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Spring Clinic Sessions
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Kevin Benjamino, DVM, DACVS

Wound Management and Skin Reconstruction

This lecture will update the clinician on new techniques for wound management and review the principles for surgical skin reconstruction. 

Guide to Abdominal and Thoracic Hernias

This lecture will provide tips and tricks to aid in standard hernia repairs that are both congenital and traumatic. This will address a wide range of hernias ranging from diaphragmatic hernias to inguinal hernias.

Gastrointestinal Surgery: From Biopsy to Resection

This discussion will provide a guide to simplifying many gastro-intestinal procedures and allow the clinician to gain confidence when recommending these procedures. 

Juvenile Canine Orthopedic Diseases: Part 1 - Forelimbs

This lecture provides an overview of common orthopedic diseases that impact the juvenile dog. Diagnostics and treatment options will be reviewed.

Juvenile Canine Orthopedic Diseases: Part 2 - Hind Limbs

This lecture provides an overview of common orthopedic diseases that impact the juvenile dog. Diagnostics and treatment options will be reviewed.

Perfecting Your Examination - Forelimb Lameness

This will provide key points and tips for a thorough evaluation of forelimb lameness. Treatment options for common orthopedic conditions will be reviewed. 

Aimee Brooks, DVM, MS, DACVECC

Take a Deep Breath: Respiratory Distress
This lecture will focus on initial diagnostics and support for the respiratory distress patient using case examples from the ER floor.
Climbing the Tree of Life: Approach to Shock
This talk will review the classic “tree of life” approach to shock physiology to review common causes of shock and approach to initial diagnosis and stabilization of patients in shock.
Tessa: A Case-Based Discussion of Pericardial Effusion
This talk will use the case of Tessa, a greyhound with pericardial effusion to discuss the physiology, diagnosis, treatment, and prognosis for pericardial effusions in dogs.
Fun with Fluids and ‘Lytes
This talk will review physiology of IV fluids and discuss the use of different types of fluids and additives in the correction of electrolyte abnormalities.
Fun with Toxins: Beyond Vitamin K
This talk will cover cases of toxicity including ADHD medications, marijuana, baclofen, and bromethalin toxicosis.

Stephen Cole, VMD, MS

Short “Staph”ed: Dealing with Antibiotic Resistant Gram Positive Infections
This session will cover the clinical pathogenesis, epidemiology and therapeutic approach of two of the most frustrating “bugs” you will deal with in small animal practice: Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus pseudintermedius and Enterococcus spp.
E(eeek) coli: Dealing with Antibiotic Resistant Gram Negative Infections
This session will cover the clinical pathogenesis, epidemiology and therapeutic approach of two of the most frustrating “bugs” you will deal with in small animal practice: Multi-drug resistant E. coli and Pseudomonas aeruginosa.
Brucella canis: When to Test and When to Report
In 2017 Brucella canis became a reportable disease in Pennsylvania. Learn about the different ways to diagnose this tricky pathogen and better understand its role in clinical disease.
HIV/AIDS and Pet Ownership: What Veterinarians Can Do
Unfortunately rates of HIV/AIDS continue to rise in certain populations. Pets pose a risk to immunocompromised people for zoonotic disease, but they also provide many health benefits.  This session will review best practices for consulting on care of animals with immunosuppressed owners and demonstrate the critical role of veterinarians in the One Health management of disease.
Canine Leptospirosis: More than Just Kidney and Liver Values
Leptospirosis is easily one of the most important emerging diseases in canine patients.  Increased reporting has lead to the realization that Leptospira interrogans can manifest in several ways in our patients.  This session will remind you of the basics and update you on the newest research.
A New Culture: Clinical Microbiology at the Forefront of Emerging Diseases
With rising antimicrobial resistance rates and an increasing immunocompromised pet population, it is more important than ever to employ new technologies to diagnose infectious diseases. Advanced, rapid technologies are quickly becoming critical to both the veterinary clinical microbiologist and the clinician. This presentation will compare and contrast classic tests with new technologies and lay out what the implications are for both practitioners and our patients.


The Art of the Oral Exam Combining the Details
Oral disease is non-elective and it is the number #1medical problem in animals. It's recognition during physical examinations is often paramount to insuring the animal's well being. Since it often can be visualized our clients are "on-board" for the veterinary team's appropriate treatment.
Oral Radiology: What You See Is What You Image
In this session the physical oral exam findings are paired with radiographic evaluation to determine extent of any lesions and confirm diagnosis.  
Oral Technique Behind The Image...Getting Concise Dental Radiographs
This presentation will discuss how to get diagnostic radiographs, equipment materials and techniques will be covered along with tips and pitfalls in radiographic evaluation. 
Dummies Guide to Surgical Tooth Extractions Indications and Techniques
Surgical Extractions takes understanding of anatomy and expertise. This lecture will take you through the removal of teeth as gentle for you and as minimally painless for the patient as possible  
Complications of Tooth Extractions: When You Don’t Do It Right
Often when you hope for things to go smoothly in an already very busy day, the dental procedure from hell enters. Tips on how to recover from complications of tooth extractions. 
The Big “C” Word…Approach to Oral Neoplasia
The third most common site for neoplasia is the oral cavity. Our clients turn to us for facts and options. This lecture discusses the clinical presentation, types and surgical options to oral neoplasia. 

Margie Scherk, DVM, DABVP (Feline Practice)

Foundations for a Healthy Life:  Incorporating the Cat Healthy Preventive Healthcare Protocols
There are more pet cats than dogs yet they aren't getting the care they should because of lack of awareness and stress associated with getting to, and being at, the clinic. This program is designed to improve the quality and delivery of cat care by giving veterinary clinics the tools needed to enhance the experience of both cat and client while building a culture of lifelong preventive health care. 
Feline Chronic Pain Syndromes:  More than Musculosketal
Over the recent decade, there has been increased awareness of pain and attention to the alleviation of pain in cats.  Investigation has focused primarily on chronic musculoskeletal pain. The purpose of this presentation is to address not only musculoskeletal but also other types of inflammatory and neuropathic pain in cats. 
Sarcopenia: Where Has All the Muscle Gone?
Sarcopenic muscle loss is normal as cats age. But muscle loss isn’t always due to sarcopenia. Often illness or digestive changes play a role. Nutritional recommendations may contribute. Research has shown that loss of condition precedes diagnosis of chronic illness and is associated with earlier death. Muscle condition scoring and following trends in body weight and condition score is important. By intervening early, there is a chance to turn weight and muscle decline around.  
Lower Urinary Tract Health: Metabolism and Stress
Lower urinary tract disorders are common in cats.  In previous decades, the focus of study has been on causes and management of crystalluria.  More recently it has become clear that the majority of cases of LUTD are idiopathic and the bladder may be the victim, rather than the initiator of the clinical signs. This presentation looks at Pandora Syndrome, the roles of metabolism and of stress.
Snots and Snuffles: Chronic Feline Upper Respiratory Syndromes
The chronic feline snuffler is a frustrating patient to treat. The longer the course, the more severe the consequences to affected tissues are and the more debilitating it is to the patient.  A logical diagnostic plan to differentiate probable etiologies and to rule-out non-viral causes results in appropriate therapeutic choices.
The Geriatric Cat: Complex Management with Multiple Disorders
The older cat is predisposed to many medical problem and often presents with several concurrent disease conditions. We will look at managing a cat with diabetes mellitus, IBD, dental disease and chronic kidney disease.  

Valarie Tynes, DVM, DACVB

Your Patients are Talking; Are you Listening?

Visual cues or “body language” are the primary means that animals have of communicating with us. A lack of understanding of canine body language is a leading cause of many behavior problems that people experience with their dogs.  Dogs and cats clearly demonstrate their fear and anxiety using visual cues. If you can “read” this language of the dog and cat, you can help prevent injuries and misunderstandings.

Introduction to the Fear Free Initiative

While no veterinary hospital setting can be made to be completely fear free, incorporating the Fear Free approach, we can not only decrease the distress our patients feel in our practices but increase client satisfaction and employee job satisfaction as well. By reading the visual cues that our patients are sending, using low stress handling techniques, pheromones and appropriate food rewards we can take the fearful patient and change the way they feel about the veterinary visit. Most importantly, we can prevent the young animal from ever forming those scary associations. 

You Want Me To Do What? – Understanding How Animals Learn

Many myths and misconceptions about training animals exist and commonly result in problem behaviors. Understanding how animals learn can aid the veterinarian and technician when working with animals in the clinic as well as when educating pet owners. All animals learn the same! Understanding these basic concepts can help you to prevent behavior problems before they start and  help clients  prevent minor problems from turning into major headaches!

Keep Your Clients, Keep Your Patients, Keep Your Sanity; Prevent Behavior Problems Before They Start

Behavior problems remain the leading cause of death in pet dogs and cats in the US. Sadly, many of these problems are preventable and most all can be safely managed if clients were only given accurate information. This presentation will focus on how to educate pet owners about normal pet behavioral needs and how they can modify behavior safely and effectively. 

Appropriate Use of Pharmaceutical Interventions for Dealing with Behavior Problems

Medication can play a very important role in decreasing anxiety and helping to put an animal in a state of mind to learn, but success requires that these medications be used correctly. Understanding the different families of psychotropic drugs and the neurotransmitters they effect is necessary in order to use them properly. Good follow up as well as giving the clients accurate expectations will also be critical for success. Working together with clients to develop a means of evaluating improvement and agreeing on what success will look like in the patient being treated will also be necessary.

Social Behavior of the Cat and Dealing with the Multi-Cat Household

Many feline behavior problems, as well as health problems, develop due to the stress associated with living in a multi-cat household.  Cats can live in social groups successfully but only with a better understanding of their normal social behavior and their behavioral needs. This presentation will also include tips on preventing many of these common problems. 



Ed Carlson, CVT, VTS (Nutrition)

Essential Skills for the Patient Nutritional Advocate – Parts 1 & 2

Attendees will learn a variety of important skills which are necessary to educate clients, answer client questions about pet food, and make nutritional recommendations. The session begins by explaining the agencies and organizations that regulate pet food, pet food label requirements, and terminology. Next, we will discuss how to read and understand pet food labels how to determine the daily caloric requirement of a variety of patient life stages, how to calculate the dry matter basis in order to compare a canned food to a dry food, how to determine the amount of carbohydrates in a pet food and how to estimate the caloric content of pet foods. Multiple sample calculations will be solved in an interactive forum allowing attendees to practice the skills learned. How to take a nutritional history, making a nutritional recommendation, and educating clients on nutrition will also be covered.

Nutrition! The Key to Managing Chronic Renal Disease

Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is commonly seen in small animal veterinary hospital today. Understanding IRIS staging of these patients is critical to providing the appropriate diet to management of the disease. The key nutritional factors and benefits of veterinary therapeutic diets are important for the veterinary technician to understand to provide excellent patient care and to educate clients on kidney disease. This lecture will provide attendees with an understanding of the key nutritional factors of kidney diets and why therapeutic diets are used in patients with renal insufficiency. The material presented will provide the veterinary technician the nutritional information necessary to educate clients on this topic.

Nasogastric Feeding Tubes

Research has shown patients suffering from many disease processes benefit from early nutritional support when they are unwilling to eat. Assisted feeding using nasogastric (NG) and nasoesophageal (NE) feeding tubes is an inexpensive method to provide the nutritional support that may benefit these patients. Nasogastric and nasoesophageal (NG and NE) tubes can be of benefit for a variety of hospitalized patients. This lecture will discuss when NG and NE tubes are indicated, their benefits, and management. How to place NG and NE tubes, including proper suturing techniques, calculating patient resting energy requirements, appropriate types of foods, and how to troubleshoot tubes will be explained. Participants to handle a variety of feeding tube types and, If time allows, practice suturing techniques.

Weight Management in Dogs and Cats

Many of the dogs and cats seen in the veterinary office today are overweight or obese. It’s time for a change; the veterinary health care team needs a new game plan, a new approach. Perhaps more important than weight loss for overweight and obese pets is working with clients to promote ideal weight for dogs and cats before they become too heavy!  In this session, we will look at a variety of tools to approach weight loss and to promote healthy weight in our patients including using modern technology.

Nutritional Approach to Diabetic Felines

Nutrition is an important component of managing diabetic feline patients. This lecture will explain how the proper diet can improve glycemic control potentially reducing or eliminating the need for exogenous insulin therapy. Veterinary technicians play an important role in providing nutritional education to the owners of diabetic patients; types of diets appropriate and importance of consistency will be discussed providing attendees an excellent basis to care for diabetic cats and educate their owners. A case example of a patient who achieved non-insulin dependence is used to illustrate the theories presented.   

Rachel Poulin, RVT, VTS (SAIM)

Diabetes Mellitus: Let’s Not Sugar Coat It!

This lecture will go into detail about the pathophysiology, care, and treatment of a diabetic patient.  Focus will include insulin, blood glucose monitoring, nutrition, and client education.  Veterinary technicians can play a vital role in the DM patient and directly affect patient outcome.  We will outline how and why.

Diabetic Ketoacidosis: The 411 on DKA

This lecture will go into detail about our hospitalized diabetic ketoacidosis patients.  We will discuss managing the disease in the ICU.  Learning objectives include insulin choices, blood acquisition choices, electrolyte imbalances, fluid choice options and nutritional management.  We will also focus on discharging a diabetic patient after hospitalization and focus on client education.

The ABC’s of IBD: An In-Depth Look at Inflammatory Bowel Disease

This lecture will focus on clinical signs, diagnosis, and treatment of IBD, including medications and nutrition.  Nurses will be able to recognize the signs, know the proper diagnostics necessary and frequent medications and risks associated with them.

What Do You Know About Lepto?

During this session participants will learn about safety when handling a patient that potentially has a zoonotic disease, how humans can get this and how it’s treated in humans, as well as clinical signs, diagnostic findings, treatment, and prognosis (fix it or avoid it), and how to prevent it in the future.  We will discuss in detail the testing for leptospirosis and vaccination protocols.

Teaching Diabetic Education to the Pet Parent

Diabetes is a complicated, stressful, and challenging disease that calls on pet owners to in some respect become medical assistants in their own homes.  They need to know about blood acquisition, insulin injections, proper nutrition, and being able to identify potential complications early on so they don’t quickly develop into an emergency.  This is a huge undertaking for a client, even if they have osme degree of medical background.  The majority however, do not.  It is our responsibility to ensure they are set up for success and have been given the proper tools, guidance and education to take care of their diabetic pet at home.  This course will discuss how to teach this information and offer tools and tips to set up our diabetic pet parents for success.  

Pancreatitis: Diagnosis, Treatment and Pain Management

Pancreatitis is a common ailment that is treated in veterinary medicine.  The causes and care vary greatly depending on the severity of the condition.  Nursing care, client education, and nutrition are vitally important when treating this condition.  Nurses play a vital role in ICU care as well as setting up the client for successful results at home.



Troy Ott, MS, PhD, PAS

GMO 101: Genetic Engineering for Sustainable Food and Fiber Production - Separating the Myths from Reality

Many conversations today about food and agriculture include the topic of genetically modified organisms more correctly known as genetically engineered plants or animals. You have probably heard about GE plants, but are there GE animals in agriculture? Why were they developed and are they really needed? What would be the reason a farmer would want to use a GE plant or animal?  Are GE foods safe for people and the environment? Are there negative consequences of feeding GE crops to animals or humans? Can’t we just avoid them? Should we really be modifying genomes?  What about unintended consequences? What developments are on the horizon for genetic engineering? These are but a few of the questions that will be explored during this presentation by Dr. Ott on genetic engineering in agriculture.  At the conclusion of this session, participants will be able to explain how and why breeding and genetic engineering have been used for animal and plant improvement, understand the basics of how plants and animals are modified and recent technological developments that will offer new approaches to editing genomes, describe some of the primary GE and their impact on agricultural production, and discuss positive changes in agricultural practices and future directions for agriculture enabled by modern technologies. 

Andy Niehaus, DVM, MS, DACVS-LA

Small Ruminant Reproductive Surgery

C-sections and castrations are common reproductive surgeries that are performed in small ruminant patients.  Along with these procedures we will discuss the surgical correction for rectal and vaginal prolapses.  We will cover indications and tricks for performing these procedures in practice, and we will also discuss epidural and regional anesthesia used for these procedures.

Teaser Preparation in Small Ruminants: A Lifesaving Procedure

A teaser (gomer) animal is a sterilized male used to detect estrus in females.  Teaser animals can be useful in small ruminant populations.  Their uses include the identification of females for artificial insemination, to encourage ewes to start breeding earlier during the breeding season, and to shorten the lambing period.  In this session we will discuss vasectomy and epididymectomy in small ruminant patients including the restraint, anesthesia, and surgical techniques.

The Jacked Calf: Orthopedic Problems in Young Ruminants

Orthpedic injuries are common in calves and are mostly due to overzealous fetal extraction and “mamma trauma.”  In addition, orthopedic problems can be frightening for practitioners.  As with man conditions, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, so prevention of these problems will be discussed.  However, these conditions will eventually occur despite best management practices, and treatment options as well as prognosis of these problems will also be discussed.

Basics of Teat and Udder Surgery in Cattle

While certain teat and udder surgeries in cattle may be an indication for referral to a tertiary veterinary facility, there are certain procedures that can be managed on the farm.  This session will review the basics of teat and udder examination in cattle as well as the basic tenants of surgical management of some of the most common teat and udder lesions seen in dairy cattle.  Procedures such as teat amputation, opening of a hard milker, and teat laceration repair will be discussed.  We will also discuss prognosis of various teat and udder lesions and indications for referral.


Small Ruminant Parasite Diagnosis and Control

This discussion will be the first of 2 hours covering the most important small ruminant parasites, their diagnosis, and traditional treatment protocols.  Emphasis will be placed on proper diagnosis and use of anthelmintics in the face of resistant parasites.

Small Ruminant Parasite Control and Management

This hour long session will be the second of 2 hours covering the most important small ruminant parasites and their control through management programs.  Emphasis will be placed on animal resistance, environmental concerns, and herbal therapies for parasite control.

Small Ruminant Nutrition

This presentation will cover common nutritional programs.  We will attempt to cover the basic nutrient requirements and a practical approach to meeting those needs in a farm setting.  Life cycle feeding for sheep and goats will be the primary emphasis, but other small ruminants may be discussed.

Small Ruminant Abortion Diagnosis and Management

This presentation will cover prevention and a systematic approach to the diagnosis of fetal loss in sheep, goats, and a few other small ruminants.

Elizabeth Santini, DVM

Regulatory Update

Updates and current information will be presented on an assortment of topics in the world of regulatory veterinary medicine.

Karen Wernette, DVM

Protecting You and Your Practice: What You Need to Know to Prevent Malpractice and Veterinary Practice Liability Claims in Your Practice

This discussion will give practitioners tips on how to avoid both practice and malpractice claims in their practices.  The unique challenges of food animal practice that poise greater risks to the practitioner and the practice will be discussed.  Additionally, information will be provided on the appropriate types of coverage needed for the individual practices to assure broad protection against liability claims (general and professional), board complaints, and losses unique to veterinary medicine and practice owners (biologicals, damage caused by patients, mobile practice, workers compensation and more).  Actual closed claims will be reviewed to illustrate the importance of implementing strong risk management tools into practices to lower the incidence of claims and complaints. 


La'Toya Latney, DVM, DECZM, DABVP

Update on Infectious Diseases- Reptiles

Molecular diagnostics have revolutionized how we identify disease across many species, and the reptile’s day is here.  There is a book on that! As we discover the etiologic agents of diseases that have historically plagued reptiles, we also see a danger surge in adapted pathogens that are targeting these special animals. In this session, we will provide an evidence based review of the new pathogens in reptile medicine, treatment recommendations and management principles.

GI Stasis Management

Gastrointestinal stasis syndrome of small herbivores serves to be both one of the most recurrent diseases seen in practice and the most frustrating to treat and prevent. In this review, we will discuss the physiology of the gut and how it drives medical management choices that optimize the patient’s quick recovery.

Exotics Oncology: Ferret Lymphoma and Rabbit Thymomas

As it turns out, there are more options than none when it comes to neoplasia in ferrets and rabbits. In this session, we will review the prevalence of both ferret lymphoma and rabbit thymoma and review evidence based treatment approaches to medical management and prognoses.

Management of Head Trauma in Exotics Patients

At PennVet, trauma is unfortunately a common emergency presentation, even for exotics. In this session, we will review the emergency principles for stabilization across species, the anatomy that influences the clinical signs noted after head trauma, practical approaches to management, and prognosis. By the end of the lecture, you may be surprised to find that some exotics can handle it better than cats and dogs.

Clinical Pathology Review for Reptiles

In the dead of winter, you get the CBC back on a sick ball python. What does it mean? The ultrasound shows abnormal liver echogenicity but the bile acids reads “normal”, what is normal? In this session, a review of practical overview of clinical pathology will be provided, and an evidence-based overview of what we do not know will be discussed.

Wound Management in Exotics Patients

 A broken beak tip, rabbit pododermatitis, and the large burn across the ventrum of the snake. They all have one thing in common, and that is that they may all heal differently no matter what you do. In this session, we will review some practice pearls to managing common wounds encountered in unique species, review the stages of wund healing for each species, and discuss important factors that limit wound healing.


Tom Garg, VMD

Practicing in Pennsylvania: Regulations and Recordkeeping

This session will provide a basic understanding of how the profession is regulated.  Newer regulations will be discussed in detail.  Special attention will be paid to topics which frequently cause concern or confusion amongst veterinarians including record keeping and understanding how the Standard of Care is defined.  Other newer regulations, including the emergency care requirements overnight monitoring disclosure regulations will be discussed.  The information presented in this session is information that every veterinarian practicing in Pennsylvania must know.

David Wolfgang, VMD, MPH, DABVP (Dairy)

Nuances of Veterinary Records for PA Large Animal Practitioners

The Pennsylvania Practice Act requires that veterinarians keep records in a problem oriented format that allows any veterinarian, by reading, to proceed with care and treatment of that patient.  It has been the PA State Veterinary Board’s experience that many LA practitioners do not completely follow these regulations.  Along with PA regulations, new emphasis on records has been placed on LA practitioners by the Veterinary Feed Directive.   This presentation will review Pennsylvania regulations and help practitioners better conform to PA Practice Act standards.  

Rabies:  How to Deal with Rabies Suspects

Rabies is a significant issue in Pennsylvania. Every veterinarian needs to know how to identify situations in which there is concern for Rabies and what to do in those situations. This session will review the rules and regulations that apply in these situations and will teach practitioners what to do when they have a case involving a rabies suspect.  

The Pennsylvania Practice Act requires that veterinarians keep records in a problem oriented format that allows any veterinarian, by reading, to proceed with care and treatment of that patient.  It has been the PA State Veterinary Board’s experience that many LA practitioners do not completely follow these regulations.  Along with PA regulations, new emphasis on records has been placed on LA practitioners by the Veterinary Feed Directive.   This presentation will review Pennsylvania regulations and help practitioners better conform to PA Practice Act standards.  

Michael Kornreich, DVM

USDA NVAP Module 1: Overview of the National Veterinary Accreditation Program

This module will include the fundamental principles of the accreditation process within state and national disease control  programs. This module will also include an update on the veterinary roles in Public Health, especially as they pertain to interactions with the PA Department of Health. 

USDA NVAP Module 5: Vesicular Diseases      

This module will cover the vesicular diseases.  This group of pathogens  constitutes  a majority of the most critically important infectious foreign animal diseases of livestock. 

USDA NVAP Module 7: Foreign Animal Disease Detection in Category 1 Animals

This module will focus on the challenges emerging in the recent trends of importing pet animals into the United States.  While owned pets travelling to the US might have reduced access to foreign animal diseases, the rescue trend of importing feral dogs and cats presents a much heightened risk for bacterial, viral, and endo or ecto-parasitic outbreaks.  



Online registration for Spring Clinic is now closed. You can still attend Spring Clinic by downloading the form below. Complete the form and bring with you to the onsite registration desk at Penn Stater Conference Center Hotel.


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