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Companion animal sessions

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Stream 1 - Monday 6 April

In this lecture, we will discuss why animals with cancer should be treated; biopsy principles and techniques; clinical staging, including an introduction to sentinel lymph node mapping; surgical approaches to resection of tumours and cancers, including perioperative management considerations; preparation of resected tumours for histopathology; and adjuvant treatment options.

In this lecture, we will discuss diagnostic and clinical staging tests for cats and dogs with oral masses; surgical techniques for resection of oral tumours, including various mandibulectomy and maxillectomy procedures; alternative approaches to surgical resection; when adjuvant therapies are indicated; and the prognosis following curative-intent treatments.

In this lecture, we will discuss the diagnosis and clinical staging tests for dogs with mast cell tumours, and when clinical staging tests are indicated, including sentinel lymph node mapping; surgical approaches for the resection of subcutaneous and cutaneous mast cell tumours; how to decipher mast cell tumour histopathology reports, including assessment of surgical margins and histologic grade; adjuvant treatment options following surgical resection and when these are indicated; and prognosis.

This lecture will review the most common signs of lameness with videos of dogs and cats for discussion. The orthopedic exam will also be summarized with an emphasis not only on joint or skeletal abnormalities, but also on how to detect tendon, muscle and ligament injuries in working and sporting dogs.

Hip dysplasia (HD) in dogs is a disease of the coxofemoral joint in which laxity of the joint leads to degeneration of articular cartilage and the development of osteoarthritis (OA). Current knowledge of the genetic and environmental factors on the development of the disease as well as diagnosis, treatment and medical management will be summarised.


Stream 1 - Tuesday 7 April

Elbow dysplasia is a group of diseases made up of several conditions including ununited anconeal process, osteochondritis dissecans humerus, fragmented coronoid process, and incomplete humeral ossification. Osteoarthritis can develop following these diseases and after fracture or infection. Current techniques, methods of treatment, pathophysiology and prognosis will be discussed.

Shoulder injuries are one of the most common serious injuries sustained by dogs that go undiagnosed.1Strain and sprain of the biceps, lateral and medial glenohumeral ligament tears and instability, supraspinatus tendonopathy, infraspinatus contracture and teres minor myopathies are just some of the few injuries that occur in the shoulder and will be summarized in this lecture with a focus on physical exam findings, treatment and prognosis.

There have been numerous developments in the field of canine cranial cruciate ligament disease. This lecture will summarize the current knowledge and benefits, both short-term and long term, of extracapsular, intracapsular, and TPLO repairs. The question of meniscal disease will also be discussed.

Rehabilitation and physical therapy can improve recovery in small animals following an illness, injury or trauma, and following surgery. Many modalities and therapies exist including cryotherapy, neuromuscular stimulation, therapeutic exercise, massage and passive range of motion, hydrotherapy, and others which may be incorporated into the treatment of such conditions as fractures, osteoarthritis, cranial cruciate surgery, tendon and ligament strains, spinal injuries including fibrocartilaginous embolism and femoral head and neck ostectomy. In addition, some common complications of rehabilitation will be discussed.

In this lecture, we will discuss the findings of a study of over 1,300 dogs with surgically treated apocrine gland anal sac carcinomas and review previously published reports on dogs with this type of tumour. The discussion will include recommended clinical staging tests, a proposed clinical staging scheme, and treatment recommendations and prognosis for each of the stages of this common disease.

In this lecture, we will discuss the different primary bone tumors; biopsy principles and techniques, including whether biopsies should be performed or not; clinical staging tests; palliative- and curative-intent treatment options; and prognosis following each of these treatment options.

In this lecture, we will discuss the management of dogs with cutaneous and subcutaneous soft tissue sarcomas. We will also discuss some of the controversies regarding the diagnosis of these common tumours, wide versus marginal surgical approaches, and the role of radiation therapy and chemotherapy in the postoperative management of canine soft tissue sarcomas.

In this lecture, we will discuss my pragmatic approach to the management of thyroid carcinomas in dogs. We will also discuss some of the controversies in the management of thyroid carcinomas, including deciphering the clinical impact of reported poor prognostic factors such as bilateral thyroid carcinomas, large thyroid carcinomas, and the presence of macroscopic and/or microscopic vascular invasion.


Stream 1 - Wednesday 8 April

There are two broad sub-groups of juvenile periodontal disease and three sub-groups of adult periodontal disease. Juvenile diseases include (i) juvenile gingivitis and (ii) juvenile onset periodontitis. Adult diseases include (i) slowly progressing periodontal disease (also termed ‘adult’), (ii) rapidly progressive periodontitis and (III) refractory periodontitis. This presentation will discuss each of these.

Cats have their own distinct dental problems. This presentation will discuss them, including: periodontal disease, tooth resorption, ulcers and inflammation, and faucitis and stomatitis.

Endodontics is the branch of dentistry that deals with the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of conditions and injuries of the dental pulp and surrounding periapical tissues. Endodontic treatment, when compared with extraction, may be the quickest, easiest and least traumatic method of treating a tooth with pulpal disease. It enables the patient to maintain a full, healthy dentition, is more personally satisfying for the veterinarian and increases the number of services a practice may offer. Recent fractures may be treated by direct pulp capping, which this lecture will focus on.

Increase the success rate of oro-nasal fistula surgery by ensuring flap is large - it is better to cut a too large flap than a too small flap, ensuring donor flap has adequate periosteum for strength, ensuring flap is sutured without tension and acknowledging analgesic homecare is paramount. This presentation will discuss ONF and techniques to increase success the first time you do surgery.

Oncology is a rapidly developing field in veterinary medicine. Due to the fact that naturally tumour-bearing dogs and cats are more frequently used in translational research, a lot of newer approaches will be or are available. In this presentation, we will review the hallmark of cancers and what new treatment we can expect in the future.

In the most recent years, owner of pets with cancer have been more interested in persuing therapy. In this presentation, we will review the steps that are required to give the owner the scope of the disease and the range of treatment options that are available.

Everybody has an image of chemotherapy from the human medicine. It is important to differentiate the use of chemotherapy in our pets. We will review the indication of chemotherapy, the most common toxicity and the new requirement from a health and safety standpoint.

Mast cell tumours are one of the most common tumours in dogs. Human very rarely develops mast cell tumours. This presentation will focus on what has changed in our knowledge of the disease in the last decade including diagnosis, staging and treatment.

Select the session to view the summary.

Stream 2 - Monday 6 April

This session will focus on physical examination findings that provide localization of the source of respiratory dysfunction. The appropriate implementation of tracheal wash, thoracic ultrasound, and needle aspiration will be illustrated in a case-based discussion.

Nasal discharge and sneezing are common signs of upper respiratory disease associated with infectious, inflammatory, and neoplastic diseases in dogs. The most common causes of clinical signs will be reviewed including nasal aspergillosis, lymphoplasmacytic rhinitis, and neoplasia. Efficient diagnostic methods and treatment options will be discussed.

Stridor is a high pitched inspiratory noise associated with obstruction of a large and rigid airway such as the larynx, trachea, or nasopharynx. With severe obstruction, expiratory stridor can also be detected. Stertor is an inspiratory or expiratory snoring noise caused by vibration of soft tissues such as the soft palate, pharynx, or laryngeal saccules.

This lecture will cover the diagnostic tools used in assessment of dogs and cats with suspected heart disease in general practice. The indications for and interpretation of thoracic radiographs, electrocardiography, routine biochemistry/ CBC, and cardiac biomarkers will be discussed. The role of echocardiography in general practice and indications for cardiology referral for advanced diagnostics will also be briefly covered.

Accurate localization and characterization of a heart murmur, together with a knowledge of breed and age, limits the differential diagnoses for cardiac auscultation findings and allows the veterinary clinician to provide informed alternatives to the pet owner regarding the pursuit of further diagnostics and possible prognoses. This lecture aims to provide attendees with the skill set to maximize the diagnostic yield of cardiac auscultation.


Stream 2 - Tuesday 7 April

This lecture aims to equip delegates with the skills to manage acute heart failure effectively in general practice. Understanding how to tailor diuretic dosage, effectively provide oxygen therapy, monitor and respond to electrolyte changes, adjust approach for developing azotaemia, recognize concurrent risks of arrhythmias and thromboembolism, and then transition to appropriate oral medications will be discussed.

Thromboembolism is a devastating sequelae of heart disease in cats. Often cats will develop congestive failure in the immediate period following thromboembolism and mortality rates are high. This lecture will cover diagnostic and therapeutic approach to cats with systemic thromboembolism.

As one of the common endocrinopathies affecting dogs, it is important we keep up to date with how best to diagnose, treat and monitor dogs with hyperadrenocorticism. After a quick review of the pathophysiology of canine hyperadrenocorticism, the current literature will be discussed. Key points covered will include when to test, which diagnostic tests to use, once daily versus twice daily dosing of trilostane and how to monitor the response to therapy.

Our understanding of diabetes mellitus is constantly evolving and with this, recommendations regarding diagnosis, treatment and monitoring are changing. Advancements in technology are also providing us with alternatives ways of monitoring diabetics. This talk will review some of the recent literature and topics including insulin resistance, glucose monitoring, glycated haemoglobin and insulin protocols for diabetic ketoacidosis will be covered.

Definitive diagnosis of pulmonary hypertension (PH) is obtained when a mean pulmonary artery pressure exceeding 25mm Hg is detected during cardiac catheterisation. However, with the advancement, techniques in Doppler echocardiography increased pressure with the pulmonary arterial system can be demonstrated with less invasive means. In veterinary medicine, PH can complicate a variety of commonly encountered cardiopulmonary conditions, and early recognition will aid in management of disease.

Dogs and cats with bacterial pneumonia can present with vague signs of illness and respiratory abnormalities may be subtle. Clues to the presence of bacterial pneumonia will be discussed along with various diagnostic tests that help determine the severity of illness and the appropriate therapy will be presented. Antimicrobial and adjunct respiratory therapy will be discussed.

Cats with chronic cough or acute onset of respiratory distress can represent a diagnostic and therapeutic challenge in clinical practice. The majority of cats may be ultimately be diagnosed with inflammatory airway disease, although the underlying cause of inflammation is often not determined. Ruling out other causes of cough is essential to provide proper management. Current issues regarding appropriate diagnosis and therapy of feline lower airway inflammatory disease will be discussed.

Cough is a common clinical complaint in dogs and in small breed dogs, it is often associated with tracheal or bronchial collapse. Some dogs have concurrent bronchitis while other do not, and failure to respond to steroids or worsening clinical signs in a dog placed on steroids suggest that bronchitis is absent. There is no cure for loss of structural integrity in airway cartilage, therefore management strategies rely on control of concurrent conditions and triggers of clinical signs.


Stream 2 - Wednesday 8 April

One of the first diagnostic tools in the workup of the acutely vomiting patient is imaging to help determine if a patient should be escalated to emergency surgery before trialling medical management. Radiography, very appropriately, remains the most commonly utilised imaging modality for this critical assessment. We will discuss key findings on abdominal radiographs that help discriminate patients who need surgery from others that should be conservatively managed.

Abdominal ultrasound offers greatly superior soft tissue assessment of the abdomen as compared to abdominal radiography. Sonography is a dynamic modality that has a good sensitivity and specificity for disease especially in the hands of an experienced operator. We will discuss key sonographic findings that assist in determining causes of vomiting in the acute abdomen.

This presentation will review recent changes in our understanding of exocrine pancreatic insufficiency, its diagnosis and treatment. The presentation will emphasise the differences between this disease in dogs vs cats, and discuss recently recognised selective enzyme deficienciency that can mimic this disease.

This presentation will provide an overview of the current state of the art approaches to the diagnosis and management of chronic enteropathies in dogs and cats. There is a particular focus on rational therapeutic trials based on dietary modifications, and our increasing knowledge of the interplay between the gastrointestinal microbiome and intestinal disease.

The last 10-15 years have seen an explosion in new diagnostic techniques, treatment methods, and controversies in our approaches to pancreatitis in dogs and cats. This presentation will overview these recent advances. The presentation will focus particularly on recent innovations in diagnosis, our new understanding of chronic pancreatitis in cats, and therapeutics techniques such as multi-modal antiemetic therapy and early enteral nutrition.

Protein-losing enteropathies may occur as a primary disease within the gastrointestinal tract, or as a consequence / complication of other primary gastrointestinal diseases. The presence of protein-losing enteropathy has a significant impact on the response of these patients to therapy, and is associated with a poorer outlook for response to therapy and recovery. This presentation will overview the mechanisms of protein loss in protein-losing enteropathies, the diagnostic approach to these cases, and management protocols for these difficult cases.

Septic peritonitis cases are critical patients that require intensive pre-operative, intra-operative, and post-operative management to minimize peri-operative morbidity and mortality. This lecture covers the identification, management, and prevention of complications associated with gastrointestinal surgery and septic peritonitis. This includes electrolyte management, protein management, blood pressure management, fluid balance, antibiotic selection, enterotomy and anastomosis techniques, omental and serosal patching, active drain placement, and nutritional support.

The population of brachycephalic breeds is exponentially increasing in multiple countries. Along with their cute-ugly squish-faces comes a plethora of upper respiratory tract conformation abnormalities that result in the well-known condition of brachycephalic obstructive airway syndrome. What is less talked about are the concurrent gastrointestinal abnormalities these patients experience, and how treatment of both aspects of the condition influences their outcome.

Select the session to view the summary.

Stream 3 - Monday 6 April

Ready visualisation of almost all parts of the eye means nothing can replace a complete examination, and never were the famous words “more is missed through not seeing than not knowing” more apt. In this session, we will cover how to perform a thorough and revealing ophthalmic examination using just four broad guidelines, four skills, and equipment that is almost certainly already in your clinic.

Clinically important ophthalmic diseases often are associated with decreased corneal transparency and usually a distinctive colour change. Learning to recognize and interpret these colour changes and the mechanisms responsible for them provides a simple and logical approach to diagnosis of all corneal and many intraocular diseases. It also facilitates selection of appropriate diagnostic tests. This session will introduce this concept using many examples.

When an ulcer has not healed at the first recheck, we tend to throw up our arms and become frustrated. A few golden rules can help us to see that ulcers within this group have actually helped us out in some ways by identifying themselves as “complicated ulcers” with one of only 2-3 causes still possible. This discussion will provide a logical approach to turning these potentially frustrating cases into medical success stories.

A logical work up and effective treatment: What are the most common causes of canine pruritus? History (seasonality, age of onset, breed) and physical exam (what areas are affected, is there evidence of barrier dysfunction) can tell you a lot. Helpful tests that can be performed in the consultation are cytology and skin scrapings. Tests that can be performed at home by the client include flea trials, food trials and grass contact avoidance trials. Response to medication is also helpful to narrow down a diagnosis.

As practitioners how do we achieve the best results for our clients and patients while being responsible custodians of antimicrobials? It is always critical to consider why a dog has a pyoderma and treat the underlying cause, thereby reducing the rate of recurrence and the ongoing use of antibiotics. When a dog has a superficial or deep pyoderma which are the best treatments to use? How long should we treat for?


Stream 3 - Tuesday 7 April

What do we do when its impossible to examine ears due to pain or aggression? What clues can we gain from cytology to help best direct our treatment of ear disease? What should we be thinking about with a first time ear infection? and recurrent ear infections? Is is necessary to culture ears to guide treatment? Tips and tricks to increase your success rate with treating ear disease in dogs.

What are the most common dermatoses affecting cats? Are they itchy or is there a behavioural component? Are immune-mediated skin diseases common in cats? What is a logical approach to feline skin disease, including tests that can be performed in the consultation, and which treatments are most effective for common skin diseases in cats?

Glaucoma is not a single disease but a group of diseases sharing, as one of their common features, an elevated intraocular pressure. At its most basic level, glaucoma pathophysiology is relatively easily summarised but the multiple causes of glaucoma and the huge range of drugs available for its treatment can be daunting. We will break this topic down by answering the three basic glaucoma questions used to guide the therapeutic approach to each case.

The uvea contains familiar tissues and cells (lymphocytes, smooth muscle, blood vessels), is inflamed by familiar antigens (infectious agents, neoplasia, auto-antigens), and reacts with the five cardinal signs of inflammation seen elsewhere (heat, pain, swelling, etc.). And yet uveitis can be very confusing. This session will help you to diagnose and treat uveitis by likening it to inflammation elsewhere (because it is more similar than it is different) while highlighting differences (because these are helpful).

Should I apply one drop or two? Should I use an ointment or a drop? Do systemically administered drugs reach the eye? Do topically administered drugs reach inside the eye? In this session, we will cover all of these critical principles of ocular pharmacology and run through some of the more commonly used ophthalmic drugs with practical tips on their use.

Your clients perceive ocular changes as urgent; ocular disease can be extremely painful; and there is a narrow “window” of opportunity to save sight in some diseases. We will discuss the three questions clients can be asked to decide if it is a true emergency and then we will cover the diagnosis and management of a series of common ophthalmic emergencies in dogs and cats.

A “red-eye” is one of the most common ophthalmic presenting complaints – and potentially one of the most critical. The goal of this lecture is to heighten awareness of the differential diagnoses that may cause ocular hyperaemia and to define methods to differentiate these. We will look at eyes with conjunctivitis, keratitis, uveitis, glaucoma, and orbital disease.

The proptosed globe is a true emergency. In this session, we will discuss how to triage such cases, when enucleation is the preferred approach, the best surgical technique for globe replacement, and what perioperative management is best for these daunting cases.


Stream 3 - Wednesday 8 April

A wide range of reproductive disorders affects female rabbits and guinea pigs. This presentation firstly reviews the normal anatomy and the physiology of reproduction in these species, and then discusses common problems such as ovarian cysts, neoplasia, dystocia and pyometra. Clinical signs, diagnosis, treatment and prevention will be presented in a practical clinical approach.

Hepatopathies are a common presentation in companion bird medicine. This presentation discusses the normal anatomy and physiology of the liver, the aetiology of common problems, their clinical signs, diagnosis and treatment.

CRD is a common problem in pet rats and its progressive course makes it a common cause of death in pet rats. This presentation discusses the aetiology of disease, its clinical signs, and the clinical course of the disease. Treatment options for this problem are described.

The Central Bearded dragon (Pogona vitticeps) is the most common and popular reptile pet around the world. This paper describes their anatomy and physiology, and their husbandry and nutrition. Common problems are described, as well as useful clinical tips and techniques.

Managing a critical patient can be stressful and time consuming. Having a logical, systemic approach to monitoring these patients is essential. We’ll focus on providing practical guidelines to monitoring complex cases.

When should we administer blood products? How do we do it? What are the risks? All this and more will be discussed in this guide to transfusion therapy in dogs and cats.

There is no patient that is more fragile than one that is in respiratory distress. We will cover initial examination and management guidelines for dyspnoeic patients that will help to maximise our chances of a positive outcome in these critical patients.

There is no patient that is more fragile than one that is in respiratory distress. We will cover initial examination and management guidelines for dyspnoeic patients that will help to maximise our chances of a positive outcome in these critical patients.