The September and October report
The two months since the world congress have flown by: in addition to getting this website up and running (with most of the work being done by Web designs), my 17 year old daughter headed off to Ecuador for six months of volunteer work before she goes to Victoria University and I wrote a report on the congress for the Companion Animal Society newsletter.
The 7th world congress of veterinary dermatology in Vancouver was as jam packed as ever with information, new developments in dermatology and dermatologists from all over the world. Vancouver makes a beautiful venue for a conference and the convention centre is right on sea. During the breaks if you were feeling overwhelmed by information, you could wander along the wharf, watch super yachts, towering over the convention centre, pull in and dock or gaze at snow covered mountain over the sea.
There is a great deal of change in the world of animal dermatology, most obviously in the field of allergy, especially in canine atopic disease. If recent research lives up to its promise, we are going to see some very exciting developments that may lead to radically new treatments. In the meantime, veterinarians benefited from a series of presentations on canine atopic dermatitis (CAD) by Didier Carlotti, Richard Halliwell, Mona Boord and Crag Griffin that dealt with the clinical signs of CAD, current opinions on the diagnosis of CAD, and strategies for the management of CAD.
In September I used this information in a presentation on My approach to the Pruritic Dog. The evening was hosted by Vet Specs, the veterinary referral centre in Christchurch, and sponsored by Hills and SVS. The 30 plus veterinarians were very willing to enter into the discussion of how to make sense of the itchy canine. It was a great evening. I took the opportunity to ask them what dog I should give my 12 year old daughter for her 13th birthday. The resounding answer was… a Border terrier. By coincidence a good friend broke her leg badly on a walk on a local Nelson land mark called the Centre of New Zealand. The frenzied barking of her Border terrier alerted other walkers and she was helicoptered out, avoiding a cold miserable night out. Her story was featured in a recent NZ Woman’s Weekly. Sadly I was not mentioned as the dermatologist to this canine hero. On the whole Border terriers seem to have pretty good skin and unlike most terriers, aren’t prone to allergies. Despite so much to recommend Borders for my daughter, I think we will stick with a Border collie. For one thing, our old Border collie Jimmy is very fond of other members of his breed but finds young active dogs of other breeds very tiresome.