World-Renowned Veterinary Experts Present Breakthroughs and Trends at the 38th Annual Veterinary Meeting & Expo (VMX 2021)

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


Note: This article contains information that is considered out of date.


Key Speaker Topics:

  • 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.  

The North American Veterinary Community (NAVC) announced key speakers and topics to be presented at VMX 2021, the world’s largest and most comprehensive global veterinary education conference. Leading experts in veterinary medicine will present life-saving and life-changing advances in animal medicine that are extending and improving the 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 Orange County Convention Center and everywhere virtually.

“With so many advances taking place in animal medicine, it is more important than 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 multiple species,” said Dr. Dana Varble, NAVC Chief Veterinary Officer. “More Americans have looked to pets for comfort and companionship over the last year and pet adoptions are at an all-time high. The bond between people and pets has never been deeper, and the breakthroughs in diagnoses and treatments that will be presented 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 will conduct several sessions about pandemics, including the current COVID-19 pandemic. She will walk veterinarians through what we have learned about animals and COVID-19 and will also address the likely scenarios of the next global pandemic and the urgent need for a One Health approach to help mitigate its impact.

  • Tuesday, June 8, 6:00 PM – 7:00 PM (Virtual): COVID-19: Using a One Health Approach for a New Pandemic: Understanding the Role of Pets and Other Animals in SARS-CoV-2
  • Tuesday, June 8, 7:00 PM – 8:00 PM (Virtual): 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 Arab Emirates 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 aquatic veterinarians care for tremendously diverse species. Dr. Clarke and Dr. Flower will share case studies, new techniques and procedures, and even how to transport polar bears…via FedEx. This session includes the story of “Ziggy Star,” a Northern fur seal and the first marine mammal to undergo neurosurgery for the build-up of fluid on her brain (hydrocephalus). Dr. Clarke will discuss how to prepare for things you “never thought could happen,” including the case of an elderly penguin that developed a limp. The anticipated diagnosis was osteoarthritis, but tests revealed he had actually developed an inguinal hernia and part of his intestinal tract herniated to nearly his knees. The penguin successfully recovered from surgery and resumed a normal life.

  • 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 Medicine Service, Texas A&M

Dr. Cook will talk about how to turn around feline diabetes, and potentially eliminate the need for any insulin injections at all. She will also discuss novel options for cats with kidney failure, the number one cause of death in older cats. A Diplomate of both the American and European Colleges of Veterinary Internal Medicine, Dr. Cook is one of very few veterinarians in the world 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 specialist Steve Dale asks, “Is it possible to be over-bonded?” He will talk about the psychological phenomenon called “Baby Replacement Syndrome” and whether pets may 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-related problems like bad knees and arthritis. According to Dr. Goh, up to 50% of dogs injure both knees, but not all require surgery. She will teach veterinarians how to make the right decisions when it comes to orthopedic surgery and discuss new drugs and ways to treat post-operative pain and ensure better recoveries 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 behind anorexia and educate veterinarians on what to look for and how to treat and correct the causes. “Unlike cats and dogs, reptiles are not domesticated. Reptiles are still ‘wild’ animals. If you don’t mimic the wild in terms of what 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 as dogs are living longer. Dr. Tynes will discuss ways to support the brain and slow this decline with diet, vitamins and brain-stimulating activities. She will also discuss separation anxiety as people start resuming work and other activities outside the home, focusing on treatment plans that help dogs associate 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 education programs and events, and an exotics, general and emergency veterinarian, Dr. Varble can speak about all areas of veterinary medicine being presented at VMX. Alongside Steve Dale, she will also teach a session about the remarkable strength of the Human Animal Bond among non-traditional species including small 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 and hands-on workshops at the live event in Orlando and more than 300 virtual and OnDemand sessions, which will be available through September 3, 2021. The award-winning VMX Expo Hall will be available onsite at the Orange County Convention Center and virtually where it will present an engaging, 3D interactive experience.