Avian Vets Gather In The Big Easy

The 35th annual Association of Avian Veterinarians conference starts August 2 in New Orleans.

The latest AAV conference will also host learning opportunities for exotic animals, fish, reptiles and amphibian.


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The Association of Avian Veterinarians Conference and Expo starts on August 2, 2014 and runs to August 6, 2014. This is the event’s 35th year and it’s packed with everything from education to fun.

The yearly event is an opportunity for many students, professionals and enthusiasts to continue their avian education and network with peers. The association has put together a wide variety of activities, featuring speakers, educational sessions, master classes and labs that draw conference goers near and far.

Bruce Nixon, DVM, President of the Association of Avian Veterinarians is excited about the goals the conference is shooting for this year. “The goal is to provide cutting-edge information that promotes quality clinical practice," he said. "The objectives are to a) provide innovative programming for veterinary clinicians with an orientation toward avian medicine, b) continue offering high quality Master Classes and Practical Labs to provide more in-depth learning, c) showcase the latest therapeutics and research, and d) generate funding for education and research.”

The choice of venue is also cause for excitement. “I would say we are ‘hungry’ to be back in ‘The Big Easy’— hungry for the latest cutting edge CE, new lab opportunities and our best chance to network with our friends and colleagues. But of course also hungry for crawfish etouffee, shrimp gumbo, blues, jazz, and perhaps a hurricane — the Pat O'Briens kind, not the Katrina kind. This is the third time in 35 years of AAV conferences to be in New Orleans,” Nixon said.

What sets this year’s conference apart from previous years is not just the sheer amount of avian content, but also learning opportunities for other exotic companions. The Association of Exotic Mammal Veterinarians (AEMV) and the Association of Reptilian and Amphibian Veterinarians (ARAV) have planned events as well.

“AEMV and ARAV are indeed hosting their own pre-conference sessions as well as labs,” Nixon said. “In addition, the Association of Fish Veterinarians are hosting sessions and a wet lab. While the AAV has previously had a few concurrent or invited conferences with AEMV and ARAV, this year is different in that AEMV and ARAV are completely hosting, funding and providing their own material, speakers and content. This is in preparation for next year’s first fully joint, fully combined AAV/AEMV/ARAV conference!”

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The planned programming also includes content for newcomers and guests who might be inexperienced with the scientific nature of the event. “We emphasize getting students and newcomers fully integrated into our ‘family’ with some new and special events offered this year in particular. Even our guest program is awesome. Our local host veterinarian and his wife, Greg and Renee Rich have been invaluable help. Renee is helping organize the guest/spouse program which includes a class on ‘Cajun Cooking.’ Our kick-off event is at the Rock-N-Bowl, which features a live local band (Shamarr Allen), drinks, cajun food, and even a bowling tournament! How cool is that? And our president's reception features live musical entertainment from another local band along with our own AAV member musicians,” Nixon said.

The organizers for the event have gone to great lengths to ensure no one is left out. The colossal effort to bring together the various speakers, associations and sponsors takes an entire year. With so much work put into it, many are excited for the conference to start on August 2, 2014. Nixon welcomes them all.

“Everyone with even a passing interest in birds, exotic mammals, pet and ornamental fish, reptiles, or amphibians should definitely come on out to the "Big Easy" for the grandest, best conference this year! There's still time to register online at or just show up and register on-site,” he said.

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