Veterinian Jen Flower with “Ziggy Star” following her successful brainsurgery

World-Renowned Veterinary Experts Present Breakthroughs and Trends

_at the 38th Annual Veterinary Meeting & Expo (VMX) _

The CDC’s One Health Director Explores the Next Pandemic and GlobalReadiness

  • Reversing diabetes in cats : freeing them from daily insulin injections is a game-changer.
  • Helping dogs age better : addressing memory loss and cognitive decline in senior dogs ( yes, dogs get dementia too! ) and orthopedic procedures to keep them physically active.
  • A first-time neurosurgical procedure performed on a marine mammal saves a Northern fur seal’s life.
  • Inappetence in reptiles : how pet parents are inadvertently harming their iguanas and turtles, and changes they can make to ensure better health.
  • Predicting the next global pandemic and how animals and people are inextricably linked.

ORLANDO, FLMAY 12, 2021 – The North American Veterinary Community(NAVC) today announced key speakers and topics to be presented at VMX 2021,the world’s largest and most comprehensive global veterinary educationconference. Leading experts in veterinary medicine will present life-savingand life-changing advances in animal medicine that are extending and improvingthe quality of life for animals of all species — cats, dogs, penguins, cows,snakes and more. VMX will be held June 5 -9 live in Orlando at the OrangeCounty Convention Center and everywhere virtually.

“With so many advances taking place in animal medicine, it is more importantthan ever for veterinarians to stay current. They are the oncologist,cardiologist, ophthalmologist, dermatologist — and just about every other‘ologist’ for our animals. Unlike human doctors, they handle multiplespecies,” said Dr. Dana Varble, NAVC Chief Veterinary Officer. “More Americanshave looked to pets for comfort and companionship over the last year and petadoptions are at an all-time high. The bond between people and pets has neverbeen deeper, and the breakthroughs in diagnoses and treatments that will bepresented at VMX 2021 are exciting and life-changing.”

Key topics and speakers available for interviews at VMX 2021:

Casey Barton Behravesh, MS, DVM, DrPH, DACVPM,

Captain, U.S. Public Health Service Director, CDC One Health Office

One of the CDC’s experts in zoonotic diseases, CAPT Barton Behravesh willconduct several sessions about pandemics, including the current COVID-19pandemic. She will walk veterinarians through what we have learned aboutanimals and COVID-19 and will also address the likely scenarios of the nextglobal pandemic and the urgent need for a One Health approach to help mitigateits impact.

  • Wednesday, June 9, 8:00 AM – 9:15 AM: COVID-19: Using a One Health Approach for a New Pandemic: Understanding the Role of Pets and Other Animals in SARS-CoV-2
  • Wednesday, June 9, 4:40 PM – 5:05 PM: Beyond COVID-19: What Infectious Disease(s) Might Cause the Next Potential Pandemic and How Do We Prepare?

Tres Clarke, DVM

Director of Animal Health and Welfare at SeaWorld Abu Dhabi, United ArabEmirates and a Diplomate of the American College of Zoological Medicine

Jen Flower, DVM, MS , DACZM

Chief Clinical Veterinarian at Mystic Aquarium

From elephants and pelicans to sea lions and penguins, zoological and aquaticveterinarians care for tremendously diverse species. Dr. Clarke and Dr. Flowerwill share case studies, new techniques and procedures, and even how totransport polar bears…via FedEx. This session includes the story of “ZiggyStar,” a Northern fur seal and the first marine mammal to undergo neurosurgeryfor the build-up of fluid on her brain (hydrocephalus). Dr. Clarke willdiscuss how to prepare for things you “never thought could happen,” includingthe case of an elderly penguin that developed a limp. The anticipateddiagnosis was osteoarthritis, but tests revealed he had actually developed aninguinal hernia and part of his intestinal tract herniated to nearly hisknees. The penguin successfully recovered from surgery and resumed a normallife.

  • Saturday, June 5, 5:45 – 6:45 PM: Zoo and Aquatic Vets Are Cool Too!

Audrey Cook, BVM &S, DACVIM, DECVIM, DABVP (Feline)

Professor of Small Animal Internal Medicine and Chief, Internal MedicineService, Texas A &M

Dr. Cook will talk about how to turn around feline diabetes, and potentiallyeliminate the need for any insulin injections at all. She will also discussnovel options for cats with kidney failure, the number one cause of death inolder cats. A Diplomate of both the American and European Colleges ofVeterinary Internal Medicine, Dr. Cook is one of very few veterinarians in theworld who are board-certified in both internal medicine and feline practice.

  • Sunday, June 6, 9:55 – 10:45 AM: Feline Diabetic Remission
  • Monday, June 7, 11:00 – 11:50 AM: Feline CKD: Chronic Management

Steve Dale, Certified Animal Behavior Consultant (CABC)

The human-animal bond is stronger than ever. But animal behavior specialistSteve Dale asks, “Is it possible to be over-bonded?” He will talk about thepsychological phenomenon called “Baby Replacement Syndrome” and whether petsmay pay an unintentional price for this new level of love.

  • Monday, June 6, 11:00 – 11:50 AM: The Human-Animal Bond: Is It Possible to Be Over-Bonded?

Clara Goh, BVSc, MS, DACVS-SA, ACVS Fellow-Surgical Oncology

Faculty Orthopedic Surgeon, Colorado State University

Pets, like people, are living longer, but with this comes similar age-relatedproblems like bad knees and arthritis. According to Dr. Goh, up to 50% of dogsinjure both knees, but not all require surgery. She will teach veterinarianshow to make the right decisions when it comes to orthopedic surgery anddiscuss new drugs and ways to treat post-operative pain and ensure betterrecoveries from orthopedic and oncology surgery.

  • Sunday, June 6, 8:00 – 9:15 AM: Live Dog Orthopedic Exam: Technique and Tips
  • Monday, June 7, 8:00 – 9:15 AM: Post-Operative Pain Management and Local Anesthetics

Doug Mader, MS, DVM, DABVP (Canine/Feline), DABVP(Reptile/Amphibian), DECZM(Herpetology),

Fellow, Royal Society of Medicine; Owner, Marathon Veterinary Hospital

Not eating is the number one reason people bring their reptiles to the vet,according to Dr. Mader. He will teach the physiology and pathology behindanorexia and educate veterinarians on what to look for and how to treat andcorrect the causes. “Unlike cats and dogs, reptiles are not domesticated.Reptiles are still ‘wild’ animals. If you don’t mimic the wild in terms ofwhat they eat and how they live, they won’t do well in captivity,” said Dr.Mader.

  • Saturday, June 5, 12:00 – 1:30 PM: Why Won’t My Reptile Eat?”

Valarie Tynes, DVM, DACVB

Signs of cognitive decline such as memory loss are an increasing problem asdogs are living longer. Dr. Tynes will discuss ways to support the brain andslow this decline with diet, vitamins and brain-stimulating activities. Shewill also discuss separation anxiety as people start resuming work and otheractivities outside the home, focusing on treatment plans that help dogsassociate positive feelings when home alone.

  • Sunday, June 6, 11:00 – 11:50 AM: Managing Behavior Problems in the Senior Dog
  • Sunday, June 6, 2:50 – 3:40 PM: Canine Separation Distress

Dana Varble, DVM, CAE

NAVC Chief Veterinary Officer

As the NAVC’s senior executive responsible for all continuing educationprograms and events, and an exotics, general and emergency veterinarian, Dr.Varble can speak about all areas of veterinary medicine being presented atVMX. Alongside Steve Dale, she will also teach a session about the remarkablestrength of the Human Animal Bond among non-traditional species includingsmall mammals, reptiles, amphibians and birds.

  • Monday, June 7, 8:00 – 9:15 AM: From Pastimes to Pets: Exploring Our Bond with Non-Traditional Species

VMX 2021 will include more than 600 sessions of continuing education andhands-on workshops at the live event in Orlando and more than 300 virtual andOnDemand sessions, which will be available through September 3, 2021. Theaward-winning VMX Expo Hall will be available onsite at the Orange CountyConvention Center and virtually where it will present an engaging, 3Dinteractive experience.

For more information, view the VMX 2021 Full Program. Credentialed media mayattend VMX for free, live in Orlando or virtually. To register as press,contact [email protected].

**About the NAVC

The North American Veterinary Community (NAVC) is a nonprofit organizationdedicated to supporting and advancing veterinary professionals worldwide. Theworld’s leading provider of veterinary continuing education, the NAVC deliversessential training, tools and resources for veterinary professionals to stayabreast of advances in animal medicine and provide the best medical care foranimals everywhere. Through its commitment to innovation and excellence, theNAVC has developed a diverse portfolio of products and services, including:educational events, headlined by VMX, the world’s largest, most comprehensivecontinuing education conference and launchpad for new products and innovationswithin the veterinary industry; a robust digital platform for virtual learningand engagement; the veterinary industry’s largest and award-winning portfolioof trade publications; and an advocacy arm which unites the veterinarycommunity and pet lovers. The NAVC was founded in 1982 and is headquartered inOrlando, FL. Since 2017, the NAVC has been recognized annually as one of theTop Workplaces by the Orlando Sentinel. To learn more about the NAVC’sproducts and brands, visit To see our schedule of upcomingevents, visit

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