Veterinary conference offers earning opportunity

Published 12:00 am Sunday, September 25, 2011

Last week, I was away at a conference.

This is my first time to The International Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care Society. Since it was only six hours away in Nashville, this year, I decided that I should go.

My first lecture was on antimicrobial resistance. There is much evidence that we are creating superbugs that are resistant to everything.

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Improper administration of antibiotics, courses that are too long or too short or stopped early or used in improper species. Antibacterial soaps and hand sanitizers may contribute to the problem.

A possible answer is that practitioners may have to apply to prescribe antibiotics on a case by case basis. That certainly is not a pleasant thought!

Next up was a lecture on what we have learned from twenty years of client satisfaction research in human ER’s. Lots of good practice management ideas and a couple of take home things that may help reduce the waiting time for clients. That would be a good thing.

Between the next lectures there is a break to visit the bathrooms and the exhibits. Over a hundred vendors are trying to teach me and separate me from my money. Money is tight, but I still start negotiations for some equipment.

Back to lectures on exotics and birds. Some critical care tips that will help with birds and small mammals, but will actually help with small dogs and cats more. That is important, because dogs and cats pay for the equipment. Exotics are just fun, they really don’t pay the mortgage.

Then a lecture on vomiting cats. I realize that it after lunch, but this lecture is a yawner. Not because the veterinarian is not a good lecturer, he is. But his information is lame. Nothing new is mentioned.

Well, at least not if you have kept up in the last few years. At the next break, this is mentioned by others. Considering that there are 17 different places to choose to be at during this one time frame, wasting our time is considered unacceptable.

The end of the first day is capped by a memorial lecture on CPR and resuscitation in 2020. It is a review of human medicine and developments in CPR since modern medicine. It is also a call to action for veterinarians to do better at animal CPR.

The second day brings some lectures on using ultrasound in the abdomen. Little tips to make things a little quicker to go to surgery and save a few more lives.

Shades of grey at points look like the other grey points. It is something that has to be in your hands to really see. Still I have a few more things to look at.

Lunch is spent in the exhibit hall. I have decided on the new equipment that I want. Two new devices to help warm, rewarm or maintenance temperature in animals.

A forced air heat blanket is warmer yet safer. Filtered air means that it is safe in surgery also. A “Hotline” device heats the IV fluids to body temperature to the patient. The other major equipment purchase is a new oxygen, ECG and blood pressure monitor.

The old blood pressure monitor has bitten the dust and we need a new one. Here at the show, I negotiate over a thousand dollars off the cost. (I want the best, but I must pay the least if I am going to afford it and I am good at that skill also.)

Then I back to lectures. A lecture on what to do when the pet gets into the bathroom cupboard. Amazing amount of toxic cleaners, medicines and other things.

Not much is new, but a good refresher class. And then a class on hospice. Not as practical as I would like, but maybe tomorrow would be better.

The evening lecture by a veterinarian veteran from Afghanistan is beyond standing room only. We cannot get close enough to even hear, much less see the screen.

There are two more days of lectures and classes. Plenty of things to see and do and learn.

I meet up with some fellow sled dog vets and we chat and catch up on things. With several thousand vets, it is surprising that I don’t know a few more, but this is an expensive conference.

The CE costs more to provide and besides, we are roughing it at the Gaylord Opryland Hotel.

MJ Wixsom practices veterinarian medicine at Guardian Animal Medical Center in Flatwoods, Ky. For questions, call 606-928-6566.