Session Descriptions
This page will be continuously updated with descriptions of each session during the Annual Meeting

Friday, November 6
Small Animal

8:00am: Comparative Aspects of Canine and Human Osteosarcoma: What is the Future for our Canine Patients? - Dr. John Payne

  • Osteosarcoma in dogs has striking similarities to osteosarcoma in humans.  Unfortunately, there has been little progress in the last 30 years in treatment of this disease in dogs.  PVSEC is currently involved in a major study of osteosarcoma with surgeons at UPMC Children’s Hospital in Pittsburgh.  This lecture centers on the state of the art in treatment in dogs and children and what we are learning from each other.

9:00am: How to Perform a Great Orthopedic Exam: You Have to Diagnose it Before You can Treat it! - Dr. John Payne

  • Many veterinarians are uncomfortable with their skills in diagnosing orthopedic diseases.  This lecture will cover how to exam dogs with lameness and go through the manual skills and the thought processes involved in the examinations of forelimb and hindlimb.  Emphasis will be on arriving at the correct diagnosis.

10:00am: Luxations of the Hip, Elbow and Carpus: What are my Options for Treating these Common Injuries? - Dr. John Payne

  • Joint luxations are commonly diagnoses in veterinary practice.  There are often several ways to deal with these injuries- sometimes surgically and sometimes with bandages and splints.  This lecture will examine each type of injury and discuss how to arrive at a logical and successful treatment plan.

11:00am: Decision Making in Fracture Repair: Don't Make Things Harder than they Need to Be - Dr. John Payne

  • There are often several acceptable methods for the treatment of fractures.  This lecture will review the capabilities and limitations of most commonly used fracture repair techniques using case examples.  Emphasis will be on how to arrive at the best treatment solution for common types of fractures

1:40pm: How to Engage Cat Owners in Life Long Care - Eric Garcia

  • Many practices have noticed for a long time their feline visits are on the decline, but very few know what to do about it. If the number of dogs you see on any given day consistently outweighs the cats, that means it’s time to attend this session to boost feline client visits. However, increasing feline visits is just one part of the equation. The next and most crucial step is to engage them in life-long care to keep them coming back. You’ll leave this session with a better understanding of how the mind of a cat owner works and how to pro-actively communicate crucial information to feline pet owners that keeps them engaged and coming back to your practice.

2:40-4:50pm: Using Technology to Meet Client Expectations, Part I & 2 - Eric Garcia

  • What if I told you that doing nothing could actually be detrimental to the long-term success of your veterinary practice? While it might sound severe at first, it’s actually quite true when it comes to adopting the latest technology tools to better engage pet owners. Holding out or avoiding the change that comes with utilizing the newest tech can make you blend into a crowded industry, eventually eroding your ability to gain new business… Is the idea of Walmart opening veterinary practices something that bothers you? How about Chewy taking a large share of your pharmacy?

    Think of Blockbuster failing to address Netflix when it was just getting started. Or local taxi drivers laughing at the notion of Uber just a few years ago.

    Leveraging the latest digital tools can help you to better understand your practice’s current performance, while positioning you for new growth by gaining insights into undeniable new trends in the field.

    In this session, I’ll be giving you a sneak peek into the newest technology, showing you exactly how it works, strategies to help you compete with online retailers like Chewy, and giving you clear tips on how to improve client experience and retention by meeting the modern, evolving demands of today’s pet owner.

    Trust me, you won’t want to miss this one.

5:00pm: Using Mobile Technology to Increase Compliance - Eric Garcia

  • The average veterinarian makes a minimum of 5 recommendations to a typical pet owner within a 30-minute appointment. This amount of information can leave pet owners feeling overwhelmed, so more often than not, these recommendations don’t entirely stick. The key question is, how can you increase compliance after making these recommendations? New and exciting mobile digital tools can help bring ease to pet owners, increasing compliance, building client loyalty, and more. We’ll discuss custom apps, Pet Health Network 3D, YouTube, mobile texting, and much more in this dynamic session!


8:00am: Patient Care from an Emergency Critical Care Perspective - Julie Antonellis, LVT, VTS (ECC)

  • In this lecture, Julie Antonellis, LVT, VTS (ECC) will share her approach to patient care. She will discuss topics ranging from how to get the most out of rounds, to managing the mental stresses that affect us through the process.  Julie will let you in on her secrets to working more efficiently and will talk about the importance of taking ownership of the cases you treat. Attendees will leave this lecture inspired to tackle patient care from a new perspective and will enrich their patients’ lives because of it.

9:00am: Blood Gases- Making Sense of it All - Julie Antonellis, LVT, VTS (ECC)

  • Blood gas analysis is a skill that is very important in emergency and critical care and can be very daunting without a good understanding of what the test results mean.  This lecture will break down blood gas results so that we can truly understand what we are measuring, why these values are so important, and what these results tell us about our patient’s condition.  We will put our understanding of these results to practical use by interpreting blood gases from real life cases. Attendees will leave with a thorough understanding of blood gas analysis and will be able to use this knowledge in their practices. 

10:00am: Taking the Shock Factor Out of Shock - Julie Antonellis, LVT, VTS (ECC)

  • Shock is a widely used, but not always fully understood, term in veterinary medicine. Having a true understanding of what shock means and how our patients are affected by it can help us to better serve them.  Without this knowledge we may miss very important and potentially subtle signs in our patients that should prompt us to either monitor more closely or treat earlier. In this lecture participants will be shocked about how much they will learn about this condition and the importance of early recognition and treatment.  They will gain an understanding of the different types of shock that may affect their patients. They will learn how to recognize shock in their patients even when the signs may be subtle. Lecture participants will be advised on how to differentiate between the different stages of shock and when to become more vigilant in monitoring for changes in their patients.  They will also gain an understanding of treatment options and monitoring in their patients and how those options may differ depending on the type and stage of shock the patient is in. The presentation will conclude with participants applying the information they learned to real life case reports that are presented.

11:00am: Carbon Dioxide: One very Important Little Compound - Julie Antonellis, LVT, VTS (ECC)

  • Measuring carbon dioxide gives us extremely helpful and important information about the body’s metabolism, perfusion and ventilation.  This lecture will explore carbon dioxide and the methods used to measure this important compound. The major focus of this lecture will be on capnography.  Attendees will gain practical knowledge of how to interpret what capnographs are telling us, including waveform recognition and interpretation. Helpful videos will be used to reinforce what is learned.

1:40pm: The Happiness Project - Amanda Compton, BS, EDT, LVT, RVT

  • It's a combination of tips, info, and data about work/life balance and one's perception of working in a veterinary practice and how it affects you and others around you

Saturday, November 7
Small Animal I

8:00am: Diagnosing IMHA: Immune-Mediated vs. Infectious - Dr. John Thomason

  • An overview of the diagnostic approach to IMHA, with an emphasis on differentiating primary from secondary IMHA, and on distinguishing immune-mediated from non-immune infectious and non-infectious causes of hemolysis, including illustrative case examples.

    Learning Objectives:

    • 1.      Understand which requirements and diagnostic tests are necessary to establish a diagnosis of IMHA.
    • 2.      To better understand the difference between primary and secondary IMHA, and review cases of immune mediated and infectious causes of IMHA.

9:00am: Treating IMHA: Immunosuppressive Therapy - Dr. John Thomason

  • An overview of recent research advances and strategies for applying immunosuppressive therapy to our IMHA patients.  Case discussions will be used to help highlight immunosuppressive therapy in the individual clinical patient.

    Learning Objectives:

    • 1.      To better understand immunosuppressive therapies and how they can be successfully used for the treatment of IMHA.
    • 2.      To learn and understand how to assess the response of patients to immunosuppressive therapy, and when and how to make dose adjustments.

10:30am: Treating IMHA: Anticoagulant Therapy - Dr. John Thomason

  • Anticoagulant and antiplatelet therapies are commonly used in IMHA patients for the prevention of thromboembolism.  This session will discuss the use and benefit of commonly administered anticoagulant and antiplatelet medications and will include case discussion. 

    Learning Objectives:

    • 1.      To better understand why anticoagulant therapy is a necessary part of IMHA therapy.
    • 2.      To learn which medications and doses should be administered to canine IMHA patients.

11:30am: Treating IMHA: Transfusion Medicine & Supportive Care - Dr. John Thomason

  • Transfusions play an integral and life-saving role in the treatment of IMHA.  Based on our current research, this section will discuss the selection of appropriate blood products, complications, and prevention of complications. 

    Learning Objectives:

    • 1.      To better understand which transfusion products are available for the treatment of IMHA, and when to use these products.
    • 2.      To better understand which supportive therapies should be included in the treatment of IMHA patients.

2:40pm: Fleas, Pollen, and Bacteria: An Afternoon with Friends - Dr. Tiffany Tapp

  • Dermatologic issues are among the top reasons for canine veterinary visits. This case-based course will examine common pruritus causes—hypersensitivity, infections, and ectoparasites—and review diagnosis and treatment plans for typical patient presentations. Among the topics that will be explored include atopic dermatitis, fleas and the threshold effect, secondary infections, flare factors, and recommendations to improve flea control compliance. Bacterial resistance, bacterial culture techniques, and prevention and treatment of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus (MRS) will also be covered.

3:40pm: What's New in Veterinary Dermatology - Dr. Tiffany Tapp

  • 1. Review recent key updates from the North American Veterinary Dermatology Forum as well as recent veterinary dermatology publications in an easy to understand format
    2. Understand the purpose, methods, results, conclusions and clinical relevance of each study
    3. Gain an understanding of how a general practitioner can apply the results of the studies to real-life dermatology cases in small animal practice
    4. Help practitioners stay current on new information, treatments and diagnostics to practice better veterinary dermatology

4:45pm: Neonatology - Dr. Julie Cecere

  • Description Coming Soon

Small Animal II

8:00am: Current Evidence and Recommendations for Treatment of Mammary Tumors in Dogs & Cats - Dr. Laura Selmic

  • This lecture collates recent manuscripts and evidence into practical recommendations for treatment of mammary tumors in dogs and cats.

9:00am: Electrosurgery: Why You Need it and How Best to Use it - Dr. Laura Selmic

  • Electrosurgery has become a fundamental part of small animal surgery facilitating both simple and advanced surgeries. It involves the passage of current from an instrument through living tissues which act as an excellent conductor due to its high electrolyte content. When the electric current meets resistance in tissues, heat is produced and transferred to the tissue leading to its effects. The electromagnetic energy used in these devices can be used to coagulate vessels to decrease bleeding, to incise and dissect tissues and to ablate tissue. The most frequently used electrosurgical devices include monopolar and bipolar electrosurgical devices, these descriptive terms describe the circuit that is used for electrical current flow. More advanced electrosurgical devices such as the LigaSure (a bipolar vessel sealing device) are also commonly used in practice.

10:30am: Intestinal Resection and Anastomosis: Tips & Tricks - Dr. Laura Selmic

  • Exploratory laparotomy is a commonly performed diagnostic and therapeutic for intestinal obstruction. Although some of our patients need only straightforward enterotomies if there is significant devitalization of intestines, irreducible intussusception or an intestinal mass, a resection and anastomosis might be required. Intestinal anastomosis is a straightforward and common gastrointestinal surgery but there are many practical tips associated with each stage of this procedure that can help with efficiently and safely navigating this surgery.

Sunday, November 8
Small Animal

8:00am: Reproduction - Dr. Julie Cecere

  • Description Coming Soon

9:00am: Comparative Aspects of Coronaviral Infection & Trans-species Issues - Dr. Tom Cecere

  • Description Coming Soon

10:00am: FIP Update - Dr. Tom Cecere

  • Description Coming Soon

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The WVVMA is committed to the advancement of veterinary knowledge, animal health and service to the public. We provide our veterinary community with education, communication resources and professional fellowship.


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