8:00-9:00 am:        Registration & Continental Breakfast

9:00am-12:00pm: Morning Sessions

12:00-2:00pm:       Lunch

2:00-5:00 pm:        Afternoon Sessions



6.0 hours of approved continuing education credit will be provided through the Delaware Veterinary Medical Association.






 John Anastasio, DVM, DACVECC, Medical Director, VRC Specialty Hospital, Malvern, Pennsylvania

Dr. Anastasio hails from New York City, where he earned his undergraduate degree in Biology at the City University of New York. He then attended Ross University and completed his clinical year at the University of Pennsylvania. After a rotating internship at the Animal Medical Center in Manhattan, he was accepted into the Emergency/Critical Care Residency Training Program at Tufts University. Board certified, Dr. Anastasio is a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Emergency & Critical Care and his interests include respiratory medicine, hemodynamic optimization and trauma. He serves as Medical Director at VRC.


Pain Management:  What Do We Do Now?

Opioids have been the cornerstone of treatment for veterinary patients with acute pain.  Unfortunately, with the opioid shortage we are forced to step back and examine our approach to patient care as it relates to pain management.  This hour is dedicated to exploring techniques for managing post-operative pain in dogs and cats without the use of opioids.


Cardiopulmonary Cerebral Resuscitation: Updates on the RECOVER Initiative

A firm grasp on the goals and techniques for CPCR is essential in maximizing the chance of a successful outcome.  In this hour, we will explore an evidence-based approach to CPCR using guidelines set forth by the RECOVER initiative.


Diagnosis and Management of Bacterial Pneumonia

Prompt diagnosis and institution of appropriate antibiotics is essential for successful management of bacterial pneumonia.  We will explore how bacterial pneumonia causes systemic illness, methods for diagnosis of bacterial pneumonia, and the relationship of community-acquired and hospital-acquired pathogens to appropriate choices of antibiotics.


Approach to the Acute Abdomen

Acute abdomen refers to the acute onset of abdominal pain.  Rapid diagnosis, hemodynamic stabilization, and treatment of the underlying etiology can lead to improved patient outcomes.  We will examine common reasons for acute abdomen and diagnostic tools to differentiate etiologies in an efficient manner.  We will then utilize a case-based approach to highlight a goal-directed approach to treatment.


Blockin’ Clots:  Prevention and Treatment of Thromboembolic Disease

Recent studies have identified several diseases associated with the risk of developing thromboembolic disease.  While the treatment of active blood clots can be challenging, their prevention may be a bit more attainable goal.  The objectives of this session are to discuss diseases associated with the risk of thrombosis, identification of thromboembolic disease, and minimizing the risk of these events from occurring.


Diagnosis and Management of Upper Airway Disease

Clinically, there is a significant difference in the way our patients present with upper airway disease versus parenchymal disease.  Rapid diagnosis of upper airway disease starts with a thorough assessment and physical examination of patients with labored breathing.  This hour will be dedicated to discussion of methods to diagnose and treat upper airway disease in dogs and cats.



David Liss, RVT, VTS (ECC, SAIM), CVPM, Director, Veterinary Training and Consulting, Los Angeles, California

David Liss is a renowned technician educator, double board-certified veterinary technician specialist in emergency/critical care and internal medicine, and a certified veterinary practice manager. He has a diverse background in emergency and critical care nursing including lecturing internationally, authoring numerous articles and book chapters, and serving on various technician association committees. He has also received numerous awards including the Veterinary Technician Educator of the Year by Western Veterinary Conference and the Southern California Technician of the Year. David spent many years in emergency/critical care veterinary nursing and was technician manager at two different 24- hour referral/specialty facilities in the Los Angeles area. David is currently pursuing his Master’s degree in Biomedical Science, set to finish in 2017, and currently is the Program Director for the Veterinary Technology Program at Platt College in Los Angeles, He also stays clinically relevant by working relief as an ICU technician at VCA Veterinary Specialists of the Valley in Woodland Hills, CA.



Salt and Water! Basic Fluid Therapy for Technicians

Technician’s start IV’s and give IV fluids all the time.  But most don’t have a clue as to how they actually work!  This talk will provide an overview of the basics of fluid therapy physiology and the different types of fluids seen in practice.


Its’ What’s For Dinner! Nutritional Management of Disease

Nutrition is known to be powerful and effective in treating various diseases.  And providing nutrition is an area veterinary technicians can skillfully provide.  But how exactly do some of these interventions work?  What’s the theory behind them?  This talk will focus on diseases that benefit from nutritional intervention and discuss how providing nutrition can positively affect outcomes in our patients.


Sweet Tooth: Diabetes 101 for Vet Techs

Diabetic patients, once diagnosed, become a chronic management issue for the veterinary practice.  Veterinary technicians can be skilled at taking care of these patients, and even managing them with veterinary supervision.  This talk aims to overview the basics of diabetes and treatment, while providing the framework of supporting the veterinary technician in providing the primary case management for these patients.


NSAIDs, Opioids, Adjunctive Meds, Oh My! Basics of Pain Pharmacology for Vet Techs

Pain drugs abound these days.  And with various shortages it becomes even more important to know the ins and outs of the various drugs.  This talk will cover the basic pharmacology and use of common NSAIDs, opioid and adjunctive drugs used in the small animal veterinary practice.


Pain Management in the ER

Whether you work in the ER, or your front lobby is an ER sometimes, providing pain management to acute and severely affected patients is crucial.  This talk will focus on pain management strategies in extremely sick patients and look at techniques to provide pain management for acute and severely painful patients.


Putting Together a Pain Plan

Once initial pain management is administered, and the patient is stabilized, continual monitoring is essential.  Pain plans can be part of this and can be viewed as an area the veterinary technician may have a significant amount of input.  Learning how to assess a patient, and then develop a pain plan is a crucial skill and this talk will overview all of these topics.



Mike Cissell, DVM, MS, DACVS-LA, Technical Veterinarian, Anicell Biotech, Chandler, Arizona

Dr. Mike Cissell is originally from Louisville, Kentucky, but spent a lot of his free time growing up on his aunt’s farm in central Kentucky. While in central KY, he would spend as much time as possible following the local vet around and it was even at a young age that Dr. Cissell decided to dedicate his future to helping animals. He went to Murray State University where he graduated Magna Cum Laude with his Bachelor’s in Science, and then went on to Auburn University where he graduated Cum Laude in 2005 with his DVM. Dr. Cissell then continued his training at the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine where he completed both his internship and his surgical residency. He joined the VMRCVM in 2009 at the end of his residency as a faculty member of the college and during his time there successfully sat and passed his surgery boards to become a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Surgeons. When not working to help his patients, Dr. Cissell enjoys spending time with his wife Emily and their three children. He tries to find time when possible to go hiking, camping, exercise, or play sports.







Acellular Regenerative Therapies 

Regenerative therapies in veterinary medicine are focused on utilizing the patient’s own endogenous repair mechanisms to improve tissue healing following damage.  There are various forms of regenerative therapies available to veterinarians today, with a large volume of science present to support the usage of these products.  Therapies currently available include both the use of cellular based products, but also acellular products.  The acellular techniques that have been investigated for use in veterinary medicine include autologous conditioned serum (ACS), growth factors, and gene therapy.  The use of ACS has become widespread in veterinary medicine with a primary focus on the treatment of joint disease via intra-articular use.  ACS therapy was developed to counteract the effects of the inflammatory mediator interleukin 1-beta (IL-1β), which is a primary inflammatory mediator in joint inflammation.  The use of ACS in the treatment of both tendonitis and desmitis has also been explored, but to a lesser degree than the treatment of joint inflammation.  The use of individual growth factors, both directly in their protein form, and indirectly through gene therapy has shown promise in research studies but has not become widely available to the clinical veterinarian.


Cellular Regenerative Therapies 

As with acellular regenerative therapies, the cellular based therapies focus to stimulate the patient’s endogenous healing cascades to achieve increased tissue healing.  The currently available cellular therapies include both platelet rich plasma (PRP) and mesenchymal stem cells (MSC’s).  Cellular therapies are typically in the form of autologous, or from the patient, or allogeneic, or from the same species.  There are several sources of stem cells available for use as therapies.  Stem cells may be collected from bone marrow, adipose tissue, dental pulp material, and also are available from amniotic material.  One of the main disadvantages of the use of mesenchymal stem cells in veterinary medicine is the delay in patient treatment when using either adipose derived or bone marrow derived stem cells.  Both of these sources of cells require isolation and culture expansion to provide large numbers of cells for treatment.  Dental pulp and amniotic material sources have become a source of readily available mesenchymal stem cells but are an allogeneic source verses the autogenous bone marrow or adipose derived cells.    Although not fully demonstrated in the horse, mesenchymal stem cells from other species have been shown to be immune privileged, and thus the use of an allogeneic source allows for the potential of an “off the shelf” type product.


Amnion as a Regenerative Therapy 

Amnion has been used for wound healing in the human medical field since 1910.  The initial use of amnion for tissue healing included superficial wounds corneal injuries.  Amnion has been used to serve as a source of growth factors, as a bioscaffold, and as a source of mesenchymal stromal cells. Amniotic cells consist of two of the three germ cell lines, ectoderm and mesoderm, and thus can differentiate into cells lines derived from each of the germ lines.  Amniotic materials utilized in the regenerative field include the membrane, fluid, and the cellular component.  Veterinary research has to this date been somewhat limited, but as the field continues to grow, new information regarding efficacy and technique protocols continues to grow.  Currently amniotic materials have been used in veterinary medicine for a variety of conditions including superficial wounds, corneal injuries, tendon and ligament injuries, and joint disease.  Additional conditions that have been treated in the field have included navicular syndrome and laminitis, but the work with such conditions is very limited, and thus true efficacy is difficult to determine at this time.



Directly following the conference, join us for a Wilmington Blue Rocks vs. Potomac Nationals baseball game. The first 40 tickets are just $13.50 thanks to a generous sponsorship from Petplan Pet Insurance.

Tickets include admission to the game and a 2-hour all-you-can-eat buffet (bbq ribs, pulled chicken, hot dogs, hamburgers, macaroni and cheese, coleslaw, cookies, chips, and soft drinks). Game time is 6:35 p.m. Any tickets above the first 40 may be purchased for $27 per ticket.





A limited block of discounted rooms is available at the Westin Wilmington, which is connected to the Chase Conference Center, for Spring Conference attendees.  To make your reservation, please call the hotel directly at 302-654-2900 and mention that you need a room in the Delaware Veterinary Medical Association room block.  The discounted rate is $165/night and includes complimentary in-room wifi and parking. Reservations may be made on a first come, first served basis until April 2 at 5:00 p.m, after which reservations made be made on a space and rate availability basis only.



  • 6 hours of approved continuing education credit,
  • Admission to the trade show,
  • Continental breakfast, breaks, and lunch, and
  • Lecture notes


Please contact Christine Gacono, CMP, at