Veterinary Leaders to Share Breakthroughs in Veterinary Medicine at VMX 2023

The North American Veterinary Community (NAVC) Announces World-Renowned Veterinary Presenters and Sessions at the 40th Annual Veterinary Meeting & Expo (VMX)


ORLANDO, Fla. – DECEMBER 20, 2022 – From breast cancer surgery on a tiny hedgehog to advanced non-invasive ways to detect cancer, perform heart surgery and measure pain, the veterinary industry continues to provide new, less painful and more successful options to help animals live longer, better quality lives. This comes as good news to pet owners who see and treat their pets as family and increasingly seek the best healthcare possible for them. 

To learn and stay abreast of the latest advances in animal medicine, veterinary professionals from more than 65 countries will attend the 40th annual VMX in Orlando, Fla., January 14 to 18, 2023, at the Orange County Convention Center. At the world’s largest and most comprehensive veterinary conference, they will learn the latest diagnoses, surgical procedures, pharmaceutical breakthroughs and more for nearly every animal, from the tiniest birds and fish to kangaroos, horses and, of course, cats and dogs. 


Key topics and presenters available for interviews include: 

Note: See the VMX 2023 Full Program for session dates and times.


Dr. Mike Petty, DVM, MAV, CCRT, CVPP

Member of the Global Pain Council of the World Small Animal Veterinary Association, Canton, Mich.

“A New, Non-Invasive way for Early Cancer Detection”

More than one million lumps and bumps are found on animals every year, but very few are given a diagnosis and many progress into malignant cancers. Early detection is key, and Dr. Petty will present a breakthrough diagnostic tool, the HT Vista, introduced to the U.S. market in October 2022, that helps veterinarians identify malignant cancer early, without invasive biopsies, significantly improving the survival rate for many patients. This new, patented medical imaging technology uses non-invasive Heat Diffusion Imaging (HDI) that heats the skin just a few degrees and an AI-based algorithm that recognizes cancerous cells by their unique dynamic heat-flow properties, with 97% accuracy. This new diagnostic method provides a safe, reliable and painless method to detect cancer in the skin or subcutaneous tissue so pet owners can get a first opinion quickly and easily.

Veterinary Leaders Share Break Throughs at VMX 2023

Dr. Mike Petty tests for cancer with the new non-invasive, patented HT Vista device that uses heat to detect the presence of cancer cells.


Kristen Cooley, BA, CVT, VTS (Anesthesia & Analgesia), VCC

Support & Training, PEAK Veterinary Anesthesia Services, Madison, Wis.

“How They Tell us When They Hurt; Recognizing Pain in Veterinary Species”

As humans, we are accustomed to answering this question: on a scale of one to ten, how would you rate your pain? Cats are a unique species in that they are both predators and prey. As such, they have evolved to be masters of masking their pain. Kristen Cooley, a Veterinary Technician Specialist in anesthesia and analgesia and veterinary cannabis counselor, will demonstrate new techniques that enable veterinary professionals to measure pain in cats using PainTrace, a new, non-invasive device that analyzes pain signals to better assess treatment needs during surgery, clinic visits and day-to-day activities.


Zoltan Szabo, DVM, DACZM, DABVP(ECM), DABVP(Avian), GpCert(ExAP), MRCVS

Director of Exotic Services at Concordia Pet Care and Adjunct Professor at the City University of Hong Kong 

“How to Perform Microsurgery on Small Mammals – Rabbits, Rodents, Hamsters”

Performing surgery to remove cancerous mammary glands on a hedgehog takes skill, steady hands and dedicated microsurgical instruments similar to the tools that eye surgeons use in humans. Spaying a hamster that is smaller than the surgeon’s hand, performing life-saving surgery to remove tumors from the chest cavity of rabbits or bone surgery on a tiny green iguana is also possible. “No patient is too small to help,” says Dr. Zoltan Szabo, who will teach veterinarians how to prepare for and perform a wide range of soft tissue and orthopedic surgical procedures on these and many other small mammals. “Twenty years ago, people did not spend this kind of money on their hamsters. Now they do, and the science follows.”


Sze Sze  hamster

Sze Sze, a 180-gram hamster, enjoys her first postoperative meal after spaying. She is smaller than her surgeon’s hand


Dr. Brian Scansen, DVM, MS, DACVIM (Cardiology)

Professor and Section Head, Cardiology & Cardiac Surgery, Colorado State University

“Mending Broken Hearts: Interventional and Minimally Invasive Cardiology”

An estimated eight million dogs in the U.S. have heart disease. Some are born with it, and many others develop it later in life as humans do. Historically, dysfunctional heart valves or developmental heart problems had to be repaired via open-heart surgeries with extensive recovery times – and there are only three centers in the world that perform open-heart surgery for dogs. That has changed in recent years with the introduction of minimally invasive heart procedures in veterinary medicine. Dr. Scansen, a pioneer in canine cardiology, utilizes advanced X-ray and ultrasound guidance to perform techniques similar to those used in human medicine, traveling through the patient’s arteries and veins to the heart to relieve obstructions or fix valves without the large incision and extensive recovery that open-heart surgery requires. 


Cara Field, DVM, PhD, Dipl. ACZM 

Medical Director The Marine Mammal Center, Sausalito, Calif.

“Marine Mammal Rehabilitation – Not a Typical day in the Office”

Marine mammals that wash ashore suffer from a wide variety of health issues. Since they do not come with a history, diagnosing and understanding their health problems can be daunting. This session on stranded marine mammals will look at some of the challenges involved in both responding to marine mammals in distress as well as common illness presentations of various seals and sea lions. Dr. Field will discuss how she diagnoses and treats these patients both as an individual, such as a seal suffering from severe trauma due to fishing net entanglement, and in consideration of the potential impact on the health of wild populations- such as the high rate of cancer associated with pollutants in free-ranging California sea lions.


Jenny Fisher, RVT, VTS-Oncology

Director of Education Practivet, Baton Rouge, La.

“Brain Tumors in Dogs and Cats”

Many cancers that affect us can also impact our pets, including brain tumors. Brain tumors are more common in short-nosed breed dogs, like pugs, boxers, and Boston terriers, but any breed can be afflicted. To diagnose a brain tumor, a CT scan or MRI must be performed. Fisher notes that pet owners should look for these signs of a potential brain tumor: mental dullness, circling, getting lost in corners, seizures, change in normal behavior, weakness, wobbliness, difficulty moving, head tilt, loss of vision or loss of hearing. 


Sharon Deem, DVM, PhD, Dipl. ACZM

Director, Saint Louis Zoo Institute for Conservation Medicine

“One Health and Spillover From a Multi-Year Pandemic”

One of the many things scientists have learned from the COVID-19 global pandemic is that pandemics are not a one-way street. Viruses and pathogens can cross from animals to humans and from humans back to animals – referred to as “spillover” and “spill back.” Zoonotic disease events have increased in recent years and are happening with greater frequency as the relationships between species increase. Dr. Deem, a world-renowned expert in the area of One Health who specializes in wildlife and epidemiology, literally wrote the book on One Health – “One Health” – the textbook taught in many courses in veterinary, medical and undergraduate education programs. “Veterinarians are on the front lines when it comes to One Health,” says Dr. Deem. Her session will focus on how the human and veterinary medical communities work together to minimize future outbreaks. 


Brennen McKenzie, MA, MSc, VMD

Associate Veterinarian, Adobe Animal Hospital, Los Altos, CA and Director of Veterinary Medicine, Loyal, San Francisco, Calif.

“Fountain of Youth?”

While most people think of aging as inevitable, something we cannot do anything about, Dr. Brennan McKenzie sees it as a treatable problem. An expert in the field of veterinary geriatrics, Dr. McKenzie will discuss how dogs age, how to approach aging as a modifiable factor for decreasing the risk of common geriatric diseases, and steps veterinarians can take to extend the lifespan and healthspan of dogs. He is also available to talk about how new research he is involved with is addressing the genetic and hormonal factors that give large breeds both their size and their shorter life span. 


Dana Varble, DVM, CAE 

NAVC Chief Veterinary Officer, Chicago, Ill.

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. 


Credentialed media may attend VMX for free, in person in Orlando or virtually. To register as press, contact [email protected]


About the NAVC

The North American Veterinary Community (NAVC) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting and advancing veterinary professionals worldwide. The world’s leading provider of veterinary continuing education, the NAVC delivers essential training, tools and resources for veterinary professionals to stay abreast of advances in animal medicine and provide the best medical care for animals everywhere. Through its commitment to innovation and excellence, the NAVC has developed a diverse portfolio of products and services, including educational events, headlined by VMX, the world’s largest, most comprehensive continuing education conference and launchpad for new products and innovations within the veterinary industry; a robust digital platform for virtual learning and engagement; the veterinary industry’s largest and award-winning portfolio of trade publications; and an advocacy arm which unites the veterinary community and pet lovers. The NAVC was founded in 1982 and is headquartered in Orlando, FL. Since 2017, the NAVC has been recognized as one of the Top Workplaces by the Orlando Sentinel. To learn more about the NAVC’s products and brands, visit https://navc.com/. To see our schedule of upcoming events, visit https://navc.com/calendar/.


MEDIA CONTACTS:

Robin Pence | [email protected] | M: +1.352.317.8651 

Macayla Bricarell | [email protected] | M: +1.321.270.1353

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