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Saturday Session Descriptions

 “Kick Off” 8:15 am-8:30 am

“What does the future of RVT profession look like? Turning adversity into an opportunity.”
*Sponsored by WDDC
The health needs of our animals are changing every day. And the future will look much different that what our peers would have ever imagined. This is dictated by the rise in the population of our pets and food animals, the newly available and more accessible medicine, and all new technological advancements. Veterinary professionals of the future will need to care for a larger and older animal population, and operate under tighter budgets. But how…?

Ivana Novosel, RVT, MSc
Ivana graduated from Olds College in 2014. She sits on the Board of Directors of the Alberta Veterinary Technologists Association as the RVTTC Representative. This year, she has been elected a Vice President of the RVTTC association. In 2017 she represented Canadian RVT’s on behalf of RVTTC at the World Veterinary Congress in South Korea, and as the only RVT at the meeting she provided a voice for all RVT’s around the world. Ivana also sits on the Alberta Veterinary Medical Association Animal Welfare Committee where she is a voice for Alberta’s RVTs on current animal welfare issues. She is a member of Marda Loop Veterinary Clinic’s team, working part time. Now days, she spends most of her awake hours working on her new founded web app called IMLocum. IMLocum is a cloud platform created specifically for veterinary professionals that want to be in control of their schedules and have more choice and a better work life balance. For those of you who’ve met Ivana, you know that she is a proud fur-mom to her two standard poodles, who she spends all her free time cross-country skiing and hiking the Western Canadian Mountains. _____________________________________________________________________________________________

 SESSION 1 (8:40- 9:35am)

Your New Favorite Analgesic: Using Alpha 2's to your Advantage
This lecture will look at the available alpha-2 agonists and why they are so valuable in veterinary medicine. Topics to be discussed will include: understanding mechanism of action, when to use an alpha-2, proper patient selection and drug calculation, and new ways to use this fascinating class of drugs.

 Tasha McNerney, BS, CVT, CVPP, VTS Anesthesia)
Tasha McNerney attended Michigan State University and obtained a bachelor’s of science in 2002 majoring in wildlife biology. She obtained her Veterinary Technology degree from Manor College in 2005. Tasha is an international speaker on anesthesia and pain management topics. Tasha has worked as a CVT at Rau Animal Hospital in Glenside, PA for 15 years as an O.R. / Anesthesia technician. Her areas of interest include sighthound and brachycephalic anesthesia as well as post-surgical rehabilitation and pain management. Tasha is a Certified Veterinary Pain Practitioner, and together with the IVAPM created the Pet Pain Awareness campaign which has designated September as the month for animal pain awareness and prevention. Tasha is also a Veterinary Technician Specialist in Anesthesia. Tasha is also the creator and administrator of the Facebook group Veterinary Anesthesia Nerds which has over 30,000 members around the world and helps to educate veterinary professionals on various anesthesia and pain management topics. Tasha also has a new web-based video series called “Coffee on the Couch” produced in partnership with DVM360 looking at technician utilization and career advancement.


Echinococcus multilocularis: An emerging parasite of zoonotic significance
*Sponsored by Bayer Animal Health

Echinococcus multilocularis is a tapeworm parasite that has historically been present in Canada but has not caused significant disease.  In recent years cases in both humans and dogs as accidental hosts have occurred in Canada, resulting in lifelong therapy for the human patient and humane euthanasia for the affected dogs.  This session will review the lifecycle of Echinococcus multilocularis in order to develop an understanding of risk factors for infection, discuss the prevalence of this parasite in Canada, and explore the implications on deworming protocols for dogs.

Rich Boisvert, DVM
Rich graduated from the University of Alberta in 1996 with a Bachelor of Science in zoology. Upon graduation he began his career working marine mammals at various marine mammal facilities in North America and the Caribbean.  These experiences developed his interest in veterinary medicine, and in 2013 he graduated with his DVM from the University of Calgary. Prior to his current position as Veterinary Scientific Liason with Bayer Animal Health, Rich worked in mixed animal practice in Strathmore, Alberta and completed a one year internship in equine medicine and surgery at Moore Equine. Rich has an interest in preventative medicine and public health, and in his spare time he enjoys surfing and cycling. 

Chickens Need a Vet Tech Too – Why You Should Give a “Cluck” about Backyard Poultry
*Sponsored by Government of Saskatchewan, Ministry of Agriculture

The number of backyard flocks continues to grow in the province, while the resources for these flocks in the veterinary profession are limited. With the upcoming changes to antimicrobial use, veterinarians and veterinary technicians will play a critical role in the health and welfare of these flocks. This presentation will provide an overview of the typical concerns of the backyard flock owner and how we can best serve this client.

Stephanie Derbawka, DVM
From an early age, veterinary medicine and agriculture were a major passion for Stephanie. After graduating from the Western College of Veterinary Medicine, positions at a mixed animal practice and as Poultry Extension Veterinarian for Saskatchewan provided a wide variety of experience. Her current position with the Ministry of Agriculture keeps her busy assisting in legislation amendment, implementing disease control programs, and aiding in education development. Her two main interests are anything poultry and equine.

Thinking outside the box – Techniques for Active Box Rest
The need for short or long- term stall rest can be stressful on both the horse and the rider. Gone are the days that we close the door and walk away from these patients. This lecture will discuss tools to help everyone get through the recovery and return to work faster and healthier such as:

  • Activities for physical restrictions
  • Distraction and coping techniques for extended confinement
  • Nutritional tips for weight management and healing              

Sue Loly, LVT, VTS-Equine Nursing
Sue Loly is a large animal imaging specialist at the Leatherdale Equine Center and Large Animal Hospital at the University of Minnesota. After graduating from RRC, Sue has worked as a technician for over 20 years spending time in small animal, mixed practice and for the last 10 years in academia. Sue actively works on the clinic floor floating between internal medicine and surgery when she is not performing equine MRIs, CTs and radiographs. She also has a special interest in rehabilitation and emergency preparedness.

In 2011, she earned her VTS in Equine Nursing and was accepted into the Academy. Since then she has co-edited a text about Large Animal Internal Medicine for the Veterinary Technician for Wiley Blackwell Publishing in 2011 and speaks regularly at International Conferences. When she is not working she enjoys showing and working with American Saddlebreds. ____________________________________________________________________________________________

Pre requisite Lecture for Small Animal Ultrasound Lab (*Members not registered in lab welcome to attend.)
This lecture will provide a basic overview of small animal ultrasound including pyscis, scanning techniques, normal abdominal sonographic anatomy and a brief introduction to the four-chamber view of the heart.  Emphasis will be placed on the normal appearances of the abdominal organs, probe selection and techniques to visualize each of the structures.  Members not registered in the lab are also welcome to attend. 

Dr. Sally Sakut
Dr. Sukut is an Assistant Professor of Medical Imaging at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine.  After graduating from the WCVM in 2001, she completed an equine internship in Virgina and then worked as an emergency Veterinarian in Victoria, BC.  In 2012, Dr. Sukut returned to WCVM as a clinical associate in radiation oncology.  She began a residency in medical imaging in 2013, and after compelting the program, she joined the WCVM's faculty.  Her major interest is medical education, specifically exploring progressive teaching and learning strategies. 


SESSION 2 (9:45 am 10:40 am)

Pain Management in the Critical Patient
This lecture will examine how important proper pain management is for critical patients. Often these patients are compromised making drug selection more nuanced. We will discuss analgesic options for specific cases such as trauma patients, emergency caesarian patients, and urethral obstruction patients. This lecture will allow technicians to weigh all analgesic options (analgesic drugs as well as alternative therapies) when creating plan for a critical patient.

Tasha McNerney, BS, CVT, CVPP, VTS Anesthesia)
See bio above


Current and Future Opportunities for Vet Techs with Veterinarians Without Borders
*Sponsored by Veterinarians Without Borders

VWB’s current program Healthy Animals and Healthy Communities which is a five-year program funded by Global Affairs Canada, works in six countries in the global South. These six countries have diverse cultures and histories, yet they share overarching issues with animal health and lacking community capacity. In the global south, more than 90 per cent of food animals are raised by subsistence farmers yet these small-scale livestock producers, the majority of whom are women, have very limited access to animal health services. Aside from the risks associated with the loss of valuable livestock who provide important protein and/or income for poor households, zoonotic diseases that can be passed from animals to humans also offer a very real threat to human health. Veterinarians Without Borders has been sending Canadian veterinarians, vet techs, and vet students to poor communities around the world to help increase the knowledge and skills of small-scale farmers to keep their livestock healthy, well-fed and housed securely.

Through VWB’s international program, Canadians with vital skillsets and knowledge complete placements abroad to build capacity and transfer knowledge to local beneficiaries. Through increasing animal health and proper techniques to care for animals, farmers are able to increase household nutrition and economic opportunities. Join VWB for a discussion about the Healthy Animals and Healthy Communities program to learn about current opportunities, and where the future of animal care abroad via VWB is headed.

Allyson Fredella, Program Officer, Veterinarians Without Borders
Allyson holds a Masters of Political Economy specializing in African Studies. She is passionate about gender and economic empowerment, social justice movements, volunteerism, environmentalism, and animals. Allyson enjoys researching, and has had her critical research on economic policy and connections to socioeconomic growth in developing economies presented locally and internationally, including a presentation to the President of Zambia. She has experience working and volunteering for numerous non-profit organizations which focus on sustainable development, ecosystem health, female empowerment, and socioeconomic growth. Allyson works hard as a program officer at VWB, specifically supporting recruitment, communications, fundraising, logistics, and program development.


Mites and E. coli and Coccidiosis, Oh My! Current Issues in Commercial Poultry
*Sponsored by Government of Saskatchewan, Ministry of Agriculture

Commercial poultry production continues to evolve to match demands for healthy, efficiently produced, affordable food. However, this comes along with many challenges. This presentation will provide an overview of the challenges facing the commercial poultry industry and what you need to know as a veterinary professional.

Stephanie Derbawka, DVM
See bio above


Esophageal Balloon Dilation for Equine Choke
This lecture takes a look at a case study of an equine choke that developed a severe esophageal stricture. A balloon dilation treatment protocol was developed to successfully return the patient to normal esophageal function.

•Covers equine choke and the development of esophageal strictures

•experimental non-surgical treatment for equine esophageal strictures

•understand the background of equine choke and esophageal strictures

•learn about a non-surgical treatment option for esophageal strictures

•Recognize the equipment needed for esophageal balloon dilation in horses

Sue Loly, LVT, VTS-Equine Nursing
See bio above


Marijuana Toxicity in Dogs
As the legalization of Marijuana in Canada is becoming a reality, Veterinary professionals are expecting to see a rise in the number of pot-related incidents presented to vet clinics. Join Dr as he discusses the clinical presentation and treatment of Marijuana Toxicity in Dogs. 

Kevin Cosford BSC, DVM, MVetSci, DACVIM-SAIM
Dr. Cosford was born and raised in Saskatchewan. He attended the Western College of Veterinary Medicine for Vet school and worked in practice for 11 years. He is now back in the province he loves and has the honour of working with the next generation of professionals at the WCVM.


SESSION 3 (11:10 am- 12:05 pm )

Understanding Capnography
A capnograph is a valuable monitoring tool for the anesthesia technician. This lecture will introduce technicians to the capnograph, explain the parts of the waveform and how it relates to patient ventilation. This lecture will also provide case studies with visual examples of capnographs and troubleshooting tips.

Tasha McNerney, BS, CVT, CVPP, VTS Anesthesia)
See bio above


Understanding Automated Hematology
Sponsored by IDEXX
Automated hematology can save a lot of time when analyzing samples.  Understanding the operation and maintenance of these instruments is key to maintaining a high level of quality in the reporting of results.  We will discuss the various parameters that are reported and what manual tests should be performed to confirm automated reported results.

Brianne Bellwood, RVT, VTS (Clinical Pathology), CCRVN
Brianne graduated from Olds College AHT Program in 2002. She worked in mixed animal practice (and exotics and wildlife) for 6 years and began instructing at Lakeland College in 2008 in the AHT and VMA programs and has also served as program coordinator for each.  In 2016, Brianne obtained her NAVTA Technician Specialty in Clinical Pathology.  While continuing to pursue her passion in Clinical Pathology, Brianne has also earned her certification as a Certified Canine Rehabilitation Veterinary Nurse (CCRVN) through the Canine Rehabilitation Institute.  Currently, Brianne is enrolled in the University of Glasgow’s Master’s Program for Advanced Practice in Veterinary Nursing.

Publications include: Co-author-Veterinary Technician’s Handbook of Laboratory Procedures (Wiley) and a co-author of Mosby’s Comprehensive Review (Hematology and Urinalysis Chapters.).  Brianne also has served as a peer reviewer for articles published in Veterinary Team Brief.

Interests: Brianne has four dogs and has competed in agility, conformation, trick training and herding. Agility is her passion and she is currently competing with three of her dogs. She is one of the founders and faculty advisor for the Lakeland Agility Club and assists with the Stock Dog Club as well.


Mobility Matters: Beyond the Exam Room: The Technicians Role in Identifying Pain and Mobility Issues in Dogs, Cats, and Horses
*Sponsored by Respond Systems Inc

The ability to identify pain and mobility issues through detailed history taking, observation, and palpation allow the veterinary technician to become a valuable member of the veterinary pain management, mobility, physical rehabilitation and fitness team.  Join Jenn for a lecture on ‘how to’ identify sources of pain, restriction, lameness, injury, and compensatory dysfunction. 

Jenn Panko, RVT, CCRP VTS (Physical Rehabilitation) OCMC, CAPMC
Jenn Panko owns and manages The SPAW, a Pet Rehabilitation, Sports Medicine, and Fitness Centre in Aldergrove, British Columbia in partnership with The Aldergrove Animal Hospital.  She is a Registered Veterinary Technologist (Seneca College, Ontario 2005) where she was the recipient of The Veterinary Technology Recognition and Appreciation Award for dedication to and excellence in animal care.  She completed The University of Tennessee Certified Canine Rehabilitation Practitioner Program in 2006.  In 2012 she completed the University of Tennessee Certified Osteoarthritis Case Management Program and was the recipient of The Ontario Association of Veterinary Technicians Award of Merit for enhancing the image of the veterinary technology profession and a long standing history of community service for her volunteer work teaching therapeutic horseback riding lessons to children and adults with diverse physical and intellectual abilities.  In 2014 she completed the University of Tennessee Companion Animal Pain Management Certificate Program.  In 2017 she obtained her Veterinary Technician Specialty (VTS) in Physical Rehabilitation.  Her clinical experience includes a variety of work in private, referral, and academic companion animal practice, mobile, academic, racetrack, and surgical equine practice, and wildlife rehabilitation.  Jenn has a wide variety of experience in orthopedic, neurologic, weight loss, and conditioning rehabilitation.  She developed her tool box of rehabilitation skills at The Mississauga-Oakville Veterinary Emergency Hospital and Referral Group, coordinating CARE, The Companion Animal Rehabilitation Experts, Rehabilitation Service.  She also managed The Neurology and MRI Service where she developed her technical and anaesthesia skills. Prior to her relocation to British Columbia she was part of the team at The Hill’s Pet Nutrition Primary Healthcare Centre, as a Primary Healthcare Technician and Coordinator of The Fitness and Rehabilitation Service at The Ontario Veterinary College, University of Guelph.  She is a Founding Board Member and Organizing Committee Member for The Proposed Academy of Physical Rehabilitation Veterinary Technicians   She is pleased be co-coordinator of “S.W.I.M. Cats Coast to Coast” (Safe Weight-Loss and Improved Mobility) a Canadian feline weight loss and improved mobility initiative providing physical rehabilitation and weight loss programs under veterinary supervision.  She also provides rehabilitation lectures and workshops at conferences and veterinary meetings and provides technical support for laboratory sessions at Douglas College. 


Large Animal Sling Safety
Working with large animals in inherently dangerous and preventing injuries in the workplace takes time, education and training. The risks increase significantly when these animals suffer debilitating injuries related to trauma, orthopedic or neurologic disease which impair their ability to stand on their own. Dealing with large recumbent patients also pose risks which can be mitigated in many ways.

  • Types of equipment available for various species and when they are best applied.
  • Patient concerns related to handling down and sling patients
  • Safety concerns for staff related to handling down and sling patients

Sue Loly, LVT, VTS-Equine Nursing
See bio above


Dental Radiographs- The Basics - pre-requisite lecture for Veterinary Dental Radiography Lab 
All radiation safety precautions used with veterinary radiology should be observed when taking veterinary dental radiographs. The indications for dental radiographs such as; evaluating the presence or absence of unerupted or impacted teeth, oral fracture evaluation, fractured tooth/teeth evaluation, resorptive lesion evaluation, monitoring and evaluating periodontal disease, oral and facial mass evaluation, evaluating nasal discharges, facial cyst/ granuloma /abscess evaluation, endodontic evaluation, pre and post extractions. If you do not have dental radiographs in your practice, a review of the necessary radiographic equipment will be provided. The following topics will be discussed; proper dental techniques used to obtain views with minimal or no distortion (parallel and bisecting angle technique), film quality interpretation, normal dental anatomy, common misinterpretations of normal dental anatomy (mandibular premolar & molar region, mandibular incisal area, rostral maxilla and canine apical tooth region) and a few cases to describe radiographic features of common dental pathology (periodontal disease, endodontic disease, tooth resorption and neoplasia).

Candace Lowe, DVM, MVetS, DAVDC
Dr. Lowe received her DVM degree from the WCVM in 2005.  Following graduation, she worked as a Clinical Associate in Radiation Oncology at the WCVM.  In 2008 she began a residency in Veterinary Dentistry which she successfully completed in July 2011. Dr. Lowe joined the Department of Small Animal Clinical Sciences as an Assistant Professor in September 2011.  Candace received her Diplomate status in the American Veterinary Dental College in January 2017


SESSION 4 (2:15 pm – 3:10 pm)

Anesthesia in the Patient with Concurrent Disease
In this lecture we will discuss various anesthetic considerations for patients with concurrent disease. We will discuss pre-medication selection and anesthetic monitoring parameters as they obtain to patients with liver disease, cardiac disease, and brachycephalic airway disease.

Tasha McNerney, BS, CVT, CVPP, VTS Anesthesia)
See bio above


Optimal Immunization for Beef Herd Health
*Sponsored by Zoetis
The health of your beef cattle is a cornerstone of having a productive, profitable herd. A key component of healthy cattle is optimal immunization, to build a strong foundation of immunity and protect your herd from disease. This session will review principles of optimal immunization, as well as present new research on immunization programs. We will also discuss perinatal programming – the impact that calf health in the first 60 days of life has on long term health and productivity.

Dr. Dorothy Erickson
Dr. Dorothy Erickson is Manager Veterinary Services – Cattle, for Zoetis. In this role, Dorothy works with veterinarians and producers across Canada to consult on feedlot, cow/calf and dairy management. Dorothy was raised on a mixed farming operation near Krydor, Saskatchewan, and graduated from the Western College of Veterinary Medicine in 2006. After graduation, Dorothy worked at a feedlot and dairy practice in southern Alberta, before joining Zoetis in 2013. Dorothy is Past President of the Western Canadian Association of Bovine Practitioners and has served on the Canadian Association of Bovine Veterinarians. In 2015, Dorothy and her husband Nathan relocated back to Saskatchewan, where they also run a small cow/calf operation.


Making Mobility Happen:  Improving Canine, Feline, and Equine Mobility with a Multimodal Approach to Physical Rehabilitation
*Sponsored by Respond Systems Inc.

It’s a slippery slope! Osteoarthritis, obesity, chronic pain, and injury decrease mobility and longevity in our companion animals and canine and equine athletes.  Early identification and treatment of these conditions can slow progression and decrease impact on mobility.  Approaching physical wellbeing and mobility from an early intervention and multimodal perspective with an emphasis on maintaining body condition, providing gold standard pain management and physical rehabilitation fitness programs are a key component to helping pets and performance animals live longer happier lives. 

Jenn Panko, RVT, CCRP VTS (Physical Rehabilitation) OCMC, CAPMC
See bio above


Equine Behavior - The “uncooperative” patient
This session will review how to identify fear and stress behaviors in horses through objective, clinical observation. Common procedures utilized in veterinary practices will be reviewed and tips and strategies will be discussed and demonstrated for reducing fear and stress, safe practices for handlers and evidence based handling practices to “get the job done” in an efficient, confident manner.

Becky Taylor, RVT, MA
Becky Taylor has been active in her career as a Registered Veterinary Technologist (AHT) in for over 20 years. She graduated from Fairview College in 1993 and worked in a mixed animal practice for over 6 years. In 1999, Becky joined the teaching team at Olds College in the AHT Program and spent 19 years teaching in the animal health programs; AHT, VMR, VTA. In June, 2018 she began a new role as Director of Communication and Culture with Mosaic Veterinary Partners where she actively works with frontline veterinary practice staff in a supported business model. Becky’s passion for working with people has led to her devoting much of her professional development to learning and teaching communication skills in an applied manner. She has been active on provincial and national veterinary organizations in many roles. Becky completed a Master of Arts in Professional Communication through Royal Roads University which included a final research paper focusing on the communication practices of RVTs in practice. An avid advocate for practicing communication skills within the veterinary profession, she has taught courses in communication and coaches & examines veterinary students at UCVM in simulated communication settings. She has spoken extensively on the topic of communication to various groups in the animal health industry and is well respected for her enthusiasm and knowledge in that area.


Tech Tic-Tac-Toe
*Sponsored by Merck Animal Health

TICK Provincial Surveillance Data
TACTICS include tick identification wet lab
TOES-to-nose protection with Bravecto

Tick encounters in Saskatchewan are becoming more frequent.  In this talk you will find out what the 2017 SK tick surveillance data reveals about tick numbers, species and infectivity rates.  You will get a chance to practice simple tick identification techniques to differentiate between the American dog tick and the black-legged tick.  Finally, you will learn the key benefits of Bravecto’s tick protection and extended duration of activity.  

Dr. Kathy Keil, BA, MA, DVM
Kathy Keil has a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from the Ontario Veterinary College, and a M.A. and B.A. in Experimental Psychology from University of Western Ontario.  Kathy has worked for Merck for 3 years in veterinary pharmacovigilance and technical services.  Kathy has experience in equine, bovine and companion animal practice. She has 15 years of business experience in the veterinary pharmaceutical industry in technical services and training.  She is an advocate for mental health in the veterinary profession.  As a veterinary practitioner she had the lived experience of stress and burnout.  She is a certified Mental Health First Aider, Compassion Fatigue Educator, yoga instructor and has training in Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction and Mindful Self-Compassion.  She is a member of the Alberta Veterinary Medical Association member wellness committee and regularly teaches awareness of mental health and ways of dealing with bullying, stress, and conflict in veterinary practice.  She is a councilor on the Alberta Veterinary Medical Association representing Southern Alberta.  She is married to a wonderful non-veterinary minded husband, Tom an accountant, who loves their three cats, border collie and tolerates her lovely dressage horse Flora. 


SESSION 5 (3:40pm–4:35pm)

Achoo!  It’s the dog flu.  Do you know what to do?
*Sponsored by Merck Animal Health
The first Canadian canine influenza outbreak in Ontario in early 2018 showed us rapidly a respiratory disease can spread when community immunity is low. Outbreaks can easily start anywhere dogs congregate including veterinary hospitals. You, in your role as veterinary technician, have a very important and integral part in prevention of influenza disease transmission.  This session will go through the top 5 things that you need to do to keep your clinic patients and community dogs safe from spread of canine influenza. 

  1. Triage
  2. Personal protection equipment
  3. Biosecurity strategies
  4. Swab techniques and sample handling
  5. Vaccination tips

Dr. Kathy Keil, BA, MA, DVM
See bio above


Calf Scours –Prevention and management
*Sponsored by Zoetis

Calf scours outbreaks in beef herds can be severe, resulting in major losses. This session will present an overview of calf scours in beef herds, including etiology, prevention, and management. With a focus on prevention, we will cover several principles, including vaccination, colostrum management, risk factors and environment. Information on dealing with a scours outbreak will also be presented.

Dr. Dorothy Erickson
Sponsored by Zoetis
See bio above



NPAIDs Decoded:  The Application of Non-Pharmaceutical Anti-Inflammatory Devices to Reduce Pain, Promote Healing, and Improve Mobility in Dogs, Cats, and Horses
*Sponsored by Respond Systems Inc

Be a pet and equine mobility superhero.  Help pets improve their mobility by reducing their pain and assisting with their recovery from injury or surgery with the help of non-pharmaceutical anti-inflammatory devices.  Find out how they work, the evidence to support their use, and a variety of options available for use in veterinary practice.

Jenn Panko, RVT, CCRP VTS (Physical Rehabilitation) OCMC, CAPMC
See bio above


Self Promotion and the “Performance Review”
This session will review communication practices for performance review conversations. Emphasis will be on how to promote yourself, acknowledge strengths and challenges and how to ask for perks, benefits or monetary increases. There is a growing need for highly competent paraprofessionals that support the veterinary profession, good medicine and practice growth. Being an advocate for yourself can fulfill career aspirations as well as grow the business you work in. Good communication skills are the foundation for these “difficult” conversations.

Becky Taylor, RVT, MA
See bio above


Nutrition and Client Compliance and Market Trends in Nutrition
*Sponsored by Rayne Clinical Nutrition

This session will discuss Nutrition and Client Compliance, including a focus on the Human-Animal Bond (HAB) and how it relates to nutrition.  Recommendations and an overview on Market Trends and how they impact nutrition discussions will also be covered.

Heather Parsons, VMG, MBA
Heather Parsons’ 25 years of experience in the pet care industry began as a volunteer at the local humane society. This started her life-long passion for pet nutrition when she saw first-hand both the devastating impact of a lack of nutrition, and the dramatic recovery when pets are fed optimally. Her years in veterinary clinics gave her an added deep respect for the role of nutrition in the prevention and treatment of disease, and the importance of an expert diet prescription from the veterinary team. A passionate pet owner, she has participated in many sports with her dogs, and has seen first-hand how ensuring they had the best nutrition allowed them to perform at their peak potential. Heather has spent the last 15 years dedicated to pet nutrition. A strong believer in the power of whole foods, she believes a simpler, more natural approach to nutrition is best.


BONUS SESSION  (4:40 pm–5:35pm)

Reporting Professional Misconduct: Interactive Session
Join Dr. Judy Currie, SVMA Registrar for this important interactive session.  Audience participants will be given the chance to ask questions about the new SVMA Policies and Bylaws.

Dr. Judy Currie, SVMA Registrar