Daily Reports About the Latest in Veterinary Care from AAEP

More than 300 topics will be covered at this year’s Convention of the American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP) on Nov. 24-28 in San Diego, Calif. The major sessions will include several presentations each on Western performance horse lameness, athletic horse lameness, antimicrobials, handling and breeding with frozen semen, joint ultrasonography, pediatrics, surgery, reproduction, and medications. Each session includes a variety of topics and speakers who have experience in the lab and/or field in various areas of horse care.

The idea of getting veterinarians together in order to teach them—and allow them to teach others—should be applauded by every horse owner. There are so many new techniques, technologies, and trouble spots for horse care in today’s world that it is difficult for veterinarians to keep up (much less horse owners). Continuing education is one of the reasons that the AAEP exists. They strive to provide the best and most varied educational opportunities for practitioners, and are expanding that mission to include horse owners (see Horseman’s Day at http://www.thehorse.com/ViewArticle.aspx?ID=3143).

A veterinarian who continues to learn and expand his or her horizons is valued by horse owners. While your veterinarian might not use something as simple as a marble to keep your mare from coming into heat during your next show season, wouldn’t it be great if he/she at least knew about the technique and how it might work? Are there new treatments that will help bone, cartilage, ligament, or muscle heal more quickly following injury? Are there ways for a veterinarian or horse owner to know before a horse has clinical signs that a problem is developing? Can a blood test show the development of arthritis or cartilage breakdown?

As well as the standard scientific sessions that have one or more veterinarians speaking and using visuals to teach a large audience, there are chances for more personal communication and sharing of information during the AAEP Convention. Breakfast and lunch times offer Sunrise Sessions and Table Topics for interested veterinarians. At these sessions, one or more experts in a certain area of horse care moderate roundtable discussions with attending veterinarians. These discussions often start slow, but warm quickly as opinions and experiences are shared. Many times there is standing room only around tables, a problem which the AAEP has addressed by repeating some of the topics on different days.

For example, wouldn’t you as a horse owner like to listen in on a group of veterinarians and researchers discussing how to manage sarcoids and other skin tumors? How about picking the brains of two of the country’s leading authorities on Cushing’s disease? Of course, every veterinarian and horse owner has had to deal with hind limb lameness, sore backs, or wounds. Wouldn’t it be great to hear how others have managed these problems successfully, and what pitfalls they have encountered? This sharing of experiences can help veterinarians learn from others’ trials and tribulations.

Something as simple as discussing non-invasive joint therapy in athletic horses or hormone therapy in the mare can reveal in one hour what it might have taken your veterinarian years of trial and error to learn on his own. It also gives veterinarians (and thus their owners) a chance to have the first crack at insightful new technologies that come out of veterinary schools and equine research centers.

Online at www.thehorse.com/AAEP2001 you will find briefings on some of the topics to be covered at this year’s convention. While these are by no means all of the topics, or even the most important ones (that depends on what is happening to your horse this week), we think they will entice veterinarians to put some of these topics on their schedules. They will also offer insight to horse owners of what is to come in the AAEP Wrap-Up that mails with our February magazine to subscribers only. The Horse staff will bring you daily updates from the convention at www.thehorse.com/AAEP2001, beginning Nov. 25.

About the Author

Kimberly S. Brown

Kimberly S. Brown was the Publisher/Editor of The Horse: Your Guide To Equine Health Care from June 2008 to March 2010, and she served in various positions at Blood-Horse Publications since 1980.

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