Early-Bird ticket prices until September 20

Program for Saturday, October 3

Small Animal

Internal Medicine

Gary Oswald, DVM, MS, DACVIM
Tampa Bay Veterinary Specialists & Emergency Care Center

Dr. Oswald’s presentations will cover and update numerous medical topics focusing on small animal gastroenterology. Specific diagnostic tests, individual gastrointestinal drug therapies, dietary considerations and supplements will be discussed. Commonly encountered gastrointestinal disorders, including dysbiosis, dietary intolerance, inflammatory bowel disease, protein-losing enteropathy, pancreatitis, etc.., will be presented in detail.

Gastrointestinal Diagnostics – What to run, What to learn: To review diagnostic tests commonly indicated in cats and dogs with gastrointestinal disorders. Attendees will learn how to prioritize testing and interpret results related to the gastrointestinal system including routine blood and fecal exams, GI/pancreas profiles, fecal immunodiagnostics and imaging studies.

Gastrointestinal Drug Therapies – Which, When & Why: To review common gastrointestinal drug treatment strategies in cats and dogs with acute and chronic gastrointestinal disorders. Attendees will learn appropriate indications, updated doses, potential side effects and alternative medications for antiemetic, prokinetic, antacid, gastroprotectant and appetite stimulant drugs.

Chronic Enteropathies – Symptomatic Therapies Before Biopsy: To review common causes of acute and chronic intestinal disorders in cats and dogs presenting to private practice. Attendees will learn symptomatic treatments for the management of these intestinal disorders including appropriate diet trials, pre/probiotics, appropriate antibiotic use and strategic deworming.

Drugs, Diets & Supplements – IBD & PLE: To review the etiology of canine and feline primary inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and protein losing enteropathy (PLE). Attendees will learn how best to establish a diagnosis of primary IBD and PLE. Current evidence-based recommendations regarding anti-inflammatory drugs options, therapeutic diet selections and supplemental therapies will be presented.

Obstipation, Megacolon & Other Common Colonic Disorders: To review common disorders of the large intestine (colon) including constipation/obstipation disorders, megacolon, colitis and anorectal polyps. Attendees will be updated on currently recommended therapies for these varied disorders of the colon.

Pancreatitis – Extinguishing a Chemical “Fire” : To review the best diagnostic testing strategy for establishing a diagnosis of acute pancreatitis (AP), including blood (pancreatic-specific lipase) and imaging testing. An evidence-based discussion will allow attendees to learn which treatments are indicated and are effective in treating AP patients.

Where It All Begins – Don’t Overlook the Esophagus: To review the common causes of esophageal disease in cats and dogs including esophagitis/GERD, esophageal foreign body entrapment, luminal strictures, esophageal motility disorders and megaesophagus. Attendees will learn practical means of removing foreign bodies and receive updated treatment information to reduce/resolve esophageal inflammation and improve clinical signs in patients with motility issues.

Feline Medicine

Margie Scherk, DVM, DABVP

Sponsored by:

Dr. Scherk’s presentations will review and update common feline gastroenteric issues including liver diseases, pancreatitis, diarrhea and constipation. She will discuss an approach to the cat with chronic upper respiratory disease and provide a hopeful update on FIP.

Constipation – Relieving a Hard Problem: When presented with a constipated patient, it is important to think about outside the gut that contributes to the problem. Environmental, medical, pharmacological, and surgical treatments will be discussed. Upon completion of this session, the participant should be able to:

  • Understand the underlying problem
  • Follow a logical treatment plan
  • Know when surgery is warranted

Snots and Snuffles – Chronic Feline Upper Respiratory Disease: The chronic feline snuffler is a frustrating patient to treat. The longer the course, the more severe the consequences to affected tissues are and the more debilitating it is to the patient. A logical diagnostic plan to differentiate probable etiologies and to rule-out non-viral causes results in appropriate therapeutic choices. Upon completion of this session, the participant should be able to:

  • Understand when antibiotics should be used
  • What further diagnostics are warranted
  • What long-term therapy is needed

Feline Infectious Peritonitis Update – There’s Light at the End of the Tunnel?: In the past decade, advances have been made in understanding the biology and behavior of the feline enteric coronavirus and how it mutates in some cats to become a life-threatening virus. It is not as infectious as once believed yet is still the most common infectious cause of death in cats. Recent research and clinical trials finally offer promise for treatment! Upon completion of this session, the participant should be able to:

  • Achieve a diagnosis
  • Create a therapeutic plan
  • Help clients understand that it is extremely unlikely their other cats are at risk

Avian Medicine

Tracy Bennett, DVM, DABVP
Bird and Exotic Clinic of Seattle

Sponsored by:

General overview of backyard chicken husbandry and medicine, passerine (mostly canary and finch) husbandry and medicine and avian feather damaging behavior – causes diagnosis and treatment

Backyard Chicken Medicine – A Summary of Backyard Chicken Husbandry and Management: The attendee should be familiar with basic backyard chicken management and medicine. The first segment will review chicken breeds, basic anatomy and physiology, the second segment will review husbandry and management and the third section will review common medical problems, diagnosis and treatment.

Passerine Medicine – A Summary of Pet Passerine Husbandry and Management: yhe attendee should be familiar with pet passerine management and medicine.  The first segment will review breeds, basic anatomy and physiology, the second segment will review husbandry and management and the third section will review common medical problems, diagnosis and treatment.

Basic Feather Picking Presentations, Possible Causes and Treatments: Attendees should gain a working knowledge of feather picking and destructive behavior disorders. In the first section I’ll cover feather and skin anatomy and common presentations. In the second section I’ll cover diagnosis and the third potential treatments will be discussed.


Exotic Pets

Cathy Johnson-Delaney, DVM
NW Zoological Supply

Sponsored by:

Cardiopulmonary Disorders of Ferrets: Cardiac disease is fairly common in ferrets. Diagnostic testing includes bloodwork, imaging, ECG, blood pressure, audio Doppler, capnography and pulse oximetry. Respiratory diseases include canine distemper, influenza, bacterial pneumonias, and thoracic neoplasia. Distemper vaccine reactions and treatment will be discussed. The ferret’s role in SARS-COR (2) will be presented.

Rodent Medicine

Daniel Lejnieks, DVM, DABVP
Bird and Exotic Clinic of Seattle

The order Rodentia has three suborders that the practitioner is likely to encounter clinically: Hystricomorphs, Scurrimorphs and Myomorphs.  The attendee will learn the medically salient features of these rodents as well as important clinical differences between these suborders. In this lecture attendees will learn:

  • Equipment and literature:  Equipment and literature necessary or useful in rodent medicine and surgery will be covered.  The attendees will be introduced to specialized equipment for oral exams and dental work, anesthetic equipment,  and monitoring equipment essential for practice.  The attendee will also be introduced to specialized literature useful in rodent practice.
  • Housing and Nutrition:  Proper housing and nutrition are vital to the well being of the rodent patient.  Mistakes in housing rodents that result in clinical disease will be covered.  Malnutrition is common in pet rodents.  The attendee will learn about nutritional disease in rodents and how to correct these deficiencies.
  • Diagnostics and diagnostic procedures:  The size and nature of these patients limits the practitioner as to the types and invasiveness of medical procedures that can be performed.  However, some diagnostic modalities such as radiology can still be very useful and informative.  The attendee will become familiar with sedation, blood collection, radiology and other diagnostic modalities useful in rodent practice.
  • Diseases of commonly presented rodents:  The three most frequently presented rodents in our practice are Norwegian rats, guinea pigs, and golden Syrian hamsters.  This section will familiarize attendees with the normal features found in these rodents, such as the location of scent glands, as well as diseases specific to each species.  Diagnosis and treatment of common diseases that can be managed by non-specialists will be emphasized.  Potential zoonoses will be also covered here.  Attendees should be familiar with and be able to treat most of the commonly presented illnesses in these companion rodents at the conclusion of this section.

Large Animal

BRDC Updates

HH Jody Wade, DVM
Boehringer Ingelheim Animal Health

Sponsored by:

Chuteside Immunology: Bovine Immunology is the study of the structure and function of the Bovine immune system. Vaccinology on the other hand is the science of vaccine development and how the immune system responds to vaccines. Bovine Respiratory Disease (BRD) continues to represent the greatest impact to the cattle industry today. The information available to the bovine practitioner is constantly evolving. The goal of this session is to update the practitioner on industry concerns regarding the prevention and treatment of BRD. A review of bovine immunology as it relates to the pathogenesis and prevention of BRD will be discussed in addition to reviewing current industry practices in the management and prevention of BRD.

Preconditioning: Preconditioning programs consist of multiple platforms and strategies. One strategy includes vaccination against common respiratory viruses and has been shown to be beneficial. Modified live virus and killed virus vaccines are recommended in many of these programs. There have been some changes in what feedyard operators in the Midwest want from Cattlemen in the cow/calf and stocker segment. Studies have shown that calves that are vaccinated properly, weaned for at least 45 days, and taught how to eat out of a feed bunk will out perform any other type of preconditioning efforts that a cattleman may be using. We have seen respiratory breaks in animals that fall below this mandatory 45-day weaning period. The goal of this session is to discuss some of these options and address any of the concerns or differences that may arise.

Protecting the Cow/Calf Unit: The purpose of this presentation is to familiarize cattlemen about Respiratory Disease Complex in the Cow/calf and Stocker industry. It is not intended to make anyone an expert but to give listeners a better idea about the issues and circumstances that go into producing a healthy calf. The majority of the time we will discuss changes that are occurring with these major pathogens and how vaccines are changing to better protect against some of these threats. The goal of this presentation is to make you re-evaluate how your vaccine protocols are structured toward the cow/calf unit and what we are really trying to accomplish.

Small Ruminant Medicine

Philippa Gibbons, BVetMed, DACVIM
Lincoln Memorial University

The three small ruminant sessions will cover practical sustainable parasite control, herd and flock health and common emergency conditions of the small ruminants. Both sheep and goats will be discussed. The sessions will be aimed at the mixed practitioner and the small animal general practitioner that sees the occasional sheep and goats.

Practical Sustainable Parasite Control: In this session, the biology of nematodes will be reviewed, followed by sustainable parasite control techniques. Techniques will include targeted treatment, pasture management, as well as up to date information on the latest parasite control strategies. Two case examples will be presented. Attendees will be able to use the information covered to apply to their clients’ small ruminant flocks and herds in a practical way.

Common ER Conditions in Sheep and Goats: In this session, commonly presenting cases that are emergencies will be covered. The talk will be aimed at the small animal and mixed practitioner that sees the occasional small ruminant. The talk will be case-based and include bloat, inappetent pregnant goat, neurological animal, a case of pigmenturia, an anemic goat and a blocked goat. Treatment will include what is possible in the small animal and mixed animal practice.

Herd and Flock Health: This session will cover the basics of sheep and goat flock and herd health including vaccination, foot trimming, castration/dehorning and nutrition. Legal drug use for small ruminants will also be covered. The talk will focus on meat sheep and goats, with some basic mastitis information also.

WSU Research Updates

Craig McConnel, DVM, VMcS, PhD
Washington State University

Sponsored by:

Dr. McConnel will present research summaries based on recent and on-going investigations at Washington State University into novel diagnostics and therapeutics related to gastrointestinal disease in dairy calves, impacts of group housing on dairy calf health and productivity, and indicators of resilience within organic dairy systems.


Equine Gastric Ulcer Syndrome

Hoyt Cheramie, DVM, MS, DACVS

Sponsored by:

The pertinent information regarding anatomy, physiology, pathophysiology, risk factors, clinical syndromes, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention will be presented in detail. The discussion will include special attention to the detrimental performance effects of equine athletes as presented in the current literature as well as a focus on glandular disease.

Treatment and Management of Common Injuries

Cate Mochal, DVM, DACVS
Mississippi State University College of Veterinary Medicine

The following presentations are focused on the treatment and management of common occurring injuries to the equine distal limb with the purpose to bring new skill sets to general equine practitioners.

Foot and Hoof Injuries: The objectives of this lecture are to review the diagnostic and treatment options to the following injuries of the distal limb: heel bulb lacerations, puncture wounds, septic arthritis, factures of the coffin bone and fractures of the navicular bone.

Keratomas: Identification, Treatment and Outcome: The objectives to this lecture are to discuss the pathophysiology of keratomas, diagnostic procedures, surgical management and treatment outcomes.

General Surgery of the Equine Distal Limb: The objectives of this lecture are to discuss surgeries of the equine distal limb that can be performed in general practice.  The surgeries discussed in the following sections can be performed under standing sedation or injectable anesthesia.  They utilize simple instrumentation relying on anatomical understanding and good tissue handling to create a marketable skill set.

Hoof Cast: A How-To Session on Application and Use: The objectives to this lecture are to demonstrate the benefits of hoof cast application and its various uses. Additionally, this lecture will discuss a step wise process of applying a hoof case.

Hoof Abscess: An Old Problem Made Easy: The objections of this lecture are to discuss treatment options for the most common causes of lameness of the foot, the hoof abscess.

Practice Management

Behavior and Pricing

Darren Osborne, MA
Ontario Veterinary Medical Association

Creative Pricing Techniques: You can raise your fees and stimulate demand for veterinary medicine at the same time. Alongside fee increases, different bundling options like wellness plans and creative pricing strategies will be explored. Find out how separating your dental cleaning from your oral surgery will increase the demand for dentistry.

What Do Clients Want: Every year, Darren surveys thousands of pet owners to find out what they think about veterinarians, veterinary services and veterinary fees. Did you know that nine of ten pet owners think they to go to their veterinarian at least once a year but only sixty percent actually do. Find out why half your clients are shocked with their bill at the end of their visit and how clients feel about seeing different veterinarians in the same hospital.

Bundle Everything – Wellness Plans: How to develop them, price them, market them, sell them, and maintain them Beyond the Wellness Plan. Bundling dentistry, food, senior and chronic plans Recent studies into pet owners attitudes have shown that your clients are more sensitive to the price of veterinary medicine than ever before. The same research into client’s expectations shows bundled services are a big part of the solution. Find out how you might be giving away a lot more of your time and money than you have to.

Access to Veterinary Care: A National Family Crisis

Michael Blackwell, DVM, MPH
Center for Behavioral Health Research, College of Social Work, University of TN

Access to Veterinary Care: Barriers, Current Practices, and Public Policy: Families struggling to access veterinary care is a national crisis. Before COVID-19, 28% of families with pets reported a barrier to veterinary care, overwhelmingly because they could not afford it. Since COVID-19, millions have filed for unemployment, significantly adding to the number struggling to pay for veterinary care. This presentation will share results from a national population study on barriers to veterinary care and what veterinarians reported regarding their knowledge, attitudes, and practices regarding the problem. Attendees will gain an understanding of:

  • The scope of barriers to veterinary care faced by pet owners
  • Veterinarians’ knowledge, attitude, and practices regarding access to veterinary care
  • Recommendations to address it as presented in the Access to Veterinary Care Coalition’s seminal report released in December 2018.

AlignCare® and Incremental Veterinary Care: AlignCare® is a One Health healthcare system that provides subsidies to help pay the costs of veterinary care for families with limited means, aligning the resources of social service organizations, veterinary social work coordinators (VSWC), veterinary service providers (VSP) and animal welfare organizations. Incremental veterinary care is an essential strategy that controls costs by the use of a tiered approach to patient management to avoid turning away clients or performing economic euthanasia. Attendees will gain an understanding of:

  • The importance of controlling and spreading costs of care
  • Incremental veterinary care as a necessary strategy to patient management
  • AlignCare as a viable system to improve access to veterinary care for underserved families.

Employment Law

Amy Mensik, JD
Witherspoon Kelley

Hot Topics in Employment Law – What Your Practice Needs to Know: From changes brought on by the COVID‐19 crisis, new wage classifications, to new classes of persons protected from discrimination, Washington employers of all sizes must stay on top of ever‐changing legal obligations towards their employees. Discover what’s new and on the horizon so your practice is prepared.

All Things Leave – Where Are We Now with All These Workplace Leave Laws?: The COVID‐19 crisis launched a wave of new obligations and restrictions for employee leave on top of other various leave law changes. Find out where we are now on coronavirus‐specific leave laws as well as other changes from local, state, and federal authorities to ensure your practice is compliant.

Technicians & Assistants


Ed Carlson, CVT, VTS (Nutrition)
Ethos Veterinary Health

Sponsored by:

Nutritional Supplements – Fads, Myths, and Facts: Pet owners, breeders, and clients often ask the veterinary health care team about the benefits of supplements. Often their information has come from the internet, breeders, and trends in human nutrition. Coconut oil, vitamin C, fish oil, milk thistle, other supplements, current fads, and myths will be discussed. What we know about a variety of nutraceuticals based on clinical studies and evidence will be presented. The role the FDA, Dietary Supplement and Education Health Act, the National Animal Supplement Council play in the regulation of supplements will be discussed.
Learning objectives:
1. Attendees will learn the evidence-based facts on a variety of common nutritional supplements
2. Common misconceptions of the benefits of a variety of nutritional supplements will be discussed.
3. Attendees will learn how federal regulations apply to supplements.

Veterinary Therapeutic Diets – Traditional and Non-Traditional Options: Trends in pet foods away from traditional diet types to a variety of alternative types are becoming more common. This trend has led to both commercial prepared and recipes for homemade “therapeutic” diets becoming more readily available. Are the claims of providing optimal nutrition for patients suffering for a variety of disease processes supported by scientific evidence? The facts, assumptions, and misconceptions are discussed in this lecture.
Learning objectives:
1. How to select therapeutic diets for patients suffering from a variety of diseases will be taught
2. Attendees will learn how to evaluate therapeutic diets
3. Attendees will learn how to explain to clients why the diet is appropriate for the patient.

Grain Free and Other Diet Trends: Grain-free, vegetarian, and vegan diets have become increasing popular over the past several years. This lecture will discuss some common beliefs, facts and misconceptions of homemade and commercially available diet of these types. The latest information on BEG diets (boutique, exotic, grain free) and the possible relationship to DCM. will be covered in this session. This lecture will provide the veterinary technician with nutritional knowledge to assist owners in making good nutritional choices for their pets.
Learning objectives:
1. Attendees will learn facts and common misconceptions of grain free and other diet types.
2. Attendees will learn potential health risks associated with feeding grain-free and other diet types
3. Attendees will learn nutrition facts that may be used to educate clients about grain-free diet and other diet types

Raw Diets – Facts and Misconceptions: Raw diets have become increasing popular over the past several years. This lecture will discuss some common beliefs, facts and misconceptions of homemade and commercially available raw diets. This topic can be quite controversial; some clients are adamant in their beliefs; this lecture will provide the veterinary technician with nutritional knowledge to assist owners in making good nutritional choices for their pets. Approaches for client education and nutritional recommendation strategies are also discussed.
Learning objectives:
1. Attendees will learn the fats and misconceptions of raw diets.
2. Approaches for client education will be taught.
3. Strategies for making nutritional recommendation will be taught.


Jade Velasquez, LVT
Brookside Veterinary Hospital

Mental Health in Vet Med- Why Aren’t We Talking About It? In this session we will cover the tendencies of those in the veterinary field that can contribute to mental health issues. We will discuss statistics of veterinarians and support staff regarding mental health issues. We will dive into the triggers specific to veterinary medicine, that can affect our personal mental health and provide resources to reach out for help or help others who may be struggling.

Toxic Teams – A Survival Guide for Veterinary Technicians: In this discussion, I hope to be able to discuss what contributes to a toxic team. How does a well-meaning group of professionals shift to becoming aa toxic team? We will discuss the difference between aggressive behaviors and passive aggressive behaviors. We will also discuss some of the toxic teammates we may encounter and how to deal with their behaviors.

Clinic Culture – How To Build Up Your Team Even If You Aren’t the Owner: We will discuss the definition of clinic culture and what clinic culture consists of. I hope to be able to tie together how our own personal values should tie into our clinic culture and the effect if we don’t “buy in” to our current culture. We will also elaborate on ways professionals can change their current culture and what to do if they come up against resistance.