Commentary

AAEP Convention Day 4: Do or Die in a Day

AAEP Convention Day 4: Do or Die in a Day

Intimidated with facing one of the most action-packed days of the conference, I did the unmentionable: I turned the text alert off on my phone before bed. Take that, Eastern Standard Time!

With a glorious uninterrupted three and a half hours of sleep under my belt, I loaded up my custom-made Tuesday Vegas Plan of Attack (VPOA) using the AAEP Convention app. I then called on my inner Ke$ha and promised classmate roomie, “When I leave for the day, I ain’t coming back.”

STOP #1: Medical Pain Management

Lori Bidwell, DVM, Dipl. ACVA, anesthesiologist for Lexington Equine Surgery and Sports Medicine in Kentucky, and Debra Sellon, DVM, PhD, director of Washington State University’s Veterinary Teaching Hospital, teamed up and provided an informal, audience-led discussion on medical pain management. The most popular painful conditions included laminitis, foal pain (e.g., septic joints), colic, and castrations.

The group discussed and debated various techniques and described myriad multimodal approaches to pain management. Although some of the hot new techniques garnered much interest, such as using an intravenous continuous rate infusion of lidocaine, the docs in the room ultimately voted good ol’ tried and true NSAIDs (that is, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) as “Best Drugs for Pain Management in 2015.” They also explored theoretical situations, including whether topical ketamine could benefit laminitic horses with hoof wall resections as it does in offering human burn patients pain relief.

STOP #2: Regenerative Therapies

Rich Redding, DVM, MS, Dipl. ACVS, a clinical professor at North Carolina State University, and Ashlee Watts, DVM, PhD, Dipl. ACVS, an assistant professor at the Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine, addressed a near-capacity room to facilitate a discussion on both the current and evolving use of platelet-rich plasma (better known as PRP), stem cells (bone marrow, fat, and dental pulp), and IRAP (interleukin-1 receptor antagonist protein). Just like in the pain management session, laminitis was the No. 1 topic of discussion for regenerative therapy. This was an interesting turn of events considering that the bulk of the research in this field focuses on the use of stem cell therapy for tendon and ligament lesions, rather than laminitis.

Spoiler alert: You won’t believe what happened next! One attendee reported “miraculous results” with one trick! Just keep reading …

… Did you fall for that click-bait-style lure? Well, if you did and are still reading, here’s the miraculous trick that practitioner described: Use regional limb perfusion, either intravenous or intra-arterial, to deliver stem cells to the distal limb to treat laminitis.

Make sure you check out the The Horse’s 2015 AAEP Convention Wrap-Up for more information on these therapies and how they are being used in various combinations.

STOP #3: Trade Show

Although I briefly ducked into the trade show on Day 2 of AAEP for my photo shoot, I went back for a closer look. Skipping the mile-long lunch line, I elected to hunt down freebies. Over the previous few days I spied a cute little stuffed horse my 6-year-old daughter would love (read: another one she would love). Viewing this as an ideal opportunity to bribe her into not texting me at 3:30 a.m., PST, I arrived at the booth only to find it ravaged and pillaged like the shelves of Macy’s on Black Friday. Seriously, people, did you all need one?

STOP #4: In-Depth Interactive: Reproductive Disorders From Pathology to Treatment

Despite my huffy “stuffie” state, I ended up enjoying this exciting marathon session. Do you think you know about hemospermia? Think again! The real-time electronic polling system revealed many seasoned veterinarians are over-reacting to the presence of blood in ejaculates. What happened next left me speechless! (Sorry, couldn’t help myself).

The group discussed managing the problem mare, and the audience was walked through a stressful case of endometritis in an entertaining, yet educational, manner. The session featured a polling system that allowed audience participation via smartphone.

During the endometritis case report, Margo MacPherson, DVM, MS, Dipl. ACT, (who will assume the role of AAEP president in 2018) suggested Maroon 5 tunes play during the one-minute polling period—she really likes Adam Levine. For as long as possible I took my job seriously, making important notes on my AAEP-sanctioned pad of paper until one attendee asked via the polling system, “Who is Adam Levine?” This blatant lack of knowledge surrounding important current culture pushed me over the edge, and I was forced to respond:

Adam Levine is DA BOMB!

I better not be charged $2.99 for that, AAEP!

STOP #5: 19th AAEP Foundation Celebration

Finally, together with old and new colleagues and the vet school roomie I strong-armed into coming, I enjoyed hobnobbing at the social event of the convention. It was a pleasure to witness thousands of dollars being raised during the live and silent auctions in support of the AAEP Foundation and its dedication to the welfare of the horse. Although the dining and dancing were still in full swing, roomie and I excused ourselves slightly before 11 for a second date with a craps table (it just can’t be that hard, can it?!).

Stop #6: Bed

Meh, why bother?

 

About the Author

Stacey Oke, DVM, MSc

Stacey Oke, MSc, DVM, is a practicing veterinarian and freelance medical writer and editor. She is interested in both large and small animals, as well as complementary and alternative medicine. Since 2005, she's worked as a research consultant for nutritional supplement companies, assisted physicians and veterinarians in publishing research articles and textbooks, and written for a number of educational magazines and websites.

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