesia.  Not only is it a collaboration of anesthesia experts, VetBloom – a premier online education platform – has also teamed up with NAVAS to provide structured certificate and RACE-approved CE training courses in all aspects of veterinary medicine.  Whether you are looking to continue your education with online veterinary courses, or you’re a practice in search of a systematic set of educational materials, VetBloom has developed and tested the training that you are after.

NAVAS will continue to expand its offerings in coming months to include podcasts, journal club, literature reviews, how-to videos, species-specific drug formularies, and anesthesia safety recommendations. Combine all of this with their forums, a NAVAS blog, and other members-only resources, and you have a valuable one-stop compendium of veterinary anesthesia expertise.  Just follow this link to the NAVAS website.  It definitely deserves a look.

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When I searched Google for how to end a blog post, it found 2 billion results in about half a second.  I have to admit that I didn’t dive too deeply into the 2 billion.  I decided to “Do a recap of the main message,” so we can all get back to our lives.  I set out to introduce two valuable resources for anyone who does animal anesthesia. I guess we’re done here.

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Ken Crump AAS, AHT is a writer and animal anesthetist, and writes Making Anesthesia Easier for DarvallVet, a division of Advanced Anesthesia Specialists.  He makes dozens of Continuing Education presentations on veterinary anesthesia and oncology across the United States and in Canada.  Ken retired from the Veterinary Teaching Hospital at Colorado State University in 2008.

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