The American Veterinary Medical Assn. will host about 10,000 veterinarians, veterinary technicians, veterinary students and other attendees at its 145th annual convention July 19-22 in New Orleans, La., also known as "The Big Easy."
Sessions will cover the latest trends on topics such as cloning, genomics, stem cell treatments, raw diets for pets and laser surgery. Hot topics will include avian influenza, food safety, obesity and the One Health Initiative.
There will also be hands-on training in veterinary chiropractic medicine, acupuncture and microcurrent therapy.
“But perhaps the most important programs at this year’s convention will be those that allow attendees to volunteer in the revival of the city through a first-of-its-kind ‘voluntourism’ program,” said Gregory Hammer, DVM, president of the organization.
Veterinarians and other convention attendees will have the opportunity to help rebuild and rehabilitate animal shelters damaged during Hurricane Katrina in 2005.
On July 17 and 18, about 200 volunteers will clean, paint and provide other services to the Plaquemines Parish Animal Control facility, the St. Charles Parish Animal Shelter and the Jefferson West Parish Animal Shelter.
Volunteers will also construct an outdoor recreational area for cats at the Jefferson East Parish Animal Shelter.
AVMA has scheduled a lineup of entertainers. The opening session’s featured speaker will be political analyst and television personality Cokie Roberts, a New Orleans native.
Also, the second annual Merial Concert Series will feature the band Lifehouse. Comedian Rocky LaPorte, who has appeared on “ The Tonight Show,” will end the convention at the Fort Dodge Final Fling.
“This should be one of the most important and most entertaining AVMA conventions in recent history,” Dr. Hammer said. “When you combine a world-class destination city with a full scientific and [continuing education] program, throw in family entertainment and social events, you’ve got the makings of an exciting, educational, entertaining and extraordinary meeting.”