Canada's premier online "Vet-Together"!
Treat yourself to three full days of online learning, connecting and networking with veterinary colleagues across Canada
  • Earn continuing education credits from the comfort of your home or office. 

* All sessions will be recorded and made available for one month after the live event.

Back by popular demand in 2022...

September 29, 2022

CommuniVETTM Business Management Training Camp

  • Pre-Symposium day focused on practice management, specifically designed for practice owners, associates and managers.

Sponsored by

September 30 and October 1, 2022

Three tracks offered each day of the CVVS

  • Two tracks for veterinarians
  • One track for RVTs

October 1, 2022

Dermatology-focused track for veterinarians

  • Specialty track organized by the Canadian Academy of Veterinary Dermatology (CAVD)

Sponsored by

Register Today!

Early Bird

Register before

July 15, 2022,

and take advantage of a reduced rate!


Regular Price


July 16, 2022



Are you a Canadian Academy of Veterinary Dermatology (CAVD) member? Take advantage of an additional 15% discount when you register to attend the Canadian Virtual Veterinary Symposium (CVVS)!

2022 CVVS Prime Sponsors

2022 CVVS Valued Industry Partners

2022 CVVS Featured Speakers
Keynote Speaker

Scott Weese

Zoonotic disease, public health and infection control expert

Closing Speaker

Marie Holowaychuk

Passionate advocate for veterinary team well-being

Here's a sneak peek at our work-in-progress speaker's list.

Jessica Benoit

RVT, VTS (behaviour), KPA CTP, CPDT-KA

Alexa Bersenas


Christopher G. Byers


Stephen Niño Cital

RA, RLAT, CVPP, VTS-LAM (Res. Anesthesia)

Katie Clow


Allison Collier

DVM, DVSc, Residency trained in small animal internal medicine

Caitlin DeWilde


Edward C. Feldman

DVM, Dipl. ACVIM, Emeritus (internal medicine)

Karen E. Felsted


Kathy Istace

RVT, VTS (dentistry)

Susan Kilborn


Shona Kowtecky

BSc, DVM, FFCP (Veterinary)

Loïc Legendre


Adam Little


Tasha McNerney


Lynne O’Sullivan

DVM, Dipl. ACVIM (cardiology)

Manon Paradis


Chantale L. Pinard

DVM, MSc, Dipl. ACVO

Mike Pownall


Karren Prost


Charlie Pye

BSc, DVM, DVSc, Dipl. ACVD

Robin Saar

RVT, VTS (nutrition)

Margie Scherk

DVM, Dipl. ABVP (feline)

Ameet Singh


Jason Stull


Jennie Tait

AHT, RVT, VTS (dermatology)

Becky Taylor


Lianna Titcombe


Colleen Wilson

BSc, DVM, Dipl. ACVB

Frequently Asked Questions
No software is required to participate in our conference. You only need to have internet access.
Your login details will be emailed to you prior to the event. These details will allow you to access the online symposium.
This is an online event. You do not have to travel to any specific location. You can participate from anywhere as long as you have internet access. The event is accessible from all desktop, mobile, and tablet devices.
Yes. Like any physical event, you can add all of the documents available to the swag bag in your online account and then email them to yourself.
The on-demand content will be hosted for 30 days following the event.
We recommend Chrome and Firefox.
Good internet connectivity will ensure high-quality video streaming.
No, You will be able to log into the website from 29th onwards.

Ameet Singh, DVM, DVSc, Dipl. ACVS-SA

Dr. Ameet Singh is a Professor of Small Animal Surgery at the Ontario Veterinary College. His research and clinical interests include developing and enhancing the use of Minimally Invasive Surgery.

Presentation description

Brachycephalic obstructive airway syndrome - How you can help!

This presentation will provide a contemporary overview of current thinking of BOAS pathophysiology, currently applied surgical techniques and how YOU can help improve outcomes in this rapidly growing patient population.

Alexa Bersenas, BSc, DVM, MSc, Dipl. ACVECC

Dr. Bersenas is an Associate Professor in Clinical Studies at the Ontario Veterinary College (OVC), University of Guelph, Canada. She is the Chief of the Emergency & Critical Care Service at the OVC Health Sciences Center since 2008.
Dr. Bersenas is a graduate of the Ontario Veterinary College, she practiced in Toronto before returning to academia where she completed a residency in Emergency & Critical Care and a concurrent Masters in Science. Dr. Bersenas’ clinical interests include fluid delivery and respiratory medicine specifically supporting small animal patients in respiratory distress. She has a fondness for feline medicine and promoting patient-centered care. Her pets include a quirky orange tabby cat and a very geriatric Rhodesian Ridgeback.

Presentation description:

Blood transfusion decision making

This session will use clinical scenarios to highlight blood transfusion requirements. Indications for transfusions in varying clinical contexts will be included - when to transfuse the anemic patient, the thrombocytopenic patient, the hypoalbuminemic patient, or the coagulopathic patient. Component selection and delivery guidelines will also be reviewed.

Katie Clow, DVM, PhD

Katie Clow is an Assistant Professor in One Health in the Department of Population Medicine at the Ontario Veterinary College, University of Guelph. Her research focuses on the ecology and epidemiology of vectors and vector-borne zoonoses, with a specific emphasis on the blacklegged tick and Lyme disease. She also conducts research more broadly on One Health, including pedagogy and community-level applications. She holds both a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree (OVC, 2011) and PhD (Pathobiology, 2017). Dr. Clow has worked in private small animal practice as well as at the national and international level in One Health through internships at the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, Department of Food Safety, Zoonoses and Foodborne Disease at the World Health Organization, and the Global Disease Detection Branch of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. She is a member of the Canadian Lyme Disease Research Network, and regularly collaborates with public health professionals and veterinarians in private practice and industry.

Presentation description

Emerging trends in companion animal vector-borne diseases

This talk will focus on emerging vector-borne disease trends, particularly those associated with the international movement of dogs. Leishmaniosis and brown dog-tick associated diseases will be explored. Recommendations for assessing and reducing risks in practice will be provided.

This presentation is made possible through the support of

Allison Collier, DVM, DVSc
Residency trained in small animal internal medicine

Allison Collier grew up in Aurora, Ontario and then attended the Ontario Veterinary College (OVC) for veterinary school. She then completed a rotating internship at Veterinary Specialists and Emergency Services in Rochester, NY, followed by returning to the OVC for her small animal internal medicine residency. Her research interests include inflammatory bowel disease, the gastrointestinal microbiota, and fecal microbiota transplantation.

Presentation description

The gastrointestinal microbiota, inflammatory bowel disease, and fecal microbiota transplantation

In this lecture, we will review the importance of the gastrointestinal microbiota in health and disease, as well as explore situations that result in dysbiosis. We will then apply how this relates to inflammatory bowel disease, and discuss the utility and application of fecal microbiota transplantation.

Becky Taylor, RVT, MA

Becky Taylor is a "vintage" RVT, having been in the profession of veterinary medicine for almost 30 years. In that time she has worked in practice, in education, in industry and is now operating her own business, BS Communication Strategies where she coaches and teaches individuals, groups, teams, and students. She has participated provincially, nationally, and internationally in the leading & supporting of veterinary medicine, attended hundreds of CE opportunities and is a strong advocate for the role of Technologists.  A pinnacle of her education was completing an MA in Professional Communication in 2016 which propelled her to starting her own business coaching & teaching people to enhance their communication skills.
She is a Communication Nerd!

Presentation description

Build confidence, add value and stay longer. Here's how.

It's no secret that the role of Veterinary Technologists or Technicians or Nurses (choose your title!) are a most critical part of successful practices. No brainer! We continue to be faced with the challenge of staying in the profession, staying happy, staying healthy and refining our skills to do what we do best - support veterinarians, care for patients and serve clients. So what's missing? Let's talk more with clients in a structured, appointment-facing way to reduce the burden on doctors, improve patient care and stay in the profession...with joy!

In this session:

Where to go from here?

This presentation is made possible through the support of

Charlie Pye, BSc, DVM, DVSc, Dipl. ACVD

Dr. Charlie Pye received her Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine from the Atlantic Veterinary College (AVC), PEI. She then moved to Saskatoon for a rotating internship at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine. Following her internship, she travelled back for a Dermatology Residency at the Ontario Veterinary College (OVC). While at OVC, she also completed her Doctorate of Veterinary Science degree specializing in bacterial biofilms. After passing boards she began working at Guelph Veterinary Speciality Hospital, a private referral practice in Ontario; also travelling back to PEI to teach the veterinary students a few times a year. As of May 2018, she joined the team at the Atlantic Veterinary College as an assistant professor, and established the first ever Dermatology service at AVC. She has lectured all over North America and has contributed to multiple journals and textbooks. She is also currently the treasurer for the Canadian Academy of Veterinary Dermatology.

In her spare time, she enjoys crafting, hiking and spending time with her other half, her daughter and her son. She is currently “owned” by three cats and a small terrier mix (who has allergies!).

Presentation descriptions

Lean on me... Teamwork makes the dream work

Everybody knows chronic dermatology cases require consistent follow up, repeated appointments and continued communication to decrease everyone's frustration. In dermatology, diagnosis and treatment can take time, spanned over multiple appointments, which can lead to decreased compliance with owners. With so many steps involved, opportunities abound for miscommunication to occur. Educating owners is key and this is where every member on your veterinary team can play a role. By working together we can achieve the best outcome for the patient and their family. Each and every person on your veterinary healthcare team plays an integral role in client communication and developing relationships between your clinic and that client/patient. This team approach is critical for the success of each individual patient's treatment plan. Every team member brings unique skills to the table that clients can identify with, and patients can benefit from. When we work together it is in the best interest of our patient, and clinic, helping to maximise efficiency and prevent miscommunication. Teamwork really does make the dream work.

I’ve tried X, and Z… why is nothing working? Common reasons for dermatologic treatment failure

Frustration can arise when treatment instituted for a particular dermatologic disease fails to lead to clinical improvement. Other cases may initially improve, but then show a decline in their condition. Secondary infections, development of another disease or adverse drug reactions can all lead to presumed treatment failure. In these cases of “treatment failure”, diagnostic steps should always be revisited, however, further diagnostics are also likely needed.

This presentation is made possible through the support of

Stephen Niño Cital, RA, RLAT, CVPP, VTS-LAM (Res. Anesthesia)

Stephen Niño Cital is a multi-credentialed veterinary technician specialist with a passion for anesthesia and pain management, in addition to cannabinoid medicine. Cital has been on the forefront of cannabinoid medicine and the evolution of pain management in veterinary medicine. He has authored multiple articles and contributed to several textbooks, including acting as the lead editor for Cannabis Therapy in Veterinary Medicine, by Springer Nature. He serves on multiple boards and is a strong advocate for veterinary technician advancement, along with minority representation. He is a lab manager at Stanford University in the department of neurobiology in addition to private consulting. For more information, please see

Presentation descriptions

Small Animal Anesthesia: Doing things right Part I

This session covers the anesthesia process from the preoperative period, pre-medicating, induction. We will discuss new consensus on fasting, medication choice and how important the preoperative period is.

Small Animal Anesthesia: Doing things right Part 2

In Part II, we will discuss monitoring, maintenance and recovery. We will also discuss the newer thoughts in watching vital sign trends and introduce some new parameters making their way into our monitoring systems. We will end with newer thoughts on a more successful recovery for our patients.

Susan Kilborn, DVM, DVSc, Dipl. ACVIM (SAIM)

Dr. Susan Kilborn received her DVM degree in 1986 from the Western College of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Saskatchewan. After several years of emergency and critical care practice in Winnipeg, she completed a post-graduate degree (DVSc program in Clinical Studies) at the Ontario Veterinary College (University of Guelph). She became board certified in the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine in 1995. Dr. Kilborn currently sees referral internal medicine cases at Orleans Veterinary Hospital in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, and consults (internal medicine and nutrition) for Antech Diagnostic Laboratories. She has been Ottawa region and One Health director for Community Veterinary Outreach since 2008. Dr. Kilborn was the recipient of the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association Small Animal Practitioner Award in 2015.

Community Veterinary Outreach is a Canadian and US registered charity that provides pro bono veterinary care to pets of homeless, street-involved, and vulnerably housed adults and youth, while providing health and social services for the clients. For more information, please visit

Presentation description

Fibre as a superpower: Managing chronic enteropathy and large bowel diarrhea without using antimicrobials

Chronic enteropathy (including inflammatory bowel disease) and large bowel diarrhea (colitis) are common causes of persistent diarrhea in dogs and cats. Antibiotics are often prescribed for pets with chronic GI conditions. Although antimicrobials are occasionally required for some pets with chronic GI disease, these drugs are often unnecessary and can be harmful to the patient’s microbiome.

Recent data has revealed both lack of evidence to support antimicrobial efficacy and the negative impacts of short and long-term use of antimicrobial drugs on the microbiome, which plays an important role in health and immunity. Antimicrobial overuse may lead to the development of resistant strains in the GI tract and cross-resistance to other antimicrobial agents. Other alternatives, such as synbiotics, mixed fibre source supplementation and provision of dietary modification, are positively associated with resolution of GI signs and can replace antimicrobial use in many patients. One of these alternatives is new FIBRE BOOST +GI™, an all-natural, Health Canada approved, vegan supplement. FIBRE BOOST +GI is a potent combination of a synbiotic, montmorillonite clay, and soluble and insoluble fibres.

This satellite session is presented by

Lynne O’Sulllivan, DVM, Dipl. ACVIM (cardiology)

Dr. Lynne O’Sullivan is a Professor in the Department of Companion Animals at the Atlantic Veterinary College, University of Prince Edward Island. She received her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) degree from the Atlantic Veterinary College, UPEI, and then went on to the Ontario Veterinary College at the University of Guelph where she completed a rotating internship, Cardiology residency, and Doctor of Veterinary Science (DVSc) graduate degree. She was board certified in Cardiology by the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine (ACVIM) in 2003. She was a faculty member at the University of Guelph for 15 years, and recently returned east to join the faculty at AVC, UPEI where she is involved in the clinical Cardiology service, teaching, and research. Outside of veterinary medicine, her family of young boys and pets (boss cat and subordinate Lab puppy) keep her very busy, and her hobbies including cooking and skiing keep her sane.

Presentation description

Congestive heart failure: Top diagnostic and therapeutic challenges

Correct recognition of congestive heart failure and differentiation from other processes or imposters can be challenging in practice. So, too, can selection of the best therapeutic plan, particularly when comorbidities exist. Together, these issues can have serious implications for patient outcomes. Some of the top diagnostic and therapeutic challenges facing general practitioners will be discussed, with specific case examples and solutions to help the practitioner best recognize and treat straightforward and challenging cases.

Loïc Legendre, DVM, FAVD, Dipl. AVDC, EVDC

After running a mobile referral practice in British Columbia for several years, Dr. Legendre now works at West Coast Veterinary Dental Services Ltd., a dental referral center where another boarded dentist and two resident also work. He has published several articles in Canadian Vet Journal, J Vet Dentistry, Compendium of CE for the Veterinarian and chapters in veterinary books such as “Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery in Dogs and Cats”, BSAVA manual, and Veterinary Clinics of North America, to name a few. He enjoys teaching both for universities and at conferences around the world. His areas of interests are orthodontics, maxillofacial reconstruction techniques, and of course wildlife.

Added to the regular day to day work, he teaches yearly 15 to 20 week-end courses in North America, courses at the European Vet Dental School in Halmstad, Sweden; lectures at the Veterinary Dental Forum and the European Congress of Veterinary Dentistry. Moreover, he tries to present lectures at one or two international meeting, such as WVC, WVDC, WSAVA, VMX (NAVC), yearly. Since the pandemic he has be “zooming around”. He is also a reviewer for the Journal of Veterinary Dentistry, the Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery and the Journal of Exotic Pet Medicine.

Presentation description

Tips and tricks to facilitate dental extractions

This presentation will show the knowledge and techniques a dental specialist uses to extract teeth faster and with much less trouble than does a general practitioner. It will cover equipment, anatomy, knowledge of each tooth "sweet" spot, design of the gingival flaps and those special "tricks".

Christopher G. Byers, DVM, Dipl. ACVECC, Dipl. ACVIM (SAIM), CVJ

Dr. Christopher G. Byers is a board-certified veterinary emergency & critical care and small animal internal medicine specialist, as well as a certified veterinary journalist, based in Omaha, Nebraska. He received his Bachelor of Science degree as a University Honors Scholar in Animal Sciences from Colorado State University and his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from Cornell University. Dr. Byers works as a teleconsultant in emergency/critical care and small animal internal medicine for VetCT. He is the Co-Editor of the textbook, Feline Emergency & Critical Care Medicine and has published chapters and articles in numerous textbooks and peer-reviewed medical journals. Dr. Byers also publishes a blog called with goals to educate pet owners and promote the triad of care.

Presentation description

Urethral obstruction in cats: A criticalist’s approach to a common emergency

Urethral obstruction is one of the most common life-threatening emergencies in male cats. Astute clinicians must be able to efficiency diagnose and effectively manage affected patients to maximize the likelihood of a positive outcome. Learners will review clinical presentation, appropriate diagnostic testing, and logical therapeutic interventions.

Jessica Benoit, RVT, VTS (behaviour), KPA CTP, CPDT-KA

Jessica graduated from the NAIT Animal Health Technology program in 2010. She is a Registered Veterinary Technologist and the co-owner of Companion Veterinary Clinic, a Fear Free Certified Practice in Alberta, Canada. She is a Veterinary Technician Specialist in Behaviour, a Certified Professional Dog Trainer, and Karen Pryor Academy Certified Training Partner. Jessica is also a Fear Free Certified veterinary professional, trainer, and speaker.

Jessica developed the training and behaviour program at Companion Veterinary Clinic in 2013, developing curricula for dog training classes, kitten classes, trick training, and offering private training and behaviour modification sessions. Her goals have always been for clients to see their veterinary clinic as the first step to helping them with their pet’s behaviour, and to ensure the emotional welfare of patients during veterinary visits. She is enthusiastic about teaching pet guardians how to best motivate and connect with their pets using positive, science-based methods of training. She has a special interest in cooperative veterinary care and enjoys helping canine and feline patients feel more comfortable and empowered for veterinary examinations and procedures.

Jessica enjoys educating and sharing her knowledge through speaking engagements which include Doggone Safe presentations for children, guest lecturing both locally and internationally for veterinary professionals and trainers and providing client education seminars. In addition, she provides mentorship for veterinary technologists and trainers interested in animal behaviour. In her spare time, she loves reading and being outdoors with her husband and two children, 2 dogs, 1 cat, and 10 chickens!

Presentation description

The Fear Free feline experience

We know cats are taken to the vet much less frequently than dogs. What can we do to change that? This session will highlight how to set up the veterinary clinic environment through the eyes of our feline patients and how to perform an optimal Fear Free examination using Fear Free techniques that are both effective and gentle. Learn how to prevent stress during travel to the veterinary practice and how to communicate this information to clients, as travel is often the tipping point of the fear cascade for our feline patients. Attendees will also learn how to utilize food and non-food distraction techniques to promote successful feline veterinary visits.

Colleen Wilson, BSc, DVM, Dipl. ACVB

Dr. Wilson received her bachelor of Science at the University of New Brunswick with a double major in Biology and Psychology, and her Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine at the Atlantic Veterinary College. In 1996, Dr. Wilson married Dr. Denis Philibert. Together, they have 2 cats, 2 dogs, one horse and two boys; Zachary is 22 and just completed his Honours in Bachelor of Aviation and Technology at Seneca University along with his commercial pilot license and Matthew who is 17, a Black Belt Jijistu Instructor who starts his University studies in Robotics Engineering this fall. Dr. Wilson is most proud of her two boys.

After 15 years of general practice, Dr. Wilson competed her residency training with the American College of Veterinary Behaviorists and has been specializing in small animal behaviour cases for over 10 years.

Dr. Colleen Wilson is one of only 10 Animal Behavior Specialist in Canada. She is member of the American Veterinary Society of Animal Behaviour, an official member of the Fear Free Speakers Bureau and Elite Fear Free certified. Dr. Wilson is one of the first behaviourist to publish research findings on cat scratching substrate preferences in a peer-reviewed journal.

Presentation description

Bad dog? Nasty cat? Maybe it’s just anxiety…

Dr. Wilson will explore a myriad of canine and feline behaviours way too commonly duped as “bad”, nasty” or otherwise negative. This webinar experience will provide you with essential animal behaviour science that has the potential to define a positive futuristic change in your professional life forever. Don’t miss out!

This presentation is made possible through the support of

Karren Prost, DVM, MPH, Dipl. ACVPM

Dr. Prost completed her Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine at the Ontario Veterinary College while developing a passion for public health and one health concepts. She continued her studies and obtained her Master of Public Health (Epidemiology) at the University of Toronto, and obtained diplomate status with the American College of Veterinary Preventative Medicine. Prior to joining Ceva Animal Health, Dr. Prost was sharing her time between clinical practice in a busy 24 hour emergency animal hospital in central Ontario, and performing research at the Sunnybrook Research Institute on aerosolized viruses in bats, pigs and humans. Dr. Prost is currently expanding her scope of experience by being in the veterinary pharmaceutical industry while doing occasional days in clinical practice. She has a strong passion for epidemiology, preventative medicine and promoting evidence-based medicine. During her spare time, Dr. Prost enjoys spending time with her husband and young daughter, and mountain biking. She currently shares her home with her two cats who like to make appearances in video meetings.

Presentation description

Ophytri..what? How Ophytrium and DOUXO S3 can help in the multimodal management of dermatology patients

Is a shampoo really that important? This session will review the current understanding of the changes that occur in the skin of patients with canine atopic dermatitis, the discovery of a new ingredient to benefit your patients and repair the three skin barriers, and how DOUXO S3 will help improve your patient’s quality of life while improving treatment compliance.

* Sponsored satellite sessions are not accredited for continuing education credits.

This satellite session is presented by

Jason Stull, VMD, MPVM, PhD, Dipl. ACVPM

Jason Stull is an Assistant Professor in veterinary medicine at the Atlantic Veterinary College. Over the past 20 years, he has taught and conducted research on veterinary infection control, with the main goal of protecting people and animals from infections. He has led veterinary infection control programs for several university veterinary teaching hospitals and provided training for veterinarians and technicians on effective technicians for implementing infection control programs in private practice. He holds a VMD from the University of Pennsylvania, Masters in Preventive Veterinary Medicine from the University of California at Davis, and PhD in veterinary infectious disease from the University of Guelph. He is a Diplomat of the American College of Veterinary Preventive Medicine.

Presentation description

Veterinary technicians: leveraging your key role in clinic infection control and protecting patients from disease

Infection control practices are central to providing safe environments for our patients, staff, and clients and optimizing our success in providing excellent patient care. Veterinary technicians play a central role in guiding clinic staff toward achieving an effective infection control program that all members can be proud. In this lecture, Dr. Stull will breakdown the key, most effective elements of clinic infection control, highlighting practical steps and existing resources for technicians to optimize success in protecting patient health.

Margie Scherk, DVM Dipl. ABVP (feline)

Margie graduated from the Ontario Veterinary College in 1982. In 1986 she opened Cats Only Veterinary Clinic in Vancouver, Canada practicing there until 2008. She achieved ABVP Board certification in feline practice in 1995 and published several clinical trials while in practice. She has written numerous book chapters and is an active international speaker as well as enjoying teaching on-line. She is Co-editor of the Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery. Margie has served extensively in the American Association of Feline Practitioners as well as other veterinary organizations. Her interests include all things feline, but in particular, analgesia, the peculiarities of the feline digestive system and enabling more positive interactions with cats.

Presentation description

Blood pressure: A critical factor

Over half of our feline patients with chronic kidney diseases as well as many with hyperthyroidism are hypertensive. Hypertension is called the silent killer. HyPOtension is a common occurrence in patients in our clinics and needs to be recognized in order to be treated. How to measure, monitor and treat hyPER and hyPOtension will be discussed.

This presentation is made possible through the support of

Scott Wesse, DVM, DVSc, Dipl. ACVIM

Dr. Weese is a veterinary internist and a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine. He is a Professor at the Ontario Veterinary College, University of Guelph, Director of the University of Guelph Centre for Public Health and Zoonoses, and Chief of Infection Control at the Ontario Veterinary College Teaching Hospital. He is also a member of the Tripartite Global Leaders Group on AMR and runs the infectious disease website WormsAndGermsBlog

Presentation description

Have we entered the pandemic era, and what that means for veterinary practice?

This keynote presentation will cover an overview of the forces that are driving emerging disease risks, how those might influence domestic animals and veterinary practice and considerations for better prevention and response.

This presentation is made possible through the support of

Edward C. Feldman, DVM, Dipl. ACVIM Emeritus (internal medicine)

Ed Feldman graduated from the University of California, Davis, in 1973. He then completed an internship in small animal medicine and surgery in New York City followed by a 3-year Residency in internal medicine in Berkeley, CA. He then spent time in private practice, teaching in Canada, and joined the faculty at the University of California, Davis, in 1979 as a veterinary internist. His career has been devoted to studying naturally occurring hormone conditions in dogs and cats to better appreciate owner observations, to develop new practical diagnostic methodologies, and to identify effective treatment options. The goals of his work have been to improve the lives of pets and their owners.

As he learned, he shared. Ed has authored or co-authored more than 160 peer-reviewed scientific publications (a majority of which have students as first author) and 75 book chapters. In retirement, he has continued to collaborate on research projects in Spain, Italy, Brazil, Argentina, and Korea. He has co-authored/edited 3 textbooks, each translated into at least 6 languages and used worldwide; The Textbook of Veterinary Internal Medicine, its 9th edition due to be published in early 2023 is co-edited with Stephen Ettinger and Etienne Cote; Canine and Feline Endocrinology is in its 4th edition, co-written with Richard Nelson, Catherine Scott-Moncrieff and Claudia Reusch. The newest is Feline Endocrinology, published in 2019 and co-edited with Federico Fracassi and Mark Peterson. More than 200 colleagues and house officers have contributed chapters for the internal medicine textbook. As a mentor, Ed is highly regarded for being able to teach practical internal medicine to students and residents. His publications reflect passionate commitment to helping pets and excellence in teaching, clinical scholarship, service and leadership.

A popular instructor and lecturer, Feldman was invited by graduating veterinary students to be their commencement speaker three times, once in each of three different decades. Dr Feldman has been invited to lecture in 46 states and 37 countries at more than 300 meetings. During his tenure at UC Davis, Feldman served as chair of the Department of Medicine & Epidemiology, Associate Director of the VMTH, and small animal internal medicine service chief.

Among many honors, Feldman received the Distinguished Alumnus Award from The Animal Medical Center in New York, the Faculty Teacher Award from students at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine in Canada, the California Academy of Veterinary Medicine’s Award for Excellence in Continuing Education, the UC Davis Norden Distinguished Teaching Award, the American Association of Feline Practitioners Research Award, the American Veterinary Medical Foundation / AKC Career Achievement Award in Canine Research, the British Small Animal Veterinary Association’s Bourgelat Award, and the UCDavis Veterinary School’s Alumni Achievement Award.

Presentation description

Diagnosis of Cushing’s in dogs

Naturally occurring hyperadrenocorticism (Cushing’s Syndrome) is a relatively common condition in middle-aged and older dogs. The condition in dogs is far more common than in people or cats. Despite this endocrine disorder being well recognized, it continues to be one of the most over-diagnosed conditions in small animal practice. This discussion will focus on a practical, cost-effective, logical approach to the diagnosis of canine Cushing’s syndrome. By reviewing the strengths and weaknesses of all diagnostic tools available, we will solidify how to be confident that a dog does or does not have Cushing’s.

This presentation is made possible through the support of

Jennie Tait, AHT, RVT, VTS (dermatology)

Jennie is a member of the health care team at the Veterinary Allergy Dermatology Ear Referral (VADER) Clinic in Morriston, Ontario. She is a charter member of the Academy of Dermatology Veterinary Technicians, was one of their regents for many years, and is currently the only VTS (dermatology) in Canada. Jennie is also the only technician on the Executive Committee for the Canadian Academy of Veterinary Dermatology. She has over 36 years working in veterinary medicine including 24 years of experience teaching veterinary students at the Ontario Veterinary College, and now has 22 years of experience working in veterinary dermatology. Jennie is an accomplished author and international speaker in her area of expertise. She graduated as an Animal Health Technician from Centralia College of Agricultural Technology in 1986 and is the proud owner of RVT certificate No. 4.

Presentation description

Lean on me... Teamwork makes the dream work

Everybody knows chronic dermatology cases require consistent follow up, repeated appointments and continued communication to decrease everyone's frustration. In dermatology, diagnosis and treatment can take time, spanned over multiple appointments, which can lead to decreased compliance with owners. With so many steps involved, opportunities abound for miscommunication to occur. Educating owners is key and this is where every member on your veterinary team can play a role. By working together we can achieve the best outcome for the patient and their family. Each and every person on your veterinary healthcare team plays an integral role in client communication and developing relationships between your clinic and that client/patient. This team approach is critical for the success of each individual patient's treatment plan. Every team member brings unique skills to the table that clients can identify with, and patients can benefit from. When we work together it is in the best interest of our patient, and clinic, helping to maximise efficiency and prevent miscommunication. Teamwork really does make the dream work.

This presentation is made possible through the support of

Manon Paradis, DVM, MScV, Dipl. ACVD

Dr. Paradis holds a doctorate in veterinary medicine from the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine (FMV) of the University of Montreal (UdeM, 1979), an internship in small animals (UdeM, 1980), a residency in small animal internal medicine as well a master's degree in reproductive endocrinology (U of Saskatchewan, 1982), a residency in veterinary dermatology (UdeM and Cornell U, 1990) and diplomate status from the American College of Veterinary Dermatology (Dipl. ACVD, 1990).

She worked as a professor in dermatology in the Department of Clinical Sciences of the FMV at UdeM for more than 30 years. During her career, she has published more than 160 peer-reviewed scientific articles and book chapters, around 30 abstracts and delivered near 400 scientific conferences in more than 25 countries.

She has received numerous awards of excellence, including the SmithKline Beecham Award for Excellence in Research (1994), the Damase Généreux Award from the AMVQ (2000), the Small Animal Practitioner Award from the ACMV (2003) and the Award of the Fédération des associations francophones des vétérinaires d’animaux de compagnie (FAFVAC, 2008).

This long and fulfilling career earned her the Professor Emeritus status in 2019.

Presentation descriptions

Clinical approach to canine alopecia

The aim of the presentation is to provide the clinician with a methodical clinical approach to canine alopecia, especially the non-pruritic, non-inflammatory, symmetrical hair losses.

Alopecia X

The goal of this presentation is to describe and discuss the etiopathogenesis, clinical features, diagnosis and treatment of alopecia X in dogs.

This presentation is made possible through the support of

Chantale L. Pinard, DVM, MSc, Dipl. ACVO

Graduated from the Ontario Veterinary College (OVC) in 1993; general practitioner in mixed and small animal practice from 1993-97; completed small animal rotating internship at the OVC in 1998; completed comparative ophthalmology residency and Master's degree from Kansas State University in 2002; became a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Ophthalmologists in 2003; clinical instructor from 2002-2007 at the Faculté de médicine vétérinaire, St-Hyacinthe, QC; associate professor at OVC since 2007.

Presentation descriptions

Demystifying ocular pharmacology: what to use when with what ocular disease!

It can get confusing to know which medication to use with each ocular disease presented in private practice. In this session, we will demystify ocular pharmacology and review the broad categories of antibiotics, antivirals, anti-inflammatories and anti-glaucoma medications. Case-based examples will be used to highlight the pros and cons of available medications. At the end of the session, the companion animal practitioner will have increased confidence when choosing ophthalmic therapies!

Robin Saar, RVT, VTS (nutrition)

Robin graduated from the now TRU University in 1996, with a diploma in Animal Health Technology. She worked as an RVT in small and mixed animal practices until 2009, when she changed paths to manage a large canine, feline and equine boarding facility. In 2014, Robin returned to work as an RVT at a mixed animal practice where she progressed to the Practice Manager position for 3 years. She successfully completed her Veterinary Technician Specialty in Nutrition (June 2019), and a Certificate in both Small Business Human Resources, and Small Business Management. Robin is the current and past Education Director for the CAVN and the current president-elect for the AVNT. Robin enjoys writing and has completed a textbook on Small Animal Microbiomes and is contributing chapters and articles for other veterinary publishing sources. She looks forward to starting her MSc in Nutrition at Glasglow University in January 2023. She looks forward to sharing her passions as an RVT with others. “Nutrition is a part of every pet, every day”

Presentation description

Why senior pets need special nutrition attention

We all love senior pets! As animals age, their energy requirements, along with how effective the body utilizes that energy changes. Specific nutrients may benefit an aging pet, supporting a less effective immune system. Looking beyond the gray hairs, what do we need to consider when determining an appropriate diet for senior pets? What nutrients should the calories come from? When looking at a bag of food, how can I determine if it’s meant for a senior pet? Once we understand some of the ins and outs of senior nutrition, how do we instill the value of senior nutrition in our pet parents? This interactive session will use help guide you through the nutrition journey with a pet and the pet parent.

Shona Kowtecky, BSc, DVM, FFCP (Veterinary)

As Senior Manager of Practice Services with Vet Alliance, Dr. Shona Kowtecky has supported many practice owners and managers as they navigate contract conversations with potential hires - new graduates and seasoned professionals alike! She has previously presented on this topic to Canadian and International veterinary students and, combined with her diverse experiences as a small animal practitioner, assistant medical director, medical advisor, and continued time in practice as a locum, Shona offers a unique perspective on the dynamics of team interactions, communication, culture, leadership, and most importantly how they are all connected. Fear Free certified, Shona is a graduate of the Ontario Veterinary College and has worked in the profession for almost two decades. She is grateful to live, work, and play on the unceded territory of the Coast Salish and Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Úxwumixw (Squamish) Nations in British Columbia.

Presentation description

A framework for competitive contract conversations – Overlook at your own peril!

Have you ever hired someone only to discover they were not the right fit for your practice, or that their expectations of the job did not align with yours? Are you wondering how to stay progressive and competitive in a time where digital radiographs and in-house labs are as common as microscopes?

What if there was a way to gain insight into how someone communicates, handles conflict, receives feedback, and approaches challenging conversations before they officially join your team? What if learning how to engage in competitive contract conversations could differentiate your practice in this crazy climate of recruitment and retention?

Employment contracts are not just a legal formality. The conversations that happen during a contract negotiation are an under-utilized opportunity that can set you, your practice, and your new hire up for long-term success. Whether you have been taking advantage of them or not, re-structuring your approach and implementing strong leadership practices before, during, and after the contract is signed will keep you one step ahead in creating a more aligned, cohesive, and comfortable working dynamic amongst your team.

This presentation is made possible through the support of

Kathy Istace, RVT, VTS (dentistry)

Kathy Istace graduated as a Veterinary Technologist in Saskatoon, SK in 1996. She has been employed at the VCA Canada Mayfield Animal Hospital in Edmonton, Alberta since 1999, and is proud to be part of such a caring and progressive team. In June 2006, she earned her specialty designation from the Academy of Veterinary Dental Technicians (AVDT), becoming the first Canadian Veterinary Technician Specialist in Dentistry. She also received the Alberta Animal Health Technologist of the Year Award in 2009. Kathy teaches dentistry to other RVT’s at veterinary clinics throughout western Canada, and lectures and at veterinary conferences in both Canada and the United States. She has written various veterinary dentistry magazine articles, contributed to the AVDT textbook Small Animal Dental Procedures for Veterinary Technicians and Nurses, and is the author of the textbook An Introduction to Pet Dental Care for Veterinary Nurses and Technicians, published in 2022. She currently serves on the AVDT Maintenance of Credentials committee.

When she’s not busy thinking about animals’ mouths, Kathy spends time with her husband and three children, her many rescued pets, and enjoys running in Edmonton’s river valley.

Presentation description

Increasing client dental compliance and the science behind dental homecare products

This lecture will cover how to address client concerns and increase the likelihood that they will comply with needed dental treatment for their pets, how to set up dental homecare products for individual patients’ needs, and how to determine which dental homecare products actually work as advertised.

This presentation is made possible through the support of

Tasha McNerney, BS, CVT, CVPP, VTS

Tasha is a Certified Veterinary Technician form Glenside, PA. She is also a Certified Veterinary Pain Practitioner and works closely with the IVAPM to educate the public about animal pain awareness. Tasha became a veterinary technician specialist in anesthesia in 2015. Tasha loves to lecture on various anesthesia and pain management topics around the globe and was recently named the VMX 2020 speaker of the Year for veterinary technicians. Tasha has authored numerous articles on anesthesia and analgesia topics for veterinary professionals and pet parents. In her spare time, Tasha enjoys reading, spending time with her husband and son, and recording the Veterinary Anesthesia Nerds Podcast.

Presentation description

The veterinary technician's guide to pain scoring and recognition

The veterinary technician plays a critical role in patient care, especially when it comes to pain management. This lecture will use real life case studies and examples when using the Feline Grimace Scale to recognize and treat pain in our hospitalized feline friends.

Adam Little, DVM

Dr. Adam Little works at the intersection of accelerating technologies and veterinary medicine. His career has spanned areas of focus ranging from artificial intelligence to telemedicine to connected devices. He is the co-founder and Chief Medical Officer of GoFetch where his team is building a new subscription care model focused on making local vet care more accessible and affordable.

Prior to co-founding GoFetch, he served as the first ever Director of Innovation & Entrepreneurship for Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine where he spearheaded such initiatives as the Veterinary Innovation Summit and the Veterinary Entrepreneurship Academy.

Dr. Little holds a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from the Ontario Veterinary College. He is a past Board member of the Ontario Veterinary Medical Association, Veterinarians without Borders and the Vet Futures Commission.

Presentation description

Top 10 tips to supercharge your personal productivity

Do you find yourself struggling to keep up with work that continues to pile up? Are you feeling overwhelmed by a stack of to-dos that never seems to shrink? In this session, we will explore tactics and tools that you can put in place immediately to make a meaningful dent in your workload. You will gain a new perspective on how to tackle whatever personal or professional tasks are being thrown at you.

Tired of repeating the same information to a client's voicemail? You will learn about ways to digitize important case details in bite-sized, shareable formats. Find yourself playing phone tag with vendors and service providers? You will learn how to leverage virtual assistant services that give you days back per year. Finding it difficult to onboard new employees and combining through out of date Google Docs or paper handbooks? You will learn how to build vibrant guides that save you time and sanity when it comes to training your team. Spend an hour with us to save yourself 10 in the future.

This presentation is made possible through the support of

Caitlin DeWilde, DVM

Dr. Caitlin DeWilde is the founder of The Social DVM, a consulting firm devoted to helping veterinary professionals learn how to manage and grow their social media, online reputation and marketing strategies. Working with large industry groups and individual practices alike, Caitlin and her team are passionate about translating the “geek speak” to “veterinary speak,” and helping vets reach more clients and pets.

Caitlin is a graduate of the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine and a recipient of their Outstanding Young Alumni Award, and also an alum of the AVMA’s Future Leaders Program. She served as medical director for a large AAHA/Fear Free/Cat-Friendly certified hospital in St. Louis before stepping back to focus on her marketing passion. Today, she divides her time between practice, consulting, and writing. She is the author of a new book, “Social Media and Marketing for Veterinary Professionals,” and a columnist for Today’s Veterinary Business.

Presentation description

Hacks to make effective marketing possible for anybody

A little more than a decade ago, marketing meant a flyer in the exam room or handing out business cards at the local pet festival. Today, it’s a web of opportunities– digital ads, website, multiple social media platforms, app notifications, email blasts and online review sites. No practice can (or should) do it all – but there are a few easy tricks to make balancing the menagerie easier, more efficient, and more effective for the practice and team.

In this 60 minute lecture, you’ll learn:

This presentation is made possible through the support of

Mike Pownall, DVM, MBA

Prior to becoming a veterinarian Dr. Mike Pownall worked as a farrier for seven years. His interest in equine lameness led him to attend the Ontario Veterinary College, graduating in 2001. In 2002, he and his wife, Dr. Melissa McKee, started McKee-Pownall Equine Services.

Their organization is represented by three equine veterinary clinics with 17 vets and 40 support staff spread across the Greater Toronto Area and one practice in Wellington, Florida. He is also a partner with Oculus Insights offering business management services and education to veterinarians throughout the world.

Dr. Pownall received his MBA from the Richard Ivey School of Business at Western University in Ontario, and was the class valedictorian. He presents internationally on business strategy, human resources, pricing, and marketing for veterinarians. He also contributes to numerous journals on business management topics.

Dr. Pownall has a blog, podcast and webinar series on veterinary business management at and you can learn more about Oculus Insights at

Presentation description

The financial impact of an engaged team

High levels of employee engagement can increase practice revenue, profitability, client loyalty and decrease employee turnover. In this presentation, we will review the financial impact that employee engagement can have on a veterinary practice. At the end of the presentation, attendees will know what they need to do to increase employee engagement and enjoy the benefits that come with it.

This presentation is made possible through the support of

Lianna Titcombe, BScH, DVM, CHPV

Dr. Lianna dedicated her professional career to animal hospice beginning in 2012 when she opened one of the first veterinary practices in Canada devoted to end-of-life home care for companion animals.

On the subject of animal hospice and palliative care she is an author, speaker, educator, and mentor. She is past president of the International Association for Animal Hospice and Palliative Care and is still active with their international committee. In an effort to improve animal welfare more universally, Dr. Lianna participates in volunteer missions to provide veterinary care to underserviced communities both locally and in developing countries. A large focus of her education has been the care of all the people involved in the end-of-life stage for companion animals. Dr. Lianna has been the director of the Pet Loss Support Group of Ottawa for over 20 years and, as a certified yoga instructor, is now offering grief retreats to people living with loss.

Recognizing that her true passion is the art of gentle euthanasia, Dr. Lianna joined the Companion Animal Euthanasia Training Academy (CAETA) in 2021 as the international director and instructor. Her goal is to expand the CAETA vision to a global scale, ever approaching the ultimate mission: to ensure that all animals, including humans, have the peaceful death that they deserve.

Dr. Lianna recently collaborated with the national issues committee of the CVMA as a subject matter expert in small animal euthanasia to assist in the development of the newly released document: Guidance for Veterinarians on Euthanasia Methods that Do Not Include Pentobarbital Sodium.

Presentation description

Euthanasia reimagined: The 14 essential components of modern practice

Euthanasia was ready for an evolution, and much has changed in the past 10 years. Experts and practitioners alike have found ways to celebrate the bond, protect patient comfort, and elevate client pre-planning and communication. And everyone is benefitting from these advancements. Has your veterinary team joined “The Good Death Revolution”? In this session, Dr. Lianna Titcombe, International Director of the Companion Animal Euthanasia Training Academy (CAETA), will highlight their 14 essential components of companion animal euthanasia and answer your most pressing questions. It's time to look deeper into what clients want, what patients need, and how veterinary teams can find fulfillment in euthanasia work.

Karen E. Felsted, CPA, MS, DVM, CVPM, CVA

Dr. Felsted is a CPA as well as a veterinarian and has spent the last 20 years working as a financial and operational consultant to veterinary practices and the animal health industry. She is active in multiple veterinary organizations, has written an extensive number of articles for a wide range of veterinary publications and speaks regularly at national and international veterinary meetings. In 2011 and 2017, she was awarded the Western Veterinary Conference Practice Management Continuing Educator of the Year and in 2014, the VetPartners Distinguished Life Member Award.

Presentation description

Measuring and monitoring efficiency and productivity in your practice

Productivity has declined in many practices during the pandemic. Because the hiring market is so difficult right now, just adding more people may not be an option. Instead, doing more with what you have is becoming an ever more important focus in driving profitability and satisfying client needs. The first step is to define appropriate metrics to use in measuring current efficiency and productivity and then use these results to identify strategies and create goals for improvement in these areas.

This presentation is made possible through the support of

Marie Holowaychuk, DVM, Dipl. ACVECC, CYT

Dr. Marie Holowaychuk is a board-certified small animal emergency and critical care specialist and passionate advocate for veterinary team wellbeing. She lives in Calgary where she practices as a locum specialist and teleconsultant. Outside of clinical practice, Marie facilitates online wellness programs and offers workshops and retreats for veterinary clinics and organizations. She also offers individual and group coaching sessions for veterinary team members. Marie is a certified life coach, and yoga and meditation teacher, and has completed a mindfulness-based stress reduction course for professionals. She also has Compassion Fatigue Training from the University of Tennessee School of Social Work, as well as Mental Health First Aid Training from the Mental Health Commission of Canada and Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training from the Centre for Suicide Prevention. Marie is the host of the Reviving Vet Med podcast where she shares practical pointers for mental health and wellbeing. She also writes a monthly blog and posts regularly on social media on pertinent issues related to veterinary wellness.

Presentation description

Strengthening veterinary wellbeing: Lessons learned from the Covid-19 pandemic

The pandemic has brought mental health and wellbeing to the forefront of veterinary medicine. With high burnout rates and a shortage of veterinary practitioners, the emphasis on professional wellness and career sustainability is more important than ever. While veterinary medicine course corrects and adjusts to increasing client demands, veterinary team members must prioritize strategies and tools for burnout management and prevention. This session will summarize how the pandemic has impacted the mental health and wellbeing of veterinary teams and what we can take away from this experience to build a healthier and more sustainable profession.

This presentation is made possible through the support of

J Scott Weese, DVM, DVSc, Dipl. ACVIM, FCAHS

Dr. Weese is a veterinary internist and a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine. He is a Professor at the Ontario Veterinary College, University of Guelph, Director of the University of Guelph Centre for Public Health and Zoonoses, and Chief of Infection Control at the Ontario Veterinary College Teaching Hospital. He is also a member of the Tripartite Global Leaders Group on AMR and runs the infectious disease website WormsAndGermsBlog (

This presentation is made possible through the support of