VET Festival 2021 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 2021 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. Take a look below at our interactive programme.
CPD Hours at VET Festival
VET Festival is certified by the CPD Standards Office. If you attend the two-day conference, you will receive 17 CPD hours, and if you attend just one day it is 8.5 CPD Hours.
Certificates are issued after the event via email, which can then be kept by the individual to show the CPD hours gained from attending. If you have any queries about the CPD at VET Festival, please contact us.
09.30 - 09.40Neurology & Neurosurgery | Orthopaedics | Oncology | Nursing | Feline Medicine | Wellness & Practice Development | Rehabilitation | Exotics | Pain Management/Peri-anaesthetic & Cardiology | Soft Tissue Surgery | Hepatobiliary | Top Tips | Ophthalmology & Reproduction | Dermatology & Dentistry | Endoscopy
WelcomeDAY: FridayTIME: 09.30 - 09.40Neurology & Neurosurgery | Orthopaedics | Oncology | Nursing | Feline Medicine | Wellness & Practice Development | Rehabilitation | Exotics | Pain Management/Peri-anaesthetic & Cardiology | Soft Tissue Surgery | Hepatobiliary | Top Tips | Ophthalmology & Reproduction | Dermatology & Dentistry | Endoscopy
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 a 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.
Feline diabetes - are cats just small dogs?DAY: FridayTIME: 09.45 - 10.30
Diabetes mellitus is a common endocrine condition in both cats and dogs however the pathogenesis varies between species, with ‘type 1’ diabetes more common in the canine population and ‘type 2’ diabetes being more common in the feline population. This lecture will expand on these differences between species and explain why different types of insulin may be required in cats compared to dogs, as well as discussing the different nutritional management for cats. The utility and futility of blood glucose curves will be discussed, along with other methods of monitoring treatment.
- To understand the pathogenesis of diabetes mellitus in cats compared to dogs, and the potential for resolution in cats
- To understand the advantages and disadvantages of different types of insulin
- To appreciate the importance of subjective information as well as objective data in monitoring diabetic cats.
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 - 11.10
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.
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.
11.20 - 12.05
11.35 - 11.55
11.35 - 12.20
Triaditis - what do we really know?DAY: FridayTIME: 11.35 - 12.20
Triaditis is a common clinical complaint in feline medicine. During this lecture we will unpick the relevant research to investigate what we really know about this disease, and how best to investigate and treat it.
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.
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!
Feline hyperthyroidism - what are the options?DAY: FridayTIME: 12.30 - 13.15
Hyperthyroidism is currently the most commonly diagnosed feline endocrinopathy. In the majority of cases diagnosis is relatively straightforward, therefore this lecture will focus on the treatment options available. Despite several different treatments being available, the majority of cats continue to be managed medically in the UK. The advantages and disadvantages of this and other options, both for initial stabilisation and subsequent long-term management will be discussed.
- To be aware of all the treatment options available, in order that clients can be fully informed.
- To be able to recognise the most suitable treatment option(s) for an individual case
- To recognise the problems that may be associated with long-term medical management compared to definitive treatment
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 of a 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
Yellow cats - approaching the jaundiced patientDAY: FridayTIME: 14.20 - 15.05
Being presented with a jaundiced cat can be daunting. During this lecture we will discuss a logical approach to the jaundice patient and appropriate treatment for the most common underlying aetiologies.
14.25 - 15.10
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.
Pale cats - feline anaemiaDAY: FridayTIME: 15.15 - 16.00
Anaemia is not a diagnosis in itself, rather a clinical sign resulting from a number of causes. Anaemic cats may present with signs that make the cause apparent e.g. blood loss from trauma, or may have a more insidious onset of vague signs such as inappetence and lethargy, sometimes precipitating in an apparently sudden deterioration when the haematocrit becomes profoundly low. Causes of anaemia, especially those specific to cats will be given, and the diagnostic approach to anaemia will be discussed. Stabilisation with blood products may be required to enable diagnostic tests to be performed, and options available for this will be covered.
- To be able to identify the different categories of anaemia
- To have a logical approach to diagnostic tests
- Understand the treatment options available for different types of anaemia
15.20 - 15.50
16.00 - 16.30
16.10 - 16.55
17.05 - 17.50
An update on mycobacterial diseasesDAY: FridayTIME: 17.05 - 17.50
Mycobacterial diseases are becoming more prevalent in the UK and it is essential that clinicians have a high index of suspicion so that possible cases are not mixed. During this lecture we will discuss some of the latest outbreaks including those related to raw food diet and a case series involving nosocomial infections in a veterinary practice.
17.10 - 17.55
18.00 - 18.45
Conference KeynoteDAY: FridayTIME: 18.00 - 18.45
Moving away from the traditional conference keynote format, the VET Festival conference keynote is a relaxed discussion between a special guest and founder of the event, Professor Noel Fitzpatrick, set in an inviting inclusive setting that invites all present to feel and be a part of the conversation.
It is a chance to be part of the community, who share not only a profession but similar values and outlooks on life. The keynote will be an entertaining and insightful conclusion to the first day of the conference.
09.45 - 10.30
Feline nursing clinics: What should we be doingDAY: SaturdayTIME: 09.45 - 10.30
Nursing clinics for canine patients have been conducted for a number of decades now and can add a lot to client perception of a practice; by generating more bonded clients, practice income can increase. In addition, they enhance status of the nurses within the practice by enabling them to use skills they have learnt and developed. Feline nursing clinics have been less utilised, most likely as a result of difficulties owners perceive in getting cats to the veterinary practice and by potential infectious disease risk. However, kitten socialisation groups, preventative health clinics, weight clinics and senior health clinics, are just some examples of opportunities to improve the health and well-being of the feline population. Blood pressure clinics are vastly under-utilised and could potentially be a major step forward in feline nursing clinics.
- Identification of areas that may be amenable to nurse clinics
- How to plan and implement a nurse clinic
- The indications for blood pressure clinics
How to foster wellbeing, 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
Lecture summary to be confirmed.
10.40 - 11.25
Anisocoria: When the problem is in the neurology systemDAY: SaturdayTIME: 10.40 - 11.25
Anisocoria is a condition characterised by unequal pupil size. The resting pupil size and possible asymmetry should be assessed (by distant direct ophthalmoscopy) in normal light and then in a darkened room. The neurological causes of anisocoria with normal vision involve dysfunction on the parasympathetic tone to the iris constrictor muscles (mydriatic pupil) or dysfunction on the sympathetic tone to the iris dilator muscles (miotic pupil, Horner’s syndrome). This lecture will focus on the dysfunction of the autonomic system that innervates the iris, the clinical and diagnostic approach to deal with the most common underlying causes.
Making your clinic cat friendlyDAY: SaturdayTIME: 10.40 - 11.25
Bringing cats to the veterinary practice can be a daunting experience for both the owners and the cats themselves. This can potentially put off clients seeking veterinary advice unless it is an absolute emergency and can prevent cats from accessing the best possible healthcare. During this lecture we will discuss how to make the clinic cat friendly, all the way from getting the cat to the clinic in the first place, right through to the hospitalisation.
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
Lecture summary to be confirmed.
11.35 - 11.55
11.35 - 12.20
Blindness from a neurologist point of viewDAY: SaturdayTIME: 11.35 - 12.20
The visual system is the part of the central nervous system that is needed for visual perception. The animal receives, processes and interprets visual information of the environment. The central visual pathways include: the optic nerve, the optic chiasm, the optic tract, the lateral geniculate nucleus, the optic radiation and the occipital cortex. Any structural or functional lesion at any point of the central visual pathways will cause some degree of visual deficits. This lecture will focus on the dysfunction of the visual system, the clinical and diagnostic approach to deal with the most common underlying causes of blindness from a neurologist’s point of view.
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 - 13.00
Hydrotherapy treatment techniques for the orthopaedic patientDAY: SaturdayTIME: 12.30 - 13.00
Lecture summary to be confirmed.
12.30 - 13.15
Finding & maintaining your RVN mojoDAY: SaturdayTIME: 12.30 - 13.15
Being a Veterinary Nurse has big highs and big lows. You may feel slightly disillusioned … or not really know where your career is taking you. This lecture will help give you some positive inspiration for making the most of your career and finding your niche. We will finish off touching on ways in which you can help encourage a collaborative approach between your whole team to improve motivation.
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
13.25 - 13.45
13.25 - 14.10
The gait game: Localising based off walking aloneDAY: SaturdayTIME: 13.25 - 14.10
The practitioner can often learn more from gait observation than the other components of the physical examination. Orthopaedic and neurologic diseases cause abnormalities of gait for very different reasons that can be strikingly similar. In this lecture we evaluate how to describe gait and differentiate the two. We will also learn how to distinguish different spinal neurolocalisations from these observations. The practitioner will be challenged to identify some "pathognomic" movements.
Evaluating pet food… how confident are you?DAY: SaturdayTIME: 13.25 - 14.10
Maintaining the health of pets through the provision of correct nutrition is an essential component of responsible pet ownership and one that owners are becoming increasingly aware of as a key factor in optimising health and wellbeing. Prior to domestication, dogs and cats were primarily kept as working animals; living outside and being fed raw meat or table scraps. Numerous developments in companion animal nutrition, together with the current day notion of dogs and cats as ‘pets’ and ‘family members’ have resulted in development of a wide array of foods.
In 2019, the value of the UK pet food industry was estimated to be worth around £2.9bn. With the current availability of such a broad range of pet foods, pet owners can select the food they believe to be most appropriate for their pet, taking into account a number of considerations including personal preferences and circumstances. Yet evidence suggests that owners are often confused or misinformed about nutritional facts and dietary choice.
The veterinary healthcare team have a central role as the expert source of information for optimal pet nutrition, yet continued expansion of the pet food market prohibits a thorough knowledge of every available diet. This lecture will discuss how to interpret pet food labels and review some of the key considerations when evaluating diets and making a dietary recommendation.
13.45 - 14.30
Pathogenesis of muscle and tendon injuries in dogsDAY: SaturdayTIME: 13.45 - 14.30
Lecture summary to be confirmed.
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
A pain in the neck: Addressing the neck pain dogDAY: SaturdayTIME: 14.20 - 15.05
Cervical pain/hyperesthesia is debilitating and caused by a myriad of reasons. In this lecture we discuss the causes of cervical pain and how the generalist can differentiate them. Medical therapy for inflammatory and intervertebral disc disease will be discussed. There will be a video demonstration of surgical correction for structural myelopathies.
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
Lecture summary to be confirmed.
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
Improving clinical standards in practice - How to become a quality improvement ambassadorDAY: SaturdayTIME: 15.15 - 16.00
This lecture will look at how you and your team can all take charge in improving clinical standards in practice. Every member of the veterinary team has a responsibility to do their job to the best of their ability. We will look at different areas of the practice focussing on key areas which we can improve. But how can we improve an area if we don’t know how we are doing? This lecture will cover just that!
How many patients are coming back from theatre hypothermic? How many appointments are being missed? How many drug prescriptions are being filled incorrectly? How many patients are coming back with post-operative wound complications? Often it isn’t until you stop, audit and reflect on how you and your team are doing do you see that there is often a lot work to be done!
This lecture will be a whistle-stop tour of quality improvement in practice and will hopefully inspire you to stand tall and lead the way to improving clinical standards in practice.
15.35 - 16.20
Brace yourself: Orthoses in canine practiceDAY: SaturdayTIME: 15.35 - 16.20
Lecture summary to be confirmed.
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
The down in the back dog for the generalistDAY: SaturdayTIME: 16.10 - 16.55
The Dachshund presenting for pelvic limb weakness is one of the most common presentations in veterinary emergency medicine. When should these cases be treated conservatively and when do they warrant referral? Where does the evidence fall on traditional and alternative therapies? These topics will be discussed so the practitioner has a greater understanding of the current state of care
Reaching the senior rabbit: How RVNs can encourage owners to support agerelated issues.DAY: SaturdayTIME: 16.10 - 16.55
Rabbits are the third most popular companion animal in the UK (PFMA, 2019). Over recent years, with the broadside of social media and television programmes, more and more pet owners have been overtly and subliminally exposed to advice about their pets’ physiological and emotional needs.
For rabbits, standards of care and owner education have also improved, with an increase in sales of hay and complete pellets and a reduction in sales of rabbit ‘muesli’ and small hutches (PDSA, 2019). In comparison to their wild counterparts, the extended life of a companion rabbit may also be attributed to improved client education and advances in veterinary care (Blue Cross, 2019). Owners of cats and dogs seem much more aware of age-related diseases than rabbit owners, with arthritis, heart murmurs and kidney disease on the top ten list of conditions seen in general practice, compared to that of rabbits who largely present with acute or non-age specific conditions (O’Neill et al, 2014). This suggests that there is a population of registered, older rabbits who would benefit from more regular health checks to manage age related changes.
This lecture will use case-based scenarios to illustrate how RVNs can reach out to the owners of older rabbits and encourage owners to make small changes to improve the quality of life of their rabbit companions.
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
Acute lower motor neurone diseaseDAY: SaturdayTIME: 17.05 - 17.50
Acute lower motor neuron diseases are not frequently encountered in general practice. When they are, they are often clinically dramatic and require rapid intervention to avoid dire consequences. In this lecture we will discuss the four major causes, how to identify them and appropriately treat them. As most of these conditions can be addressed at the primary care level, this lecture is geared toward the generalist.
Hydrotherapy treatment techniques for the elderly dogDAY: SaturdayTIME: 17.05 - 17.50
Lecture summary to be confirmed.