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North American Veterinary Conference

North American Veterinary Conference


I am writing this article from the Gaylord Convention Center in Orlando, Florida, where I am attending the North American Veterinary Conference (NAVC). This conference, is held in January every year and it is regarded as the Mecca for veterinarians in North America and around the world.{{more}}

It runs over a period of 5 days and updates veterinarians on the most modern advances in veterinary medicine and surgery, with world class lectures and hands on laboratories.

This year, the total number of participants is over 15,000 veterinarians, veterinary students and technicians from over 35 countries. One of the things that continues to fascinate me during the conference is the large number of dogs, and to a lesser extent cats which are participating in one way or another.

Most of these breeds are not present in St. Vincent and the Grenadines. I interviewed some of their owners to get a better picture as to what they are doing at the conference.

1. Rawley: is a 4 year old Grey Hound that has a transparent pouch strapped to his back and asks for donations for the cause of retired grey hounds. As most of you may know, this breed of dog is mainly used for dog racing here in the USA. Their racing career spans a period between 18 months and 5 years maximum. Their life span is on average between 12 to 15 years. Because they are selectively bred for racing, conditions such as hip displasia, heart and lung diseases are rare, but they will likely get cancer at the end of their lifespan. Rawley is a gentle soul who likes to brace himself on you, and likes to be petted. I was very impressed at how muscular he is, especially in his hind quarter, which reminded me of a stallion. The organization he represents finds homes for retired grey hounds.

2. Little man: is a great Pyrenees which weighs approximately 175 lbs. He is a massive dog, white in colour, and was at an exibit booth displaying how an Elizabethian collar is used on dogs. This breed is by nature guard dogs. Little man was just lying around seemingly unaware of all the hustle and bustle around him. I was told that they play sleep, but would peep through one or both eyes ocassionally to see who is passing.

Instead of biting like most guard dogs, they will use their bodies to block an intruder.

I was told that they were the only breed of dogs that can kill a bear and that this breed existed since 3000 years BC. The Spanish Pyrenees could get to 240 lbs. Their lifespan is 10 – 13 years.

3. Bronsen: is a weight bearing male dog. He is a 4 year old Labrador and his duties are to assist people who have problems walking, by supporting them while they are walking. He retrieves objects that may have fallen to the floor, opens doors, etc. It took approximately 1 1/2 years to train him.

4. Ripper: is an Australian Shepherd. He is the official dog of a Pet insurance company. At the conference, he spends his time retrieving objects from his handler, climbing over her back and doing all manner of acrobatics.

5. Tag: demonstrates the use of an exercise wheel for dogs. He is a 3 year old Dashound which reminds me of a hamster on a hamster wheel.

6. Schooner: is a Service dog. He is a 1 year old Golden Retriever in training. These dogs are used by people confined to wheel chairs who have limited use of their hands. Among other things, they retrieve objects, open and close doors, turn on and off lights, hand credit cards over counters at business places, etc. It takes about 2 years to train them.

7. Stanley: is a spokes cat which represents his company at veterinary conference.

For further information, contact: Dr. Collin Boyle Unique Animal Care Co. Ltd. Tel: 456 4981