Louise, Jayne and Gillian travelled down to Surrey in June to attend Vet Festival 2019.   This is a CPD event with a difference!

The lectures are held in marquees and the accommodation is in tents.  As well as the usual surgical and medical focus streams, there are dedicated nursing and well being lectures too.  The event is the brain child of “supervet” Noel Fitzpatrick.  With 12 marquees concurrently hosting lectures on different topics there are ample learning opportunities, whatever your area of interest.

Aside from the learning, the highlight of the event is the party night.  It has a music festival atmosphere and this year we were encouraged to buy into the 80’s theme (which we did, thanks to lots of encouragement from Jayne!).

It was an excellent couple of days and we returned with lots of new ideas and enthusiasm! We also managed a selfie with “Supervet” himself!  Despite the atrocious weather the conference was a great success and well worth the journey


Gillian spent most of her time in the internal medicine, cardiopulmonary and neurology tents.  A particular highlight was the series of lectures on urine presented by local medicine specialist Nick Bommer, from RDSVS.  Urine can tell us so much about the health of an animal when you know where to look (generally through a microscope is a good place to start!).
Jaynie had a fantastic time at vetfest this year, especially as we got to go camping which is something I particularly enjoy! I attended a wide variety of lecture subjects during the 2 days there. There were several very interesting internal medicine lectures by Nick Bommer and soft tissue surgery lectures by Jon Hall who both work as referral specialists at Edinburgh Vet School. I also enjoyed the subjects on complicated wound repair by Dr Chris Adin who works as a surgeon in the College of Veterinary Medicine in Florida.
The party night was a great success. Getting dressed up in our 80s gear took me back to my fancy dress days at vet school! It was a pleasure to meet Noel and appreciate how passionate he is about our profession. It was an amazing event and I’m already looking forward to next year!
Louise attended most of the lectures in the nursing tent. There was a variety of talks within this stream a few highlights for Louise were; the 2 part lecture on nursing the brachycephalic patient from the start to the end of their stay in practice. This lecture focused more on patients in for corrective surgery of their stenotic nares (narrowed nostrils) and their large soft palate, common issues of these breeds which can be detrimental to their health but most of what was taught could be used in caring for these breeds even when just in for routine procedures. This talks was beneficial as it outlined the specific needs of these patients throughout their induction, anaesthetic and recovery that are different to that of the usual dog. This talks fits in with the large volume of brachycephalic dogs that are being seen in today’s practice as the breeds have grown very popular.
Another couple of lectures Louise attended and found she learned lots from were the first talk on the Saturday morning by Matt Guney (RCVS and European specialist in anaesthesia and analgesia) discussing nursing the acutely painful patients, looking at assessing pain in patients both cats and dogs and then looking at different drugs that are effective to relieve these painful patients pain.

The lecture ‘Interpreting the body language of the caged cat’ was a very interesting one, learning about the subtle signs that cats display in order to communicate their feelings. Having the knowledge and being able recognise the signs of stress or frustration mean we can adapt our nursing to suit these cats and therefore making their stay as stress less and nice as possible.