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AAEP Holds ‘Focus on Ophthalmology’ at NC State University College of Veterinary Medicine

The American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP) staged the second annual “Focus on Ophthalmology” continuing education meeting Sept. 6-8 in Raleigh, NC, for 120 attendees from the U.S., Canada, and overseas.

The meeting involved two days of lectures at the Raleigh Crabtree Marriott Hotel and a day of practical laboratory sessions at NC State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine. The meeting was supported by eyeD, a company offering an equine identification system based on iris photography. Subpalpebral lavage catheters to deliver medication to the horse’s eye and ultrasound machines used in the CVM labs were provided by Mila International and Universal Ultrasound.

For the first two days of the meeting, International Equine Ophthalmology Consortium (IEOC) past president Dr. Dennis Brooks, current president Dr. Andy Matthews, and Dr. Brian Gilger of NC State CVM, delivered lectures covering the photo of AAEP activityequine eye in anatomic progression, touching on anatomy, physiology, and medical treatment and surgery for common problems. Lectures included material on equine vision, eye examination, corneal conditions, uveitis, and fundic examination. The lectures concluded with a series of findings on horses presented for purchase examination and a discussion on the advice that would be given in each scenario.

[Photo: IEOC President Dr. Andy Matthews demonstrating ocular ultrasound.]

On the final day, registrants attended lab sessions at NC State’s College of Veterinary Medicine where they were split into groups of 30 people with each group rotating among four labs for a total of six hours of practical instruction.

The laboratories were taught by the three lecturers who were aided by NC State faculty clinicians Dr. Richard McMullen, Dr. Alison Clode, Dr. Nelson Pinto, Dr. Joseph Gerding as well as Dr. Noelle McNabb of Critical Care and Veterinary Specialists in Sarasota, FL., Dr. Carol Clark of Peterson & Smith Equine Hospital of Ocala, FL., Dr. Ann Dwyer of Genesee Valley Equine Clinic in Rochester, NY, and Dr. Brendan Mangan of the University of Florida.

The technical staff of the Ophthalmology Service at NC State CVM managed lab set up and aided the instructors. The sessions covered clinical examination of the equine eye, advanced ocular diagnostics, practical therapeutics and pharmacology, and basic ocular surgery.

Attendees reported they appreciated the concentrated days of instruction in equine ophthalmology. According to the AAEP, the association has expanded educational opportunities for its members in ophthalmology during the last few years and will continue to do so as more equine veterinarians are interested in equine ocular problems.