Pre-Congress Sessions

Pre-Congress Sessions

A variety of workshops on offer that includes Dental dry labs, Viral diseases of Koi and identifying osteoarthritis pain in cats and dogs

15 July 2019
Metro Toronto Convention Center

Hall: Room 701

Zoetis invites you to attend high caliber presentations on the newest tools and techniques to identify osteoarthritis pain in cats and dogs (canine talks focus on the importance of screening a broader population of dogs) beyond the 10-year-old overweight Labrador Retriever (although we still love them dearly).  The speakers will review current therapies as well as new therapies on the horizon.

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Why You Should Care about Becoming More Cat-friendly – Dr. Susan Little
8:00 – 8:50 am

Improving the clinic experience for cats has many benefits, including the ability to practice better medicine and increase client satisfaction. An important goal of becoming more cat-friendly is also to encourage life-long care so we can detect and treat chronic diseases earlier and more effectively.

Tools and Tips for Identifying and Monitoring Feline OA Pain – Dr. Margaret Gruen
9:00 – 9:50 am

In this session, we will discuss targeted questions, videos and questionnaires as tools for identifying and monitoring OA pain in cats.   We will discuss how to implement these tools into practice, and why the systematic use of these tools can provide improved management of cats with chronic OA pain.

Break: 10:00 – 10:30 am

Demonstrated Approach to Performing a Successful Orthopedic Examination of the Cat – Dr. Duncan Lascelles
10:30 – 11:20 am

In this session, there will be a live demonstration of performing an orthopedic examination of a cat, and concurrently the examination will be explained and illustrated using state of the art illustrative technology.

Creature Comforts: Quality of Life for cats with Chronic OA pain – Dr. Margaret Gruen
11:30 – 12:20 pm

In this session, we will review what is known about the quality of life in cats with chronic OA pain, and how we can manage their environment to optimize their quality of life. We will also discuss the monitoring of quality of life for these cats, and the importance of both active and inactive aspects of their daily lives.

Lunch Break: 12:20 – 1:30 pm


Nerve growth factor (NGF), OA-pain and novel anti-NGF therapies for OA pain – Dr. Duncan Lascelles
1:30 – 2:25 pm

In this session, the central role of NGF in driving OA pain will be explained, and an overview of promising anti-NGF therapies will be presented, with a discussion of where they will fit into the clinical approach to management of OA.

Recognition and Assessment of Canine OA:  From Concept to Clinic – Dr. Mark Epstein
2:30 – 3:25 pm

The session will discuss historical, conformational, gait, and physical exam findings that illuminate and localize osteoarthritis in dogs.  Validated clinical measurement instruments permit semi-quantitative determination of patients’ OA status as they pertain to impact on activities of daily living.   Implementation of practice-friendly versions of the CMI’s will be presented.

Break: 3:30 – 3:45 pm

Detecting and measuring OA-pain in young dogs –  Dr. Duncan Lascelles
3:45 – 4:35 pm

Osteoarthritis is initiated by developmental disease in dogs, and OA-associated pain is present at a young age. However, detection of this pain can be difficult in young dogs. Using video and case examples, delegates will be guided through the process of detection of OA-pain, and communicating with owners about OA in young dogs.

The Keys to Effective OA Management in Small Breed Dogs – Dr. Ross Palmer
4:45 – 5:35 pm

Canine osteoarthritis (OA) robs patients of life quality through pain, limited mobility and lifestyle alterations. Euthanasia due to this loss of patient well-being was the leading cause of death in a recent canine lifespan study.  OA and its devastating effects are not limited to large breeds of dogs nor to the elderly. Come learn how to effectively relieve discomfort, restore mobility and rebuild life quality in small breeds of dogs afflicted by OA.

Ross H. Palmer, DVM, MS, DACVS

Dr. Palmer has worked in both academic and private specialty practice. Ross is currently a Professor of Orthopedics at Colorado State University. He has been an invited speaker at conferences throughout the world. He is the Director of the Complete Course on External Skeletal Fixation now in its 25th year of training veterinarians. He’s authored more than 50 scientific publications. He has served as a board member of the Veterinary Orthopedic Society (VOS), World Veterinary Orthopaedic Congress, the North American Veterinary Conference and the Veterinary Surgery Journal.
His research is primarily directed toward knee injury, cartilage repair, bone healing and orthopedic fixation and he has collaborated with Harvard Childrens’ Hospital, numerous universities, the National Institute of Health (NIH), the National Aeronautics & Space Administration (NASA) and numerous human healthcare companies. He has mentored numerous recipients of the Best Clinical Research Award and the Mark Bloomberg Resident Research Award from the VOS.
He enjoys hiking, cycling, fishing, international travel and taking time “off the grid” with his family at his cabin in northwest Ontario, Canada.

Ross H. Palmer, DVM, MS, DACVS
Susan Little, DVM

Diplomate, American Board of Veterinary Practitioners
Certified in Feline Practice
Dr. Susan Little received her BSc from Dalhousie University (Nova Scotia, Canada) and her DVM from the Ontario Veterinary College, University of Guelph. She has been in feline practice since 1990 and achieved board certification in Feline Practice in 1997. She is part owner of two feline specialty practices in Ottawa, Canada. She is a past president of the American Assoc. of Feline Practitioners and International Council for Veterinary Assessment board member. She is a peer reviewer for veterinary journals as well as the author of many journal articles. Dr. Little is the recipient of the Canadian Veterinary Medical Assoc. Small Animal Practitioner Award (2010), the NAVC Small Animal Speaker of the Year Award (2013), and the International Society of Feline Medicine/Hill's Pet Nutrition Award for outstanding contributions to feline medicine (2013). She is the editor and co-author of two textbooks: The Cat – Clinical Medicine and Management (2012) and August's Consultations in Feline Internal Medicine, Volume 7 (2015).

Susan Little, DVM
Mark E. Epstein, DVM, Dipl. ABVP (C/F), dAAPM, CVPP

Dr. Epstein received his DVM from University of Georgia and is the Senior Partner and Medical Director of TotalBond Veterinary Hospitals and Carolinas Animal Pain Management, a small group of AAHA-accredited practices in the Charlotte & Gastonia NC area that received the Small Business of the Year Award from the Gaston Regional Chamber of Commerce in 2015. He is a Diplomate of the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners (Canine/Feline) and is a past-president of ABVP. He is certified by the American Academy of Pain Management, is recognized as a Certified Veterinary Pain Practitioner (CVPP) by the International Veterinary Academy of Pain Management, and is a past-president of IVAPM; he is currently President of the IVAPM Research & Scholarship Foundation. Dr. Epstein chaired the AAHA Senior Care Guidelines Task Force and co-Chaired the 2015 AAHA/AAFP Pain Management Guidelines Task Force. He, is published in journals* and textbooks**, is a national and international lecturer on the recognition, prevention, and treatment of pain in the veterinary clinical setting. He was a nominee for WVC’s 2016 Small Animal Continuing Educator of the Year, and received the Gaston Regional Chamber’s Inspiration Award in 2018.

Mark E. Epstein, DVM, Dipl. ABVP (C/F), dAAPM, CVPP
Margaret Gruen

Dr. Gruen is originally from Chicago, and graduated from the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine. She then went to North Carolina State University and completed her internship and a residency in Veterinary Behavioral Medicine. After her residency, she served on the faculty at North Carolina State University before deciding to complete her PhD in Comparative Biomedical Sciences with a project focused on the assessment of pain in cats with degenerative joint disease. She then left NC State to go to Duke University for a post-doctoral position in the Evolutionary Anthropology department, and served as a co-Director of the Duke Canine Cognition Center. In 2018, she returned to NC State as an Assistant Professor of Behavioral Medicine.
Dr. Gruen is board-certified by the American College of Veterinary Behaviorists, and her clinical service is dedicated to seeing patients with behavioral disorders. Her research program focuses under the umbrella of human-animal interaction – how animals communicate through their behavior and how we understand and quantify those behaviors. This includes a focus on the quantification of pain, and the effects of pain on aspects of daily life including activity, anxiety, and cognitive function.

Margaret Gruen
B. Duncan X. Lascelles BSc, BVSC, PhD, MRCVS, CertVA, DSAS(ST), Diplomate ECVS, Diplomate ACVS

Professor of Surgery and Pain Management
Director, Comparative Pain Research and Education Centre
North Carolina State University College of Veterinary Medicine, Raleigh, NC, 27606, USA
After graduating from the veterinary program at the University of Bristol, U.K., with honors, Dr. Lascelles completed a PhD in aspects of pre-emptive/perioperative analgesia at the University of Bristol. After an internship there, he completed his surgical residency at the University of Cambridge, U.K. He moved to Colorado for the Fellowship in Oncological Surgery at Colorado State University, then a period of post-doctoral research in feline pain and analgesia at the University of Florida, and is currently Professor in Small Animal Surgery and Pain Management at North Carolina State University.
He runs the Comparative Pain Research and Education Centre which is dedicated to answering critical questions through high quality, innovative research.
He is board-certified in small animal surgery by the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons, the European College of Veterinary Surgeons, and the American College of Veterinary Surgeons.
His career has been focused on developing algometry methods (methods to measure pain) in spontaneous disease animal models (pets with naturally occurring disease), and probing tissues from well-phenotyped animals with spontaneous disease to understand the neurobiology, with a strong translational focus. The aim of his research is to improve pain control in companion animals, and facilitate analgesic development in human medicine.
He has authored over 165 peer reviewed research papers and reviews and 160 research abstracts, as well as over 30 book chapters.

B. Duncan X. Lascelles BSc, BVSC, PhD, MRCVS, CertVA, DSAS(ST), Diplomate ECVS, Diplomate ACVS
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15 July 2019
Metro Toronto Convention Center

Viral Diseases of Koi – New Clinical and Diagnostic Data

Join the second annual session of the Koi Practitioners Working Group (KoiPrax2).

This full-day meeting will feature speakers that are at the forefront of research on viral diseases of koi.
Our honored keynote speaker will be Dr. Thomas B. Waltzek, Assoc. Professor, Research Coordinator, Aquatic Animal Health Program, Department of Infectious Diseases and Immunology at the Univ. of Florida School of Veterinary Medicine.
Our second invited speaker will be Dr. Pedro Viadanna , a professor at UNIPAC, Uberlândia veterinary school in Brazil. Dr. Viadanna is a world-renowned expert on koi viral diseases.


WAVMA members: free of charge – registration required
Non-WAVMA members: $100

Registration & Information

Please contact: J.M. Tepper, Meetings Chair for info and reservations at

Dr. Thomas B. Waltzek

• PhD, Comparative Pathology, University of California at Davis, 2010
• DVM, University of California at Davis, 2009
• MS, Ecology, University of California at Davis, 2002
• BS, Biological Sciences, Florida State University, 1998
Honors and Awards
• 2010 – John L. Pitts Veterinary Student/Recent Graduate Scholarship
• 2009 – Merck Achievement Award, UC Davis
• 2009 – Wilds Scholastic Award, UC Davis
• 2009 – AVMA Achievement Award, UC Davis
• 2007 – Best Student Presentation, 33rd Eastern Fish Health Workshop
Research Interests
• Characterization of Emerging Aquatic Animal Viruses (EAAVs) using Metagenomics;
• Phylogenomics to study the Biology, Epidemiology, and Evolution of EAAVs;
• Development of Broadly Applicable Diagnostic Methodologies to Track EAAVs;
• Determining the Role that International Commerce of Aquatic Animals Plays in the Emergence of AAVs as it Relates to Global Aquaculture and Ecosystem Health.
• Aquatic Animal Zoonoses, Public Health, One Health
Recent Publications
• Phylogenomic characterization of red seabream iridovirus from Florida pompano Trachinotus carolinus maricultured in the Caribbean Sea.

Dr. Thomas B. Waltzek

** Please note that this workshop has been cancelled.

15 July 2019

Metro Toronto Convention Center

Dental Dry Labs

We invite you to join the Dentistry Dry Labs with Tara Evans and Dr. Sue McTaggart DVM, Fellow of the Academy of Veterinary Dentistry, Dean Park Pet Hospital Vancouver Island.

Register nowDry Lab Registration Only