BSAVA president Richard Dixon officially opened the BSAVA Congress 2010, promising an “intense programme of high quality science” with a wider range of topics on offer than ever before, as well as some “unexpected themes”.

BSAVA president Richard Dixon officially opened the BSAVA Congress 2010, promising an “intense programme of high quality science” with a wider range of topics on offer than ever before, and some “unexpected themes”.
Welcoming delegates today (April 8) in Hall 9 of the International Conference Centre (ICC) in Birmingham, Mr Dixon said: “It is with great pleasure that I welcome you all to the 53rd BSAVA Congress. This annual meeting is our association’s flagship event and indeed is one of the most eagerly anticipated events in the global veterinary calendar.
BSAVA Congress 2010“The theme of this year’s congress branding which you will all have seen by now, is learning and fun. This epitomises the mix we have here at Birmingham. An intense programme of high quality science is on offer over the next four days, alongside a social programme that I hope will have you registering for 2011 before you leave exhausted on Sunday. The children’s drawings used as this year’s imagery were not as has been widely claimed my personal failed artistic attempts; they were drawn by pupils from my old primary school in Edinburgh. As well as getting our entire year’s catalogue of congress images from these school kids for only the price of a new box of paints donated to the school, the reward of seeing their excitement about the topic of vets and animals remains one of my real highlights of the past year.”
“The heart of congress is of course the science and this year the range of topics is more diverse than ever with some unexpected themes. For example, this year chicken makes its debut onto our menu. No, not at Friday night’s banquet, but as one of the short refresher classes being run to give small animal practitioners a head start when dealing with the increasing number of production animals being kept as pets. So, Victoria Roberts will explain what to do when that pet chicken appears in your waiting room (a few initial thoughts do spring to mind) and you can find out about caring for sickly pet pigs, or even what to do with the unexpected goat.
“If exotics are your thing, then Anna Meredith’s lecture on an introduction to the degu (or Octodon degus as I am sure you more commonly refer to it) might be the one for you. Alternatively, Doug Mader, distinguished Florida based veterinary herpetologist will be giving a series of presentations on the care of reptiles.
“Also making its first appearance in the programme will be transfusion medicine, and the theory and practicalities of blood transfusion in dogs and cats, reflecting the increasingly widespread use of whole blood and its components in the management of critical care cases.
BSAVA president Richard Dixon“Among the more conventional streams, there is a major focus on neurology this year with leading authorities outlining the latest thinking on everything from handling spinal surgical cases to an update on the causes and management of seizures.”
Mr Dixon also encouraged delegates to take time out to review the CRA programme. He said: “The Clinical Research Abstracts are, I think, an often underrated component of congress for many delegates, who perhaps assume they are only of relevance to those working at the cutting edge of the discipline. Well, think again. While the research abstracts are certainly the latest thinking, they are presented in short bite-sized chunks and are open to all.”

He also claimed that veterinary nurses would be spoiled for choice, with multiple short presentations on practical techniques and procedures, a new part of their programme for this year.
He said: “If nurses want advice on making the practice more feline friendly, an update on effective and safe analgesia and anaesthesia or a masterclass in diabetic case management, then I am pleased to say they have come to the right place.”
Mr Dixon also revealed that the popular “how to?” classes had been increased in number for 2010 due to their popularity, and claimed that, with a mix of masterclasses from leading UK and international experts, BSAVA Congress 2010 should offer “something for everyone”.
He also praised the exhibition taking place in the National Indoor Arena (NIA), saying: “Our exhibition is the largest small animal industry gathering in Europe and remains the place to go for the latest advances and best deals. Exhibitors consistently use BSAVA as their launch pad for new products and special offers. So it is little surprise that more than half of the delegates at last year’s congress indicated that they attended the exhibition with the specific intent to purchase.”
He concluded: “Welcome to a truly exceptional scientific and social programme pulled together by a truly exceptional team of staff and volunteers alike. Their aim has been simple. Make this congress the best congress ever.”

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