International Focus: Avian Hands-On Workshop Held in India
Wednesday, March 14, 2018
By: Dr. Shiwani Tandel, AAV International Committee Member
The Avian 101 Workshop that was conducted at Shirval Veterinary College in December 2017 was the first college-level avian workshop ever to be conducted in India by a private veterinarian. I have been conducting this workshop on a small scale since 2003 at my clinic; the purpose of the workshops is to share the knowledge I have learned at AAV conferences for small groups of students interested in avian medicine. We have a WhatsApp group of veterinarians from all over the country and this past year, I offered to put on the workshop for this group; however, the interest was overwhelming and we needed a larger venue than my clinic could offer. Since there would be birds involved, I had to look for a college setting. I approached a professor of poultry medicine (who had taught me as a student), Dr. Ranade, currently associate Dean of KNPVC, Shirval (a veterinary college close to the historic city of Pune).
The campus is large and was therefore able to accommodate our workshop; additionally, Dr. Ranade showed confidence in my ability to conduct this workshop. This was a big milestone since there are no boarded specialists in avian medicine in India. The only reason that I could manage this was that I have been practicing in avian medicine since 2005. All of this thanks to the AAV for opening my eyes to the world of avian medicine and my professor's trust that the program was for the benefit of the veterinary and avian communities. I wanted to make this a university-recognized course and Drs. Banalikar and Ranade of the Maharashtra Animal and Fishery Sciences University (MAFSU) made it possible. The certificates the participants received had the seals of the university (MAFSU) and college (KNPVC) along with the AAV logo. I would like to take this opportunity to thank Dr. Bob Groskin who was extremely supportive of the program and quickly gave permission to use the AAV logo on the certificates.
The workshop was conducted on December 21-22, 2017. I was elated that the participants enjoyed the lectures and the hands-on learning experience. In Indian veterinary practices we see a lot of smaller birds like budgies, cockatiels, and ringneck parakeets so for the workshop we provided the participants with quail, which are similar in size. We demonstrated anesthetic technique (injectable because a lot of clinics don’t have gas), basic procedures like blood draws, fluid administration, air sac cannulation, gavage feeding, bandaging, etc). To benefit the veterinarians, I offered them a one-year free membership to the AAV so even if they don’t see birds regularly, their interest in the field remains alive.
I’m happy that the members of our local veterinary support group, the PPAM, were also pleased and they plan on having an exotics CE with a focus on birds and small mammals this October. We are confirming the international speaker as I write this article.
Overall, I think the interest in avian medicine in India has suddenly increased because of the increasing number of avian patients we are seeing in the last 2-3 years. I’m happy I could be a part in educating this group of people and will continue to do so to spread the knowledge I have received from the AAV conferences.