Save the Date 2018!
Read below about this year’s amazingly successful Congress, held in February.
The 2017 South African Equine Veterinary Association Congress
Manfred Rohwer and Keith Spargo
The 2017 South African Equine Veterinary Association (SAEVA) 50th Birthday Congress took place from 12 – 16 February at the beautiful Skukuza Rest Camp in the Kruger National Park. The theme for this year’s congress was the “Past, Present and Future of Equine Veterinary Science” and we were treated to excellent lectures by twelve international guest expert speakers. The congress attracted delegates from far and wide, both local and international. This year the congress was held over four full days allowing for even more lectures than ever before and I think every delegate walked away this year having learnt something new.
The 2017 South African Equine Veterinary Association Congress Manfred Rohwer and Keith Spargo The 2017 South African Equine Veterinary Association (SAEVA) 50th Birthday Congress took place from 12 – 16 February at the beautiful Skukuza Rest Camp in the Kruger National Park. The theme for this year’s congress was the “Past, Present and Future of Equine Veterinary Science” and we were treated to excellent lectures by twelve international guest expert speakers. The congress attracted delegates from far and wide, both local and international. This year the congress was held over four full days allowing for even more lectures than ever before and I think every delegate walked away this year having learnt something new.
Tuesday started off with game drives for those early birds keen to experience the African bushveld. First lecture of the day was Dr Jonathan Pycock who reviewed the use of ultrasonography in equine reproductive work over the years and how the technology has improved and what developments the future will bring. One development interest is the use of colour Doppler to monitor early embryonic development. Prof Celia Marr presented after the tea break on equine cardiology and again the use of colour Doppler technology came to the fore as the newest development and area of focus. After lunch, numerous scientific abstracts from our local delegates where presented ranging from reporting on the newly establish standing computer tomography machine situated at the Equicare group by Dr Angela Rogers of Blue Hills Veterinary Hospital to the use of ultrasonography in evaluating the larynx in post-laryngoplasty horses by Dr Sean Miller of Summerveld Equine Hospital. Tuesday night was just more relaxed with a substantial buffet dinner satisfying the hunger of the delegates after a long day of lectures and game viewing. Once again Wednesday kicked off with early morning game drives exciting both locals and international delegates with sightings of the famous big five. First up for the day was the famous Dr Bruce Bladon of Donnington Grove Veterinary Surgery. Dr Bladon regaled the delegates with infectious charm and wit and discussed how equine surgery has progressed and steps and protocols that he has put in place in his own practices which have had a huge success in increasing his practices surgery success rate. With Dr Bladon being such a huge English rugby fan and always quick to bring up South Africa’s rugby mishaps, the SAEVA YMG had a little surprise in store for him with a “tribute” video created by McGregor Stone highlighting some of England rugby’s “best moments” that they perhaps would prefer to forget.
Next up was Dr Joe Pagan of Kentucky Equine Research, who presented on equine nutrition and how we should be feeding the modern sport horse. Nutrition is a topic that is often approached with caution by veterinarians due to it not being covered in good detail during vet school, so this talk was well received by many. He emphasised the horse’s ability to utilise fat as a source of energy and how it is an ideal energy source in hot horses as well as those who suffer from recurrent exertional rhabdomyolysis or polysaccharide storage myopathy. After lunch, Prof James Gilkerson of the University of Melbourne reviewed infectious diseases and how our approach to these conditions has changed.
The day was capped off with a traditional South African braai of boerewors, chops and pap en sous to name just a few of the delicious items available.
Thursday arrived and with it the last day of the congress. Unfortunately, mother nature decided that the perfect way to end off things was with torrential rains on and off during the day. However, the weather did not damp spirits and with speakers like Prof Derek Knottenbelt and Dr Steve O’Grady on the line up we were set for some high-quality talks. Prof Knottenbelt, of the University of Glasgow, gave a rivetting review of some of the myths we have in equine veterinary science and looked at what is true and what is not. Of particular interest was the treatments of sarcoids which is always a hotly debated topic. Wrapping things up was Dr Steve O’Grady of Virginia Therapeutic Farriery. Dr O’Grady is unique in that he is both a qualified veterinarian and farrier. He emphasised the important relationship between vets and farriers and the skills that each profession can bring to the table for the enhancement of how we treat conditions of the hoof in the horse.
Finally, the event that many had been waiting for arrived – the Zoetis Robin Rous gala dinner! With it being SEAVA’s 50th Birthday the organisers went all out to put on a spectacular function! With entertainment presented from the amazing Mo Magic to handing over of cheques to the nominated charities of the Vets with HorsePower (Ethelbert Children’s Home – R238 939.50, Bizana Equine Project – R238 939.50, East Coast Horse Care Unit – R50 000.00 and Hole in the Wall equine project – R50 000) and the lucky draw for a drive in a Ford Mustang sponsored by Zoetis. What has become somewhat of a tradition at the gala dinner is an auction for the Saving the Survivors. This year two bronze rhino sculptures made by Pangolin Designs were put up for auction. Both were bought by Dr Cliff Meyer.
The rest of the night was dedicated to letting down of the hair and enjoying each other’s company before we all had to say our goodbyes and good wishes for the travels home. Overall, I think this congress was a huge success and I am blown away by the generosity shown by all the vets with their donations to the Saving the Survivors campaign! At the congress, we celebrated SAEVA’s 50th birthday as an organisation and I think the celebration that went down definitely made this congress one for the books.
Lastly, I would like to extend a big thank you to the congress organising committee headed up by Dr Terry Cassey and the Vetlink team for taking on this mammoth task and coming out triumphant on the other side! Without all their hard work and vision this congress would not have been possible. Without the support of our sponsors this event would not have been possible.
Our prime sponsors were Zoetis for the Gala evening and the following companies sponsored the international speakers: BCF, Boehringer Ingelheim, Cipla, Diag, Epol, Kentucky Equine Research, MSD, SAVA, TBA, VTech and Vetsbrands The trade show was supported by Arco 360, Equus, Easy Practice, Global Endeavour, Lomaen Medical, Lakato, Midlands Veterinary Wholesalers, OBP, Stride, SAVA Mpumalanga Branch, Tecmed, Vet360, Vet Products Online.
Thank you to our sponsors and delegates for a successful SAEVA 2016. Â Congratulations to VETSBRANDS who received the best exhibitor award this year. Â Delegates, please fill in the evaluation surveyÂ here