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Shelter Medicine

Berliner l Gerdin l Herendeen


Elizabeth Berliner, DVM, DABVP (Canine/Feline)
Janet L. Swanson Director of Shelter Medicine, Maddie’s Shelter Medicine Program, College of Veterinary Medicine, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York

Quality of Life and Medical Decision Making in the Animal Shelter
Assessing quality of life is a complex process, even for humans who are able to communicate their level of distress or discomfort. Assessing quality of life for companion animals, especially in a shelter context, s even more complex. This lecture will look at some of the research into human and companion animal quality of life assessment, and explore how as veterinarians we can better understand quality of life concerns for shelter animals in order to inform our daily decision-making. Case examples will be used to illustrate principles.

Neonatal and Pediatric Care in the Animal Shelter
The largest species and age group entering animal shelters nationally is kittens under 3 months of age. Many shelters are committing to saving more neonatal and pediatric animals in their care through increased foster care networks, and/or kitten nurseries. In this hour we will review clinical care of these patients, as well as programmatic elements of managing them in populations. Additionally, several free or low-cost resources will be reviewed to enable attendees to return home with training materials for their support teams.

Feline Infectious Peritonitis: A Review and Updates
Feline Infectious Peritonitis can be a frustrating disease to diagnose, and result particular challenges in a shelter or cattery environment. In this hour we will review the scientific literature related to FIP, the clinical aspects of disease diagnosis and management, and what new methodologies are currently under investigation. Additionally, we will attempt to answer the frequently asked questions that plague veterinarians working with feline populations.




Jodie Gerdin, DVM, DACVP
Pathologist, Antech Diagnostics, Baltimore, Maryland; and Adjunct Professor, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida


Starvation for Forensic Veterinarians
This talk will present what is currently known about the medical and pathologic aspects of starvation in dogs. Documentation of findings, clinicopathologic abnormalities, and lesions in both living and deceased patients will be covered, along with tests and techniques that support the diagnosis of starvation, with the goal of presenting findings in court.

Dermatopathology for Shelter Veterinarians
This practical talk will cover best practices for biopsying skin lesions, including when to biopsy and when not to, what to tell the pathologist, and when to ask for a dermatopathologist consult. Basic pattern recognition will also be covered, along with select feline and canine skin diseases and infections, like dermatophytosis, feline miliary dermatitis, and feline eosinophilic lesions.




Hillary Herendeen, VMD

Staff Veterinarian, ACCT Philly, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

The Art of Self Assessment: Doing the Most with the Least in Humane Housing
In our push to save more lives in our shelters, we sometimes forget that the pets in our care still need to feel safe, healthy and ready to move on. Learn how the Philadelphia Animal Care & Control Team used the process of self-assessment to recognize opportunities to improve the welfare of all of the animals who pass through our doors, and how we engaged staff and changed Philadelphia's municipal facility into a kinder, gentler animal control agency.