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Program for Friday, September 28

Small Animal

Infectious Disease

J. Scott Weese, DVM, DACVIM, DVSc
Ontario Veterinary College, University of Guelph

Dr. Weese’s presentations will cover a range of emerging and important infectious disease issues. With a clinical focus, these presentations will provide an overview of relevant aspects of these infectious disease topics, including areas such as diagnosis, treatment, client counseling and infection prevention and control.

Soft Tissue Surgery

Rebecca Murray, DVM, MS, DACVS
Summit Veterinary Referral Center / Tacoma, WA

Dr. Murray will be review a few interesting cases that highlight different types of wounds, locations and wound healing techniques. Overview will include: moist wound healing, extensive burn wound care, honey and hypertonic saline, paw pad injuries, VAC assisted healing, etc. Dr. Murray will also discuss a variety of techniques to diagnose variety of masses with cytology, incisional biopsy, Tru-Cut needle biopsies and excisional biopsy. She will also review when not to biopsy and when to refer for consultation or advanced imaging.

Sponsored by Summit Veterinary Referral Center


E.B. Okransinski
Summit Veterinary Referral Center / Tacoma, WA

Session 1: Medial Patellar Luxations – This lecture will review the anatomy and the mechanics of the quadriceps. The causes of medial patellar luxations and techniques for surgical corrections will be discussed. Case examples will be included as will potential complications.

Session 2: Angular Limb Deformity – This discussion includes the normal anatomy and physiology of the physis. The result of physeal injuries are discussed. Three cases will be presented depicting angular limb deformities and their surgical correction.

Sponsored by Summit Veterinary Referral Center


Mark Harmon, DVM, DACVIM
Blue Pearl Veterinary Partners

Session 1: Updates on Canine Valve Disease & Feline Cardiac Disease – A brief overview of canine mitral valve disease and feline cardiomyopathies, with the emphasis being on newly described diagnostics and treatment therapies.

Session 2: Canine Interventional Cardiac Therapies – Information on cardiac procedures such as balloon valvuloplasty, vascular occlusion devices, and pacemaker implantation, with the main focus being on case selection and initial diagnostic evaluation.

Session 3: Emergency Management of the Cardiac Patient – A case-based approach to initial assessment, diagnostic evaluation, and management of common cardiac emergencies, including acute heart failure, arrhythmia assessment, and pulmonary hypertension.

Sponsored by Blue Pearl Veterinary Partners

Large Animal

Animal Welfare

Amber Itle, VMD, MS

Dr. Itle will introduce the conceptual framework of Animal Welfare and review the OIE’s 5 Freedoms. An interactive presentation will challenge veterinarians to consider the interplay of ethics and the role of science and how these factors influence our decisions in practice every day. Veterinarians traditionally place emphasis on health and production while the consuming public values the ability for animals to engage in natural behaviors and be “happy.” This discussion will explore the role of science and public perception surrounding contentious issues.

On Farm Dairy Employee Training – Animal Welfare and Culture on Farm

Travis Thayer, DVM
Diamond V / Oakland, CA

This session will focus on lessons learned from my time spent training employees on farms in animal welfare and the effect of workplace culture on success in this and other arenas. As the labor market tightens, employee satisfaction and retention is more important than ever.

Sponsored by Diamond V

Stand Up for Welfare: In the Field and in Court

Amber Itle, VMD, MS / WSDA
Emily Den Hartog LVT, ACO  / City of Mt. Vernon

As the acknowledged stewards of animal care, veterinarians are considered professional experts when it comes to cases of animal neglect and cruelty.  Although veterinarians may be aware of the link between cruelty to pets and family violence, we may turn a blind eye to farm animal abuse.  This session will use real case studies to equip you with tools to respond to abuse cases when requested by animal control officers.  Learn about key components of animal and environmental assessments and how to write a robust report to improve the chance of cases settling out of court.

Animal Welfare

Jennifer Walker, DVM, PhD, DACVPM
Danone North America / Dallas, TX

Session 1: Supply Chain Perspectives on Animal Welfare – Every farmer and veterinarian needs to know who they work for. Producing safe food from animals that have good welfare is an expectation of customers and consumers. Your farmers may pay the bills but customers ultimately decide whether or not your service and their product is relevant. To maintain the health of your business, you need to make sure you and your farmers remain relevant.

Session 2: Auditing for Welfare on Dairies – Are animal welfare audits a risk, opportunity or a waste of time? What makes a good audit and how can you adapt your practice to make sure that you, your clients and their cows all benefit from animal welfare audits?

Sponsored by Zoetis

Animal Welfare

Janet Helms, DVM, MBA
Washington D.C.

Animal welfare auditing in food animals has been improving welfare across species in the US since 2000. This presentation will provide an overview of auditing across species and the value it adds to the food chain, for the animal, the producer, the farm employee, and the consumer.

Panel Discussion

Janet Helms, DVM, MBA / American Humane / Washington D.C.
Amber Itle, VMD, MS / WSDA
Travis Thayer, DVM / Diamond V / Oakland, CA
Jennifer Walker, DVM, PhD / Dr. Jen’s Animal Welfare Project / Dallas, TX

How do we “Make it SO, Number Two”? Helping Change the Picture Today so Tomorrow is a Better Day.



Joseph Bergevin, DVM
Pilchuck Veterinary Hospital / Marysville, WA

Session 1: Overview of managing complicated laminitis cases including farriery, medicine, and if necessary, surgery.

Session 2: Overview of diagnosing and treating heel pain in performance horses with specific examples of different podiatry techniques. Including farriery to address abnormal radiographs.

Sponsored by Pilchuck Veterinary Hospital

Back and Neck Pain

Sarah le Jeune, DVM
University of California, Davis

These presentations will cover the integrative approach, including conventional and complementary medical techniques, to neck and back pain in sport horses. The diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation of common neck and back injuries will be discussed.

Sponsored by Dechra

Lameness Diagnostics

Michael Hoge, DVM, ISELP Certified
Murrieta Equine / Murrieta, CA

Diagnosing the region of pain causing a hindlimb lameness that presents with no overt physical findings is a common daunting scenario in equine practice. The objective of this presentation is to provide a series of “Take Home Messages” the practitioner can use to define the most probable region of pain (diagnosis).

Panel Discussion

Joseph Bergevin, DVM / Pilchick Animal Hospital / Marysville
Sarah la Jeune, DVM / University of California, Davis
Michael Hoge, DVM, ISELP Certified / Murrieta Equine / Murriets, CA

More information coming!


Veterinary Team

Rebecca Rose, CVT, AAS
CATALYST Veterinary Practice Consultants / Littleton, CO

Session 1: Statistics point to the fact that a large percentage (upwards of 50%) of your team is asking this exact question on a daily basis, “Should I stay or should I go?” Veterinary hospitals experience turnover twice that of other industries; an alarming statistic. Is it any wonder managers are continually on the lookout for qualified, formally-trained veterinary technicians and team members? Attendees will outline the reasons team members leave.

Session 2: Team members point to low wages as a reason to leave, but is there more to the equation? Together we will look at state and local wage and benefit packages. Where does your practice fall? Are veterinary team members able and willing to have tough conversations with their managers related to their financial needs, dissatisfaction in their job and desire to grow their career? Inquiring minds want to know!

Session 3: There are Best Practices in nearly all aspects of small businesses. We will focus on generating a list for Best Practices in Team Retention. Now, veterinary teams may include five generations of employees and clients, stretching managers and owners out of their comfort zone in establishing effective lines of communication, defining a clear vision for the practice and growing team members’ careers (not just a job!). Relief is on the way! There is hope as models prove team satisfaction and retention can be a reality.

Session 4: Gone are the days of throwing a job announcement together, placing it in your local newspaper and watching the stream of qualified applicants flow in. Today, savvy managers must consider far more! They must create a hiring strategy (what does the hospital need verses what the team members want), identify the proper doctor to ratio (an efficient ratio), offer appealing benefits packages, consider career advancement opportunities, share goals and purpose in the delivering of

Human Resources Management & Best Practices

Suzan Sturholm
All Things HR, LLC / Lynnwood, WA

Human Resources encompasses a wide spectrum of functions. Within HR, there is a tricky balance between situations that expose your company to risk by inadvertently ignoring problems that will continue to grow versus stressing over small issues that can easily be put to rest. Through sessions on recruiting, employee relations, and creating a best workplace, we will walk you through this balance and present you with best practices for dealing with these everyday human resource situations.

Wellness & Hot Topics

Mindfulness in Action: Meeting the Moment from the Inside Out

Karen Schwisow, BA, MBSR, E-RYT
Mindfullness Northwest / Bellingham, WA

Mindfulness training includes a powerful set of tools to increase our natural ability to be present-centered, resilient, flexible and curious. Mindfulness changes our relationship to stress and reduces burnout. These two trainings, done singly or together, will provide a strong beginning into this valuable field.

Honey Bee Biology and Disease

Timothy Lawrence, PhD
Washington State University

Dr. Lawrence will provide an overview of honey bee biology; basic techniques on inspecting a colony and the equipment needed; and a discussion on various common diseases and pest found in colonies in the State of Washington.

Disciplinary Process and Changes to the Washington CE Requirements

Sue Moriyasu, DVM / Veterinary Board of Governors
Marless O’Neill, J.D. / Office of Legal Services, Department of Health
Loralei Walker / Veterinary Board of Governors

The Washington State Veterinary Board of Governors will discuss the disciplinary process and new rules that will impact you, including changes to continuing education requirements for veterinarians. Use this time to ask questions about the Board’s processes and understand how changes will impact your practice.

Practice Management: Ownership Transition

Nikki Nitz, CPA, CMA
Simmons Northwest & Midwest / Fargo, ND

As the owner of two Simmons & Associates territories, Nikki will share her experiences with the current market on who is buying practices, what type of practices they are buying, where they are buying practices, when they are buying, why they are buying, how they are buying, what they are paying, and what you should do to prepare for a practice sale.

Wet Lab

Introduction to Small Animal Abdominal Ultrasound

John Mattoon, DVM, DACVR
Washington State Univeristy

Participants will be provided with the necessary fundamental skill set for basic abdominal scanning techniques. The first part of the course will focus on an interactive hands-on introductory “lecture” during which participants will learn basic transducer movements, machine adjustments and major organ identification. These skills will be reinforced and practiced in small groups under the mentorship of experienced instructors.

Sponsored by SonoSite

Technicians & Assistants

Coming soon!

Amy Newfield, CVT, VTS (ECC)
BluePearl Veterinary Partners / Upton, MA

Session 1: Motion Sickness in Dogs – There is nothing fun about having a client arrive at your clinic with a dog that just vomited all over itself. Many times motion sick dogs are stuck in homes and never taken anywhere fun because their owners don’t want to deal with the mess. This lecture talks about motion sickness in dogs, why it occurs and both Eastern and Western medicine treatment options.”

Session 2: Caring for the Hospitalized Senior Pet – It’s well known that as pets get older they have different needs. This is true for caring for them when they are hospitalized. There are behavioral and medical needs that are unique to aging pets when hospitalized in a veterinary clinic. This lecture will leave nurses appreciating the geriatric pet more and understanding the unique care that pet requires.

Session 3: Bad Vein…How to Gain Venous Access on “”Naughty”” Veins and What To Use – Attendees will be taught a variety of different techniques of IV catheter placement on “naughty” veins. Catheter selection and vein selection will be discussed. A variety of trouble shooting methods will be reviewed of how to get catheters in difficult veins. Videos and step-by-step pictures will be shown to help participants conquer “naughty” veins.

Session 4: Urinary Catheters Made Easy – Female and male urinary catheters can be tricky to place. This lecture reviews techniques how to place urinary catheters in both female and male dogs and cats. Videos will be shown so participants leave with a better understanding of how to perform this skill.

Session 5: Evan’s Syndrome: Breaking Down ITP & IMHA – This lecture will discuss the pathophysiology of ITP and IMHA as well as signs/symptoms, complications, diagnostics and treatment. Technicians will leave with a good understanding of their unique nursing needs and how to better communicate with clients.

Session 6: Acute Traumatic Coagulopathy Vs. Disseminated Intravascular Coagulation – The patient is bleeding! Neither one is a death sentence, but understanding these two syndromes, early identification and treatment is key to the survival in these patients.

Session 7: Transfusion Medicine: Fact vs Fiction – Can you bolus blood? What about microwaving plasma to thaw it faster? Are autotransfusions good or bad? This lecture helps to separate out the facts from the fiction and reviews transfusion medicine techniques in general.

Neurology and Physical Rehabilitation

Stephanie Gilliam, RVT, BS, CCRP, VTS (Neurology)
Veterinary Health Center University of Missouri

Session 1: Idiopathic Epilepsy – Epilepsy is a disorder in the brain that is characterized by recurring, unpredictable seizures.Idiopathic epilepsy is the term used to describe seizures with no identifiable underlying cause. Veterinary technicians can be integrally involved in the diagnosis, treatment and nursing care of these patients. The goals of this presentation are to: 1) have the ability to obtain a complete seizure history from a client, 2) recognize/understand the clinical signs, examination findings and diagnostic modalities that may be used to diagnose idiopathic epilepsy and 3) know the treatment options that are available as well as the side effects of each of these drugs.

Session 2: Intervertebral Disc Disease – The goals of this presentation are to 1) understand the pathophysiology of intervertebral disc disease, 2) be able to recognize the clinical signs associated with the disease, 3) know the treatment options available and 4) be familiar with the nursing care and physical rehabilitation options for patients with this disease.

Session 3: Beyond IVDD: What Else Could it Be? – There are many diseases that my mimic intervertebral disc disease. It is important to consider all differential diagnoses when examining patients with neurologic signs. The veterinary technician should be familiar with these disease processes in order to provide excellent patient care and client communication. The goals of this presentation are to 1) identify the clinical signs of fibrocartilaginous embolism (FCE), discospondylitis, degenerative myelopathy and spinal neoplasia, 2) identify treatment options for each of these disease processes and 3) effectively communicate with clients regarding all aspects of care with these three disease processes.

Session 4: Neuromuscular Disease – The goals of this presentation are to 1) recognize the clinical signs seen with neuromuscular diseases, 2) understand basic pathophysiology of myasthenia gravis, tick paralysis and polyradiculoneuritis, 3) be familiar with the nursing care and treatment options for patients with neuromuscular disease.

Session 5: Wobblers Disease – The goals of this presentation are to 1) Differentiate between disc-associated and osseous CSM, 2) Recognize the clinical signs of CSM and 3) Understand the treatment options and nursing care required for patients with CSM.

Session 6: Physical Rehabilitation in Small Animal General Practice – Physical rehabilitation is a fast growing field within veterinary medicine. It can be utilized to aid in the management of many different disease processes as well as for athletic conditioning or weight loss. There are many modalities available to the rehabilitation practitioner. This lecture will discuss modalities that are available without the need for expensive equipment and that every technician could become proficient in. This will include 1) range of motion and stretching techniques, 2) therapeutic exercises, 3) superficial thermal modalities and 4) how to measure and track your progress.

Session 7: Physical Rehabilitation for Spinal Cord Disease – Neurologic disease can cause loss of motor and autonomic function as well as sensory abnormalities. The secondary complications from these problems can also be debilitating. Rehabilitation goals for neurologic disease are to minimize pain, reestablish neural pathways, prevent secondary complications and return the animal to independent function. This requires a combination of nursing care, passive and active exercises and therapeutic modalities. The goals of this presentation are to 1) understand how to develop a rehabilitation plan for a neurologic patient, 2) be familiar with the most commonly seen neurologic diseases that benefit from physical rehabilitation 3) know proper technique to safely perform certain physical rehabilitation exercises on neurologic patients.