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AVMA 2017 Convention highlights feature exhibitors, experts, education

The conference featured top industry speakers and education breakouts, 300 exhibit-hall booths, and more

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At this year’s American Veterinary Medical Association’s (AVMA) annual conference in Indianapolis, among myriad expert speakers, informational seminars, association events, exhibit-hall aisles, award ceremonies, attendees (including canine and feline), and more over the July 21-25 event, there was much to absorb.

More than 300 exhibitors showcased the latest industry products and services. Vet Clinic Live!, an on-site working veterinary facility, allowed visitors to experience industry advances, new techniques, and real-time solutions.

Paul Sereno, Ph.D., professor of paleontology at the University of Chicago and National Geographic Society explorer in residence, delivered the convention’s keynote speech. Through the lens of his areas of expertise—genetics, ancient DNA, and paleoanthropology—he shared with the audience new perspectives on what occurred during past animal-human health crises, such as bubonic plague, as well as One Health concepts as they relate to the links among humans, animals, and the environment—and modern health challenges.

Other special events and seminars featured:

    • Fitness demos from federal disaster search dogs at the SuperFit Canine booth
    • Case studies presentation demonstrated the difference an active mental healthcare team can make in solving pet and owner issues
    • Marty Becker, DVM, shared his top 10 ways to get started with his Fear-Free initiative in-clinic
    • Marsha Reich, DVM, DACVB, spoke about what can happen when well-meaning but unknowing owners introduce a younger pet into a household with established senior pets. Dr. Reich stressed the importance of managing conflict among household pets early, rather than later, when injury can occur, and the human-animal bond becomes stressed.
    • Richard Ford, DVM, MS, DACVIM, presided over a case-based vaccine symposium on behalf of Boehringer Ingelheim, “Canine Vaccination — Protocols Redefined,” geared to clear up canine vaccination controversies and requirements, understand conflicting state vaccination laws, and share expert recommendations on vaccine selection and use.
    • Wendy Shelton, DVM, MPH, and Rodney Page, DVM, DACVIM, presented “Spontaneous Cancers in our Patients: Subjects in Clinical Trials for Both Human and Pet Benefit,” which spoke to how human cancer researchers, pharmaceutical companies, regulators, and others have begun to take greater notice of companion animals as valuable study subjects because their cancers are often very similar to human cancers.
    • Jon Geller, DVM, DABVP, CVJ, who has taken veterinary medicine “to the street” and has initiated no-charge, pop-up clinics in Colorado to care for pets owned by homeless men and women, talked about how his model is replicating around the country, often spearheaded by veterinary medicine students.
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