At DOGTV, our pack is science-led, and it’s important to us to stay up to date on the latest innovations in veterinary medicine. That’s why we attended VMX (Veterinary Meeting and Expo) last month – an annual event hosted by the NAVC (North American Veterinary Community) where veterinarians and pet health professionals gather to learn about the latest advancements in animal medicine and attend educational sessions.

 

Layman’s terms: VMX is where thousands of vets and vet techs (maybe yours!) gather every year to learn the newest ways they can help our beloved pets live longer, healthier lives. 

VMX 2022 was held in Orlando, FL, at the Orange County Convention Center

Some of the topics at this year’s event included:

 

A new type of radiation treatment

Once available only for humans, this treatment is now being used to treat cats and dogs with cancer, significantly reducing the number of radiation treatments. A course of treatment that may have previously taken months can now be completed within days, with the animals experiencing fewer side effects.

Veterinary geriatric care 

As animals live longer, veterinarians, nurses and technicians must learn how to provide special geriatric care as vision and hearing declines and getting around may become more challenging (and potentially dangerous) to the pet. Sessions were available on caring for pacemaker patients, developing rehabilitation plans for aging dogs, and ‘life hacks’ to help owners better care for senior pets.

Veterinary acupuncture

This form of traditional Chinese medicine is now being used in veterinary practice, not only to relieve pain, but also to stimulate kidney process by releasing stem cell response.

Emergency c-section deliveries and resuscitation for puppies

Did you know c-section pups come out still under the influence of mom’s anesthesia? Now veterinary technicians and nurses are learning how to revive and care for newborn puppies following c-sections, and how to provide post-operative, intensive care to delivering mothers. 

Advances in diagnostics and surgical procedures in zoos 

Zoo veterinarians now have even more diagnostic tests available to them, but of course these special animals require specialized care. Speakers discussed the new availability of diagnostic tests and equipment (CT scans for reptiles!) and surgical procedures (anesthesia and surgeries on fish!)  

Veterinary Nurse/Technician Empowerment Initiative

The news we found most exciting at this year’s event? The NAVC announced the launch of their Veterinary Nurse/Technician Empowerment Initiative, a program created to create more awareness around the role of these veterinary medical professionals. A recent national survey found that many pet parents don’t know the capabilities of veterinary technicians and nurses, and aren’t aware of the many years of education and training these professionals complete. This new initiative seeks to educate pet parents, as well as offer more opportunities for veterinary nurses and technicians, like continuing education and mentorship programs.

 

NAVC’s CEO Gene O’Neill had this to say about the new initiative: “Veterinary nurses and technicians play a vital role in veterinary medicine and are essential members of the veterinary practice team. They are not just helpers and assistants. They are phlebotomists, anesthetists, ultrasonographers, surgical technicians, dental hygienists and more, who are highly educated and skilled. Yet NAVC’s own research shows they use less than one-third of the competencies they are trained to perform. By elevating this critical position and helping veterinary nurses and technicians reach their full potential, we will help improve the performance of our veterinary healthcare teams and the health of animals everywhere.”  

 

It’s always a treat to learn more about what’s new in the world of animal medicine, and this year’s VMX event did not disappoint. Thanks to the NAVC for hosting this conference each year- it’s always a good time, and we look forward to seeing you again in 2023!