What a month January has been! The conference in Orlando was incredible, so many different classes, so much new material to learn.
People ask me frequently why I always acquire that many credit hours, when Arizona doesn’t require it; the answer is you and your animals. Granted the expense, for travel, attending and being away from the clinic becomes higher each year, and yet the opportunity for growth is priceless.
This year, the Class 3b and Class 4 laser have hit more mainstream. Practitioners all over the world are recognizing the speed of healing, the relief of pain from inflammatory conditions such as arthritis, and are even using it intraoperatively for questionable gastrointestinal areas.
While medical acupuncture is still a mainstay, and can be used in conjunction with the laser: for elbow conditions, the laser wins hands down.
Behavioural issues that lead to the overweight pet was a lively discussion. Basically one topic was pets are tuned into the possibilities of food when we enter the kitchen area.
They may not be hungry but they have learned that scraps fall on the floor. We as owners also are trained that if they are in the kitchen; they are hungry and therefore continue this behaviour by rewarding it with a treat! Re-training for both pet and owner can be frustrating and yet rewarding.
Colic in horses and twisted stomachs in dogs … believe it or not, the treatment is very comparable. Because of my horses and the number of GDVs in dogs we have seen; I happened to attend back to back lectures running from the canine lecture hall to the equine. I had to chuckle because I imagine I was the only one that heard both and could see the similarities.
Pain control in horses, dogs, cats, exotics is a huge topic. It used to be that veterinarians in the universities and private practice thought that pain was good for animals or that they didn’t sense it like we did.
They also thought if an animal was in pain, it wouldn’t move and therefore heal faster. WRONG! Scientifically it has been proven the opposite is true. Just like people; stopping the pain before it has a chance to become chronic speeds the healing process. Multimodality treatments are also best …from simple additions to diet (such as fish oil, glucosamine and chondroitin), to more advanced treatments (NSAIDS, gabapentin, lidocaine and fentanyl patches, acupuncture and laser therapies). Pain management has become a specialty, much to the animals’ advantage.
When Rowdy had his fracture repair, I talked with the surgeon about gabapentin, who hadn’t used it yet in horses. Now it is more mainstream … I learned about it at CSU, they are teaching it at NAVC (conference), so little by little the word is getting out to the general practitioners.
That’s what’s important to me, sharing information. It doesn’t matter how many degrees or initials after someone’s name, being in the right place and right time, sometimes allows different practitioners to learn something new, and then pass it on!
I was fortunate enough to talk with Dr. Lappin, from CSU, who has helped me in the past with my Maine Coon’s incurable disease.
There is a new medication available, coupled with the laser treatment, that Remington may soon be able to be lesion free for longer, whew!
This is just the tip of the iceberg of what I learned or saw. Since I will be unable to teach this year, this conference was extremely important to me. Obtaining 40 credit hours was a breeze, and yes, of course, visiting WDW was also a great experience.
I value my knowledge and what it allows me to do in clinical practice, for all my clients and their critters.
As I sit here typing this I have one cat purring in my lap, another next to me, and one on the chair back behind me, the birds are carrying on, and my dogs are snoozing. They too love that I get continuing education because they benefit, but mostly they are glad I am home …