Monday, June 24, 2013

A Sunny Week in Seattle

Last week the annual ACVIM (American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine) Forum was held in Seattle Washington. I was privileged to attend this event both as representative of Purina Animal Nutrition at the trade show that accompanies this meeting, as well as a practicing veterinarian to acquire continuing education. Ordinarily, I don’t mind spending all day inside a convention center when meetings like this are held in Seattle because the weather is usually less than ideal. However this year was different, with bright sun and daytime temperatures in the mid 60’s and 70’s, making it hard to be stuck inside all day. Fortunately, the ACVIM Forum is among the premier veterinary CE events in the country, known for its state of the art presentations by the top veterinarians in the world. The Forum is attended by more than 1300 veterinary internal medicine specialists and general practitioners.

In conjunction with the Forum, the AAVN (American Academy of Veterinary Nutrition) held its 13th Annual Clinical Nutrition and Research Symposium. This event gives veterinary nutritionists, animal nutritionists and graduate students the opportunity to present their latest research findings related to nutrition and its effects on veterinary health. This year a record was set for attendance with over 160 veterinarians, nutritionists and students in attendance.  Purina Animal Nutrition was proud to sponsor the AAVN Large Animal/Equine Case Report Award, which was presented to Jennifer Gill from North Carolina State University for her submission entitled, “Evaluation of a potential insulin resistance in an obese Paso Fino mare with bilateral hind limb laminitis.” This year’s symposium featured primarily small animal (dog and cat) research abstracts that were very thought provoking. It can very useful and interesting to hear about advances in research involving other species and then to think about how they might apply to horses. An example of this was a presentation about a study investigating the traditional dietary recommendations for dogs with chronic kidney disease. This study found that protein restriction in the diet is likely not as critical as once thought, particularly with the advance of higher quality protein in most diets. It was a very enlightening talk that challenged one of the old dogmas of dietary management of dogs (and most other mammals) with kidney disease and these finding may have implications across all species including horses.

Purina Equine Nutritionist Dr. Karen Davison, Purina Sales Specialist Gina Fresquez and I manned the booth at the Forum trade show which features veterinary products, supplies and services. This year our focus was on new products. Hydration Hay Blocks attracted a lot of interest from veterinarians due to its delivery of additional water to horses which can be critical with many diseases and in post-operative situations. We also featured the new line of equine supplements, Hydra-Salt® Supplement, Electro-Ease® Electrolyte Supplements, and Freedom Flex Joint Health Product. Many practitioners were intrigued by the smooth Micro-Bead technology found in HydraSalt® Supplement and ElectroEase® Electrolyte Powder Supplement which provides microencapsulated sodium chloride and electrolytes. This microencapsulation allows the products to pass through the stomach without dissolving thereby protecting the gastric mucosa. In the duodenum the encapsulation is dissolved and the sodium chloride and electrolytes are absorbed into the body. We also highlighted Well Solve W/G® horse feed. This product is only available to veterinarians and is designed to provide nutritional support to horses that can’t or won’t eat voluntarily.

This microencapsulation allows the products to pass through the stomach
without dissolving thereby protecting the gastric mucosa.

Well Solve W/G® horse feed
I attended many interesting lectures during the 3 days of the 2013 ACVIM Forum. The topic of gastric ulcers was covered in several different talks. There is currently a lot of interest in the differentiation between ulcers that occur in the squamous mucosal portions of the stomach and the less commonly diagnosed glandular gastric ulcers. Newer techniques for gastroscopy, and increased awareness of ulceration in the glandular portion of the stomach, have resulted in new rate of incidence figures. It is now thought that the rate of incidence of glandular ulceration is nearer to 50-60%, which is much higher than originally thought. Additionally, lack of response to treatment with omeprazole has led researchers to consider that the inciting causes and development of glandular gastric ulcers differs from the more traditionally recognized squamous ulcers.  This is an area that is sure to garner a lot of future research interest. Hopefully new preventions and treatments for this condition will be found soon.

Equine Metabolic Syndrome and other endocrine diseases of horses were also addressed in numerous presentations of novel research. These topics have received a lot of attention in the last few years and it continues today. Discussion at this year’s Forum included new advances in diagnosing endocrine disease (Equine Metabolic Syndrome, PPID, diseases resulting in insulin resistance). The current gold standard testing methods for many of these diseases is very cumbersome, expensive and often the results are open to interpretation. Finding easier, less expensive and more definitive testing methods will streamline the diagnosis of these issues and should help to standardize management, treatment and monitoring recommendations for horses with endocrine and metabolic diseases.

Overall my time spent in Seattle was extremely well spent (even though I did regret having to miss out on the great weather). I learned many new things that I am sure I will apply in my job. I enjoyed the opportunity to interact with and network with colleagues and friends, some of whom I only get to visit with once a year at this meeting. It was also fun to spend time in the trade show booth answering questions about Purina equine products and services, and helping to educate veterinarians about nutrition by highlighting our new and innovative products.

1 comment:

  1. Good to know about the ACVIM forum that’s been such a great instituition for veterinarians. The new offerings by Purina animal nutrition and its beautiful stall must have been some great attractions of the 2013 ACVIM forum veterinary online ce