St. Maarten - Sonesta Ocean Point Resort

December 05 - 07, 2019

Sue Ettinger DVM, ACVIM

Dr Susan Ettinger

Dr. Sue Ettinger is a practicing veterinary cancer specialist, international speaker, book author, and vlogger (video blogger). She is currently at the Veterinary Cancer Center in Norwalk, CT - part of the Compassion-First Pet Hospitals family of Hospitals. She is one of approximately 400 board-certified specialists in medical oncology in North America. She received her veterinary training at Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine. She completed her residency in medical oncology at the Animal Medical Center in NYC in 2003. She has recently received awards for Exceptional Doctor Performance and the Public Relations Achievement. Also known as Dr Sue Cancer Vet®, Dr. Sue is the co-author of the Second Edition of The Dog Cancer Survival Guide, which is a best-selling book in small animal health for the last several years. She is a frequent contributor to Todays’ Veterinary Practice, Clinician’s Brief, Veterinary Team Brief, & DVM360. She co-hosts the podcast The Pet Cancer Vet and is a Certified Veterinary Journalist. Dr. Sue is most passionate about raising cancer awareness, and she has developed “See Something, Do Something, Why Wait? Aspirate.®” to promote early cancer detection and diagnosis. Dr Sue’s popular Facebook page has over 33,000 fans. She can also be found on Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube.


1 - 9 Things You Should be Doing for Vomiting and Inappetence for Chemotherapy Patients Cancer is a scary word that is often equated with death, pain, suffering, and a lot of side effects that will make the pet sicker. As in people, a common and dreaded side effect of treatment is chemotherapy-Induced Nausea and Vomiting (CINV). Chemotherapy is well tolerated in the majority of dogs and cats undergoing treatment. But it is important to be proactive, not reactive, to minimize side effects. More effective anti-emetics have become available in recent years but controlling CINV remains a challenge in veterinary oncology. Our role as veterinary professionals is vital to help owners identify nausea and improve the control CINV. Whether you are directly managing chemotherapy patients or sharing cases with an oncologist, there are simple tips to improve quality of life and minimize CIVN side effects in chemotherapy patients.
2 - The ABCs of Early Cancer Detection: Aspirates, Biopsies and Cytology Most skin and subcutaneous tumors can be cured with surgery alone if diagnosed early when tumors are small. To do this we need to identify and diagnose skin and superficial masses with aspirates and biopsies when they are more treatable. See Something, Do Something. Why Wait? Aspirate® is a cancer awareness program to do just that. In this talk we will go over the guidelines for when to aspirate and biopsy, and then dive into the common skin and subcutaneous tumors. We will discuss common cytology features of cancer to determine benign vs malignant and the basic characteristics to determine to the tissue of origin.
3 - Canine Lymphoma: My 3 Ps (Prognostic, Practical, and Pertinent) for Lymphoma on a Budget Once you’ve confirmed the diagnosis of lymphoma, the diagnostic and chemotherapy options can be budget busting for many clients. Which tests and protocols do we recommend? What do you tell the owners? This lecture will give a practical approach to diagnostic and treatment options at various price points. We will cover the numbers and prognoses you need to know when you talk the owner about the options. We will also discuss new therapies available and how to use steroids when treatment is declined.
4 - Ready, Set, Go Pink: Mammary Cancer in Dogs and Cats This lecture will give a practical overview of canine and feline mammary tumors including best practices for diagnostics, surgery approaches and chemotherapy. Includes case presentations.
5 - 7 Tips for Splenic Masses You’ve found the dreaded splenic mass. Now what? The splenic mass often results in a presumed poor prognosis and client panic, because it’s assumed it is hemangiosarcoma. In this lecture we will cover what to tell owners before the diagnosis is confirmed and then review prognosis for hemangiosarcoma, as well as the other differentials. We will discuss tips for diagnostics, surgery, chemotherapy and supportive care.6 - Great Client Communication when Breaking Bad News When we tell a client their pet has cancer, it is like dropping a bomb. No one likes to break bad news, but it is a complex communication skill that you will have to do thousands of times. In this talk, we will discuss cancer communication challenges for you and the client, and practical strategies that you can use in your practice the next time you have to break any bad news.
7 - Cancer Tools You Can Use Tomorrow: Feline GI Lymphoma vs IBD This lecture will cover both low grade and high-grade gastrointestinal lymphoma, and the challenges of distinguishing low-grade lymphoma and IBD. This lecture will give a practical overview of diagnostics, picking staging tests, which ones to skip, treatment options, and statistics you need to know when you talk the owner. We will also discuss steroids when treatment is declined. Cats are definitely not small dogs when it comes to lymphoma.
8 - Cancer Tools You Can Use Tomorrow: the Other (Non-GI) Feline Lymphomas This lecture will cover the other lymphomas non-gastrointestinal in cats, including mediastinal, kidney, cutaneous, and nasal. Which tests and protocols do we recommend? What do you tell the owners? This lecture will give a practical approach to diagnostic and treatment options at various price points. I call it the 3 P’s for Feline Lymphoma: be prognostic, practical, and pertinent. We will cover the numbers and prognoses you need to know when you talk the owner.
9 - Metronomic Chemotherapy: Setting the Bar Low Metronomic chemotherapy – aka low dose oral chemotherapy - is a newer way of administering old chemotherapy drugs but targets tumor cells in a completely different way than conventional chemotherapy. In this case based lecture, we will discuss all you need to know about this lower dose, lower risk and often lower cost approach. We will also discuss which cases you should consider it, including cases with advanced metastatic disease.
10 - How to be a Rock Star with Chemotherapy Patients To give chemo or not to give chemo? This lecture will provide practical tips and guidelines for managing and preventing chemotherapy side effects related to neutropenia and other blood work-related changed. We will cover interpreting blood work before and after chemotherapy, plus when and how to use antibiotics. Whether you refer your cancer cases to a specialist or manage them in your practice, this lecture will cover the ways to improve the chemotherapy experience. Includes case presentations and discussions.


Mary Gardner DVM, ABVP

Dr. Mary Gardner

A dynamic and engaging speaker, Dr. Mary Gardner is able to draw on a wide range of career experiences and life lessons to educate and motivate diverse audiences. Her presentations cover a variety of topics, and encourage both professional and personal growth within the veterinary industry and beyond. Ironically, veterinary medicine was not her first career choice.

After graduating from the University of Miami, she began working as a Technical Business Architect for an order and supply chain management software company. Her innate talent for understanding logistics in a client-centric organization developed a unique skill set for a veterinarian. After 10 years in software she found herself longing for something different and more meaningful – the path she selected was to become a veterinarian. She completed her Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine in 2008 from the University of Florida.

After spending two years in general practice, her friend and fellow UF graduate, Dr. Dani McVety, reached out to her about partnering in Lap of Love, which offered end of life services for pets and had been flourishing in the year that she began its service. Together they took the company from one veterinarian in Tampa to over 130 veterinarians around the country.

Dr. Mary leads development for Lap of Love's proprietary web-based practice management software called Sunshine. The program is specifically designed for veterinary hospice and euthanasia services and also dynamically ties to the Lap of Love website to allow families the ability to locate the veterinarian closest to them. Throughout the years, she has also developed The Pet Hospice Journal, an online Quality of Life Assessment program, as well as the first Quality of Life App (Grey Muzzle), both of which are free to the public.  She received the Alumni Achievement Award from the University of Florida in 2016 and was voted the veterinarian to watch in 2018 by Fetch/DVM360.

Geriatric medicine, the aging process in animals and teaching family’s practical ways to care and manage their elder pets is Dr. Mary’s passion.  Dr. Mary is on the advisory board of The Grey Muzzle Organization as well as Prized Pals.


1 - PRACTICAL CARE FOR THE GERIATRIC VETERINARY PATIENT Many owners of geriatric pets are at a loss and feel helpless during this life stage. As a veterinary team we can help manage the myriad of ailments that afflict our aging pets and support the family during this difficult yet precious time with their pet. Understanding how the body changes as pets age is important so that we can educate owners and treat pets appropriately. Doing so earlier in the pet’s life may allow for a longer quality of life and prevent some premature euthanasias.
2 - WHERE ARE ALL THE GREY MUZZLES? MARKETING BEFORE IT IS TOO LATE The geriatrics are the largest demographic of pets yet a shocking amount do not come into the clinic for over a year before they are euthanized. Many of these pets can benefit from better daily management tips and medications but they are not making the trip to their primary care veterinarian. Learn what is important to the families and how to get them into your doors so that they can have the best possible care during these vital years.
3 - SERIOUS ILLNESS CONVERSATIONS AND GUIDANCE WITH PET PARENTS When a pet has a life threatening or limiting illness, pet parents are put in a position to make medical and personal decisions which can be frightening, overwhelming, confusing and even guilt ridden. It’s crucial during this time to gain a full understanding about what is most important to the family. This lecture will teach members of the veterinary team how to build a conversation framework to explore these topics with families and have better and earlier conversations with the family so that they feel prepared and supported.
4 - GET YOUR VETERINARY GROOVE BACK Being in the veterinary world is amazing and the dream of many people. But the reality and statistics are not so wonderful with many facing burn out, client compliance frustration, compassion fatigue and even much worse. We must not let our dreams become buried under stress, discouragement, rejection, fatigue and negative voices. Instead learn how to find fulfillment, passion and love for veterinary medicine again – regardless of the path you take in this industry. Your dream may be buried, but the good news is that it’s still alive.
5 - THE CAREGIVER'S DILEMMA - ASSESSING QUALITY OF LIFE Assessing the quality of life of a family pet is a delicate balance between managing client emotions, the progression of the disease, and the happiness of the pet. These key issues are not always in harmony and it is the job of the veterinary professional team to manage and balance each party's interests with the natural developments of biology. Understanding common trends in both people and their pets helps better identify their needs, address their concerns, and make a decision that does the "most good" for all involved.
6 - MAPPING AND BUILDING AN AMAZING CLIENT EXPERIENCE The best way to earn the trust of your clients is to build an amazing client experience regardless of what your 'product' is. What is your differentiating attribute that sets your client experience apart from the competitors? Learn ways to map the client experience in your organization and not just gain complaint clients but committed evangelists.
7 - MOTIVATE YOUR STAFF AND BE AN EFFECTIVE LEADER Motivation is a combination of factors that stimulate desire and energy in people to be continually interested and committed to a job. Employees that are motivated work with a sense of pride, energy, drive and are less likely to seek work elsewhere. On the flip side – an unmotivated employee can be toxic to the entire practice and will lead to attrition. Learn what it means to be a motivated and effective leader in your clinic. This presentation is good for all staff members from receptionists to the veterinarian.


Sonesta Maho Beach Resort

Call in: 1.721.545.3100
Referring Code/Group Name: Vet Vacation CE Inc
Room Rate: $250 double occupancy,  $300 Ocean View, $430 Junior suite

Rate is available 3 days before and 3 days after conference. This is an all inclusive resort!

Once the page opens, please scroll down to "check availability "change dates within the group block period. Notice that Group code is VET.  The rates below are per person when listed as double occupancy until June 30, 2019.  Rates increase by $10 per room after June 30th.



Getting There


Airport Distance: Only 21mins away from Queen Beatrix International Airport

Lecture Schedule

15 Hours of RACE approved for CE for Veterinarians and Technicians.

December 5, 2019
Registration 12:30pm-1pm
Lecture 1pm-6pm
Cocktail Hour with Hors d’oeuvres 6:30pm-7:30pm

December 6, 2019
Breakfast 7am-8 am
Lecture 8am-1pm

December 7, 2019
Breakfast 7am-8am
Lecture 8am-1pm


Super Saver Rate $795 with 90 days advanced registration
VetVacationCE Rate $865 with 30 days advanced registration
JetSetter Rate $925 less than 30 days advanced registration

If you are a technician, call or E-mail us to get the special rate of $75 off the regular registration rate.
15 Hours of RACE approved for CE for Veterinarians and Technicians.


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