World’s largest veterinary expo back in Orlando for its 37th year

Animal care professionals learn latest skills, technology

ORLANDO, Fla. – Each year, Americans spend about $40 billion making sure their pets receive proper medical care and many of those veterinary professionals come to Orlando to stay up to date with advancements in the industry.

Now in its 37th year, the North American Veterinary Community once again gathered thousands of veterinarians and technicians for the VMX event held at the Orange County Convention Center.

“We have companies debuting new products, we have new treatments being debuted,” Dr. Dana Varble, a veterinarian with NAVC, said. “Things we see coming into the human health care world -- new treatments for cancer, new options for diabetes monitoring -- are actually making their way into the animal health care community almost at the same time.”

Using more technology than ever before is one of the new options.

“Some of the newest things is we’re now developing things like smart phone attachments that will basically take the place of an entire ultrasound machine,” Varble said. “Instead of an ultrasound being the size of a washing machine, it’s basically now just your phone and a wire with a little probe on the end.”

There's also a futuristic option that can take some of the guesswork out of medical testing.

“We’re now able to use artificial intelligence, which isn’t a robot but a computer program to help us look at X-rays more closely, to help us, basically, with eye exams, even with fecal testing so that we’re able to detect diseases sooner,” Varble said.

Detecting health issues sooner means our pets can live better lives.

“We get to foster the human-animal bond and increase people’s time with their pets but also increase the quality of those pets’ lives -- treating things like their pains from arthritis, improving cancer survival and even basically creating cancer survival options for pets now,” she said.

Other survival techniques include workshops such as a hands-on one about canine rescue and CPR. Attendees used a dog version of a CPR dummie.

“For the first time ever, the Recover Initiative has standardized CPR in animals, very similar to the way it was standardized in humans by the American Heart Association,” Varble noted.

Professionals can implement these techniques as soon as they head back to their exam rooms.

“What they’re learning here today, they can bring back to their clinics or their hospitals and start implementing right away,” Eugene O’Neill, CEO of the North American Veterinary Community said.

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