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2019 Spring Conference
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DVMA 2019 Spring Conference
Tuesday, April 30, 2019
Chase Center on the Riverfront - Wilmington, Delaware



Fear Free Track - Marty Becker, DVM

Adjunct Professor, College of Veterinary Medicine, Washington State University, Pullman, Washington; North Idaho Animal  Hospital, Sandpoint, Idaho
Dr. Marty Becker, “America’s Veterinarian,” has spent his life working toward better health for pets and the people who love them. In recent years, his realization that it’s impossible to provide for pets’ physical well-being without equal focus on their emotional well-being led him to found the Fear FreeTM initiative.  Because the anxiety and stress of veterinary visits was preventing pets from receiving the veterinary care they need and deserve, Dr. Becker brought together veterinary behaviorists and dozens of other experts and leaders in the field to develop an educational program to train veterinarians in easing the fear and anxiety of their patients and clients. This training and certification program launched in March of 2016.  Dr. Becker was the resident veterinary contributor on "Good Morning America" for 17 years and is currently a member of the Board of Directors of the American Humane Association. He serves as an adjunct professor at his alma mater, the Washington State University College of Veterinary Medicine and practices at North Idaho Animal Hospital.



With Fear Free You’ll Achieve Explosive Practice Growth (Parts 1, 2, & 3)
After ten years of development by a team of over 215 professionals and nine of successful in-practice deployment, Dr. Marty Becker and the team have rolled out the essential skills you need for real and lasting change.  Practices implementing Fear Free procedures and protocols are seeing 10% plus growth per year.  Finally, something where everybody wins: the pet, pet owner, practitioners, practice and the profession.  “Do well by doing good!”


Top 10 Ways to Get Started with Fear Free Veterinary Visits (Parts 1 & 2)

By decreasing a pet’s fear, you dramatically increase pet owner visits to vets.  Here’s a step-by-step guide in how to remove or reduce anxiety triggers as the pet moves from the living room at home to the exam room at your clinic, how to mitigate fear when it flares up, a new way to examine pets (including specifics such as “considerate approach,” “gradient touch,” and “gentle control”) and how to communicate these positive changes to pet owners.


The Secrets of Exam Room Super Stars

No simple tricks will turn an average surgeon into a great one, but that’s not true when it comes to improving skills in the exam room.  You, yes you, can be a superstar, and so can your staff.  Dr. Marty Becker, “America’s Veterinarian” is the popular veterinarian from “Good Morning America” but he’s also a practicing veterinarian with more than 30 years of experience, including as the owner of seven large veterinary hospitals.  Learn to be a more competent, confident, compassionate communicator.  Tips include how to dress for success, what should be embroidered on your uniform near your heart, what you should do automatically every time you reach for the exam room doorknob, the importance of eye contact and empathy, the proven trick that will help you to always remember a pet’s name and delight the owner, what ear you should slightly direct your voice towards when giving recommendations, where your feet should be pointing when you give recommendations, and more.  Learn the one thing that MDs are terrible at – and veterinarians aren’t that good at either that harms the family-pet-veterinary bond.  Find out why it’s essential to enthusiastically and efficiently take client calls, and how to make every pet owner feel like she or his is number one.  And don’t forget your technicians: find out dozens of secrets for success, specific things that techs and the rest of the team should know and more importantly should do.  If you’re tired of having your expert suggestions shot down, you need to listen up!


Large Animal Track - Stephen Reed, DVM, DACVIM

Internal Medicine Specialist, Rood and Riddle Equine Hospital, Lexington, Kentucky

Dr. Reed earned his DVM at The Ohio State University, followed by a residency at Michigan State University. He started his academic teaching career at Washington State University from 1979-1983, and then returned to The Ohio State University where he spent 26 years as a professor and mentor in the Equine Medicine department, retiring as a professor emeritus in 2007.  At the same time he chose a new career path away from academia and is now a shareholder and a member of the Internal Medicine Service at Rood and Riddle Equine Hospital in Lexington, Kentucky.  His special interests include Equine Neurology and EPM research.  In his spare time Dr. Reed enjoys spending time with his young grandchildren.


Cervical Vertebral Stenotic Myelopathy (CVM)
Diagnosis of cervical vertebral stenotic myelopathy (CVSM) in horses begins with localization to the cervical spinal cord of the horse. Neurologic examination reveals upper motor neuron signs and general proprioceptive deficits. Symmetric ataxia, paresis, dysmetria, and spasticity will be present in all four limbs, usually more noticeable in the pelvic limbs.  Cervical radiographs are clearly indicated when neurologic disease localized to the cervical spinal cord is present, particularly if signs are relatively symmetric and compatible with a focal compressive lesion


Medical and Surgical Treatment of CVM
Medical therapy is aimed at reducing cord swelling and edema formation with subsequent reduction of the compression on the spinal cord. Administration of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or corticosteroids is indicated in horses with acute spinal cord trauma.  Surgical treatment involves insertion of a “Seattle Slew” implant at the site(s) of spinal cord compression.


Head and Spinal Cord Trauma


Equine Degenerative Myeloencephalopathy


Peripheral Nerve Injuries


Equine Neurological Case Studies
This session will be devoted to a review of selected neurological problems in horses.  Some will be diseases discussed earlier in the day while others will include examples of brain, peripheral nerve or spinal cord trauma along with other infectious causes of neurological disease such as eastern encephalomyelitis, Anaplasma and rabies.




7:30-8:30am            OSHA Compliance Made Easier, Really? REALLY!
8:00-9:00 am           Registration, Continental Breakfast, Visit Exhibits - Governors Hall
9:00 am - 12:00 pm Morning Sessions (3 hours CE credit) - Pusey Jones & Christina Ballroom
12:00-1:30 pm         Lunch - Christina Ballroom
1:30-2:00 pm           Visit Exhibits - Governors Hall
1:30-2:00pm            Veterinary Technician & Assistant Discussion - Lobdell Room
2:00-5:00 pm           Afternoon Sessions (3 hours CE credit) - Pusey Jones & Christina Ballroom



OSHA Compliance made easier, really? REALLY!

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) assures safe and healthful working conditions for working men and women.  OSHA does this through setting and enforcing standards and by providing training, outreach, education and assistance. In this short workshop, OSHA will provide an overview of employer workplace requirements and resources for small businesses.  This session is FREE to all attendees. 

In this session, participants will learn:

  • What is OSHA?
  • OSHA requirements for small businesses
  • What are the most prominent injuries in veterinary offices?
  • OSHA available free resources to help with compliance including the no-cost, confidential On-Site Consultation Program


6 hours of approved continuing education credit is offered through the Delaware Veterinary Medical Association.



A limited block of discounted rooms is available at 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 block.  The discounted room rate is $180/night and includes complimentary in-room wifi, and parking.  Reservations will be made on a first-come, first-served basis until 5:00 pm on March 29, after which reservations may be made on a space and rate availability basis only.


(confirmed as of April 8, 2019)

Allstate Insurance Company
Antech Sound
Boehringer Ingelheim Animal Health
Brandywine Valley SPCA
Community Veterinary Partners
Covetrus Global Prescription Management
Covetrus North America
Delaware Humane Association
Delaware Pet Cremation
Delaware Veterinary Medical Association
Diamond State Financial Group
Elanco Animal Health
Hill’s Pet Nutrition
Nutramax Laboratories
Paws to Heaven Crematory
Penn Vet Ryan Hospital – University of Pennsylvania
Penn Veterinary Supply
Purina Pet Care
Royal Canin
Saveway Compounding Pharmacy
Simmons Mid-Atlantic
Stokes Pharmacy
Supreme Digital Imaging Solutions
Synergy Veterinary Imaging Partners
The Art of Medicine Compounding Pharmacy
Veterinary Medical Center
Veterinary Neurology & Imaging of the Chesapeake
Veterinary Specialty Center of Delaware
Virbac Animal Health
Wedgewood Pharmacy
Windcrest Animal Hospital





Please contact Christine Gacono, CMP

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