VET Festival 2020 is delivering a world-class CPD programme across 18 streams. Our programme features thought leaders delivering practical, clinically relevant advice for any practitioner involved in companion animal veterinary practice.
We understand how overwhelming it can be to keep up-to-date with an explosion of knowledge, techniques and drug availability, plus business models, financial concerns and client demands. Our 2020 conference programme has been curated to help you deal with the challenges you face within your field. We guarantee you’ll come out of our lecture theatres inspired to be the best you can be in practice.
Download a PDF of the full 2020 CPD programme to share with your colleagues, or refer to the timetable below.
09.45 - 10.30
A preventive approach to orthopaedic disease in young dogsDAY: FridayTIME: 09.45 - 10.30
Preventive medicine in the veterinary field is carried out for infectious disease with vaccine prophylaxis and for general health conditions with haematological check-ups. In the field instead of orthopaedics, there is still no preventive medicine culture among veterinary surgeons that allows identification of orthopaedic pathologies at their beginning through scheduled screening. The current approach is still only of a therapeutic type, undertaken once the orthopaedic problem has manifested itself through persistent clinical signs. On the other hand, it is of fundamental importance to be able to intercept all orthopaedic diseases at their onset, before the arthritic degeneration that is their consequence has been established. Osteoarthritis can be defined as one-way street, since once established it can only progress and never regress. Treatments whether pharmacological, surgical or physiotherapeutic can reduce or at best stop this evolution, but never restore the original joint condition.
Nurse clinics: Chronic medical conditionsDAY: FridayTIME: 09.45 - 10.30
There are some medical nurse clinics that do lend themselves to a more formulaic setting; diabetic clinics being one of these. A set protocol of what needs to be included in these clinics can easily be achieved. Whereas a medical clinic for a cat diagnosed with urinary tract issues can be more problematic, due to the wide nature of environmental aspects that influence the cat, behavioural aspects, alongside medications, diet and water intake. The content of the medical clinics will very much depend on your practice’s protocol for the treatment and management of certain diseases/disorders. Discussion with the veterinary team is required to develop a protocol, so that everyone; the veterinary surgeon, veterinary nurse and client can see what is expected. A protocol will also help the receptionists know who to book in appointments with.
Medical clinics can be run for every medical condition. As soon as any patient is diagnosed, it should be referred to a nurse clinic. RVNs need to have a good underpinning knowledge of the condition and have good up-to-date knowledge on new treatments and management regimes. All personnel need to ensure that all advice given is the constant, hence the importance of protocols.
MIND: Challenge of ChangeDAY: FridayTIME: 09.45 - 10.30
- Popularity of building resilience
- What it isn’t; i.e., an excuse for poor behaviour by others and a way of overburdening people with more and more demands.
- What is emotional resilience? Idea of the Weeble, a 1970s children’s toy which those of a certain age will know the strap line instinctively, ‘Weebles wobble but they don’t fall down!’ This is the definition of emotional resilience according to the Challenge of Change model.
Introduction to the Challenge of Change; thirty years of empirical research based on immunology and cardiovascular measurements (scientific rather than anecdotal) in response to the question, ‘What is it that makes some more emotionally resilient and others more vulnerable to stress?’ based on the premise that resilience is something we can learn and develop in ourselves, not something we are either born with or we aren’t (this therefore is a very empowering approach). Five factors/behaviours have been identified as compromising emotional resilience; rumination, perfect control, toxic achieving, avoidance coping and emotional inhibition, and three factors/behaviours that support emotional resilience; detached coping, sensitivity and flexibility. Emphasis is made that all of these factors are learned behaviours (even if there is a genetic element, we still learn them through relationships) and so with practice, we are able to promote the healthy ones and reduce the unhealthy ones. In order to do this practice, the Challenge of Change has a four step programme; waking up and staying awake, controlling attention, detaching and letting go. Time will be given to introduce the eight factors/behaviours and the four step programme.
Allergies in dogs: Drawbacks to relying on allergy testingDAY: FridayTIME: 09.45 - 10.30
Allergic skin diseases are some of the most common skin conditions seen in general practice. Reaching a diagnosis is generally a complex process, which can lead to misdiagnosis and to unnecessary lifelong treatment.
Over the last decade, new diagnostic tests for food and environmental allergens are offered by laboratories, yet we fail to make a definitive diagnosis in many cases. Some of the reasons may the lack of standardisation in allergen selection and lack of international standards, which result in poor inter-laboratory comparability, because of the different methodologies and reference ranges used. Other reasons for misdiagnoses include inappropriate drug withdrawal, seasonal variations in the allergens and the presence of IgE antibodies against cross-reactive carbohydrate determinants etc.
This lecture highlights the limitations of the available diagnostic tests and the drawbacks of relying on laboratory test results alone. It will discuss how to interpret test results correctly, taking into consideration the patient history, clinical signs and exposure.
10.40 - 11.00
10.40 - 11.10
10.40 - 11.25
Early screening and treatment for hip dysplasia in puppies: Why and how?DAY: FridayTIME: 10.40 - 11.25
Since hip dysplasia is a progressive disease that develops as the puppy’s skeleton matures, evaluation of the hip joints during growth enables the condition to be picked up at its onset and to determine, therefore, whether or not the dog will have dysplasia. The first and foremost aim of early assessment of CHD is preventive: the detection of the first signs of hip dysplasia, prediction of its development and the possibility of, prompt preventive interventions to minimise or arrest expression of the disease.
Chewing the fat: Difficult obesity clinicsDAY: FridayTIME: 10.40 - 11.25
The base cause of obesity is expending fewer calories than are consumed, though there are many factors that can contribute towards obesity. Any changes in metabolism will alter the number of calories utilised for daily requirements. Neutering is the main cause of metabolic changes in young healthy animals, and care needs to be taken around this period that energy requirements for a neutered, yet still potentially growing animal, are taken into consideration. This highlights the importance of regular weight checks with a veterinary nurse who can offer guidance at this time. Therefore, when tackling difficult obesity cases all of these aspects need to be considered.
Obesity is a complex chronic medical disease in all species, understanding the complex relationships between diet, exercise and social aspects is important in order to help devise weight loss programmes for dogs and cats.
MIND: ResourcesDAY: FridayTIME: 10.40 - 11.25
- Looking at what resources are; internal and external (although for all to have benefit they will ultimately be internalised…how they make us feel better is the crucial quality of a resource) and identifying our own personal resources using guided imagery.
- The theories behind resourcing (Levine, 2005; Sills, 2009).
- Identifying resources and what they do for us.
- The difficulties we might have remembering and accessing resources when we need them most.
- One important resource we can develop is our imagination. We can, with focused practice, use our imagination to serve us rather than disempower us (this is rumination, where our imagination is hijacked into catastrophising).
- Recognising that resourcing is an ongoing practice.
Setting up a scope clinic in practiceDAY: FridayTIME: 10.40 - 11.25
11.05 - 11.25
11.20 - 12.05
11.35 - 11.55
11.35 - 12.20
Allergies in dogs: Incurable but manageable, how?DAY: FridayTIME: 11.35 - 12.20
Atopic dermatitis is an incurable, but a manageable, inflammatory and pruritic skin condition. It has complex pathomechanisms requiring a multimodal approach to its treatment and management. This approach includes treating and managing recurrent infections, controlling pruritus, taking preventative measures and managing owner compliance and expectations.
Depending on the severity of the clinical signs, symptomatic treatment and/or preventative measures may be implemented. Preventative measures include allergen-specific immunotherapy, maintenance of the epidermal barrier and allergen avoidance. Symptomatic treatments to manage pruritus include the use of oclacitinib, lokivetmab, glucocorticoids and ciclosporin.
Other treatments, which include prescribing antihistamines, essential fatty acid supplements, shampoo treatments and specific diets, are also used concurrently in the multimodal approach for the management of atopic dermatitis.
This lecture discusses the reactive measures when dealing with acute and chronic atopic dermatitis and taking proactive measures that could reduce the incidence and severity of flare-ups.
Bronchoscopy - coughing dogs and cats - case examplesDAY: FridayTIME: 11.35 - 12.20
This lecture will review the differentials for coughing in dogs and cats, with specific focus on cases that would benefit from bronchoscopy. The practicalities of bronchoscopy will be discussed, including how to achieve a systematic assessment and when and how to perform BAL and how to interpret results. Common and more obscure case examples will be shown with lessons Laura has learnt along the way.
12.00 - 12.20
12.15 - 12.45
12.30 - 13.15
Early screening and treatment for elbow dysplasia in puppies: Why and how?DAY: FridayTIME: 12.30 - 13.15
Elbow dysplasia is a major cause of front limb lameness in medium to large breed dogs. Underlying causes of elbow dysplasia include ununited anconeal process (UAP), medial coronoid process disease (MCPD) and osteochondritis dissecans (OCD) of the medial humeral condyle.
In view of a preventive medicine approach for all developmental skeletal diseases, early diagnosis is critical for successful treatment. Later in life, the degenerative joint disease could become severe and invalidating with a very poor quality of life, with limited possibilities of treatment. Early diagnosis of elbow dysplasia allows prompt surgical treatment, which is aimed at restoring joint congruity. As well, the progression of the disease and osteoarthrosis may be prevented or reduced.Planning for anaesthesia as a team to improve patient outcomes: Thinking about what might go wrong & what we can do to make it go right!
Planning for anaesthesia as a team to improve patient outcomes: Thinking about what might go wrong & what we can do to make it go right!DAY: FridayTIME: 12.30 - 13.15
Improving patient safety and overall experience is a team effort. This lecture will look at the planning and preparation involved for anaesthesia, even before the patient arrives.
We will look potential complications that may be encountered and how we can reduce the risk; together…. or even stop them happening in the first place!
Itchy cat: Is it atopic?DAY: FridayTIME: 12.30 - 13.15
Atopic dermatitis is not well defined in the cat. To come to a final diagnosis of atopic dermatitis, all the other causes of pruritus in the cat need to be excluded in a systematic manner. Unlike in the dog, atopic dermatitis in the cat is poorly defined for several reasons:
- The condition can manifest itself as form of reaction patterns seen in many other diseases. The reaction patterns seen in the cat are miliary dermatitis, symmetrical alopecia, eosinophilic granuloma complex, which is subdivided into indolent ulcer, linear granuloma, eosinophilic plaque, and finally head and neck pruritus.
- Clear distribution patterns are not seen
- The role of IgE in feline atopic dermatitis has not been fully established
Many other conditions can result in pruritus and these reaction patterns. Ectoparasites, food induced hypersensitivity dermatitis (FIHD) and flea bite hypersensitivity (FBH) can all manifest similar clinical signs.
This lecture discusses the need for a systematic approach to reach that final diagnosis of non-flea, non-food induced hypersensitivity (NFNFIH). A subset of these cats may have IgE antibodies against environmental allergens where we can make that final diagnosis of atopic dermatitis.
13.25 - 13.45
13.25 - 14.10
Acute spinal cord lesions - The fundamental role neurology nurseDAY: FridayTIME: 13.25 - 14.10
Neurological patients can be difficult to manage, and good nursing care reduces the many complications that can occur with prolonged hospitalisation and overall improve the quality of life of the patient. Acute spinal cord diseases are commonly encountered in clinical practice. This lecture will mainly focus on the clinical and diagnostic approach to acute spinal cord diseases in dogs and cats and describes pathophysiology, clinical presentation, diagnosis, treatment, outcome and prognosis of specific disorders and the fundamental role of nurses in their treatment.
13.30 - 14.15
13.50 - 14.10
14.20 - 15.05
14.20 - 14.40
Managing IBDDAY: FridayTIME: 14.20 - 14.40
Laura will focus on the management of IBD. Which patients can be managed with diet alone, what diets are recommended and how long a diet trial should last. She will then focus on the medications which are used most frequently including antibiotics, probiotics, glucocorticoids and alternative immunosuppressive drugs. Novel therapies for refractory cases will also be discussed.
14.25 - 15.10
14.45 - 15.05
Managing IMHADAY: FridayTIME: 14.45 - 15.05
In this lecture, Laura will discuss current evidence for which drugs to use and when, and how to anticipate and prevent complications. The use of blood transfusions, both in dogs and cats will be also be reviewed as well as how patients are monitored after achieving remission, including tapering regimes.
15.15 - 16.00
Surgical approach to patellar luxation in puppiesDAY: FridayTIME: 15.15 - 16.00
Patellar luxation is one of the most common orthopaedic problems in the dog. Medial patellar luxation is more common (80%) than lateral patellar luxation (20%). Small breeds are usually affected by medial patellar luxation, but large breed dogs like Labradors, Rottweilers, Boxers, Bullmastiffs and Pitbulls can be affected too. Other large and giant breeds (Newfoundlands, Great Danes, St. Bernards and Caucasian Shepherd dogs and others) are more predisposed to lateral patellar luxation. Surgical treatment of patellar luxation is a very common procedure but has a high percentage (20% or more) of failure and recurrence. Understanding the underlying predisposing factors for patellar luxation in each patient and addressing them with custom-made treatments can help in improving the success of the surgical treatment. Early treatment in puppies can be less invasive compared to surgical treatment in adult dogs and can affect the residual growth to correct predisposing skeletal deformities.
The magic of the practice microscope: how YOU can help both the pet and the vetDAY: FridayTIME: 15.15 - 16.00
The microscope is one of the most useful pieces of equipment in the practice for investigating skin cases. Many of the investigations can be carried out by nurses to aid both the vet and the patient.
Often, vets are pushed for time and are unable to perform in house investigations there and then. Many of these investigations can be easily passed onto the nurse to perform the tests. The time needed to providing better targeted treatment is thus shortened, which is in the best interest of both the patient and the vet.
The lecture will show you the sampling techniques for trichography, skin scrapings and skin cytology; and what you might find under the microscope lens to help the vet make a diagnosis.BODY: Balance and posture: What else are you taking to work with you? - The physiological manifestations of stress on your body. The do’s and don’ts of footwear both at work and
15.20 - 15.50
16.10 - 16.30
Placing a feeding tubeDAY: FridayTIME: 16.10 - 16.30
Laura will discuss which factors help her to decide when to place a feeding tube and which type is most appropriate in the individual patient. This will include review of how they are placed and the management afterwards, both in the hospital and at home. Finally, she will focus on the most common complications of feeding tubes with strategies for prevention and resolution.
16.10 - 16.55
Help! Which technique should I choose to manage CCLD?DAY: FridayTIME: 16.10 - 16.55
Endoscopic interventionsDAY: FridayTIME: 16.10 - 16.55
16.35 - 16.55
Placing chest drainsDAY: FridayTIME: 16.35 - 16.55
The decision as to when to place a chest drain and which kind will be discussed. This will include a discussion on the types of equipment needed when considering a one off thoracocentesis through to surgical placement of in-dwelling chest drains will be mentioned. Finally, the management of chest drains and common complications that we see will be reviewed.
17.05 - 17.50
17.10 - 17.55
18.00 - 18.45
09.40 - 11.00
Investigating PUPDDAY: SaturdayTIME: 09.40 - 11.00
Laura will discuss her top tips for the investigative process for patients presenting with PU/PD. This will include a step by step work-up and how to determine when it might be appropriate to consider a DDAVP trial. This will help both clinicians to formulate a logical process when managing these patients and owners to understand that a negative test is not necessarily a waste of time and money.
09.45 - 10.30
How to foster well-being, good teamwork and effective working relationshipsDAY: SaturdayTIME: 09.45 - 10.30
Teamwork is recognised as a critical element of professionalism, with interprofessional collaboration cited as behavioural examples of respect and accountability. An interprofessional team is composed of members from different professions who possess specialised knowledge, skills and abilities.
Some of the reported benefits of interprofessional practice include;
- Improved patient care and outcomes,
- Fewer preventable errors,
- Reduced healthcare costs,
- Improved relationships with other disciplines
- Mutual respect among the professions
- Appreciation of professional role and responsibility
- Improved job satisfaction
- Productive communication
Interprofessional practice and education are becoming essential components of veterinary practice. Using their individual expertise and optimising the skills of their members, veterinary healthcare teams can synthesise their observations and profession-specific expertise to collaborate and communicate, with an ultimate aim of providing patient and client-centred care.
This lecture will consider the benefits of, and challenges to, interprofessional working. It will also examine the core competencies for interprofessional practice and explore how to foster wellbeing, good teamwork and effective working relationships in practice.
Therapeutic options for osteoarthritis - analgesia, regen medicine, surgeryDAY: SaturdayTIME: 09.45 - 10.30
10.40 - 11.25
What’s your diagnosis: USA styleDAY: SaturdayTIME: 10.40 - 11.25
This lecture will present some atypical or uncommon causes of fore- and hind limb lameness in dogs and cats. The typical signalment [if any], aetiology, presenting clinical and radiographic abnormalities as well as treatment options and prognosis will be described for each to the conditions discussed. The lectures will utilise a “what is your diagnosis?” approach to each condition, so attendees are encourage not to read the proceeding notes until after they have attended the presentation.
How to support, develop and empowerDAY: SaturdayTIME: 10.40 - 11.25
Interprofessional veterinary practice is where two or more professions work together collaboratively in order to provide the best standard of holistic care for patients. Increasingly, veterinary surgeons and nurses work alongside clinical paraprofessionals such as physiotherapists, behaviourists and patient care assistants as well as administrative staff and external professions such as the police, farriers and welfare organisations. Therefore, a mutual understanding and appreciation of each other’s roles, responsibilities and skillsets should be encouraged in order to create a cohesive, supportive and respectful team environment. This will not only improve standards of patient care but also have the potential to improve standards, clinical skills and staff retention which in turn further benefits the practice and the patients. Evidence from veterinary interprofessional research also suggests that strong, interprofessional teams have a direct and positive influence on the wellbeing and mental health of vets and RVNs in practice. Therefore, a progressive and proactive approach from the team management towards creating and maintaining a strong interprofessional ethos is a beneficial investment for all stakeholders. This lecture will explore some of the evidence linking team ethos to mental health within the profession, and discuss the personal, professional and team benefits of developing and promoting interprofessional practice.
Targeted Functional Exercise Therapy for the Osteoarthritic PatientDAY: SaturdayTIME: 10.40 - 11.25
11.05 - 11.25
Cushings diseaseDAY: SaturdayTIME: 11.05 - 11.25
Laura will discuss her top tips for the most logical approach to the diagnosis of hyperadrenocorticism, including common pitfalls and mistakes along the way. Treatment options will briefly be mentioned before a discussion on the monitoring of Trilostane therapy.
11.35 - 11.55
11.35 - 12.20
Pathogenesis and surgical options for cranial cruciate ligament ruptureDAY: SaturdayTIME: 11.35 - 12.20
If you work in canine rehabilitation, you work with cranial cruciate ligament disease! Although the condition may be very familiar to you; do you know how and why it occurs? Many cases are managed surgically; but the surgeons report may state the dog has had a TPLO, CWO, CBLO, TTA, MMP, Tightrope, lateral suture…. the list can be long and confusing; do you know the differences between the procedures? This lecture will aim to provide you with an overview of why this condition occurs along with details of the surgical options to manage the condition. By gaining a better understanding of the condition and surgery it will allow you to maximise your rehabilitation programme, as well making it easier to understand a surgeon’s report, and answer questions that clients may throw at you.
12.00 - 12.20
12.30 - 13.15
Feline hepatobiliary diseaseDAY: SaturdayTIME: 12.30 - 13.15
The unique feline anatomy renders cats more susceptible to primary biliary disease than primary hepatic disease, unlike their canine counterparts. Cats with hepatobiliary disease often present with anorexia, vomiting and jaundice, therefore the approach to these presenting signs and differential diagnoses will be discussed, with specific focus on cholangiohepatitis and hepatic lipidosis. The role of different medications in the management of hepatobiliary disease (with and without a definitive diagnosis) will be discussed.
- To be aware of the diseases affecting the feline hepatobiliary system
- To understand the limitations of different diagnostic tests
- To understand the supportive and symptomatic treatments used in the management of feline hepatobiliary disease
12.30 - 13.30
13.25 - 13.45
13.25 - 14.10
Minimally invasive fracture repairDAY: SaturdayTIME: 13.25 - 14.10
Numerous advancements have been made with respect to fracture management over the past four decades and recognition of the advantages of limiting manipulation of peri-osseous soft tissues led surgeons to rely increasingly on indirect and limited open or closed reduction techniques during fracture stabilisation as we entered the new millennium. The availability of fluoroscopy and the development of new bone plate systems yielded techniques which allows a plate to be applied through small plate insertion incisions, made remote to the fracture site. This technique epitomises the philosophies of biological osteosynthesis since the fracture site is not directly exposed and only minimally disturbed. Applications of this percutaneous plating technique, commonly referred to as minimally invasive plate osteosynthesis (MIPO), in dogs and cats will be discussed in this session.
13.45 - 14.30
Pathogenesis of muscle and tendon injuries in dogsDAY: SaturdayTIME: 13.45 - 14.30
13.50 - 14.10
Feline blood transfusionDAY: SaturdayTIME: 13.50 - 14.10
During this lecture we will discuss appropriate measures to ensure safe screening of potential donors and how to go about safely taking blood. We will then discuss indications for transfusions and how to deliver and monitor transfusions effectively so that reactions can be minimised.
14.20 - 15.05
14.20 - 14.40
Feline diarrhoeaDAY: SaturdayTIME: 14.20 - 14.40
Feline diarrhoea can be an unpleasant condition to deal with – for owners and vets, as well as making the affected cat feel uncomfortable. This short lecture will cover hints and tips to help you maximise your chances of a rapid diagnosis and implementation of a treatment plan.
- Improved consideration of differential diagnoses to ensure the correct laboratory tests are requested
- Understanding the importance of obtaining a full dietary history
- Understanding of medical and dietary management of diarrhoea
14.40 - 15.25
Talking tendons: Advances in the management of tendon injuriesDAY: SaturdayTIME: 14.40 - 15.25
14.45 - 15.05
Coughing catsDAY: SaturdayTIME: 14.45 - 15.05
Coughing in cats is primarily an indicator of airway disease, rather than pulmonary parenchymal disease. However, some owners are not aware that their cats are coughing, instead reporting them to be retching or bringing up furballs. This short talk will identify ways of clarifying the problem and prioritise diagnostic tests based on likely aetiologies.
- Obtaining salient information from the history and physical examination
- Logical use of treatment trials v diagnostic tests
- Improved understanding in use of inhaled therapies
15.15 - 16.00
Managing dogs with concomitant CrCLx and MPLDAY: SaturdayTIME: 15.15 - 16.00
This session will discuss strategies for addressing combined cranial cruciate ligament insufficiency and patellar luxation in dogs. This is a not uncommon scenario which can be managed in a number of ways. While extra-capsular stabilisation was once the solution to these cases, tibial osteotomies are being used with greater frequency to address this condition. Distal femoral osteotomy may also be required to resolve the patellar luxation in dogs with grade III/IV and IV/IV patellar luxation. A review of current surgical options for managing these dogs will be presented with an emphasis on published clinical results. In addition, observations of our clinical experiences at the University of Florida will supplement the evidence-based material presented in this lecture.
15.35 - 16.20
Brace yourself: Orthoses in canine practiceDAY: SaturdayTIME: 15.35 - 16.20
16.10 - 16.30
Cranial nerve examsDAY: SaturdayTIME: 16.10 - 16.30
To interpret the dysfunction of cranial nerves, it is important to know their anatomy and understand their function. In order to interpret a patient with cranial nerve dysfunction, the signalment, the history and the rest of the neurological examination must be taken into consideration. This short lecture will focus on how to evaluate the cranial nerves in a busy clinical environment and how to categorise the severity of the presentation.
16.10 - 16.55
3D printing for orthopaedic patientsDAY: SaturdayTIME: 16.10 - 16.55
Over the past decade the use of 3D printed models and patient specific guides have emerged as a useful asset for preforming complex surgical procedures. We commonly use this modality to plan limb deformity corrections and we are beginning to use this technology to facilitate minimally invasive fracture repairs. CT imaging of the involved limb segment is acquired which allows virtual surgery to be performed. The 3D CT images are exported to a computer program and the deformed or fractured limb segment can be segmented and aligned to project a highly optimal virtual surgical outcome. Reduction and osteotomy (for deformity corrections) guides can be created and printed. The guides conform to the osseous topography and are attached directly to the surface of the bone during surgery to facilitate the procedure. The process is efficient and the result are precise.
16.35 - 16.55
Seizures versus movement disorders; how can I recognise them?DAY: SaturdayTIME: 16.35 - 16.55
The first question that the clinician should ask when the owner describes paroxysmal episodes is this: Are these episodes compatible with epileptic seizures? sometimes this question is easy to answer, but sometimes it's not, during the lecture we will see some videos to discuss and how to differentiate seizures versus movement disorders. We will focus on the most important parts of the neurological assessment in order to characterise the episodes along with the medical history.
17.05 - 17.50