The 2012 conference took place at Stirling Management Centre, University of Stirling on the 13th and 14th June and included our inaugural Vet Nurse CPD Programme.

Below are details of the talks given by the guest speakers. Click on the ‘+’ sign beside each title for a more detailed description.

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Small Animal Programme, 13th & 14th June

Eye examination in small animals by Dennis Brooks
This lecture highlighted and reviewed techniques utilised for the examination of the eyes of dogs and cats
Corneal ulcers in small animals by Dennis Brooks
The medical standards of care for treatment of corneal ulcers has changed. This lecture discussed medications and surgical techniques for corneal ulcer therapy in small animals
Clinical approach to the rabbit with GI disease by Anna Meridith
Gastrointestinal (GI) disease is a common cause of morbidity and mortality in pet rabbits. Disease due to infectious agents is more likely to be encountered in young rabbits at or around the time of weaning, whereas non-infectious causes are more commonly seen in adult rabbits. In particular, gastrointestinal stasis is a common condition, associated with multiple causes of a reduction or cessation of normal GI motility. Gastric dilation is frequently associated with intestinal obstruction. Rapid diagnosis, decision making and institution of supportive care is essential for the successful management of these cases. This presentation highlighted the approach to GI disease. It  also emphasised that many cases can be prevented by the feeding of an appropriate high fibre diet, good hygiene and minimisation of stressors, and support of the rabbit GI tract should always play a critical role in rabbit veterinary care
Clinical approach to the rabbit with urine scalding by Anna Meridith
Urine scalding is a common presenting sign in rabbits and can be caused by polyuria, true incontinence (urine leakage), or any illness that results in immobility of the rabbit so that it cannot direct the flow of urine away from the body. In practice it can often be difficult to determine the exact cause of the urine scalding, and a thorough clinical and neurological examination, assessment of urinary tract function, including urinalysis, and assessment of musculoskeletal function is necessary. Once urine scald is present, a “vicious circle” occurs, where the painful dermatitis due to the urine scalding makes the rabbit reluctant to adopt the normal urination stance. In these cases, establishing cause and effect can be challenging. Rabbit owners often find long term care of rabbits with urinary incontinence and scalding very difficult and the stress on the rabbit of prolonged handling and cleaning of the perineum should be taken into account when deciding on a treatment plan.
CPR Refresher by Derek Flaherty
Cardiopulmonary arrest (CPA) carries a poor prognosis, so the ultimate goal should be to prevent its occurrence. However, in many cases, this may be a ‘counsel of perfection’, and one has to be able to deal with the situation when it arises. All studies suggest that the earlier CPA is recognised and resuscitation commenced, the better the outcome; consequently, it is extremely important to be familiar with the signs associated with CPA, and be aware of the most effective means of cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) for the individual patient. This lecture reviewed the basic technique of CPR and highlighted some of the recent changes that have been suggested to improve outcome
Antimicrobials in Animals: Responsible Use and Regulation by John Fitzgerald
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Pet Travel Scheme Update & Recognising imported diseases by Sue Shaw
The simplified UK Pets Scheme was introduced in January, 2012. This included removal of serological testing post rabies vaccination and tick (and possibly tapeworm) treatment requirements prior to UK entry. This lecture postulated it was likely to increase the number of unprotected small animals entering/returning to the UK from countries where leishmaniosis, babesiosis, ehrlichiosis, dirofilariosis are common and Echinococcus multilocularis is endemic. It argued challenges for veterinary surgeons included recognition of suspect animals, interpretation of diagnostic test results (especially PCR and serology), treatment choices and designing appropriate preventative programmes
Assesment of pain and quality of life by Jacky Reid
In addition to discussing the particular challenges veterinary surgeons face when designing instruments to measure pain and quality of life (QOL) in animals, this presentation described the psychometric approach to instrument design which is the ‘gold standard’ in human medicine. The use of psychometric methodology ensures that the end product is valid, reliable and, where required, responsive to clinical change.  Using the dog as an example the presentation illustrated how this approach can be used to good effect to produce scientifically robust instruments to measure pain and QOL in non-human species
Getting the most out of your ultrasound machine by Gawain Hammond
This lecture provided a basic introduction to ultrasound physics and tips for improving image quality.  Examples of the appearance of common diseases on abdominal ultrasound were discussed, and there were examples of potential non-abdominal uses of diagnostic ultrasound in small animal practice, along with an introduction to interventional ultrasound techniques

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Equine Programme, 13th June

Approach to hind limb lameness in sports horses by Andrew McDiarmid
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Management of equine metabolic syndrome and Cushing’s Disease in the laminitic horse by John Keen
Laminitis is a major problem in equine practice and we are now beginning to understand how and why some horses and ponies may be susceptible to this disorder.  This presentation focused on three parts:  understanding the underlying risk of developing laminitis; how we can practically evaluate this risk using clinical evaluation and blood tests; and the various methods, both management and pharmaceutical, that we can utilise in an attempt to reduce an individual horse or pony’s risk of developing laminitis
What is the best foot care for the laminitic horse? by Eugenio Cillan Garcia
Styrofoam pads, ImprintTM shoes, sole support or metal heart bars – what is the best foot care for the laminitic horse? Which is the best support to use, when and how? This is one of the most common questions that practitioners face every day in the treatment of laminitis. Each case is different and it can be challenging to choose the correct support in the different stages of laminitis. All the clinical and diagnostic information collected through the static and dynamic gait examination, plain x-rays, venograms and response to treatment are essential to allow timely, case based decision making. Severe cases of laminitis can be frustrating and often you need to try different shoes, supports, casts or other materials until you find the one that works best for each individual case.  This presentation aimed to show practitioners the various support options and farriery methods, new and old, available for use in the management of the laminitic horse or pony
Management of corneal disease by Dennis Brooks
Therapies for ulcerative and nonulcerative corneal diseases in the horse were discussed
Ocular emergencies in the horse by Dennis Brooks
Therapies for ocular emergencies of the lids, cornea, uveal tract and orbit of the horse were discussed
Practical interpretation of cardiac murmurs by John Keen
When is a ‘whoosh’ significant?  This presentation aimed to bust some of the myths and misunderstandings regarding interpretation of cardiac murmurs.  Audiovisuals were utilised to demonstrate and clarify the common murmurs that are encountered in horses and tips were given on how to interpret murmurs and when to seek help

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Production Animal Programme, 14th June

Antimicrobials in Animals: Responsible Use and Regulation by John Fitzgerald
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New & emerging farm animal diseases in Scotland by Brian Hosie
The investigation of novel diseases or the unusual manifestation of recognised diseases in farm animals is an essential activity of SAC’s Disease Surveillance Centres.  Working with colleagues in AHVLA, Moredun and the Veterinary Schools we have successfully provided an early warning of new diseases over many years.  This presentation reviewed some of the recently recognised new diseases and discussed how to continue to investigate new diseases in the future
IBR in beef and dairy herds by David Graham
The presentation covered the epidemiology and pathogenesis of the disease, along with options for diagnosis, control and eradication of infection
Bovine Neosporosis by Lee Innes
Infection with Neospora caninum is one of the most frequently diagnosed causes of bovine abortion in the UK and many other countries worldwide. This talk gave an update on the epidemiology and pathogenesis of the disease and discussed current prevention and control strategies
New world camelids by Karin Mueller
The population of South American Camelids in the UK has steadily increased since the early 90’s, and currently stands at about 25,000 alpacas and 7,000 llamas. Veterinarians in mixed practice are very likely nowadays to have clients with camelids.  The presentation gave an introduction to important anatomical and physiological features of these species. It addressed common management, medical and surgical problems, and their diagnosis and management. Routine procedures like castration and pregnancy diagnosis were covered alongside specific therapeutics
Managing anthelmintic resistance in cattle and sheep : A practical perspective by Neil Sargison
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Vet Nurse CPD Programme, 13th June

Assessing the emergency patient by Yvonne McGrotty
Triage is the rapid assessment of the emergency patient and is a vital skill for any veterinary nurse. Injuries or illnesses can then be prioritised to ensure that the most serious and life-threatening conditions receive immediate attention. This evaluation begins with telephone triage and continues when the emergency patient arrives at the veterinary hospital. This lecture focused on the initial assessment of the emergency small animal patient and covered some aspects of stabilization including CPR
Monitoring the critical patient by Yvonne McGrotty
Following initial assessment and stabilization, the veterinary nurse plays a vital role in monitoring critical patients. This lecture focused on various monitoring techniques including blood pressure monitoring, capnography, pulse oximetry, and minimum database interpretation
Supportive care for rabbits and rodents by Anna Meridith
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So the bloods aren’t normal – what to do next? by Gerard MacLauchlan
 In this lecture the speaker discussed common abnormalities detected in laboratory work and their significance to our patients. The speaker discussed how to interpret these findings in light of your clinical examination and what are the next appropriate steps in investigating these results. The aim of the talk was to allow the delegates to increase their understanding of clinico-pathological abnormalities and improve their ability to interpret these in practice
Physiotherapeutic Management & Intervention for Neurology Patients: A Problem Solving Approach by Donna Carver
The main focus of the presentation was on mid and late phase physiotherapy rehabilitation as this is likely to be when the practice VN will have the most patient input. Delegates were guided through common neurological presenting conditions, indications for physiotherapy, assessment of the patient, formulation of a ordered problem list, how to devise patient specific treatment goals, physiotherapy treatment techniques, evaluation of the patient using objective outcome measures, and how and when to progress treatment. The later part of the presentation focused on the treatment of interesting neurology cases seen at the University of Glasgow Veterinary School to highlight the progressive advances in veterinary neurology

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