Here is a quick report on day one of the AVMA convention. My head is so full that it is overflowing. It will be days before I can transcribe all of my notes, etc., but I hope to do a quick summary soon and then a more detailed one later. I want to be very precise and deliberate about my reporting. Just got home and I have to be heading back downtown in eight hours for day two.
I attended five hours of cardiology sessions - three with Jonathan Abbott and two with Meg Sleeper. There is definitely some newer thinking along with some revised medication protocols. I asked some very specific questions both during the sessions and afterward in private conversations with the two cardiologists so I have a good understanding of evolving recommendations. I will be making some noteworthy changes in what I recommend in this group and in my other Cavalier groups and canine congestive heart failure group based on today, and I will be sharing with Rod in the event he wants to address on his website. (In fact, I'll be cross-posting to all groups to which I belong.)
After the five cardiology sessions, I attended Curtis Dewey's session on Chiari-Like Malformation and then his session on brain tumors.
Here is the bad news - attendance at the convention is something like an estimated 10,000 (I heard that on the traffic report this morning and I'll try to confirm that). The cardiology sessions were packed with a couple hundred attendees each; people were sitting on the floor. I counted 15 attendees at the SM session, and at the end I recounted and 2 more people had joined the session. That tells me that U.S. vets think that SM is some obscure disease that they will not see in their daily practice. I'm not positive, but I think I was the only non-vet attending - if anyone hears of other Cavalier folks attending, please let me know as I'd love to chat with them.
I took good notes (and I have the speaker notes) - I was particularly interested in the statistics that Dr. Dewey quoted. Remember that this was directed at vets rather than Cavalier breeders/owners. (By the way, he focused entirely on Cavaliers for the presentation.) He had a slide listing "old views" and "new views" with info that I had not heard before, although I am not super knowledgeable about SM (as compared to my knowledge of acquired valvular disease) because I've never lived with dogs with symptomatic SM and I have lived with many dogs with acquired valvular disease. I asked some questions regarding the new views and medication recommendations.
There are more sessions tomorrow, and I will hopefully be able to ask some additional questions that I thought about on the drive home. Today alone (and there are two more days) was well worth the registration fee - I learned SO much!
Tomorrow's sessions include a presentation on SM by Andy Shores and another one by Sofia Cerda-Gonzalez so it will be interesting to compare those sessions with Dewey's.
Gotta go take care of my dogs and get some sleep, although I'm so full of questions and thoughts that it will be hard to fall asleep.