CVMA Fall Seminar Speakers & Topics

This seminar is being held at the Renaissance Palm Springs Hotel. Veterinarians will receive 12 top-notch CE units and RVTs and CVMA CVAs will receive 8 CE units, a conference syllabus, a certificate of attendance, daily continental breakfast, and fond remembrances of a fun and productive weekend vacation.

Veterinarian Track

Jacqueline C. Whittemore, DVM, Ph.D., DACVIM (SAIM)

General topic: Internal Medicine

Dr. Whittemore received her DVM from the University of California, Davis in 2000, then completed a residency in small animal internal medicine and Ph.D. at Colorado State University. She is an associate professor at the University of Tennessee, College of Veterinary Medicine, where she serves as the Acree Research Chair in small animal medicine. Her research is on adverse effects of thromboprophylactics, immunosuppressants, and antibiotics on the gut and pancreas of dogs and cats.




8:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Thromboprophylactics, Steroids, and Immune-mediated Hemolytic Anemia (IMHA)
Thromboembolic disease is the leading cause of death in dogs with IMHA, and thromboprophylaxis is increasingly used to increase survival. In this talk, we will review thromboprophylactic agents, currently recommended doses, and potential side effects. Particular attention will be given to the impact of steroids on efficacy and possible complications of antiplatelet drugs.

Cushings – Types and Treatments
The increasing sophistication of veterinary practitioners, combined with deeper human-animal bonds, means hyperadrenocorticism is being diagnosed earlier than ever before. As such, historical tenets of diagnosis and management are increasingly inapplicable. In this session, the pathophysiology of typical, occult, and food-associated Cushings will be broken down. It then will be used to distill the current literature and generate coherent strategies for diagnosis and management of each type of Cushings.

8:00 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.

Acute Pancreatitis – Decoding Tests and Optimizing Treatment
Acute pancreatitis remains largely an enigma in dogs, with a myriad of challenges in diagnosis and treatment. This talk will focus on demystifying the cornucopia of diagnostic tests available, along with their advantages and disadvantages. We will also review new insights in the pathophysiology of canine pancreatitis, with primary attention given to low-cost ways to enhance patient care and outcome.

Clinical Applications of Probiotics
Probiotics are increasingly used in lieu of, or as a complement to, traditional therapies (antibiotics, immunosuppressants, surgery, etc.) to manage both self-limiting and life-threatening disorders. This is partially due to increased recognition of negative effects of current therapies and partially due to failure of currently available treatments to yield optimal patient outcomes. This talk will present the evidence for, and against, probiotics for management of common clinical disorders.

Barrak Pressler, DVM, Ph.D., DACVIM

General Topic: Nephrology/Urology

Dr. Pressler received his DVM from UC Davis, followed by a residency in small animal internal medicine and Ph.D. in immunology at North Carolina State University. He was an assistant professor of small animal internal medicine at Purdue University (2006–2011) and the Ohio State University (2011–2013), and a member of the IDEXX Internal Medicine Consultation Team (2013–2017). Dr. Pressler’s primary interests are the early diagnosis and treatment of glomerular disease, and kidney damage.




9:45 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Diagnosis of Urinary Tract Infections – When Do I REALLY Need A Urine Culture?
Although sterile collection of a urine sample and culture at a commercial laboratory is the gold standard method for diagnosis of urinary tract infections (UTI), cost is oftentimes prohibitively expensive for owners. Evidence-based ‘best guess’ diagnosis of UTI will be discussed, including when it is reasonable to skip cultures, and when definitive diagnosis should be strongly considered.

Interpreting Urine Culture MICs for Optimal Antibiotic Therapy
Positive urine cultures from commercial laboratories are reported with breakpoint minimum inhibitory concentrations for a panel of antibiotics, and ‘sensitive,’ ‘intermediate,’ or ‘resistant’ results. Translation of these antibiogram results to select best-choice therapy will be reviewed.

Fluid Therapy and Urinary Tract Disease
Although there are known indications for fluid therapy when treating urinary tract diseases, including diuresis of patients with acute kidney injury and home administration of subcutaneous fluids in patients with chronic renal failure, guidelines are absent as far as fluid type, rate, and frequency. This lecture will include general discussion of indications and fluid plans for a variety of urinary tract diseases.

8:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

Clinical Decision Making Using SDMA in Dogs and Cats
Symmetrical dimethyl arginine (SDMA) is a more sensitive indicator of reduced renal function in dogs and cats with kidney injury than creatinine or BUN. This discussion will provide evidence and clinically-based recommendations on how to incorporate this relatively new test into the management of small animal patients.

Choosing Diagnostic Tests When Working Up Proteinuria
Many infectious, neoplastic, and auto-immune diseases are known to result in kidney injury and proteinuria. However, screening every dog and cat with proteinuria for all of these conditions can be cost-prohibitive and frustrating for owners. The likelihood of diagnosing various underlying diseases in proteinuric patients will be reviewed, and the author’s approach to test selection will be discussed.

Medical Management of Proteinuria
ACE (angiotensin-converting enzyme) inhibitors are the mainstay drugs for decreasing urine protein in dogs and cats. Although both enalapril and benazepril are anti-proteinuric, they may not be equally effective in all situations. Factors to consider when selecting an ACE inhibitor, as well as consideration of alternative anti-proteinuric drugs such as angiotensin II receptor blockers, will be reviewed.

Technician Track

Heidi Reuss-Lamky, LVT, VTS (Anesthesia & Analgesia, Surgery)

General Topic: Surgery

Heidi Reuss-Lamky has over 25 years of surgical expertise and is affiliated with Oakland Veterinary Referral Services in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. She is a Fear Free certified professional, earned a VTS in anesthesia, and was a founding member of the Academy of Veterinary Surgical Technicians. She is an active member of many professional organizations, an accomplished author and lecturer, and is the proud recipient of the 2013 NAVC Dr. Jack L. Mara Memorial Lecture award.





8:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Perioperative Surgical Patient Care: Honoring the Bond
A veterinary patient’s perioperative experience is based on so much more than the surgeon’s skill. Veterinary technicians play a vital role in the care of perioperative patients and educating pet owners. Strategies for supporting patient comfort and emotional wellbeing while assuring successful surgical outcomes will be discussed, including the importance of Fear Free handling techniques, perioperative analgesia, nutrition tactics, and surgical checklists. Join this lecture for practical ideas that elevate the perioperative experience by nurturing the human-animal bond and exceeding client expectations.

Keys to High Level Disinfection and Sterilization
High level disinfection (HLD) and sterilization processes are performed routinely in veterinary practices around the world, as one of many strategies to prevent hospital-acquired infections. Scrupulous cleanliness is imperative to successful HLD or sterilization outcomes, as is verifying the efficacy of each step in the disinfection and/or sterilization process. This session will focus on some of the tools and products used to ensure cleanliness and sterility as well as the importance of following the manufacturer’s instructions for use.

Beating the “Bugs” – Sterilization is Instrumental
Learn the science behind and importance of, proper surgical instrument processing, including the role of ultrasonic cleaning devices and the appropriate use of steam sterilization. Various methods to assure quality control during the sterilization process will also be discussed in detail. This information is beneficial for those wanting to ensure that they are following industry standards regarding proper sterilization practices or interested in pursuing a surgical specialty through the Academy of Veterinary Surgical Technicians.

Upper Airway Disease
Managing the care of patients with upper airway disease can be challenging for the veterinary technician. Some of the most common manifestations of upper airway disease include brachycephalic airway syndrome and laryngeal paralysis. Diagnosis and surgical treatment options as well as patient management tips for these difficult cases will be discussed during this presentation.

8:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

Role of the Veterinary Surgical Scrub Technician
Often described as the surgeon’s primary assistant, veterinary surgical scrub technicians (VSST) play an important role as part of the surgical team. Notable features of a great scrub technician include familiarity with the surgical procedure, surgeon’s preferences and needs, as well as the ability to anticipate, even when things go wrong. VSSTs can augment the veterinarian’s recommendations to the client surrounding their pet’s surgical procedure as well as assist with client education during all phases of care (pre, intra, and post-operative).

Canine Elbow Dysplasia
Canine elbow dysplasia (CED) is a common cause of forelimb lameness in young, large breed dogs. Learn the clinical signs, best diagnostic tests, current surgical treatments, and prognosis for the various causes of CED during this presentation. Other potential causes of forelimb lameness in dogs will also be discussed.

“Oh, Sew Easy” – Understanding Suture Materials
Suture selection is a crucial and integral factor in ensuring successful surgical outcomes. Suture material choices must be based on the anticipated wound healing times and tissue types as well as considerations unique to each patient. The use of the wrong suture material may lead to unintended consequences such as wound dehiscence, abscess formation, or tissue reaction. This session will enable veterinary technicians to understand the basis for suture material selection and usage.

Hypothermia – What’s the Hype?
Almost all patients undergoing anesthesia, surgery, or critical patients in shock, will experience some degree of hypothermia. There are many negative physiologic implications surrounding these chilly patients. During this session, learn the cold, hard facts of hypothermia as well as warmly embraced preventive measures that can be implemented in the operating room or intensive care unit.


© 2018 California Veterinary Medical Association

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