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A different kind of conference for both vets and nurses!

23rd January 2020

  •   News
A different kind of conference for both vets and nurses!

It is that time of year when you may be planning your CPD for the year and perhaps trying to stretch your budget to cover several different areas of veterinary practice. Have you ever attended a day or two of CPD and felt it was interesting, but perhaps only included a narrow area of medicine or surgery, or that it included a lot of research but nothing practical? At the International Society of Feline Medicine, we have thought long and hard about how to provide the best feline CPD for our delegates and in our first UK ISFM Conference we hope we have cracked it!

In a 2-day conference with both nursing and veterinary steams we aim to present lectures on a variety of topics relevant to the practitioner and nurse with an interest in cats.  We understand that in a busy clinic your first consult might be surgical, the next need a dental and the last be an RTA, so have designed a conference to span such topics.

This means you will learn about several different subjects, from wound management and dentistry, to behaviour and orthopaedics, coming back to work on the Monday after the conference with a wealth of practical information and ideas you can use there and then and share with colleagues. This doesn’t mean we won’t cover the science, our speakers and international experts in their fields, but it will be presented in a way that is relevant to clinical practice.

So, what areas of feline practice will we cover?

  • Dust off your practice microscope! Tim Williams from Cambridge University will be discussing the importance of in-house cytology, looking at what you can learn from blood smears, urine samples and FNAs. On a Friday afternoon at 4pm when the anaemic cat comes in, do you feel confident interpreting the blood smear and making a decision on treatment? We will give you the skills to use these cost-effective in-house tests. (Figure 1)
  • Do you dread the dental? Fear the jaw fracture? Matthew Oxford will be presenting several lectures on the dreaded gingivostomatitis, resorptive lesions, jaw fractures, and dental radiography (we have a masterclass on this last subject to learn hands-on), as well as providing nursing advice for dental patients. Feline dentistry done well is a string in your clinic’s bow, both personally satisfying and not bad for business! (Figures 2a-d)
  • To complement Matthew’s lectures, Vicky Ford-Fennah will be speaking on ‘Dentistry without the ouch’ discussing anaesthesia and analgesia for these patients to optimise recovery and minimise your patient’s discomfort.
  • The message that ‘cats are not small dogs’ we hope has now got through. However, do you feel you fully understand what your feline patients are telling you with their body language? Do you feel confident approaching a discussion on problem behaviour? We are fortunate to have both ISFM feline behaviour experts, Vicky Halls and Sarah Ellis, presenting talks in both streams on feline communication and problem behaviours (Figure 3), with Sarah also giving a lecture on how to teach cats to tolerate inhaled medications, an important therapeutic technique that must be introduced correctly.
  • ‘Cat RTA’ added to the bottom of the appointment list – adrenaline up, are you ready? Sorrel Langley-Hobbs is just the person to discuss triage of the ‘flat cat’, how to approach common fractures and Sorrel will provide tips on nursing these painful and fragile patients. (Figure 4a and b)
  • Do you ever feel unsure how to approach a wound on a cat? When to close it? How to dress it? Laura Owen and Georgie Hollis of Cambridge University and The Wound Library have this ‘covered’ with lectures in both streams on how to deal with wound complications and which dressing to use where (and how to get it to stay on!) (Figure 5).
  • Additional talks in the nurses’ stream are from our own Sarah Collins covering assisted nutrition (Figure 6) and Clarisse D’Aout discussing common causes of respiratory diseases in cats (cough and sneezes and maybe some wheezes!).

All of this will be taking place at the beautiful Heythrop Park. Located amid the stunning countryside on the edge of the Cotswolds, the hotel offers an on-site spa and if you’re thinking of making a weekend of it, there’s an 18-hole golf course with beautiful views over the Oxfordshire countryside. There’s also running and cycling routes around the extensive grounds and we’re also introducing optional morning yoga sessions for delegates to start their day, the right way: rested and relaxed.

ISFM congresses have always been about creating a memorable delegate experience; CPD and the science is important, but so is delegate wellbeing and time to relax and reflect is becoming an integral element to many congress programmes. We aim to combine a world class lecture programme, with plenty of opportunity for delegates to socialise, network and enjoy the surroundings.

We’re very excited to be spending a couple of days providing high quality, but more importantly relevant and practical CPD for both vets and nurses at the most gorgeous of venues.

Fancy joining us? Click here for details on the full programme and how to register.



Figure 1: What are the abnormal cells on this blood smear? In-house cytology will be discussed at the ISFM UK conference


Figure 2: This is a 4-year-old DSH which presented with a fracture of the right rostral mandible (Figure 2a and b) and luxation of the right mandibular canine tooth following a fall out of a tree. Fixated with an intraoral wire (Figure 2c) and acrylic splint (figure 2d) and root canal treatment of 404. Learn more about jaw fractures at the conference!

Figure 3: Do you know what your patient is telling you? How to approach the cat with aggression?


Figure 4a,b: Nursing a cat with a fracture can be rewarding and knowing how to approach the case when you see a radiograph like this is important.

Figure 5: When a wound is not healing you may hear different opinions on what to do next, which one is right?

Figure 6: Are you placing feeding tubes in your clinic and confident managing them?

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