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ZWEACC Conference Registration

February 2013

6th Annual ZWEACC Conference Agenda

Western University of Health Science

Heath Professions Center (HPC) Amphitheater II

Saturday, January 19, 2013 Schedule                                                       

7: 30am - 8:00am                                                            Continental Breakfast   


Presentation Speakers: 

8: 00am - 8:30am                             Dr. Teresa Morishita - Health Management Strategies for Captive Galliformes

Birds of the Order Galliformes are housed in many zoological and private collections. Galliformes are terrestrial, ground dwelling birds and are the Order to which many commercial species are derived. The presentation examines common species kept in zoological and private collections, common diseases affecting Galliformes, and the health management strategies needed to maintain healthy populations of captive Galliformes.

8:30am - 9:30am                                     Dr. Paul M. Gibbons - Current Therapeutics in Reptile Practice

Current reptile therapy begins by gathering background information about the individual species, its natural history, its husbandry needs, and its unique anatomy and physiology.  The individual circumstances of each case must be considered to predict the pharmacokinetics and pharmcodynamics of therapeutic agents.  The pharmacokinetics of many drugs have been evaluated in a few species of reptiles under laboratory conditions, and a few have been studied in diseased patients.  This presentation will review the current literature and describe the current use of some of the most important therapeutic agents used in reptile practice.

9: 30am - 9:45am                                                                    Snack Break

9:45am - 10:15am                                 Dr. Wael Khamas - Anatomical and Histological Peculiarities and Thermoregulation in One Humped Camel (Camelus dromerdarius)

10:15am - 11:15am                               Dr. Kevin Leiske - Research in Zoo Medicine

How research and zoo medicine go hand in hand.   With some of the species we have in our collections they are so rare and so little is known.  Each time we work with them we are collecting data and discovering new things.  Zoos work together to compile information so that we can set standards.  Since so little is known about these animals the potential research projects are endless.  They can range from areas such as reproduction, nutrition, animal behavior, pharmacokinetics, etc.  Some research projects are carried out by the zoos veterinarian while others are collaborative efforts with biologists.  Zoo medicine offers a lot of possibilities for those who are interested in animal research.

11:15am - 11:45am                                Dr. Chandra Charavaryamath - Mycobacterium avium subspecies paratuberculosisSlow and Steady Wins The Race 

Mycobacterium avium subspecies paratuberculosis is (MAP) is an intracellular pathogen affecting many domestic and wild species (ruminants, primates, Giraffe, Elk) and is believed to be involved in Crohn’s disease in humans as well. Disease in cattle (Johne’s disease) is characterized by progressive granulomatous enteritis with loss of production and death. Johne’s disease causes economic losses, spreads to wild species and is present in milk, meat and other animal products.  MAP is a pathogen of public health importance with survival strategies such as slow growth and resistance for destruction. Hence diagnosis, prevention and control of MAP are difficult.

11:45am - 12:15pm                                                                      Lunch

12:30pm - 1:00pm                               Dr. Gael Lamielle - Domoic Acid Poisoning in Pinnipeds - What the Disease in Animals Can Teach Us About Human Illness

Domoic acid (DA) poisoning has made a dramatic entrance into the field of wildlife medicine in 1991 when it was found to be the cause of a large number of deaths in cormorant and pelican populations along the coast of California. The toxin primarily affects the central nervous system, causing clinical signs ranging from cognitive impairments, ataxia to grand mal seizures and death. DA is now known to affect a wide range of species, including humans where it is the cause of Amnesic shellfish poisoning, however, little is known about the risk factors causing blooms of DA-producing algae Pseudo-nitzchia sp. Nevertheless,  experts agree that these are increasing in severity and frequency, posing a significant threat to humans and wildlife alike. Marine mammals such as the California sea lion are at particularly high risk for DA toxicosis due to their habitat overlapping common zones of Pseudo-nitzchia blooms. Monitoring toxin-producing algae in sea lions along the California coast can give researchers a unique perspective into the prevalence and evolution of the toxin in the wild and put in place early preventive measures to protect human populations.

1:00pm - 2:00pm                                Dr. Bridgett vonHoldt - Conservation Genetics: A Focus on Canids

The successful reintroduction of gray wolves to the western United States is an impressive accomplishment for conservation science. However, the degree to which subpopulations are genetically structured and connected, along with the preservation of genetic variation, is an important concern for their continued viability. Traditional analysis of microsatellite variation has allowed conservation biologists to glimpse into the world of the gray wolf, from mate selection and reproductive structure to dispersal and migrant detection. With genetic pedigrees in hand, I have been able to explore not only phenotype inheritance but also the functional nature of a mutation in a wild wolf population. Further, I have expanded my scope to utilize high-throughput genotyping technologies to potentially increase the resolution of demographic history and ancestry in wild and domesticated canids. Using a SNP genotyping microarray developed for the domestic dog, I completed a genome-wide SNP survey of over 48K loci across wolf-like species distributed worldwide. Surprisingly, the wolves and coyotes of the Great Lakes region, the coyotes of the midwest and northeast, along with the red wolf, show varying degrees of admixed genomes. This divergent genomic history suggests that they do not have a shared recent ancestry as proposed by previous researchers. Interspecific hybridization, as well as the process of evolutionary divergence, may be responsible for the observed phenotypic distinction of both forms. Such admixture complicates decisions regarding endangered species restoration and protection.

2:00pm - 2:30pm                                Dr. David Kersey - Developing noninvasive thyroid hormone assessment to study giant panda biology

One of the greatest challenges in giant panda conservation has been understanding their complex reproductive biology.  Because the giant panda relies on a low-nutrition food source (bamboo), describing metabolic changes during different reproductive states would provide valuable insight into the energetic costs of reproduction and the factors associated with reproductive success.  Therefore, we sought to develop thyroid hormone enzyme immunoassays and validated their use for urine and feces collected from female giant pandas.  Thyroid hormones were detectable in the feces, but not urine, suggesting hepatic excretion was the primary means of voiding thyroid hormones, and quantified thyroid hormones demonstrated significant changes during puberty and post-parturition.  These results are the first to demonstrate the practical assessment of thyroid hormones in the excreta of the giant panda and the biological relevance of the generated data.

2:30pm - 2:45pm                                                                    Snack Break

2:45pm - 3:45 pm                               Dr. Duane Tom - Challenges of Wildlife Medicine

This presentation will cover the differences between wildlife medicine and other disciplines, such as, zoo medicine and domestics. For example, the objective in wildlife medicine is to release the animal back into the wild, so its’ return to full function is imperative. Also the different species seen at the California Wildlife Center (CWC) in Calabasas will be discussed and their specific differences we need to take into account for their treatment, medical procedures, handling, and interactions.

3:45pm - 4:00pm                                                               Break/End of Day 

4:00pm - 6:00pm                                                                     Wetlab

                Sunday, January 20, 2013 Schedule                                                       

7: 30am - 8:00am                                                            Continental Breakfast   


Presentation Speakers: 

8: 00am - 9:00am                           Dr. Curtis Eng - Medical Issues of the California Condor and How It Impacts Reintroduction

The California condor is a species that was almost extirpated from the United States. Through the efforts of the US Fish and Wildlife Service, the Los Angeles Zoo and Botanical Gardens and the San Diego Zoo and Wild Animal Park, we've been able to release back to the wild over 200 birds. There are still many medically related obstacles to their successful reintroduction, including but not limited to lead toxicity, microtrash impactions and wing injuries. This presentation will cover our diagnosis, treatment and plan for these threats

9:00am - 10:00am                                                Dr. Kristian Krause - Zoonotic Diseases

Working with wildlife can be very rewarding, but it is easy to forget some of the risks that are associated with it.  A review of the most common zoonotic diseases that may be transmitted by wildlife will be discussed.  Key symptoms and protocols to minimize risks to staff and clinicians will be emphasized.

10:00am - 10:15am                                                               Snack Break

10:15am - 11:15am                                           Dr. Scott Weldy - General Triage of Various Species

What do you do when your client calls about an emergency with their exotic pet?  When the nearest exotics practice is closed or too far away?  This lecture will help the general practitioner be able to stabilize and do basic treatment on most exotics encountered in private practice.  The physical exam, handling, diagnostics, techniques for sampling, diseases, and treatment will be discussed.


11:15am - 11:45am                                     Dr. Tracey McNamara - The Role of Zoos as Urban Biosentinels

A description of how the national zoological surveillance for West Nile viruscame into being in 2002 and how it is contributed to public health efforts to track a serious emerging zoonotic health threat. Zoos have many characteristics that make them ideal long term epidemiological monitoring sites in urban settings.

11:45am - 12:30pm                                                                   Lunch

12:30pm - 1:00pm                    Dr. Hrvoje Smodlaka - Special senses utilized by Phoccid Seals for Deep Sea Navigation and Foraging

Some phocid  seals dive deep into the aphotic zone (below 1000 m) of the sea. Consequently, some of their special senses might be developed to the extreme, most notably eyes and whiskers. Assessment of Northern elephant seal (extreme diver) eyes revealed eyes adjusted to scotopic vision (adapted to night vision and movement detection). Scotopic vision adaptations include: well developed tapetum lucidum (a layer of rectangular cells which reflect whatever available light back to the rods); photoreceptor layer is overwhelmingly comprised of rods and sparse presence of ganglionic cells. Whiskers (vibrissae) have vibro-tactile function, sense sound, detect prey and even function as a lateral line in fish. Phocid seals utilize both of these senses in order to forage and navigate in deep seas.

1:00pm - 2:00pm                                                Dr. Lauren Palmer - Marine Mammal Rehabilitation: 

                                                        patients, research, education, and management in a nonprofit clinic, a veterinarian's perspective

The Marine Mammal Care Center at Fort MacArthur in San Pedro, CA has admitted more than 5300 stranded animals over the last 20 years. Working in the nonprofit  marine mammal rehabilitation clinic provides unique opportunities and challenges for case management as well as opportunities for education and research. This overview provides a veterinarian's perspective on working in the field of marine mammal medicine  in a rehabilitation clinic.

2:00pm - 2:15pm                                                                    Snack Break

2:15pm - 2:45pm                                                              Dr. Janis Joslin - TBA

2:45pm - 3:15 pm                                                 Dr. Diana McClure - Primate Medicine

3:15pm - 3:30pm                                                                     End of Day 

Conference Registration
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ZWEACC Annual Conference Registration

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Western University of Health Science
Health Professions Center (HPC) located at 5C in the map below

Western Univeristy of Health Science

Amphitheater II (second floor)

Please park in any of the indicated Student Parking Lots. No permit is required.