Small Animal Program

Live & In-Person

Tacoma, WA


Sept. 30 - Oct. 2


140+ Hours of CE

Mark Acierno
Friday, Sept. 30
Urology / Nephrology

Dr. Acierno’s program covers commonly encountered urology / nephrology conditions and how to effectively treat these challenging disorders. Topics covered include acute kidney injury, chronic kidney disease, hypertension, FLUTD and how to incorporate latest UTI antimicrobial recommendations.

Eric Hoots
Friday, Sept. 30
Sponsored by:

Dr. Hoots, a private practitioner providing mobile and in-house surgery in the Puget Sound, will provide a practical review and approach to surgical conditions of dogs and cats.

Dr. Mike Thoesen
Friday, Sept. 30
Sponsored by:

This lecture will focus on reviewing the most common developmental bone diseases in the dog. The lecture will place emphasis on the pathophysiology and diagnosis of these diseases. The lecture will also cover the accepted treatments for these conditions and a review of the current literature.

Mark Ottinger
Friday, Sept. 30
Sponsored by:

This presentation covers an introduction to physical rehabilitation – the when and how of rehab. Focus will be on indications of modalities and therapies as well as practices that can be done to help our small animal patients return to function.

Tamara Grubb
Friday, Sept. 30
Sponsored by:
The Year of the Cat (FINALLY!): 2022 & Cat-Specific Chronic Pain Relief

Advancement in analgesia for cats have lagged behind those of dogs. But 2022 has brought a cat-specific FDA-approved drug for chronic pain and updated pain management guidelines with a specific cat section. These will be discussed in detail. It is the year of the cat!

Jessica Bunch
Friday, Sept. 30
Therapeutic Lasers (Photobiomodulation)

Dr. Bunch’s presentation covers the basics of therapeutic lasers (photobiomodulation) including how it works, effects on tissues, parameters, precautions, and an overview of the most recent research. Additionally, she will address the business end of therapeutic lasers including uses, considerations when purchasing a laser, pricing strategies, and marketing.

Nell Ostermeier
Friday, Sept. 30
Introduction to Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine (TCVM)

In this presentation, Dr. Ostermeier will provide an introduction to veterinary acupuncture, including information on “how it works” from the both the Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine (TCVM) and Western neurophysiology perspective. She will translate some of the most common TCVM concepts into more familiar Western terms, reducing  the “mysticism” that often surrounds acupuncture. Attendees will gain a better understanding of how this amazing modality can be used to improve patient outcomes, especially when integrated with conventional treatment plans.

Pathogens According to Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine

Dr. Ostermeier’s presentation will translate the terminology around TCVM pathogens into language that is more clearly understood in the Western world.  Case examples will be utilized to draw comparisons between TCVM pathogens and Western problems and diseases. This lecture will highlight the ability of TCVM and acupuncture to provide patient care options when a definitive Western diagnosis cannot be obtained.

The Aging Process According to Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine (TCVM)

Dr. Ostermeier’s presentation will look at the aging process according to the theories and principles of TCVM.  She will cover TCVM concepts that explain the effects of aging on the organs, tissues and mentation. Attendees will learn how to identify common patterns in aging and how to treat them, helping our patients to age more gracefully and reducing the strain on the human-animal bond.

Application of Acupuncture for Senior Pets

Dr. Ostermeier’s presentation will cover acupuncture strategies used to treat Western problems and TCVM patterns that are commonly diagnosed in senior pets. She will also cover how to approach senior patients who present with multiple or confusing problems, making it difficult to know where to start with the acupuncture treatments and how to prioritize acupoint selection. This presentation will focus mainly on real world case examples.

The Business of Integrating Acupuncture

Dr. Ostermeier’s presentation will provide information on how acupuncture can be successfully integrated in a way that is beneficial to both the patient and the practice. Strategies for scheduling, charging and client communication will be provided.  The goal of this presentation is to help veterinarians who wish to add acupuncture to their practice or grow their acupuncture clientele to do so in a way that is smooth and sustainable. 

Mary Gardner
Saturday, Oct. 1
Sponsored by:
Geriatrics and End of Life

Geriatric pets require a lot of work for the caregiver and includes many difficult decisions. This track will give you a great foundation to help pet owners navigate the end of life stage.

Jordan Nickell
Saturday, Oct. 1
Sponsored by:

Sedation and general anesthesia are common in our small animal patients which makes the presence of anesthetic monitoring equipment in a clinic or hospital essential. This lecture series will focus on how monitoring equipment functions, what information it gives, and how certain complications should be addressed.

Teela Jones
Saturday, Oct. 1
Sponsored by:

This presentation will cover the recommended pre-operative evaluation, anticipated anesthetic complications, management strategies and drug selections for dogs and cats requiring anesthesia with common cardiac abnormalities as well as patients with renal disease.

Vanessa Rizzo
Saturday, Oct. 1
Sponsored by:

The first two presentations will cover new non-traditional chemotherapy options for your patients. We will also discuss how diet and supplements can support a cancer patient and help the family. The third and fourth presentations will discuss canine large cell lymphoma – what you should know and canine oral melanoma and the new treatment options.

Lauren Powers
Saturday, Oct. 1
Avian and Exotic Pet Medicine and Surgery

This track of lectures reviews the most common illnesses seen in backyard chickens presented for veterinary care, as well as the evaluation and management of the healthy pet psittacine bird presented for routine wellness exams and the critically ill psittacne bird presented as an emergency. Several common diseases of exotic companion mammals are also covered in this track including dental disease in rabbits and GI stasis and obstruction in rabbits. Sedation, anesthesia, and analgesia in exotic companion mammals are also covered in this track.

Andrea Fascetti
VMD, Phd, DACVN, Dacvim
Sunday, Oct. 2
The Cat and Carbohydrate Conundrum: What We Have Learned From Science, Research, and Clinical Experience

Nitrogen, amino acids, fatty acids, vitamins and minerals are all essential nutrients for the dog and cat.  Carbohydrates are often included as an energy source that will spare protein to some extent.  They can also help with the technological aspects of food formulation and production.  However, the role of carbohydrates has come under intense scrutiny in recent years, particularly in the cat, an animal considered to be a strict carnivore.  This lecture will tackle some often-expressed concerns such as do carbohydrates cause obesity and diabetes?  These are the questions we will answer during this session.

Common Nutrition Questions From Veterinarian Asked and Answered

Is feeding a home-prepared diet safer than feeding a commercial diet? What are ketogenic diets and when should I consider feeding one to my patient? Are jerky treats safe to feed to my dog? Is dietary phosphorus a concern in cats? Are there some instances where an over-the-counter diet can be used instead of a veterinary therapeutic diet for clients with limited finances? My patient has 2 medical conditions – can I combine 2 veterinary therapeutic diets to create one diet that will meet all the nutrient alterations I seek?

Are Raw Food Diets Radical or Reasonable? A Review of the Evidence

Raw food diets are often referred to by the acronym “BARF” which can stand for “bones and raw food” or “biologically appropriate raw food” diet. Proponents of raw food diets proclaim many health benefits associated with this feeding regime, stating that dogs and cats are carnivores and as such they evolved eating raw food.  However, there have been no studies to date to support that this feeding approach has any long-term health benefits compared to feeding other types of pet food.  Despite the absence of long-term studies, there has been research looking at the nutritional performance as well as the possible risks and benefits of bones and raw food diets.  This lecture will exam the scientific studies behind raw food diets.

Debunking Nutritional Myths: Facts abd Fallacies

Many owners are turning to the internet to find guidance on how to feed their dog or cat.  However, much of the information on the internet is not peer-reviewed and can sound very scientific when it is not.  This makes it hard for many clients to decide what information to accept and what to reject.  Veterinarians and their associates should be aware of what information is out there and how to address questions and concerns when they arise. This lecture will cover some of the popular nutrition discussion topics from blogs and websites to help sort through what is true, what is false, and what is not scientifically supported.