[BLOG] Parasitology, working dogs & neonatology : my first day at the 2016 NAVC

The 2016 NAVC (North American Veterinary Conferences) started today. I love to attend to this event because 1/ it is in Orlando and in January, all excuses are good to snowbird to Florida when you live in Ontario 2/ I love the learning experience : lots of veterinary lectures with great topics and great speakers. What a best way to kick off the year ? 

 

Today I attended to different lectures on parasitology, working dogs & neonatology. Here are the 10 key take-aways I thought were important to share with our online community.

On protozoa infection in dogs & cats

 

#1 Up to 30% of purebred show cats in the US are infected with T foetus ;

 

#2 Tritrichomonas foetus is stable in moist feces for up to 7 days : therefore, no litter box sharing with sick animals ! ;

 

#3 The sampling technique should not be overlooked. One thing to keep in mind for instance : refrigeration kills trichomonads and can lead to false negatives depending on the test used ;

 

#4 Tritrichomonas Foestus : there are resistant isolates. Unfortunately in those cases today, not much can be done... Symptoms may abate but it can take up to 2 years to fully resolve ;

 

#5 Protozoa infection : there is a possibility of post infectious inflammatory bowel disease. Symptoms can go on for months beyond resolution of infection ;

 

On working dogs 

 

#6 The biggest problem reported in working dogs : cuts and scraps, from far ! Respiratory problems are really limited compared to what one might think for animals working so close to the ground ; 

 

#7 Physical fitness = the ability to perfom. It is not only about joints and bones. There are cardiovascular elements for sure, but also a mental piece to it. No doubt : to better perform, dogs need to feel good in their head ;

 

#8 Fun with fitness ! Start the training of the puppies as soon as 8 weeks ! Puppies are proposed simple games, that get more and more difficult as they age ;

 

#9 Don't forget the importance of mobility for working dogs : if using a harness, try to use one that allows free movements. Easier said than done, sure, but this is something that could definitely prevent injuries in many cases ;

 

#10 The working dog routine : Warm up is important but after exercising your dogs, don't forget to cool them down. 

 

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