In July Gillian attended a 5 day course in Estoril, Portugal.  The course was ran by the European Society of Advanced Veterinary Studies (ESAVS) and the subject area was Cardiology.

Vets from all over the EU and further afield, including Columbia and Russia, were in attendance.  There were no other delegates from the UK.  Fortunately the course was delivered in English and most conversations at the tea beaks were in English, except when people from the same region of the EU had found each other for a chat!  There were 40 delegates in all.  It was very interesting to learn about the veterinary profession in the different countries.  Even within the EU, there are significant differences in the veterinary industry between the countries.

The two professors running the course were both Diplomats in both Internal Medicine and Cardiology.  Prof. Dr. Gerhard Wess works at the University of Munich in Germany and Prof. Dr. Jen’s Haggstrom works at the vet school in Uppsala, Sweden.  Being a bit of a cardio nerd I was very excited to learn that Professor Haggstrom had designed the EPIC trial (probably the most robust piece of veterinary research published to date) – (think meeting Gerri if you are a Spice Girl fan!!).

The course itself was quite intense – commencing at 9 am and finishing at 7pm everyday.  This is the first of a series of 5 cardiology courses and covered ECG interpretation, thoracic radiographs, as well as the most common heart diseases of dogs and cats encountered in clinical practice.  We were presented with all the most up to date evidence for treatment rationales and even some, as yet unpublished, data that will be leading to changes in treatment regimes in the near future.

Westport has recently purchased an ECG machine and so I am keen to get practising my new skills and to be able to help our patients a little bit more than we could before.  The second in the series of ESAVS cardiology courses takes place in Luxemburg next year and includes an introduction to cardiac ultrasound.