CVMA Fall Seminar Speakers & Topics

DVMs can earn up to 12 CEUs and technicians can earn up to eight CEUs.

Veterinarian Track

Tomo Wiggans, DVM, MEng, DACVO

General topic: Ophthalmology

Originally from Maryland, Dr. Tomo Wiggans attended Cornell University, earning a Bachelor of Science in 2001 followed by a Master of Engineering in 2002. He worked as an engineer for several years before changing course to pursue veterinary medicine. Dr. Wiggans graduated veterinary school at UC Davis in 2010 and went on to complete a rotating internship and specialty fellowship at Colorado State University before completing a three-year residency in comparative veterinary ophthalmology at UC Davis. He became board-certified in 2015. Dr. Wiggans currently works at VCA Bay Area Veterinary Specialists in San Leandro, CA.

Friday, October 8, 2021
8:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Emergency! Management of Blunt and Penetrating Ocular Trauma
Be prepared for the next ocular trauma that presents to you on an emergency basis. This presentation will discuss prognostic evaluation and management of traumatic adnexal and ocular disease.

Beyond the Schirmer Tear Test: A Discussion of Dry Eye Disease
Our understanding of the pre-corneal tear film is evolving, and with it, our understanding of dry eye disease in companion animals. This presentation will provide an overview of both quantitative and qualitative tear film deficiency in dogs and briefly discuss tear film disease in cats.

Third Eyelid Disease – It’s Not All About “Cherry Eye”
This presentation will cover both common and uncommon diseases of the canine and feline third eyelid (like prolapsed glands!), including medical and surgical treatment options.

Why Won’t This #%$% Corneal Ulcer Heal?
Chronic corneal ulcers can be frustrating for clients, patients, and general practitioners alike and are one of the most frequent presenting complaints in the referral setting. This case-based presentation will cover the diagnosis and treatment of some common causes for non-healing superficial corneal ulcers in dogs and cats.

Saturday, October 9, 2021
8:00 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.

Canine Glaucoma – How to Best Handle a High-Pressure Situation
Despite extensive research, glaucoma continues to be a frustrating disease that causes both blindness and pain in dogs. This presentation will cover the pathophysiology, diagnosis, management, and potential future directions of canine glaucoma.

When the Lights Go Out: Acute Vision Loss in Dogs and Cats
This presentation will discuss the differential diagnoses for the acutely blind patient and the ophthalmic, neuro-ophthalmic, and diagnostic tests to help determine the optimal diagnostic and treatment plans.

Katie Tolbert, DVM, Ph.D., DACVIM (SAIM)

General topic: Gastroenterology

Dr. Katie Tolbert completed her SAIM and Ph.D. in Comparative Biomedical Sciences at North Carolina State University. She is a clinical associate professor in the Gastrointestinal Laboratory at Texas A&M University. Dr. Tolbert also holds positions as a clinical veterinary instructor at North Carolina State University and serves as the veterinary practice logistics liaison for the Dog Aging Project. Her research program is focused on small animal gastroenterology with a specific interest in the efficacy of gastroprotectants and the rationale for their use in companion animals. She has published over 55 peer-review manuscripts and received the Zoetis Award for Excellence in Veterinary Research in 2018.

Saturday, October 9, 2021
9:45 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Manipulating the Microbiome (Parts 1 & 2)
An imbalance in the intestinal microbiome, or intestinal microbial dysbiosis, is increasingly recognized as either associated with or the cause of a vast array of diseases in both humans and companion animals. As such, therapies designed to alter or interact with the resident microbiota including prebiotics, probiotics, and fecal microbial transplantation are increasingly recommended for diseases in which dysbiosis is thought to play a role. In this two-hour seminar, we will review the available evidence and anecdotal information for the use of these therapies in the management of acute and chronic gastrointestinal diseases in the dog and cat.

Sunday, October 10, 2021
8:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

Top Studies and How They Can Immediately Impact Your Practice
What’s on the horizon for treating and assessing pain in dogs and cats? What should we warn owners about when reaching for CBD and hemp-based products for animals? What is the IBD panel and should I use it? Some of the answers may surprise you! In this 50-minute interactive seminar, we will discuss the top studies selected by specialists in a variety of fields, including emergency/critical care, surgery, neurology, dermatology, and general practice. In each published study, there will be at least one finding that can be applied immediately to clinical practice.

Infectious Diarrhea Panel: When and How to Use It
Infectious diarrhea can be a frustrating problem because there are many potential culprits that vary from extremely common to rare, and the presence of these pathogens is not always associated with disease. Moreover, the number of tests available for the practitioner to diagnose infectious diarrhea continues to increase. In this seminar, we will discuss which pathogens are significant, how to recognize clues in the signalment, history, and physical exam to determine when to submit for an infectious diarrhea or dysbiosis index panel, and how to interpret the results.

Diagnostic Approach to Feline Chronic Diarrhea
Signs of feline enteropathy are a common presenting complaint of cat owners. However, these clinical signs are not specific to gastrointestinal disease and can be triggered by a variety of systemic diseases. Creating a plan to quickly and correctly identify and treat the cause of these clinical signs can be challenging. With the help of case presentations, we will discuss existing and novel diagnostic and therapeutic strategies to address feline enteropathies.

Therapeutic Management of Canine Protein-Losing Enteropathy
Protein-losing enteropathy (PLE) is a clinical condition characterized by non-selective, small intestinal protein loss resulting in low blood protein. The protein loss results from ulcerative or erosive disease, lymphatic dysfunction, or malabsorptive disease. In classic cases of PLE, vomiting, diarrhea, and panhypoproteinemia are suggestive of intestinal disease; however, dogs with severe PLE can have normal stools, and hypoglobulinemia may not always be a consistent finding. As PLE is associated with a high mortality rate, prompt treatment is required. In this seminar, we will discuss how to comprehensively approach the treatment of PLE in dogs.

Technician Track

Amy Newfield, MS, CVT, VTS (Emergency and Critical Care)

General Topic: Emergency and Critical Care

Amy Newfield is the Director of Veterinary Nursing Leadership at the Veterinary Emergency Group and the owner of Veterinary Team Training. After working in general practice, she found her passion in emergency medicine and went on to obtain her VTS in Emergency and Critical Care. She has held several board positions in the Academy of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care Technicians and Nurses, including serving as its president.

Saturday, October 9, 2021
8:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Is It an Emergency?
How do you know if the patient is really having an emergency? There are some key signs and physical exam parameters that will let you know. By examining specific cases, attendees will learn how to truly determine if the pet is suffering from something emergent by learning how to pick up on subtle details.

ER Cases from the Trenches
We can all learn from each other’s victories and failures. This lecture reviews several ER cases in which nursing care played a key role in the outcome of the patient. Attendees will leave with a better understanding of how to monitor and care for patients of any hospital.

CPR: Basic Life Support
With the release of the first-ever veterinary-specific CPR guidelines in June of 2012, many now wonder what the current recommendations are in 2021. This lecture will focus on the most up-to-date recommendations for basic life support. Through videos, participants will leave understanding topics ranging from what type of compressions to perform on different breeds to how to best ventilate a patient.

CPR: Advanced Life Support
As a continuation of the previous session, this lecture will focus on the most up-to-date recommendations for advanced life support. Participants will leave understanding what drugs to give during a cardiopulmonary arrest. We will also discuss defibrillation and ECG findings with the help of explanatory videos.

Sunday, October 10, 2021
8:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

Shock and the Initial Stabilization of the Emergency Patient
Emergency medicine can be broken down into logical steps. General practitioners to veterinary specialists will benefit from understanding the steps necessary to stabilize an emergency patient, elements to consider in the process, and nursing care needed.

This lecture covers why seizures can happen, diagnostics involved, and treatment. With the help of numerous informative videos, attendees will leave truly understanding all stages and types of seizures.

Heatstroke is a common emergency that is often not handled appropriately. This lecture reviews initial emergency treatment, understanding complications, and the intensive nursing care involved.

Parvovirus: Anything New?
Parvovirus remains one of the most commonly found illnesses in young dogs. Is there anything new? Let’s talk about diagnosis and various treatment options.

© 2021 California Veterinary Medical Association

CVMA Awards

Nominations are now being accepted for CVMA Awards. Help us recognize someone in the veterinary profession who has made a...


Join or Renew Your CVMA Membership

It's time to renew your CVMA membership! There are three easy ways to renew:

  1. Log onto your account at

Join the CVMA

As a CVMA member, you’ll have access to outstanding benefits and services.

View the benefits of membership »