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Wednesday, March 6th

Wednesday Morning

Opening Session


Keynote: Wildlife Health in the Age of the Anthropocene

Sharon L. Deem, DVM, PhD, dip ACZM, St. Louis Zoo, MO


We are living in the Age of the Anthropocene, an epoch defined by human-driven planetary changes. From climate change to resource depletion and the loss of biodiversity, we are altering the qualities that make Earth the only planet known to support life. These human-created challenges have increasingly clear impacts on the health of all species. Exponential human population growth has increased interaction between wild and domestic animals and the movement of pathogens around the globe, fueling emerging infectious diseases detrimental to human and non-human animals alike (e.g, Ebola, white nose syndrome, avian influenza). Climate change brings a suite of additional health impacts through temperature shifts and extreme weather events as can be seen in the wild fires throughout California and the mass death of flying foxes during the recent Australian heat waves. Be it an increase in harmful algal blooms or the effects of endocrine-disrupting compounds (e.g., BPA), pollution and plastic waste also similarly take a toll on all life in our shared ecosystems. How does this new Age influence the work of the NWRA community? We know that the health of wildlife populations are increasingly threatened by anthropogenic changes, from habitat degradation and fragmentation, conflict with domestic animals, to shared infectious diseases. These threats to wildlife health and conservation, which are extensive and appear to grow annually, are both a curse and an opportunity. With the growing One Health initiative and the understanding that the health of animals, humans, and ecosystems are all interconnected, we are better poised to confront today’s wildlife health challenges. In this talk, we consider the Anthropocene, the One Health initiative, and the role that wildlife rehabilitators play in ensuring the health of animals, people, and the planet.



Setting Limits Session—Grand Ballroom 


Chronic Case Management: When to Call it Quits
Sarah Reich, DVM, University of Illinois Wildlife Medical Clinic, IL

Chronic case management can be one of the most frustrating aspects of wildlife rehabilitation. Even the most objective individuals can become attached to cases, especially those that have required numerous treatment plans. In these instances, it can be difficult to not only draw the line but determine when that line needs to be drawn. Discussion includes chronic case management and how/when to set goals and timelines, as well as how to approach euthanasia when these goals are not met.


Drowning in Empathy: Fighting Compassion Fatigue by Building Resiliency
Samantha Sander, DVM, University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine, IL   
Handout 1     Handout 2     Handout 3     Handout 4     Handout 5
Handout 6     Handout 7     Handout 8     Handout 9     Handout 10
Handout 11     Handout 12     Handout 13     Handout 14     Handout 15
Handout 16     Handout 17     Handout 18     Handout 19     Handout 20
Handout 21

Wildlife rehabilitation can be as draining as it is fulfilling. Funding limitations, difficult cases, and “caring too much” can leave one feeling discouraged, guilty, or empty. We are all at risk for compassion fatigue and burnout, yet self-care is continually set aside in order to prioritize the care of animals. Building resiliency, setting boundaries, and knowing how and when to mentally reset is just as important to a successful wildlife center as the animals and care they receive. Wellness is important for all of us - wildlife and their caretakers alike. Strategies on defining self-care in a wildlife center are included. 



Wednesday Afternoon


Animal Welfare Plenary—Grand Ballroom

Juli Ponder, DVM—Moderator


Animal Welfare: Perspectives from a Human Primate  
Mark Mitchell, DVM, MS, PhD, DECZM, Louisiana State University Veterinary Teaching Hospital, LA

Welfare. We use this term in many different ways. It can define how we look and manage others, as well as ourselves. When it comes to animals, and we should include ourselves, how we define welfare can affect how we care for our patients and our own work-life harmony. It is important for us to take a moment to evaluate our approach and opinions on welfare using evidence-directed data to ensure we are meeting our potential as caretakers of the wildlife and humans in our society. The purpose of this presentation is to remind us of this importance.


Animal Welfare Consideration in Wildlife Rehabilitation Practices
Jennifer Convy, PAWS Wildlife Center, WA

What are the criteria to consider ensuring animal welfare in your care? This discussion covers best practices in animal welfare, including: intake, rehabilitation, medical care, pre-release conditioning, and release. What factors should you be thinking about, what factors should you be taking action on, and what should you never lose sight of?


Animal Welfare: Best Practices in Accepting Non-releasable Wildlife for Ambassador Programs
Gail Buhl, Partners for Wildlife, MN
Handout 1 -- added 3/14/19
Handout 2 -- added 3/14/19
Handout 3 -- added 3/14/19

 How can we use best practices accepting non-releasable wildlife into an ambassador program? How can using animal welfare set ourselves and the animals in our educational programs up for success from the start? This discussion is an overview of criteria to assist you in making these important life-long decisions.


Federal Roundtable
Sponsored by Fellow Mortals Wildlife Hospital
Jeff Meshach—Moderator


Working Together: Federal Rehabilitation, Education and Eagle Permits, Migratory Birds and You!
Resee Collins, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
Carmen Simonton, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
Valerie Slocumb, 
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service

Handout 1     Handout 2     Handout 3     Handout 4     Handout 5       
Handout 6     Handout 7    Handout 8     Handout 9    
All handouts added March 20, 2019

USFWS permit staff present the most current information on the regulations for rehabilitating migratory birds and possessing migratory birds and eagles in captivity for educational purposes, permit resources available and items of possible impacts and interest to current permittees.

A question/answer session addressing rehabilitation and education permit types is also featured.


Wednesday Evening

In-House Bloodwork Session

Leslie Lattimore—Moderator


Using In-House Bloodwork to Guide Case Management
Nicki Rosenhagen, DVM, Progressive Animal Welfare Society, WA     
Handout - added 3/14/19

This two-hour lecture provides an overview of in-house bloodwork (packed cell volume, total solids, and buffy coat), then transitions to an interactive, case-based discussion. Attendees receive a patient history, physical exam findings and blood values, and learn to use this information to make decisions on case management.


Avian Veterinary Topics Session
Sponsored by Michele Goodman and Ian Gereg
Erica Miller, DVM—Moderator


Management of the Post-surgical Avian Patient
Sarah Reich, DVM, University of Illinois Wildlife Medical Clinic, IL  

This lecture focuses on the management of post-surgical avian orthopedic cases with an emphasis on developing a physical therapy regimen. Maintaining appropriate range of motion and muscle mass during the recovery process can be just as important as the original surgery, and a vital part of the rehabilitation process. Topics include active and passive range of motion exercises, use of goniometry, and adjunct modalities such as cold laser therapy, as well as expected timelines of improvement and criteria for release.


Avian Wildlife Toxicosis
Thomas Tully, DVM, DABVP, DECZM, LSU School of Veterinary Medicine, Wildlife Hospital of Louisiana, LA

Toxicosis is a common avian disease presentation. Heavy metal, insecticide, and herbicide toxicity as it relates to the pathophysiology of patients and related clinical signs are presented in this lecture. Case descriptions, as well as treatment options for all toxins covered, are provided. Diagnostic testing for the suspected toxicosis and how to interpret the results relating to clinical treatment response and/or the patient’s clinical presentation are included. Participants are informed to successfully recognize, diagnose, and treat avian toxicosis through clinical case description and providing the latest information available.


Bird’s Eye View: Basic Intro into Avian Ophthalmology
Allison Daugherty, DVM, Lindsay Wildlife Experience, CA

This lecture covers basics of avian ophthalmology from a wildlife rehabilitation perspective. Topics include basic anatomy, terminology, care that wildlife rehabilitators can do, when to go to a veterinarian, and what a veterinarian can do for rehabilitators.


Workshop Lectures Session
Jennifer Engle—Moderator


Basic Diagnostics Workshop Lecture
Sherri Cox, DVM, National Wildlife Centre, ON       
Handout - Added March 29, 2019

Baseline diagnostic tests can provide a tremendous amount of information in terms of what might be going on with an animal, and to provide some idea of prognosis. This workshop lecture reviews basic laboratory analysis to help contribute to the animals’ health and well-being. Performing these tests help you and your veterinarian determine the best course of treatment for the patients in your care. This lecture is a prerequisite for the basic diagnostics workshop.


Basic Parasitology Workshop Lecture
Sarah Reich, DVM, University of Illinois Wildlife Medical Clinic, IL  
Samantha Sander, DVM, University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine, IL
Handout - added 3/14/19
Wild animals can present to a rehabilitation setting with a variety of internal and external parasites. Many of these can be easily diagnosed with the aid of a microscope and some basic supplies. Topics covered in this lecture include ectoparasite testing (tape preparations, impression smears, and skin scrapes) and endoparasite testing (wet mounts and fecal flotations). Participants learn how to acquire samples, prepare slides, and use the provided microscopes to interpret results. This lecture is a prerequisite for the basic parasitology workshop.


Disaster Preparedness
Ernesto Dominguez, DVM—Moderator


Disaster Preparedness & Evacuation   
Emily Davenport, Rocky Mountain Wildlife Alliance, CO 
Elizabeth Chouinard, Ojai Raptor Center, CO     
Handout 2 - added March 29, 2019

As wildlife rehabilitators, one of our worst fears is the thought of a natural disaster striking our facility. What would we do with the animals? What supplies would we need to take to assure their continued care? Disasters can strike at a moment’s notice. The U.S. regularly experiences a variety of natural disasters due to its vast size and geographic diversity. While a disaster can occur due to any extreme natural event such as hurricane, fire, flood or earthquake, it is technically characterized by causing significant amount damage and/or loss of life. Emily and Elizabeth share personal experiences of going through flood and fire while sharing tips for emergency preparedness, evacuation, and the basics of putting together an evacuation kit.