The 2016 AVMA was another successful event for Epi4Dogs and we talked with many vets vet students, etc.
We had vets asking if cats can also get EPI .... YES!!! ... so we handed over our "EPI in Cats" brochure. Some are still under the impression that cats do not get EPI .... :(.
There was a seminar on EPI on Saturday afternoon by a vet from Purdue University. An EPI dog mom that is part of the AVMA organization went to the EPI seminar and reported back to us that all was good in the seminar and that the vet suggested Epi4Dogs and Enzyme Diane as groups run by highly passionate people. She did suggest rx diets but that that regular diets were also okay. She also suggested rx enzymes unless there was a cost factor involved. She did state that 30% of EPI dogs are put to sleep…… that is way too many for me folks and I am sure this has to do with cost and vets still not being educated. We did have a few vets stop back after this seminar to get info and there were about 200 in attendance. We never met the vet that was giving it but she did say that we had a booth there.
Many vets wanted a brochure to give to clients and were thrilled with the support that was out there. We did a lot of talking about how B12 is important and many wanted to know what foods to give and a few we corrected on the low fat theory.
A few vets liked the option of B12 tablets being a possibility for dogs that were not doing well with the injections. We talked to a few about feeding schedules that more food in 2 meals usually does not work and to at least give the meals 2-4 hours apart for weight gain.
All in all we were well received but we still have a lot of work to do to get more accurate and current EPI information out to the veterinarian community and the general public.
Susan, Darlene, Jellybean and Butterbean were wonderful Texan hosts and I wish that Butterbean was feeling better so that Susan would have been able to get some sleep. Susan did a great job at the conference as well. I do wish Butterbean was able to be there!
We are grateful for the education we were able to share and the conference was a great success!
Olesia from EPI4dogs and Diane from EnzymeDiane had an educational booth #342 regarding EPI at the:
2011 AVMA (American Veterinarian Medical Association) Annual Convention
held at St. Louis Missouri this July 16 - 19 at the America's Center.
In our effort to bring better awareness to EPI....we handed out EPI Brochures and other printed materials about EPI at the AVMA Convention. We displayed actual pictures of EPI dogs from our EPI FORUM membership.
First and foremost the vets at the AVMA Convention were WONDERFUL...... .... Saturday and Sunday were excellent but Monday was FANTASTIC.
AND..............YOU... all OF YOU made this possible.... if it wasn't for each of you.... Diane and I would not have been able to attend this event.... so before i go any further..... THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!
To recap our time at the Convention:
from LEFT to RIGHT: Diane of EnzymeDiane, Olesia of epi4dogs, Dr. Kate Tsai EPI genetic researcher at Clemson University
Deb Sullivan- trailblazer EPI owner, Dr. Kate Tsai-EPI geneticist, Diane-cost saving enzyme angel
Almost everyone who passed by our booth paused......and looked and looked........and most of those who looked then stopped completely and started asking questions. It was the pictures ..... those pictures of what you sent in to me of what dogs looked like before and then after EPI treatment and diagnosis....even the convention hall on-going maintenance engineers were stopping by at our booth asking questions.
Many vets told us that they just treated a dog like this or they were scheduled to see one with possible EPI this coming week.... some vets stared at the pictures and then said something to the effect of, "hmmmmmmmmm... maybe THIS is what's wrong with that dog i am seeing....."
A small minority of vets said they don't see many of these cases... and one vet even stated that maybe the reason why she hasn't seen much of this is because maybe she has been missing it ... which we really appreciated hearing because this is why we were there... to bring better awareness to EPI ........but the majority of the vets and vet techs said they are seeing a LOT of EPI cases.....especially the service vets and vet techs... one vet even made us stab a pin on Grenada on the map of the cases of EPI reported around the world (she treated cases there too!)!
So, so many vets were not aware that there is EPI Genetic Research is taking place at Clemson University and they were just thrilled to hear this. Dr. Kate Tsai did a WONDERFUL job talking to vets and promoting EPI Awareness. Some vets came over later asking for Dr. Tsai (she was a big hit!)And Diane was FANTASTIC..... OMG..... Diane sure knows how to set up a booth efficiently and effectively and she saved us hundreds (and i mean HUNDREDS!) of dollars with her savvy tricks.... she is amazing!!!! I think we need to refer to her as not only our cost-effective enzyme angel but also our cost-effective events coordinator angel too.... (I am sensing a trend here)
There is a wide spectrum of EPI awareness within the veterinarian community ...there were some that were very much up to date on EPI, which was very refreshing, but there were also many vets who knew some of the latest on EPI but not all of the 4 corners of dealing with EPI. However, all the vets we talked to were very gracious and expressed sincere appreciation that epi4dogs exists - - stating that it is very hard for vets to keep current on every single condition out there. They were so appreciative that www.epi4dogs.com is a "one-stop-shop-all" where epi4dogs strives to keep current and relative veterinarian research documentation supporting EPI information. They also really appreciated the fact that we have an EPI FORUM where they can send clients to......a place where pet owners can share their day-to-day experiences with one another, learn cost-effective measures from each other to better help defray the cost to managing EPI, and that we encourage our FORUM members to share everything they learn here with their vets.. and that we also encourage everyone to print the research information on this website and share that with their vets also. This was very, very well received.
So many vets asked us questions, how do you manage this or that with an EPI dog...... you know what I am talking about.......... those EPI dogs that don't respond exactly quite as planned to treatment! We explained how we "tweak" things, just change one thing at a time, suggest to keep an EPI Log, share how we manage these dogs day-to-day, money saving tips, sharing information.... especially with some of the more difficult cases.... and how what worked for one dog..... just might work for another dog - - talk to/share with your vet...they really liked knowing that this is what epi4dogs promotes. The the biggest question was how do you help clients who cannot afford the testing or the treatment....It was amazing.... they were truly interested in hearing how we deal with the practicality of EPI day in and day out with EPI..... what we do here on epi4dogs.......I cannot begin to tell you how many wonderful, sensitive and caring vets we spoke with! I wish i could have packed them up in a bag and taken them home with me... and then every time someone asked if we know a good vet in such and such a place.... i could take out one of these vets and send them to you... that is how wonderful they really were.
Monday we got bombarded by vet students and techs... finally we asked... okay, what is going on?!...and the students explained to us that some veterinarian professors from colleges were there earlier in the convention scoping out the different booths.... and they made a list of a handful of booths that they wanted their students to visit and learn about...... and they put us on the list!!!! WOW!!!! This made us smile real big!
Some veterinarian professors who stopped by the booth and were very excited to learn that they can use www.epi4dogs.com website in the classroom as a training tool.... another great way to get the word out about EPI (YEAH!!!!!!!!!)
And the vet and tech students were thrilled to learn that I not only encourage them to go to epi4dogs website for information but to please feel free to take any information from here for any papers/presentation that they may need for class. (...so please email me more actual pictures, especially before and after pictures of your EPI dogs... this will really better help the world visually understand what EPI is all about! )
An AVMA delegate and an officer from the US Air Force came by and wanted to know how did we do what we do... how did we manage to get the word out so successfully about EPI.... how did we get so many people involved ..... what marketing model did epi4dogs use to garner such an impact... they would like to implement our model in their program - - and i explained .... there is no " model" ..... just people ......simply each of YOU ....all the wonderful individual EPI dog owners who have made this entity, the epi4dogs website such a success....so thank you!!!! We explained about the wine, the tee-shirts, the banner, magnets, cups, calendars, winning the Pepsi Challenge, brochures, blood sample collection for genetic research, etc... all the efforts of everyone here and how we do what we do for EPI Awareness and EPI Research.
We also had AVMA delegates stop by, confused because they wanted to know "how is epi4dogs is funded".... i said it's not... they said,"no, i mean who pays your expenses"... i said no one.........then they said, "okay, let me say this differently, who sponsors you?" to which i said no one..... (as you probably guessed i was having a wee bit of fun at this point).... so then out of sheer frustration, they wanted to know "okay' how did you get here????" to which i then i proudly said "EPI dog owners care so much about getting the word out about EPI that they raised money to help pay to send us here!! :)" ... at which point, they said, you're kidding, right?! and i said no.... they then shook my hand, THANKED us for what we are doing and said "JUST AMAZING!!!!!!" And this truly sums up our experience at the Convention.
By the way, that was not the only vet that thanked us.... we had many vets ask us, okay, so what are you selling..... to which we replied... nothing..... and of course the same sort of conversation pursued..... when they finally understood we were there simply to promote AWARENESS, again, these vets shook their heads in amazement and thanked us.... i think we were sort of the odd but welcomed duck there
Another veterinarian association also was impressed by our EPI Wine "For the Love of Dogs"... loved the label and the fact that the proceeds went to EPI Genetic Research......really liked the idea and they would like to include our wine in an upcoming wine-tasting.:)
A publishing company also contacted me and would like to do a little blurb about epi4dogs and include our website as a resource for Veterinarians and vet students seeking information about EPI.
And last but not least.....i will not mention names yet, because it is just in planning stages...... but we were invited by another very large veterinarian organization to participate in their upcoming conference and they also want to introduce us to the executive director of the organization. Hopefully details can be worked out. As you can imagine....I am still pinching myself...............
Again, none of this would have been possible without each of YOU! I cannot begin to even fathom how many dogs lives you have made a difference in..... just amazing!!!!!!!!
There are so many more wonderful stories/experiences to tell..... but i hope this is a little sample of all the good that has come out of your wonderful efforts. Thank you!!!!!
A final and full accounting of your AVMA Convention contributions and our expenses will be tabulated and posted here no later than the end of the first week of August 2011.
BEFORE THE CONVENTION !!!
....this is Archie at 37lbs before EPI treatment
And this is Archie 7 months later at 75lbs after EPI treatment!
Diane and I are thrilled that we are being given this opportunity to have a presence at one of the biggest veterinarian annual conventions in the U.S. We were planning to pool our personal money together and just go..... well.... some very kind, generous and thoughtful EPI members have been asking how can they help out with the expenses.... which, near as we can figure, will be be costing Diane and me upward as much as $3,300 total! So a group of EPI FORUM members (the "EPI Fundraising Committee") came up with a wonderful idea to help raise funds for me and Diane to help pay for some of the expenses.-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Kate Kinkaid Brinkerhoff (BuddyLee's mom) did the following wonderful epi4dogs banner for us for the Convention:
that we will be hanging up at our booth... which saved us hundreds of dollars... THANK YOU KATE!
The breakdown of the "estimated" $3,300 expenses are as follows.
ACTUAL CONVENTION EXPENSES
3/25/11 - $300.00 - AVMA registration for epi4dogs (paid personally)
$ 1,271.31 Expenses (before the convention)
(expenses at Convention)
CONTRIBUTIONS FOR AVMA:
4/27/11 - $214.48 (bal in EPI AWARENESS acct)
FINAL BALANCE we came home with!! = $101.25
We are honored to announce that Dr. Kate Tsai, EPI genetic researcher from Clemson University, (works with Dr. Leigh Anne Clark) will be in attendance at our educational booth #342 at the AVMA Convention. The following is Dr. Tsai's bio:
Dr. Kate Tsai has worked in the canine genetics field for 11 years. For Dr. Tsai’s graduate work, she performed a whole-genome screen using microsatellites on a large cross-bred pedigree to identify QTL associated with canine hip dysplasia. She has been funded by the Canine Health Foundation to study several genetic diseases, including pancreatic acinar atrophy (EPI) and degenerative myelopathy in the German shepherd dog. Dr. Tsai is currently sequencing dog leukocyte antigen class I and II loci and assigning alleles for a funded study to evaluate if certain alleles are associated with pancreatic acinar atrophy (EPI)