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Shedding Our Skin:
An update from the ARAV Executive Director

I’ve been asked recently what have things been like in the first few months in my new position as executive director. I’m going to compare the transition to a snake shedding because we all understand that, right?

Like the novice herpteculturist, or in our case a new ARAV member, you may not understand the transition we are going through. It might look a little concerning or even ugly. The experienced reptile keeper, our long time members, understand that this “ugly” stage is necessary to transition to a shiny, brighter, healthier version or ourselves!
Unlike a caterpillar that turns into a butterfly, the snake isn’t changing form, only growing and renewing.

ARAV will still be your best source for all advancements in herpetological medicine and surgery. We won’t change forms, colors, or turn into something we aren’t. The same great herp vet community will be here to support your career, inform you of conservation and legislative issues, provide cutting-edge scientific updates and the best clinical continuing education.
However, we are growing so please bear with us as we go through some frequent shedding over the next few months or years!

What will we reveal in our shiny new form?

Well the first thing that you have probably noticed is this newsletter! With the help of the marketing and design team at the NAVC, your ARAV newsletter and e-mails will be instantly recognizable and easier to read, providing links to important websites and containing an expanded amount of information. Our leadership will be sharing our experiences, ideas and challenges. Continue to turn to the newsletter for information on upcoming events and conferences, tips and tricks, and committee announcements.
  • Veterinary technicians, veterinary nurses and veterinary students: Please consider this YOUR forum to write an article, make an announcement, and share your clinical knowledge.
  • Doctors: Encourage your staff to participate! If your staff members just saved you bunches of time and money due to some clever thinking on their part, please encourage them to share their knowledge HERE. Contact Erica Mede to submit your ideas, tricks/tips, or articles.
My next project as executive director is updating the ARAV website. I realize that parts of the website function poorly. Despite updating it just a few years ago, the website is now how we access all our membership information, journal, find our colleagues, and share our knowledge. We're looking for ways to seamlessly integrate your membership information, Find-A-Vet profile, and JHMS access.

We have to make the website function for all our increased demands! Modernizing the “Find-A-Vet” function is an early goal and we plan to make it a user-friendly search engine for the public as soon as possible.
Lastly, if you have any suggestions, things you'd like to see improved, or benefits you would value in your ARAV membership, please email me any time with questions or concerns! We can’t wait to show off our shiny new skin!
Dana Varble, DVM
ARAV Executive Director
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The Board’s Board: Updates from Your Board Members

Each month we will have an update from at least one of our association’s Board Members so that YOU can hear what they have going on! 

Apparently, they are on an early summer break this month, so we'll start this in June. Stay tuned!

ARAV Awesomeness

How many times have you gone to an ARAV conference and thought, “Gee whiz...if I only had a pink racerback tank top from ARAV, I'd be just as epic as that technician liaison of theirs!” Well, your troubles are over! We now have our own apparel store and as luck would have it, we do offer pink racerback tank tops! Take a look around our store now.
Greetings from your ARAV Technician Liaison

Hey there folks! For those of us in the Northern hemisphere, this is the ideal time to start your outdoor herping endeavors! While you're out and about, galavanting in bogs, marshes, roads and prairies, take the time to share some information on the importance of releasing wild-caught animals exactly where they were found (within reason)!  We've all heard that chytrid is on the loose. Help us help wildlife by sharing a quick educational moment with someone who may be new to herping in the great outdoors!

To kick-start a new era in ARAV history, we're breaking out the new newsletter style! There are still glitches and a few things I need to tweak, but our upcoming issues will be full of everything you ever wanted to know! A HUGE thank you to Summer from the NAVC and Dana Varble, our Executive Director, for making this newsletter something to write home about! 
Your Herp Blerpin’ Tech,
Erica Mede, CVT
Committee Corner

This is a new feature with updates from our committees. If you'd like to volunteer for a committee, feel free to e-mail Erica Mede and she'll put you in contact with the head of that committee!
Law Committee:  Membership and Public Relations Committee:
We have obtained the rights to the Exotic DVM brochures that many of us remember when they came out originally. We'll be working diligently to edit and update the information so you can use it for client education. So far, we're working on:
  • Ball pythons
  • Bearded dragons
  • Box turtles (North American)
  • Chameleons
  • Corn snakes
  • Iguanas
  • Leopard geckos
  • Red-eared sliders
  • Sulcata tortoises
  • Iguana surgeries
Conservation and Research Committee:
We are proud to announce the following awards:
  • Pharmacokinetics of Itraconazole and Voriconazole in Tuatara (Sphenodon punctatus) by Dr. Sarah Alexander BSc BMVS PGCertVS (Conservation Medicine) DVetMedSc Candidate*
  • The Kevin Wright Memorial Grant was awarded to Determining the glomerular filtration rate in bearded dragons (Pogona vitticeps using contrast-enhanced computed tomography and plasma clearance of iohexol by Jim Wellehan, DVM, MS, PhD, Dipl. ACZM, Dipl. ACVM (Virology, Bacteriology/Mycology).
*Pictured is the model of the bunch! This is Tipua, a 20 year old female enjoying her favorite food. Photo provided by Auckland Zoo.
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Test Your Knowledge

The wonderful team at AVTCP (Academy of Veterinary Technicians in Clinical Practice) are ramping up to bring you more trivia next month.  

Stay tuned for new trivia in next month's issue of ARAV's Herp Blerp eNewsletter!

What's Coming Next?

Our next issue will include our "Calendar of Events" feature with must-remember dates, as well as our "Tips, Tricks and Toys" feature — coming back by popular demand! We also plan to present our newest addition to the newsletter: the "Facebook Case of the Month." Each month, we'll select a case to post in our newsletter. Don’t miss out and encourage your friends to join our members-only group to continue to receive our newsletter.