Soft Tissue Surgery, Dan Smeak, DVM, DACVS, March 25, 2015

Dr. Low attended this seminar presented by the Southeastern Michigan Veterinary Medical Association. Dr. Smeak’s seminar included how to perform secure ligations including the Strangle knot, creating cosmetic  skin closures, gastropexy techniques for solo surgeons,  paramedian approaches for cryptorchid castrations and cystotomies in male dogs, how to avoid complications in midline closures and soft tissue surgical tips for general practitioners.

Oncology, C. Guillermo Couto, DVM, Diplomate ACVIM, March 4, 2015

Dr. Low attended this seminar sponsored by the Michigan Veterinary Medical Association. Dr. Couto discussed covered a range of topics such as soft tissue tumors, osteosarcoma especially in greyhounds, oncology in private practice, and hospice care of terminally ill animals.One of the things that Dr. Couto stressed was that a lot of soft tissue tumors such as hemangiosarcoma, lymphoma, thyroid carcinomas, and more can be treated with chemotherapy, radiation therapy, surgery, or a combination of the therapies to extend the life of a beloved family member or even cure them of cancer. The majority of animals actually do well with treatment and tolerate the side effects very well. Many family members experience incredible satisfaction after deciding to pursue additional treatment for their pets.

Midwest Veterinary Conference 2015, February 19-22, 2015

Dr. Cox and Dr. Montgomery attended a four day, comprehensive conference on multiple subjects in February this year. The conference was held in Columbus and put on by The Ohio Veterinary Medical Association. In depth analysis of animal pain management, dermatology and oncology was discussed on the first day. The oncology topics covered were especially helpful with learning new treatment modalities short of chemotherapy and radiation which can help slow the progress of cancer. Veterinary dentistry, endocrinology and ophthalmology were discussed on the second day. Feline endocrinology, topics on the liver, radiology and parasitology were discussed on the third day, and cardiology, infectious disease and orthopedic surgery were discussed on the last day. Practice management and in depth analysis of animal behavior was covered throughout the whole week. Overall, this conference was an excellent update to all topics covered and new treatment modalities were explored, allowing us to best treat pets in our care.


Internal Medicine, Mike Willard, DVM, ACVIM, December 10, 2014

Dr. Montgomery attended this seminar sponsored by the Southeastern Michigan Veterinary Medical Association. Dr. Willard’s presentation focused on chronic small and large intestinal diseases including interaction with pathologists. In addition, diseases that mimic intestinal disease were covered.

GI Diseases, David C. Twedt, DVM, Diplomate ACVIM , December 3, 2014

Dr. Walker attended a seminar on gastrointestinal disease on December 3 sponsored by MVMA. Topics covered included chronic liver diseases of cats and dogs, diagnoses and therapy of chronic vomiting and diarrhea, and current therapy for pancreatitis. Dr. David Twedt of Colorado State was an engaging speaker and provided much useful information.

Feline Medicine, Margie Scherk, DVM, ABVP, November 19, 2014

Dr. Walker attended a seminar on feline medicine sponsored by SEMVA on November 19. Topics covered included reducing stress for patients and owners regarding veterinary visits, cat friendly examination techniques, and medical conditions seen commonly. Dr. Walker took away two main points from this seminar. The first is that cats are greatly under-served in preventative medical care. This mostly stems from the fact that cats are great at hiding disease and are not usually perceived as requiring routine care by their owners. The second is that owners become very anxious and apprehensive about bringing their cats to be seen. Cats often are difficult to transport and sometimes act out due to fear once in the clinic. With a few simple techniques, most cats are able to experience pleasant visits and are able to have their health needs met. We have the responsibility as veterinarians to make owners aware of what their pets need to remain healthy and also reduce the anxiety felt by owners and cats alike.

Behavior, Katherine Albro Houpt, VMD, DACVB, PhD, November 5, 2014

Dr. Hibbard attended  this seminar sponsored by the Michigan Veterinary Medical Association. Topics covered by Dr. Houpt included inappropriate elimination issues and treatment, how to effectively deal with aggression, anxiety disorders in pets and behavior modification: drugs and training.

Infectious Diseases, Michael Lappin, DVM, PhD, Diplomate ACVIM, October 15, 2014

Dr. Montgomery recently attended an excellent seminar on infectious diseases by Dr. Michael Lappin from Colorado State University. Infectious disease prevention was discussed in depth, including vaccines and vaccine types (such as modified-live vaccine vs. killed vaccine) and appropriate use and timing of vaccines. Flea and tick borne diseases were discussed, such as Bartonella in cats and dogs, Lymes disease, Babesia, Anaplasma and Erlichia as well as appropriate antibiotic choices for treatment. Feline respiratory illnesses were presented along with appropriate treatments. Bacterial rhinitis, chronic herpes disease in cats (which is an upper respiratory disease) and mycoplasma were  intriguing  topics that were considered.

Dermatology, Valerie Fadok, DVM, February 5, 2014

Dr. Hibbard attended this seminar presented by the Southeastern Michigan Veterinary Medical Association. The seminar covered topics such as atopic dermatitis, new approachesto treating pyoderma, topical therapies, ear infections, food allergies, parasitic skin infections, fleas, and ticks.

Ophthalmology, Elizabeth Giuliano, DVM, MS, Diplomate ACVO, March 5, 2014

Dr. Low attended this seminar presented by the Southeastern Michigan Veterinary Medical Association. The seminar went over topics such as the complete ophthalmic exam, ocular emergencies, and sample cases.


Pharmacology, Lester Mandelker, DVM, Diplomate, ABVP, October 2, 2013

Dr. Montgomery attended this seminar presented by the Michigan Veterinary Medical Association. Dr. Mandelker’s seminar covered pain control in cats, new drugs out on the market, symptomatic therapies for disease, multi-modal approach to autoimmune disease, osteoarthritis, cognitive dysfunction, and liver and kidney disease.

Infectious Diseases, Michael Lappin, DVM, ACVIM, PhD, October 9, 2013

Dr. Walker attended this seminar presented by the Southeastern Michigan Veterinary Medical Association. The seminar covered diagnosis, treatment and prevention of feline upper respiratory tract infections.

Cardiology, Philip Fox, DVM, DACVIM/DECVIM, November 13, 2013

Dr. Fox covered a number of cardiology topics relevant to clinical practice in his seminar. The beginning of the seminar reviewed the anatomy of the heart and their locations on a variety of radiographs. Dr. Fox then went over several topics including congestive heart failure, emergency management of different heart conditions, feline  thromboembolism, and feline heart failure. Medical management of heart disease was also covered. The last part of the seminar went over several case studies and the diagnostic tests and treatments used in each one.Patients with coughing or difficulty breathing need to be thoroughly examined and tests such as radiographs and echocardiograms are important to determine if the heart is the cause of the symptoms. Other diseases such as respiratory diseases may cause signs similar to those seen in heart disease and it's crucial to pursue testing to determine the cause of the symptoms.

Emergency/Toxicology Medicine, Justine Lee, DVM, DACVECC, DABT, December 4, 2013

Dr. Cox and Dr. Montgomery attended this seminar presented by the Southeastern Michigan Veterinary Medical Association. This seminar covered many different topics including the top 15 toxins and how to treat them, different techniques to be used in emergencies, and how to help patients who are having difficulty breathing.

Anesthesia, Ashley J. Wiese, DVM, MS, DACVA, December 11, 2013

Dr. Walker attended this seminar presented by the Michigan Veterinary Medical Association. Dr. Wiese’s seminar covered disease-specific protocols, emergency protocols, chronic pain control, small mammals and exotics, and CRI.


December 2012-GastroIntestinal Disease:

Dr. Low attended a continuing education seminar held by the Southeastern Michigan Veterinary Medical Association on December 12, 2012. Dr. Mike Willard was the presenter and covered a wide variety of topics relating to gastrointestinal diseases such as pancreatitis, liver disease, and esophageal disease.

Pancreatitis is a very serious disease that manifests in clinical signs such as vomiting, abdominal pain, lethargy, and decrease in appetite. Since signs may vary among dogs and cats, it is important to pursue diagnostics such as bloodwork, radiographs, ultrasound, and more to help rule out other diseases that may cause similar signs. The seminar went over the different diagnostics used to determine pancreatitis such as the immunoreactive pancreatic lipase assay blood test and abdominal ultrasound. It also covered different therapy options for pancreatitis such as fluids, pain medications, anti-emetics, and a low residue low fat diet.

Liver diseases including hepatobiliary disease, portosystemic shunts, and biliary tract disease such as gall stones were discussed in the seminar. Dr. Willard discussed several case studies of liver disease and went over the diagnostic tests and treatments used in each one. He also talked about supplements that support the liver such as vitamin E and a neutroceutical called S-adenosl-L-methionine.

The last part of the seminar covered problems of the esophagus such as congenital obstructions, foreign objects, megaesophagus, and inflammation of the esophagus. Dr. Willard went over different case studies and discussed the use of different diagnostics such as radiographs and endoscopy.

October 2012-Dentisty:

On October 3, 2012 Kathy Hibbard attended an all day seminar on dentistry sponsored by the Southeastern Veterinary medical Association. The speaker was Dr. Kevin Stepaniuk who is a clinical professor of veterinary dentistry and oral surgery at The University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine. Dr. Stepaniuk is also the president of the American Veterinary Dental Society.

Due to Dr. Stepaniuk’s vast clinical experience, he had a wealth of information to share. The presentations on periodontal disease, oral radiography, and surgical extractions were all informative and clinically applicable.

March 2012-Emergency Medicine:

Dr. Cox attended a one day seminar presented by the Michigan Veterinary Medical Association in Lansing, Michigan. The presentation was given by Dr. Linda Barton, DVM, DACVECC of the VCA Veterinary Specialty Center of Seattle. Dr. Barton addressed life threatening conditions such as respiratory distress, steroids and shock, selecting and administering blood products as well as advising on the approach to the trauma patient and fluid therapy for the acutely ill patient. Her information was very clinically relevant and gives us tools to quickly address the critically injured or ill patient.


December 2011-Soft Tissue Surgery:

Dr. Cox attended a one day seminar presented by the Southeastern Michigan Veterinary Medical Association in Birmingham, Michigan. The presentation was given by Howard Seim III, DVM, DACVS, of Colorado State University.

Dr. Seim’s presentation included video of actual surgical procedures and very good clinical information. This included topics such as general abdominal surgery including linear foreign body intestinal obstruction, urinary blockage and cystotomies in dogs and cats, surgical management of brachycephalic syndrome, and anal gland removal.

December 2011-Feline Medicine:

Dr. Cox attended a one day seminar presented by the Michigan Veterinary Medical Association in Lansing, Michigan. The presentation was given by Dr. Renee Rucinsky, DVM, Dipl. ABVP. This informative seminar covered the topics of Hepatic Lipidosis, Feline Vaccine Guidelines, Chronic Kidney Disease, Hyperthyroidism, Diabetes Management Guides and Lower Urinary Tract Disease.

All of these are very common in our feline patients and Dr. Rucinsky offered practical and clinically useful information in diagnosing, treating and managing these diseases.

Oncology/Hospice medicine 2011:

Deb Welbes and Jane Kushnir attended a seminar on Oncology/Hospice medicine by Drs Barbara Kitchell and Page Yaxley (MSU). “Cancer is the common term used to describe a large group of diseases- defined by their common elements of uncontrolled cellular replication that alters cell morphology and function”. In veterinary medicine we have the option of euthanasia when the patient becomes uncomfortable but due to advances in human medicine, we now have a new approach in treating cancer in our companion animals. Just as there are many different forms of cancer, there are many ways to treat and animals may not have the same side effects as humans. Effective treatments in cancer are surgery, radiation and chemotherapy. Discussed were traditional anticancer agents as well as new products being developed, which can be expensive, so cost also becomes a factor. We learned about the new program MSU started in November 2011 offering hospice support for families and their pets diagnosed with a terminal illness. This program offers appropriate analgesics, nutritional support and nursing care guidance for patient and owner for the time interval between diagnosis and euthanasia or after reasonable

Therapeutic/palliative treatment to relive pain and prevent suffering have been exhausted. This also allows us time to adjust and accept the reality our loss which can affect our daily lives. It is not possible to prevent death but it is possible to prolong quality life and limit suffering.

Companion Animal Behavior, October 2011:

Dr. Terry Curtis, a veterinary behaviorist from the University of Florida provided an excellent review of both cat and dog behavior at this seminar that Dr. Montgomery attended. Topics covered included inter-cat aggression, dog dominance, separation anxiety in dogs and cats and marking and urinating out of the litterbox in cats. This was an excellent seminar and she provided many videos and pictures to illustrate both dog and cat behavioral issues.

Emergency Medicine February 2011:

On 2-9-11 a seminar was presented by Dr. Matthew Beal and Dr. Ari Jutkowitz. The topics discussed were Vascular access, CPCR, and reproductive emergencies. Both doctors were engaging speakers and their topics offered a good review of the subjects and also some good insight on the latest updates. Good medicine is constantly reviewed and improved in any way possible. I found the recommendations for neonatal care to be helpful in knowing which system of the newborn you should work on resuscitating first right after a puppy or kitten is born. They also taught some good techniques for placement of peripheral as well as jugular catheters in emergency situations. Over all, I am very glad I attended. This seminar was attended by Mallory Gemus L.V.T, as well as Kim Killingsworth L.V.T, and Tonya White L.V.T.

Michigan Veterinary Conference, January 2011:

Mallory Gemus attended the 2011 Michigan Veterinary Conference in Lansing, Michigan. Many topics were addressed, the topics that she attended were primarily geared toward Veterinary Technicians. Some of them were: ‘The Emergency Approach to the Seizing Patient’, ‘Reproductive Emergencies’, ‘Biology, Husbandry, and Medicine of the Degu’, ‘Airway Obstruction’, and ‘Bite Wound Care’. All of these topics were very well presented. One she particularly enjoyed was the presentation on Degu’s, one of the lesser well known pocket pets, as she had one. It is exciting to see the world of veterinary medicine advance and grow. Another topic of interest to her is seizures and all of the various ways they can affect pets. “Seizures and epilepsy are difficult subjects to grasp completely; there is still so much unknown about how and why they occur. Every seminar and presentation I attend helps me understand just a little bit more about them, and prepare me a little bit more for the next patient that walks through our doors.”

Cats and Parasitology:

Seminar sponsored by Pfizer on March 22, 2011
attended by Jane Kushnir, LVT, Debbie Welbes, LVT and Judy Duderstadt

Overview of life-cycle of Roundworms, hookworms, heartworm and fleas. Interesting points that were discussed:

Roundworm eggs need to go through a two week period of progression before becoming infectious. Roundworms eggs are not affected by cold or snow. Year round protection is recommended due to some cats hunting and continuing to have exposure year round. Study in NY showed that the cats in the study had the same % of roundworms as they did coccidia. Studies have shown that in the Midwest it is thought that just over 11% of people have roundworm infections. Feline fecal material getting into the coastal waters and roundworm infections are killing otters and other sea mammals like dolphins.

In Michigan, overall testing has shown that 2.5% of cats have heartworm disease. Worms in cats are smaller than dogs but end up just about anywhere in the body unlike in the heart in dogs. Worms live longer in dogs and it is actually a lot of times the death of the worms or even just exposure that causes most of the problems in cats.

Big variable in heartworm disease as well as internal and external parasites is coyotes.

The start of topical and internal treatment for fleas starting in 1997 has stopped early death of pets due to flea infestations and has eliminated a lot of pets being sent to shelters due to inability to get rid of fleas.

Bartonella Infections:

Mostly is shed in the fecal material of fleas, cat and kittens scratch and chew, ingesting this as well has having it on their feet and when scratching causes cat scratch fever. A large number of cats that have bartonella also have toxoplasmosis.

Respiratory Disease:

Kathy Hibbard, DVM attended an all day seminar, sponsored by the Southeastern Michigan Veterinary Medical Association, on March 23rd. Dr. Brendan McKiernan from Oregon was the presenter.

The seminar topic was Respiratory Disease and covered the basic anatomy and physiology of the respiratory tract, followed by methods of diagnostics and treatment. Specific areas discussed were chronic bronchitis,brachycephalic(flat faced breeds), airway disease and laryngeal disorders.

Kathy Hibbard, DVM attended an all day seminar, sponsored by the Southeastern Michigan Veterinary Medical Association, on March 23rd. Dr. Brendan McKiernan from Oregon was the presenter.

The seminar topic was Respiratory Disease and covered the basic anatomy and physiology of the respiratory tract, followed by methods of diagnostics and treatment. Specific areas discussed were chronic bronchitis,brachycephalic(flat faced breeds), airway disease and laryngeal disorders.

In March of this year Dr. Montgomery attended a lecture on clinical pathology given by Dr. Burkhard DVM PhD, Diplomate ACVP of The Ohio State University. This lecture focused on microscope evaluation of cells and identification of problems in blood smears and in clinical preparation of tumors. The lecture was an excellent review and test of slides that were presented along with practical application of identification of types of cancers as well as infections and infectious agents.


Dr. Walker attended a dermatology lecture on November 3, 2010 presented by Dr. John Angus, staff dermatologist at Animal Dermatology Clinic of Pasedena, CA. The lecture was sponsored by the Southeast Veterinary Medical Association. The session focused on management of pruritus (itching) and lick granulomas. Dr. Angus outlined the most common causes of itching in dogs and cats and presented a practical method of diagnosis and treatment. He also presented a novel approach to treating lick granulomas in dogs. Lick granulomas (thickened and infected skin that dogs repeatedly lick) have traditionally been thought of as an expression of a behavioral or anxiety disorder. Dr. Angus recommends treating for the specific bacteria present as well as the inflammation associated. Dr. Angus was a very engaging lecturer and provided a wealth of useful information.


Dr. Walker attended an ophthalmology lecture on December 8, 2010 presented by Dr. Phillip Pickett. He is an ophthalmologist from the VA-MD Regional College of Veterinary Medicine. Dr. Pickett discussed the diagnosis and treatment of common eye conditions in cats and dogs. Of particular focus were new therapies for non-healing corneal ulcers, keratoconjunctivitis sicca (dry eye) and glaucoma. The information presented will increase our ability to manage eye disorders in the clinic.

Internal Medicine:

The Michigan Veterinary Medical Association sponsored an Internal Medicine seminar on November 10th, 2010 in East Lansing; Dr. Ned Kuehn of Michigan Veterinary Specialists in Southfield was the presenter.

Kathy Hibbard attended this all day seminar which covered the topics of chronic rhinitis, liver disease and antibiotic therapy…all topics of every day application in our small animal practice.


Seminar November 2010 Anesthesia with Dr. Fernando Garcia; Tailoring Sedative Protocols and Anesthetizing Sick Patients Safely:

This was another wonderful and informative seminar aimed at helping Veterinary Technicians:

This seminar encompassed everything that was needed to successfully and safely develop a sedative and/or anesthetic protocol.:

Diseases and Procedures: To develop a sedative and/or anesthetic protocol the anesthetist needs to be familiar with the disease(s) affecting their patients as well as the procedure their patient is about to undergo. In this section of the seminar, different information to keep in mind when it came to drug selection and pre-operative (before surgery) therapies were discussed.

Drugs: To develop a sedative and/or anesthetic protocol the anesthetist also needs to be familiar with the drugs available for them to use. In this section of the seminar, the sedative/anesthetic drugs widely available to most veterinary practices were discussed (positive and negative side effects, degree of sedation/anesthesia/pain management etc.).

As anesthetists, having all of this information allows us as technicians to predict and prepare for any problem that could arise during anesthesia with your pet. Not only this, it also allows us to keep your pet safe while they are in our care for anesthetic/sedative and surgical procedures.

Recognizing and Diagnosis Heart Disease in Dogs and Cats, October, 2010:

Southeastern Michigan Veterinary Medical Association: Seminars 2010
Cardiology with Dr. Joanne DeSana
This was a wonderful and informative seminar that was aimed at helping Veterinary Technicians.

Recognize Heart Disease in the Exam Room: Common presenting complaints (symptoms/signs) associated with heart disease were outlined as well as how to better obtain more history about these complaints. Tips on how to perform a physical examination of an animal presenting with possible heart disease were also mentioned. This ensures that the Doctors seeing your pets have a better picture of what is going on with your pet before seeing them, themselves.

Common Causes of Heart Disease in the Dog and Cat: Common causes of heart disease in the dog and cat were discussed. How these different defects of the heart cause heart disease, how different diagnostic tools are used to uncover and/or determine the cause of heart disease and how the different causes of heart disease are treated medically were outlined. The causes of heart disease outlined included but was not limited to: degenerative valve disease, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, dilated cardiomyopathy etc. This better allows us as technicians to answer any questions or concerns you may have with regards to the treatment and care of your pet.

2010 Midwest Veterinary Conference, February, 2010:

Dr. Montgomery attended the Midwest Regional Veterinary Conference in Columbus Ohio. It was a four day long multitopic event that included veterinarians from around the United States. One topic was clinical pharmacology, discussing new drugs, potential drug interactions and dosing in sick animals. Other exciting topics were nutrition, respiratory and pneumonia issues, cardiology, vomiting and diarrhea, radiology, dentistry, endocrinology, emergency and critical care and ophthalmology. Topics on animal behavior were discussed daily, such as senior dog senility and cat urinary habits. This conference was an excellent update as well as review of issues that we deal with daily.


Feline Medicine, October 2009:

Dr. Montgomery attended a seminar on feline medicine and common disease processes in cats presented by Dr. Margie Scherk. This seminar went into depth with feline diabetes, hyperthyroidism, blood pressure, kidney disease, and health concerns in older cats. It gave new ways of thinking about old feline problems, and was an excellent review of feline medicine.

Seizure Seminar, October 2009:

Dr. Cox attended the Michigan Veterinary Medical Association Small Animal Continuing Education Seminar on Seizures. This was presented by Dr. Dennis O’Brien, DVM, PhD., ACVIM from the College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Missouri.

This seminar covered recognizing seizures, the diagnostic approach to seizures, the handling of a patient in status epilepticus. The seminar also included treatment modalities for seizure control and discussed the latest medications available for those hard to control seizure patients.

Dermatology, March 2009:

Dr. Montgomery attended a lecture by Dr. Robert Kennis from Auburn University on canine and feline dermatology. It was a very good in depth lecture on hair loss in cats, treatment of canine skin infections, ear infections in cats and antibiotic choices for both dogs and cats. Practical aspects of treatment were discussed extensively.

Internal Medicine, February 2009:

Doctor Kathy Hibbard attended an Internal Medicine seminar sponsored by the Southeastern Veterinary Medical Association, and held at the Leader Dogs for the Blind facility. Doctor Michael Willard from Texas A&M University was the speaker. Doctor Willard is an engaging speaker as he delivers his information in case study (rather than lecture) format. The broad topics of Liver Disease, Esophageal Disorders and Pancreatitis were covered in an interactive and educational fashion.


Wound Management and Reconstruction, November 2008:

Dr. Montgomery attended a seminar by Dr. Pavletic on wound management and reconstruction. This seminar presented by the Southeastern Michigan Veterinary Medical Association, went over traumatic wound bandaging, types of bandages and reconstructive surgeries. Closing large skin wounds as well as skin flaps and skin grafts were also extensively discussed.

Infectious Diseases Seminar, October 2008:

Dr. Kathy Hibbard attended an Infectious Disease seminar given by Dr. Craig Greene, DVM, MS.

Dr. Greene lectured on the latest antiviral and antibacterial drugs, Canine Kennel cough, Leptospirosis, FIP, and Bartonellosis. The topics were informative and applicable to every day practice.

Bartonellosis is also known as “cat scratch fever” and can cause disease both in cats and in their owners.

Leptospirosis is a disease that can cause kidney or liver failure and is transmissible from wild life to dogs. It can be contracted by drinking out of puddles. We do have vaccines to protect against the most prevalent strains of the disease. It can also cause humans to be sick.

MVS Seminar, May 2008:

Jane Kushnir, LVT attended a seminar at MVS which covered 4 different topics.

“The Power of NSAIDS”, how they work, side effects and patient monitoring.

“How Sweet It Is!” covered the advantages of using sugar bandages to heal or close wounds that cannot be sutured, when to use the bandage, how to apply it and how often to change it.

“Xylitol Toxicity”- discussed symptoms, labwork abnormalities and treatment. Xylitol is a sugar alcohol used as a sweetener in many products that may benefit humans but is very toxic to dogs, there have been no studies in cats. In dogs, xylitol causes a release in insulin production, vomiting is usually the initial sign, followed by hypoglycemia, liver failure/necrosis and can lead to death. Quick treatment is essential is dealing with this toxin.

The final topic “MRSA/MRSI” discussed the bacteria, risk factors, clinical signs, transmission, prevention and treatment.While MRSA is the bacteria that affects humans, MRSI is the pathogen for dogs and cats.

Anesthesia and Pain Management in Small Animals, April 2008:

Jane Kushnir, LVT attended CE on Anesthesia and Pain Management in Small Animals presented by Nancy Brock, DVM of British Columbia, Canada. Objectives of this seminar included better control of anesthesia delivery, better understanding of what our patients and monitors are telling us and improved comfort levels with anesthetic drug combinations. The course covered topics on anesthesia safety, maintenance of equipment, monitoring, patient support and recovery/pain management.

Dermatology, February 2008:

Dr. Montgomery attended a lecture by Dr. MacDonald, a veterinary dermatologist from Auburn University. He well in depth into environmental vs. food allergy dermatitis, ear infections and mites and other skin parasites. Diagnosis, treatment and management of long term allergy cases we discussed, as well as food choices and options for allergen injections vs. oral medications.

Michigan Veterinary Conference, January 2008:

Dr. Montgomery attended the conference on January 25th, and listened to multiple exciting lectures on dental radiograph interpretation, cardiology and collapsing trachea. Dr. Charlier, a specialist in veterinary dentistry reviewed dental X-rays and went over specific case studies. Dr. Gordon, a veterinary cardiologist, discussed canine heart disease and treatment. She went over new and promising drugs in canine dilated cardiomyopathy and chronic valve disease, and how best to treat these patients. Dr. Krahwinkle, a specialist in veterinary surgery, went over collapsing trachea and surgical techniques to treat these patients.


Small Animal Behavior, March 2007:

In March, Dr. Cox attended a one-day seminar on Small Animal Behavior presented by one of the leading authorities in veterinary behavior medicine, Dr. Karen Overall. Dr. Overall’s lecture covered the physiology of behavior and touched on topics such as nipping in puppies, cats that won’t use their litter boxes, separation anxiety, and canine aggression.

Zoonotic Diseases and Clinical Pathology, March 2007:

Dr. Montgomery attended a seminar dealing with transmittable disease between pets and people. Topics included rabies, leptospirosis, bartonella (Cat scratch disease), toxoplasma and plague. Diagnosis of these diseases in pets, treatment and prevention of transmission to people were discussed in depth. Also clinical pathology of red blood cells was discussed, including abnormalities seen in red blood cells on the microscope, normals depending upon species and infectious agents that can be found in red blood cells.

Midwest Veterinary Conference, February 2007:

Dr.. Montgomery attended the Midwest Veterinary Conference in Columbus, Ohio. The conference covered a wide variety of topics such as ophthalmology, neurology, liver and gastrointestinal issues, animal behavior, feline medicine, parasitology, radiology, ultrasound, dentistry, urology, dermatology and orthopedics. This was an intensive seminar with 4 full days of information and new techniques taught by experts in their fields.

Pain Management and Dental Radiography, February 2007:

Kim Killingsworth L.V.T. recently attended the Michigan Veterinary Conference in Lansing, MI. The seminars that she attended mainly focused on staff development. Strategies were discussed on taking a proactive approach that will benefit clients and their pets.

The pain management lecture discussed using local blocks in conjunction with other pain medications.

Hospitalized patients that may not be eating due to illness need to have nutritional support due to illness. Esophageal tubes can benefit the patient by supplying the patient with its daily caloric requirements.

Kim also attended the Midwest Veterinary Conference in Columbus, OH. Principles of nutrition, husbandry, and clinical techniques for rabbits and ferrets were discussed. New data was released this year regarding nutrition for rabbits, suggesting a diet of mainly grass hay for adult rabbits and only feeding pellets 1-2 times weekly. It is important for gut health and helps with proper wearing of the teeth.

Zoonotic diseases in birds is rare, however, it does exist. Testing procedures for birds suspected of having disease were presented. Obtaining a bird from a vendor that performs flock testing can decrease the potential for zoonotic diseases.

Birds instinctively hide their signs of illness. Therefore, it is very important to recognize subtle signs of illness. The sooner a bird can get into the veterinarian the higher the rate of successful treatment.

Veterinary technicians can become involved in disaster response from the local to the governmental level. Additional training is essential for technicians who wish to pursue disaster relief.

Kim also attended a wet lab on dental imaging where the principles of proper radiology techniques and positioning were taught. Dental imaging allows for an accurate portrayal of normal and abnormal conditions. More than 80% of dental pathology is below the gum line. Dental radiology provides an opportunity to fully evaluate any problems that may not be visible otherwise.


Dentistry, November, 2006:

Jane Kushnir L.V.T. attended a seminar on dentistry in November. Topics discussed included the importance of a complete oral exam w/sedation or anesthesia,a systematic approach to dental charting to observe degrees of dental plaque/calculus, missing/broken teeth, discolored/worn teeth & evidence of gingivitis and/or periodontal disease.

Pain management is very important asdental diseases/treatments are painful. The use of pre-med analgesics along w/dental nerve blocks and post-op oral med provide the most effective management of pain, which is evident for the first 24-72 hours after dental surgery. Balanced pain management also increases safety, return to function & healing for our veterinary patients. Dental radiology was also discussed & is advantageous to aid in the diagnosis of conditions such as feline resorptive lesions, abscesses, oral tumors/fractures & bone pathology. Dental propylaxis, client education & home care are all ways we can work as a team to provide the best possible dental health for our pets.

Cardiology, October 2006:

Dr. Montgomery attended a seminar on cardiology in dogs and cats by the MVMA (Michigan Veterinary Medical Association). Cardiology medications were discussed in depth, including a new drug for treatment of dilated cardiomyopathy that is waiting to receive FDA approval in the US. Specifically feline heart conditions were discussed, including hypertrophic cardiomyopathy medications, treatment and therapeutic goals. Overall it was a very good review of cardiology medications and conditions.

Intestinal Parasites Seminar, September 2006:

Dr. Lora Montgomery attended a continuing education conference on intestinal parasites and advances that have been made in treatment and diagnostics.

Some of the topics of interest were Giardia, Clostridium perfringens, Tritrichomonos foetus and Cryptosporidiosis. These can be common causes of acute diarrhea in our patients.

A great deal of discussion involved Giardia and advances in diagnostics and treatment. Because of its zoonotic potential, this information is vital. The new technique our hospital uses thru Antech labs regarding testing fecal samples is the gold standard for fecal analysis. Also other diagnostics involve particular antigen testing.

Another parasite that can be commonly overlooked is Tritrichomonas foetus. It was discussed that in cases of refractory diarrhea this parasite can be a culprit. Responses to therapy can be remarkable.

In addition to intestinal disease, we discussed the importance of wellness testing for all of our patients, even those not showing signs of disease. In many cases, disease processes can be identified prior to any outward physical symptoms are shown.

This conference stressed just how important it is to further look for answers to our pets’ problems with diagnostics. Further diagnostics help us diagnose disease and form a treatment plan for our patients, which ultimately allows us to provide the best possible care.

Focus on Denistry in Small Animal Practice–A Team Approach
April 2006:

Dr Cox, Vicki Nunnery, and Kim Killingsworth attended this seminar for veterinarians, veterinary technicians and veterinary assistants. The seminar covered many important aspects of dentistry in pets from the dental equipment to surgical extractions.

Focusing on our pet’s teeth is sometimes an overlooked area until there is a problem. The seminar encouraged preventing dental disease with brushing and at home care. It also discussed diagnosing dental disease, oral cancers and oral diseases. Involving our pet owners, our pets, our staff, and our veterinarians in this team approach for our patient’s health will prevent disease in the future.

Ultrasound Seminar, February 2006:

Dr. Montgomery attended a 2 day seminar to further advance her abdominal ultrasound training. The seminar focused on visualization of the soft tissue organs in the abdomen of dogs and cats, as well as aspiration and biopsy techniques using ultrasound. The course included multiple laboratories where hands-on ultrasound training was performed using both cats and dogs. This seminar offered techniques that can be utilized here at Southpointe to aid in the optimal treatment and care of your pet.


Dentistry, November 2005:

Kim Killingsworth, LVT recently attended a seminar on dentistry. The lecturer was William Gengler DVM, from the University of Wisconsin.

His lecture focused on using radiology for a definitive diagnosis, and an emphasis on preventative care such as routine dental prophies. Pets with oral disease should have frequent rechecks incorporated into a long term treatment plan. Methods were discussed on both surgical and non-surgical extractions to make extractions less difficult to perform. Pain management plays an important role in keeping the pet comfortable after a dental extraction procedure.

An announcement was made at the seminar that Pfizer will be releasing a periodontal vaccine next year under a conditional license. This vaccine will give protection against three species of bacteria.

Blood Transfusions, November 2005:

Tonya White L.V.T. recently attended a 4-week continuing education seminar sponsored by VSPN concerning blood transfusions. The course covered many aspects of blood transfusions including: Blood typing, blood collection, distribution of blood transfusions, as well as, blood banking for unexpected emergencies.

The course discussed how to recognize a transfusion reaction and what to do about it. It also covered the importance of aseptic technique in collection and in distribution. Another important part of the class was the storing of blood and blood products.

The class was very informative with a lot of new ideas that we hope to use when we have emergencies such as: warfarin toxicity (rodent poison), hit by car or any other blood related emergency.

Urinary Tract Seminar, October 2005:

Dr. Montgomery recently attended a seminar on canine and feline urology (the study of the urinary tract). The seminar addressed acute and chronic renal failure prognosis, prevention and dietary, medical and supportive treatment of these conditions.

Newer diagnostic methods were discussed for predicting patients that may be prone to chronic renal failure. Upper as well as lower urinary tract infections were discussed, as well as causes for each, predisposition in animals, underlying diseases and in depth treatment regimens for recurring infections.

Other issues were explored such as urinary incontinence, urethral incompetence and ectopic ureters. Canine and feline stones were addressed as well as new laser treatment methods done at veterinary teaching hospitals that break up and remove stones without surgical intervention.

Exceptional Client Service Skills for the Receptionist/Front Office Staff, October 2005:

Lisa Sherrill recently completed the VSPN course “Exceptional Client Service
Skills for the Receptionist/Front Office Staff Member.” The curriculum covered how to give the very best service with the very best attitude whenever working with clientele. The “Veterinary Receptionist Handbook” was used as the class text.

Environmental Stress and the Indoor Cat, September 2005:

Debbie Welbes , LVT recently attended a seminar on Environmental Stress and the Indoor cat. Some of the highlights from the seminar:

Cats that live indoors have more stress in their lives then we think. The most common sources of stress revolve around their food, water, litter pans, sleeping areas as well as scratching places and toys. The food and water needs to be placed so that they are not facing each other and each should have their own food and water bowls. The litter pans are probably the biggest source of problems. There needs to be 1 litter pan of each plus 1 extra. They need to be placed in different rooms and not in the same room. Sleeping areas need to be arranged so that they each have their own. They also need places to be able to scratch both horizontal as well as vertical. They also need a variety of toys to keep them entertained. All of these things need to be addressed as soon as the kitten or cat comes home and this will hopefully eliminate the start of any stress related problems that can turn into very major problems that can be live long as well as being very stressful for the owners as well.

Dentistry, September 2005:

Liz McLeod , LVT recently attended two seminars on dentistry.

Companion Animal Dentistry 101
This course covered the basics of performing an oral exam, the vocabulary and anatomy involved with the mouth and many of the abnormalities that may be discovered while performing a dental cleaning. It also discussed the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of dental disease.

Companion Animal Dentistry 102
This course covered the importance of offering dental services to our patients as well as developing a treatment plan based on exam findings including cleaning in the hospital and home care. It also discussed safety measures that should be followed for the patient as well as the technician performing the dental cleaning.

Zoonotic Diseases , September 2005:

Jane Kushnir LVT

Zoonotic diseases are infections or diseases that are naturally transmitted between animals and humans. Transmission occurs through feces, urine, saliva, blood, vectors (fleas, ticks, mosquitoes), meat, milk, aerosol, water contamination with urine or feces, and bedding. Our best line of defense is basic hygiene, washing thoroughly, personal protection such as gloves, vector avoidance or protection (insect repellents), and thoroughly cooking the meat we eat. It is better to take precautions instead of having to be treated. Animals can be shedding infections/parasites without showing any signs.

Two common intestinal parasites that can be transmitted from pet to pet and pet to human are roundworm and hookworm. Roundworms are transmitted by ingesting the eggs and hookworms penetrate through the skin when we come into contact with contaminated soil. It is very important to clean up after our pets daily and start worming kittens and puppies as young as 2 weeks old.

Salmonella is transmitted from our “pocket pets” such as reptiles, rodents, and other mammals such as hedgehogs. They don’t have to be sick to be to be passing salmonella. It is important to wash hands thoroughly, wear gloves when cleaning cages in well ventilated areas, and not “kissing the rodents”.

Toxoplasmosis is a coccidian protozoan organism that can be transmitted by ingestion of oocysts (shed by cats) or meat containing live organisms. It is important to clean the litter-box daily, keep your cats indoors, and not eating undercooked or raw meat and washing well after handling raw meat.

Rabies is caused by a virus and the bat is the #1 cause of human exposure. In our area, skunks and raccoons should also be considered suspect.

Leptospirosis is caused by a spirochete, and vaccines are designed to prevent disease not necessarily the infection. Infections can be acquired from contaminated water, soil, animal tissues or urine.

Ultrasound Course, May 2005:

Dr. Cox has recently attended two ultrasound courses to further her ultrasound skills and knowledge. The first course was a 3 day overview course on basic ultrasound using our new ultrasound machine. This course covered ultrasound physics, artifacts and scanning techniques for the 4 major abdominal organs: spleen, liver, kidneys and bladder. The second course was a two day advanced ultrasound course focusing on the smaller and more difficult abdominal organs including the pancreas and adrenals. In addition, this course covered the new and advanced option of telemedicine which is now offered at Southpointe. Telemedicine allows us to transmit the results of our diagnostic tests including x-rays, ultrasound and bloodwork directly to a board certified specialist for their professional review. The board certified specialist will then provide a written report with their findings, diagnosis and recommendations to help provide the most optimal care for you and your pets without having to leave Southpointe’s building.