News & Press: Conference

ExoticsCon 2019: Avian Hands-on Workshop (Lab) Preview

Monday, July 15, 2019  


ExoticsCon registration is open as of July 1 and we know you won't want to miss the opportunity to register for several excellent avian hands-on workshops (labs) that will be offered this year. We are anticipating record attendance and labs sell out quickly, so start planning now and register early. Watch for additional avian lab previews in our monthly newsletters and on our social media sites. Be sure your AAV membership is current for deeply discounted main conference registration rates. 


Low-Stress Avian Handling Techniques: Creating the Low-Stress Avian Vet

Presenter: Melody Hennigh RVT, KPA CTP

Lab description:

Make medical treatment fun for your patients and easy to complete for your clients, all while improving client retention. Low-Stress Avian Handling Techniques: Creating the Low-Stress Avian Vet," is coming back to ExoticsCon 2019! Our goals include low-stress handling and toweling techniques, and problem solving in the exam room. Learn the benefits of your parrot patients cooperating in their own medical care, including oral and topical medication training, minimally intrusive physical examinations, and the power of desensitization and counter conditioning. Participants will be broken into small groups and will work closely with experienced parrots and coaches, allowing for hands on interactions, discussions and demonstrations. Ask about lab #2823 for more information! Register at:


Tips and Tricks in Avian Medicine

Presenters: Jennifer Graham, DVM, Dipl. ABVP--Avian, ECM, Dipl. ACZM; Anneliese Strunk, DVM, Dipl. ABVP--Avian; Anna Osofsky, DVM, Dipl. ABVP--Avian

Lab description:
During this 4 hour lab, participants will have the opportunity to practice numerous clinical skills from basic to more advanced. In addition to reviewing the clinical skills, instructors will teach participants how to apply many of the "tips and tricks" they have learned over their combined decades in practice as avian specialists. Examples of skills to be covered include: bandaging techniques, nasal flush, tracheal wash, intraosseous catheter placement, air sac cannula, vent sutures and many more. Examples of "Tips and Tricks" to be covered include: the new "skinny" wing trim, use of the bird board for radiographs, use of disposable heat cautery pens for nail trims, and how to make and place a sock sweater.

Avian Endoscopy & Visceral Biopsy: The Key to a Definitive Diagnosis!

Presenters: Stephen Divers, BVetMed, DZooMed, DECZM(Herp), DECZM(ZHM), DACZM, FRCVS and Scott Stahl, DVM, DABVP (Avian Practice)

Lab description:

Frustrated with a lack of diagnosis? Disappointed with your treatment outcomes? Fed-up with merely identifying disease to an organ rather than a histologic and etiologic level?


Come and learn how to make a definitive diagnosis in the live avian patient through endoscopic evaluation and visceral biopsy. Following a heavily illustrated lecture, participants will have the opportunity to undertake coelioscopy, tracheoscopy, gastroscopy, and cloacoscopy in anesthetized (non-recovery) pigeons using state-of-the-art 2.7mm Karl Storz systems. Biopsy techniques will also be covered including liver, kidney, lung/airsac, and spleen. Take your avian medicine to a specialist level and come learn endoscopy with Steve (rigid-scope) Divers and Scott (baby-face) Stahl!

Surgery of the Respiratory System, Gastrointestinal System & Reproductive Tract


Presenters: Brian Speer, DVM, DABVP (Avian Practice), Dipl ECZM and Scott Echols, DVM, DABVP (Avian Practice)

Lab description:

Back by popular demand, this all-day laboratory is designed to provide participants with a full-immersion experience in soft tissue surgery of birds, starting with larger species and moving to smaller species as your skillsets are honed. This laboratory will employ magnification and microsurgical instrumentation, in order to best-familiarize attendees with the benefits of microsurgical and magnified surgical procedures. Surgery of the upper and lower respiratory tracts, including sinusotomy, tracheotomy, resection and anastamosis, and thoracotomy will be performed. Celiotomy will be performed and surgical procedures of the reproductive tract and the gastrointestinal tract performed. Example reproductive tract procedures will include orchidectomy, vasectomy, salpingohysterectomy, partial ovariectomy, and cloacotomy. Example procedures of the gastrointestinal tract will include ingluviotomy, proventriculotomy, ventriculotomy, enterotomy, and intestinal resection and anastamosis. In addition, diagnostic biopsy procedures will be performed on several coelomic structures.
Participants will benefit from a one-time negotiated low cost option to purchase three microsurgical instruments as an add-on cost and savings: Ring-tip forceps, Microsurgical scissors, and Microsurgical needle drivers at a substantial saving over list-price. For a cost of $326.00 (list price $2542.00), attendees will be able to take home these instruments, and use them as soon as you get home to your practices!


Avian Ultrasound


Presenters: Maria Evola, DVM, MPH, DACVR 

Lab description:

During this 4-hour Avian Ultrasound Lab, participants will have the opportunity to work in small groups (groups of 3 participants per machine are planned) to receive hands-on experience and instruction using provided ultrasound machines. Participants will practice ultrasound on live, sedated or anesthetized birds including domestic chickens and pigeons. There will be a basic overview of the ultrasound machines and tips for altering settings and image optimization will be covered but most of the lab will focus on hands-on “probe-time.” Participants will be able to practice procedures including coelomocentesis and fine needle aspirates.


Registration Opens July 1st

Preliminary Program, Pricing, and Hotel Info is currently available at


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