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Focus on Exotics

Discover the latest in focus on exotics with this 3-day webinar series!

Brought to you by

VetEducation & Veterinary Nutrition Solutions

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Live Lecture Schedule

Critical Care Nutrition for the Avian and Exotic Patient

Speaker: Kara Burns

Nutritional support for critically ill patients has traditionally been considered a supportive measure of low priority. Hospitalized exotic patients are often malnourished from an initial imbalance of nutrients followed by decreased food intake. Nutritional support is an important therapeutic modality and can aid in the management of diseases.

Malnutrition in critically ill patients can lead to increased morbidity and mortality. Therefore, nutritional requirements of critically ill avian and exotic patients must be evaluated and addressed. This presentation will review nutritional assessments in critically ill avian and exotic patients, determining the route of nutritional support, and nutrients essential to combating malnutrition in critically ill patients.

The Feather Damaging Parrot: Diagnostic Work-Up and Therapeutic Options

Speaker: Yvonne van Zeeland

Feather damaging behavior (FDB), also referred to as feather destructive behavior, feather plucking, feather picking or pterotillomania, is one of the most common and frustrating conditions to address in captive parrots. Successful management is largely dependent on the correct and timely identification of the underlying signaling stimuli or factors contributing to the onset of the problem behavior and the reinforcing aspects and consequences that maintain the behavior. This lecture will provide an overview of the underlying aetiologies, diagnostic considerations and treatment options for FDB in the psittacine patient.

Flexible Endoscopy in Ferrets and Rabbits

Speaker: Charly Pignon

Gastrointestinal diseases are common complaints in ferrets and rabbits. Although routinely used in cats and dogs, little information is available about flexible endoscopy in ferrets, apart from a few references in biomedical research articles. Recent technical advances, especially in smaller videoendoscopy, have both decreased the diameter and purchase price of flexible endoscopes. General practitioners now have affordable access to suitably sized endoscopes for ferrets that provide high-quality images. The relatively simple and short gastrointestinal tract of ferrets makes them ideal candidates for flexible endoscopy. Rabbits however due to the fact that fasting could led to some life threatning complication are not the best candidates for GI flexible endoscopy. But new techniques could allow these techniques to be perform in rabbits.

About Veterinary Nutrition Solutions (VNS)

Veterinary Nutrition Solutions (VNS): Proud distributor of Lafeber and EmerAid Australia and NZ wide. Created and distributed by veterinarians who want to fill the gap for high quality and easily administered nutrition for a wide variety of animals. By doing so they hope to improve recovery and quality of life of pets both in hospital and at home.


Kara Burns

MS, MEd, LVT, VTS (Nutrition) VTS-H (Internal Medicine, Dentistry)

Kara Burns is a licensed veterinary technician with a master’s degree in physiology and a master’s degree in counseling psychology. She began her career in human medicine working as an emergency psychologist and as a poison specialist dealing with human and animal poisonings.

Kara is the Founder and Past President of the Academy of Veterinary Nutrition Technicians. She teaches nutrition courses around the world. Kara is an independent nutritional and well-being consultant, the Director of Veterinary Nurse Development for Wellhaven Pet Health and is the Editor in Chief of Today’s Veterinary Nurse.

She is a member of many national, international, and state associations and holds positions on many boards in the profession: Pet Nutrition Alliance President, American Academy of Veterinary Nutrition executive board; Western Veterinary Conference Technician Education Manager; National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America (NAVTA) Past President; Society for Veterinary Medical Ethics board member; and the Collaborative Care Coalition executive board, to name a few.

She has authored many articles, textbooks, and textbook chapters and is an internationally invited speaker, focusing on topics of nutrition, leadership, and technician utilization.

Ms. Burns has been featured on the cover of the Veterinary Technician Journal and the NAVTA Journal and most recently has been featured in PetVet Magazine. She was named the North American Veterinary Conference Technician Speaker of the Year in 2013, 2016, and in 2021. She was granted an honorary VTS (Internal Medicine) in 2011. She was also granted an honorary VTS (Dentistry) in 2012. She was named the Inaugural NAVTA Veterinary Technician of the Year in 2010, as well as the 2011 Dr. Franklin Loew Lecturer.

Yvonne van Zeeland

DVM, MVR, PhD, DipECZM (Avian, Small Mammal), CPBC

Yvonne van Zeeland graduated with merit from the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine (Utrecht, The Netherlands) in 2004. Having worked briefly in private practice, she returned to academia to successfully complete an internship in Companion Animal Medicine, residency in Avian Medicine and PhD on feather damaging behaviour in Grey parrots. Yvonne currently works as an Associate Professor at the Division of Zoological Medicine, and actively contributes to the (inter)national development and advancement of avian and exotic animal medicine through lecturing, publishing and membership of various professional organizations and committees, including having served as President for the Association of Avian Veterinarians. For these ongoing and outstanding contributions to the field, she received the T.J. Lafeber Avian Practitioner of the Year Award in 2021.

Charly Pignon

DVM, DECZM (Small Mammal)

Charly Pignon was graduated in 2005 from Alfort National Veterinary School (France) and did his veterinary thesis on a wildlife conservation project in Cambodia. Then he worked in the wildlife rescue center in Alfort and worked in Paris Zoo (la Ménagerie du Jardin des Plantes). In 2009, Charly Pignon completed an Exotic Medicine Internship at Tufts University and when he came back to France he created the Exotic Medicine Service in Alfort National Veterinary School. Charly Pignon is a Diplomate of the European College of Zoological Medicine (Small mammals), a board member of Yaboumba (French association for continuing education in exotic and wild animals), a former president of the Association of Exotic Mammal Veterinarian, a former member of the executive committee of the ECZM and a current member of the Standards Quality Assurance Committee of the European Board of Veterinary Specialist. He received the 2023 Oxbow Quest Award. His current field of research are ear surgeries, flexible endoscopy and pain management in small mammals.

How to attend?

This webinar series is included in the Vet Education Annual Webinar Membership! As a Vet Education Webinar Member, your membership benefits will include exclusive access to the Focus on Exotics webinars – at no extra cost!

Not a member yet? You can still attend!


3-Day Webinar
A$ 75 Single Event
  • Grants access to all the live lectures of the event
  • Get all event related resources
  • Access to the lecture recordings of the event


Annual Membership
A$ 159 Annual Fee
  • Everything in the Webinar Access Pass
  • Access to all the “Focus On” webinar series through the year
  • Free entry to "The Online Veterinary Conference"
  • Free entry to "The Online Toxicology Symposium"
  • Get access to the exclusive Vet Education Webinar library which hosts over 300 archived lectures
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Access and download a host of helpful journal articles from a wide range of topics!

Loads of Topics

Wide range of topics including small animal, equine, practice management and more!

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20% off on CRC Press Books

Vet Education webinar members get an exclusive 20% discount on a wide range of veterinary medicine reference texts by CRC Press.

Don't Miss Out!

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Join 3 exceptional speakers who will share their take on the latest, relevant, and exciting literature published in focus on exotics.