AVMA Day Two

July 27, 2014

DEN14_Newspaper_eBanner_600One of the best parts of attending a veterinary convention is the wacky titles of some of the lectures. With lectures like “Appropriate Grooming of Birds”, “Training Foals to be Good Patients”, and “Finfish Anatomy and Physiology”, who wouldn’t have a good time? In all honesty, the AVMA Convention draws so many attendees because of the diversity of their conference offerings. This is a circumstance where I wish I could be in two, three, or four places at the same time, because that would allow me to attend more than one lecture at once!

I hopped around a bit between different topics today. This morning, I attended back-to-back lectures about hypotension (low blood pressure) under anesthesia and how to provide complete, multi-modal surgical analgesia (pain relief.) Hypotension is common under anesthesia, but can be managed once identified. Reducing the amount of anesthetic gas used, or increasing the intravenous fluid rate are simple ways to bring the blood pressure up. In the analgesia talk, the lecturer emphasized the benefits of local anesthesia for surgical patients. I’ve done local anesthetic blocks in my patients before, primarily for cats being declawed. Today, I learned about providing (sorry, gentlemen) intra-testicular local anesthesia before neuters, and intra-peritoneal (or abdominal) “splash” blocks before spays. Pain management has always been the area of most interest to me, so I seek out lectures on this topic! This afternoon, I attended a talk on NSAID (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory) safety in dogs and cats. NSAID’s are the most common analgesic medications prescribed for dogs with pain, so most practitioners have a lot of familiarity with these drugs. This lecture talked about the high safety index for these drugs, if used in the right patients.

As the dutiful daughter of a gastroenterologist, I couldn’t go another day without attending a GI lecture. Before lunch, I had a refresher course in canine inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). IBD is a very common diagnosis in cats and dogs; it often manifests as chronic diarrhea, weight loss, and/or vomiting. A variety of treatment options are available to treat IBD (including special diets) and most patients do well once treated. Thanks to today’s lecture, I added a few more IBD treatments to my formulary, which will benefit a few of my patients at Newtown Square Veterinary Hospital, I hope!

The final lecture I attended today was, to my glee, about the basics of backyard chickens. The lecture was standing-room only, which speaks to the increasingly popularity of chickens and the increasing need for veterinarians to care for all those hens and roosters! Many of you know that the Dr D Household will be adding to our mini zoo with a few chicks, hopefully this upcoming spring. Chickens are now just of personal interest to me (yay fresh eggs!), but I also will need to provide their medical care, so maybe someday they will also be of professional interest, too. Dr. D VMD, Poultry Vet Extraordinaire? We’ll see about that!