Applied Ophthalmology for General Practitioners

Saturday, October 14th, 2017 | 8:00am-5:30pm| Dover A-C, 3rd Floor level

The ACVO offers a course customized to the needs of general practitioners each year in conjunction with its annual conference. We invite regional general practice veterinarians who wish to gain applicable knowledge in up-to-date veterinary ophthalmology practice to attend the eight and a half hour CE session. Registrants do not have to be registered for the general conference to attend.

Registration includes your 8.5-hour CE certificate, separate course proceedings, continental breakfast, lunch and access to vendor hall. You will also be provided online access to this courses' sessions post-meeting for up to three months, share these courses with practitioners in your office for no additional fee! This is unlimited access to an interactive, searchable video with speaker presentations synced with PowerPoint slides. Pre-registration is encouraged to guarantee space but walk-ups are welcome. Separate registration fee required.

This course is presented to provide ophthalmic education to non-boarded veterinarians that are interested in improving their ophthalmic knowledge for practice; when and how to treat, and when referrals are recommended. Recorded access to prior years’ presentations are available, review topics below.

Pre-registration is now closed. If you would like to attend this course, please register at our desk on site.

General Practitioners' Course: Saturday, October 14th

7:00am-8:00am        Breakfast in Exhibit Hall

8:00am-10:00am     Jessica Meekins: "Corneal Ulcers in Dogs: Determining the Cause"
                                  "Complicated Corneal Ulcers: Why Isn’t the Ulcer Healing as Expected?!"

10:15am-12:15pm      Dan Biros: "Inside Out: How Uveitis Happens in Real Time from Insult
                                   to Treatment"
                                   "Immunology Perspective, Case Reports and Interaction"

12:15pm-1:15pm        Lunch

1:15pm-3:15pm          Kelly Caruso: "Fun with the Fundus"
                                   "Glaucoma - Diagnosis and Treatment in the 21st Century"

3:30pm-5:30pm       Cameron Whittaker: "Vision and Visual Perception in Animals"
                                   "Vision Loss and Associated Behavioral Changes in Animals"

Speakers & Topics

(All speakers are Diplomate members of the ACVO.)

Reduced Student Rate

If you are currently enrolled in a veterinary program you may attend the General Practitioners' session at half price. Just register on the general meeting form and select the appropriate 'Student fee' under the GP Course section. Students will need to email or fax proof of current enrollment before attending on site, or bring the letter to the registration desk if walk-up registering. This could be a letter from an instructor or current transcripts.


Sponsored by:

Dr. Jessica Meekins

"Corneal ulcers in dogs: Determining the cause"

"Complicated corneal ulcers: Why isn’t the ulcer healing as expected?!"

The presentations will include a clinically focused discussion on corneal anatomy and physiology as it relates to ulcer development. Common causes of corneal ulcers in dogs, including tear film abnormalities, cilia disorders, trichiasis, and neuro-ophthalmic conditions that impact the cornea, will be reviewed. The diagnosis and treatment complicated corneal ulcers, including Spontaneous Chronic Corneal Epithelial Defects (SCCEDs, or indolent ulcers) and infected ulcers, will also be reviewed.


About Dr. Meekins

Dr. Jessica Meekins attended veterinary school at The Ohio State University and graduated with a DVM degree in 2008. She then relocated to Albuquerque, New Mexico for a rotating internship in small animal medicine & surgery before entering a comparative ophthalmology residency program at Purdue University in Indiana. Dr. Meekins completed her residency training and earned a master’s degree in 2012. She joined the faculty at Kansas State University in 2012 as an assistant professor.

Dr. Dan Biros

"Inside Out: how uveitis happens in real time from insult to treatment"

"immunology perspective, Case reports and interaction"


About Dr. Biros

Daniel Biros is currently staff ophthalmologist at Angell Animal Medical Center in Boston, Massachusetts since 2000.  He is a graduate of the University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) and the University of Notre Dame (BS, Preprofessional Studies). He interned at the Colorado State University Small Animal Hospital and completed a residency in comparative ophthalmology at the University of Florida under the mentorship of Kirk Gelatt, Dennis Brooks, and Stacey Andrew.  Following his residency Dr. Biros moved to Boston where he was postdoctoral fellow in the laboratory of Andrew Taylor at the Schepens Eye Research Institute and Harvard Medical School from 2000-2005.  Dr. Biros’ research emphasis is on ocular immunity and the characterization of the immunomodulatory factors in the aqueous humor.  He was part of the ocular immunology group at Harvard headed by Wayne Streilein.

Dr. Kelly Caruso

"Fun with the fundus"

A Professor of anatomy once said "It is important to know what is abnormal, but what is even more important is to know what is normal". Most veterinarians find the back of the eye (the fundus) to be a very confusing and difficult place to assess clinically. What is normal ? What is abnormal ? Why do some eyes have a green reflection from the posterior segment, some a blue and some a red reflection ? What "normal" variations are there ? What pathologic variations are there ? In this lecture Kelly breaks down the exam to a very simple and easy to understand process. Kelly has been praised for her ability to break down this potentially difficult subject into very basic components and has received numerous teaching awards for this and other lectures. This is a must see lecture for all general practitioners.

"Glaucoma - diagnosis and treatment in the 21st Century"

What really is glaucoma ? Is it always associated with high intraocular pressures ? What treatments are available in the 21st century ? In this lecture Kelly discusses the latest treatments, both medical and surgical for this very challenging disease. Practitioners will come away with a new found respect for the the disease called glaucoma.


About Dr. Caruso

Kelly graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine in 1997 after completing a Bachelor of Science in Biology from St Joseph’s University in Philadelphia. She then completed internships in Equine Medicine and Surgery, Small Animal Medicine and Surgery, Ophthalmology and Emergency Medicine and Critical Care. Kelly then completed a residency under the tutelage of Professor Seth Koch – one of the founding members of the American College of Veterinary Ophthalmologists – and was granted Membership of that body in 2007.

Kelly has written numerous papers in international journals and has lectured extensively both in the USA and internationally and won various teaching awards and in 2010 came to Australia to work in specialist ophthalmology practice with her husband Cameron Whittaker, and Jeff Smith, another boarded veterinary ophthalmologist. Kelly is well known in the College for her bubbly personality, enthusiasm for the specialty, and proven excellence in teaching.

Dr. Cameron Whittaker

"Vision and visual perception in animals"

"Sight" is the ability to see and the eye's response to light shining into it. "Vision" is the ability to understand and interpret this neural input. So what do animals see and perceive ? As veterinarians we are often confronted with these questions by the general public. In this lecture Cameron will discuss what we think animals see and perceive. While the emphasis of this lecture will be on dogs and cats, other species such as horses will be briefly discussed - with an arachnid thrown in for fun. Participants will come away with knowledge on what we think animals see, and Cameron will delve into what we think animals may perceive.

"Vision loss and associated behavioral changes in animals"

How does ocular disease impair sight, and therefore perception, in animals ? Does impaired vision result in behavioral changes, and if so what could we expect as veterinarians ? In this lecture Cameron discusses the effects of pathologic and non-pathologic changes on vision in animals. Briefly discussed will be some behavioral changes that we as ophthalmologists identify in visually compromised animals. In the 21st century the role of behavior in animals is increasingly emphasized. Should we as veterinarians be treating visual compromise more holistically as a consequence of vision loss ? After this lecture we think you will say yes.


About Dr. Whittaker

Cameron graduated from Sydney University in 1989. After spending time in mixed animal practice he completed an internship at Sydney University in 1992 and the following year commenced a residency in Veterinary Ophthalmology at the University of Florida and was granted Diplomate status of the American College of Veterinary Ophthalmologists in 1996. He then worked at the Ohio State University as a visiting Assistant Professor before returning to Australia in 1997 to join Eye Clinic for Animals in Australia, providing specialist ophthalmology services to small and large animals, as well as wildlife through Taronga Park Zoo in Sydney, Australia. 

Cameron has been a contributing author on 3 books including Veterinary Clinics of North America and Veterinary Ophthalmology edited by Kirk Gelatt, as well as over a dozen papers in peer reviewed international journals. Cameron, with his wife Kelly Caruso and fellow Diplomate Jeff Smith own Eye Clinic for Animals in Sydney, Australia. Cameron has a special interest in corneal, cataract and retinal surgery, and exotic animal ophthalmology.

Complimentary On-Line Viewing Access of Courses

Online access for the 2011-2016 courses are available to purchase; view 1 hr presentation free! (Free Silverlight software download required.) Order session access for past years. Future courses will also be recorded and will be included in your registration fee for that year and available each November for on-line purchase/access (This year's course will be provided for free to our course attendees).

General Practitioner Course History

View 1 hr presentation free! (Silverlight, free software required)
The General Practitioner Course has been held since 2006, but recording began in 2011. Order session access.