Veterinary Medicine

Rain and Portland

Bob and I made a dark, rainy trip up to Portland tonight to attend a talk about veterinary practice purchases from Simmons and Associates. With the commute, it took about 45 minutes or so to go from the I-5 curves into downtown Portland. Yuck. The meeting was a good one and we felt had a lot of good information.

Got My ABVP Recertification Certificate

This is probably not the best picture and I hope to see if a better one comes along from ABVP yet it shows me getting my second ABVP recertification. I made Bob go along to Nashville to see me get this for one thing since he had to put up with me working so hard to review and write items for points. I am up on the stage with others in the group. Unfortunately the one of me accepting the award is out of focus. The Patron Club was a really nice location to have a dinner. A really cool place as part of the Bridgestone Arena for the Tennessee Panther hockey team.

Sad Losses

I heard today of the deaths of two people who had a really positive impact on veterinary medicine. One was Dr. Lorie Huston who received the Winn Feline Foundation Media Award this year. The other was the also too early loss of Dr. Sophia Yin who was inspiring to many on better and gentler techniques in handling dogs and cats. She offered so much. I salute their work and mourn their loss to us and all the animals whose lives were bettered and many more who will be so.

Nicolas is a Cat Veterinarian Trainee

David and Renee took the boys today to the Gilbert House in Salem. The house is set up for kids. It was founded by the man who developed the erector set and he was from Salem. Here is Nicolas set up to do a cat examination as a veterinarian. Renee has video of his giving an injection to the poor kitty. The technique needs refinement to say the least.

Drew Baby

My old buddy, Drew Weigner, was at the meeting. He is on the board now of Winn Feline Foundation. We found time to do a little dancing and also to connect up at the Winn booth. He is my other dancing partner.

South Korea Boogies

The conference was attended by a young veterinarian from South Korea. He knows Karen from stopping and visiting her practice in Metarie. He is a kick because he stopped at our table and used a photo pole holding his IPhone to take a selfie with them and himself in the middle. Cute gadget and can be the ultimate selfie gizmo, for sure. I was able to catch him on the dance floor dancing to the DJ’s music. For once, I got his photo instead of the one he got of others.

Cat Friendly

I went last week to visit where my friend, Marybeth Rymer, works. She gave Bob and I a tour of their hospital. They have set the hospital up to be Cat Friendly. They have tried to set aside a portion of their waiting area for the cats and cat owners. Here is an example of what is being done to be Cat Friendly at a dog/cat practice.

Dinner at Canaletto's at the Venetian

After a long, yet super productive day of research grant review, we all head off to eat at Canaletto’s Restaurant in the Venetian Hotel in Las Vegas. Our dining area was on the second floor and overlooked the canals full of gondolas in the hotel. The ceiling was painted with blue sky and white clouds overseeing the Italianate look to the business courtyard. The entrance to the Venetian leads to a vaulted ceiling with gold gilt and paintings much like the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. Very cool and very extravagant surroundings. Our waiter, Michael, is in the background. We ordered off our own little Winn menus with our Winn logo.

Board Meeting

Here we are at the Winn Feline Foundation board meeting at the Palms Resort and Casino in Las Vegas NV. Maureen is demonstrating the new Winn website pages on her computer that are the basic demo pages for how it will look.


In less than 30 minutes, ABVP (American Board of Veterinary Practitioners) will close the application process on their member website. I have submitted all my materials for re-certification in feline practice for another 10 years. The materials must be accepted for at least 500 points in various entries to achieve re-certification. I have almost 380 points above that though all might not be accepted. I feel I have worked hard and tried my best to accomplish this. My prayer is that it is acceptable and good enough. I need to now relax and leave it in the hands of God. He will take care of me.


It is great to be overall finished with all the items and work I needed to do for recertification with ABVP. I uploaded all the information onto their website and paid for my application. I am at least one month ahead of the deadline to do so. Yahoo, the hard part is done!
We celebrated by going over to the Winterboer’s home for their second annual Christmas dinner. Mike always grills a great tri-tip and everyone else brings great things to taste. I made a corn casserole using the sweet corn Bob grew and also this Herb Roll recipe that is so easy to do. People really enjoyed the rolls and I was asked to share the recipe.


Today I did my 5th presentation in a row to the first year class at the CVM of Oregon State University. I spend 2 hours discussing cats, taking a medical history and doing a physical exam, carrier training, and handling of cats. I think it has turned into a decent presentation though I wish I had more time to spend working with them and their cats that they bring to the class. The students are really a good group of young people and each class seems so different in make up.

Last Day in San Antonio

Surprisingly, it seemed like the numbers of attendees for the last day were way down. Certainly, not as many in the exhibit hall and much fewer in the lecture rooms. I did not place in the photo contest “dagnabit”. Bob helped Tim and Karen to pack up and get ready for a 9 hour drive.
Marybeth, Bob, and I had dinner at Boudro’s on the Riverwalk. One of their specialties is to make guacamole at your table. They took one avocado and cut it in chunks. They mixed it with juices of 1/2 orange and 1/2 lime. They mixed in salt, cilantro, and serrano pepper salsa and it was scrumptious with chips. They have the recipe on the website.


Financing talks

Another full day of lectures. Margie Scherk spoke for the morning and it was nice to say hello. Bob and I got to spend some time with the Bank of America finance person on site. We also talked with a lovely lady who also organized different insurance plans for practitioners who are looking to establish a practice. It all looks promising. The 5 Musketeers had dinner at an Italian restaurant, Luciano’s. The hot bread with herbed olive oil was spectacularly tasty.


Slowing Down

I was able to get in some veterinary lectures this morning. I wound down this afternoon and just visited some of the exhibits. Bob attended the full day design conference and was able to get more information on rooms and materials from this part of the program. We wound down in the Marriott Rivercenter hotel bar with bar food and drinks.



Got a later than usual start and made it to the Southwest Veterinary Symposium Design Conference for the afternoon. There was a lot of good information present and a great deal of “food for thought”. Marybeth made it to San Antonio and we attended evening lectures together. I was surprised I was able to stay up to 10 pm to do so. Bob helped Tim and Karen to set up the booth for Art for Cat’s Sake.

San Antonio Trip

Off to the airport earlier this morning to catch a flight to the great state of Texas. We flew through Salt Lake City on the way to San Antonio. Bumpy ride down and back up with Salt Lake City. Hot and humid in San Antonio. The temperature is around 90 degrees. We got together with Tim and Karen Becnel to have dinner along the Riverwalk at The Original Mexican restaurant. Bob had a good margarita, the mexican food was not quite as good as our local in my opinion.

Points and More Points

I am trying to assemble all the possible points I can gather to reach 500 points to recertify for ABVP diplomate status in feline. If so, this will be the 3rd set of 10 years I will embark on. I believe I will have 473 before hoping a book chapter I did would offer me other points. I spent a good portion of today making a list and planning to the ability to demonstrate and amass 200 points of this in Continuing Education hours. I feel good that I have made this effort and have a good plan to achieve this goal. I most likely will add some exam items to the group so I have a big overage and hopefully will not need to worry about this for a long time.

Cattin' Around

Off again to work in Eugene for 2 days. Trying to get some money to pay toward the meeting in Seattle. It will be good to see cats again and Patricia to chat about cat medicine.

Friends Abound

Being up in Seattle, it is very special to see so many old friends who we haven’t seen for awhile or that we see only once a year or so.
Joanna, Margaret Horstmeyer, John Daugherty, Michael Johnson, Justin, Letrisa, Steve Bailey, Deb and Rick, Phil Peterson, Margie and Jim, and more. I miss the old days when we would go for a big networking dinner and all around gab fest!

Scholarship Dinner

Our journey up into the Palouse was our third trip to attend the Washington State University College of Veterinary Medicine Scholarship Award dinner. We provide a scholarship to support a student interested in feline medicine. The student this year was Caitlin who was at the dinner and dessert with her husband, Nick, and grandparents from Port Angeles WA, Myra and Don.
Here I am celebrating Washington State University with Caitlin.

High Debts and New Veterinarians

The Thayer Family offer a $750 scholarship at the Washington State University to a student who has a strong interest in feline medicine and surgery, need and scholarship. We have done this for 4 years including this up coming awards program in April. We are proud to help a student. Student debt load is overwhelming. I believe more veterinarians could help the current students in this area and offer scholarships, especially in the area of cats. So little is done there. Though this article is not altogether correct, it still puts a spotlight on an area that needs strong discussion. I graduated without debt though little money. I don’t know what I would do if I faced having to pay off the equivalent of a house loan right after graduating.

High Tech Med

This article is not specifically about veterinary medicine though drug development and diseases on the human side still has implications on the veterinary side. We are several years behind in regard to some of the targeted therapies. The article though also talks about how as Big Pharma looks at more specific targeted therapies that won’t sell to large numbers of people, will the costs and regulation make them balk at providing this need.

Speaking to Students

This is the fourth year in a row that I have spoken to the freshman class of veterinary students at Oregon State University. It went well and I covered cats, medical history, physical examinations, and cat friendly handling in a two hour period. I think I have my Powerpoint Presentation in pretty good shape and it helped teach the students how to appreciate and understand cats. I always forget to get my picture taken as I do the lecture though the following photo was taken by Annie last year after the talk where I am holding a Winn Feline Foundation anniversary book.

Drilling Down

All of today was spent in NAVLE item review. The day was focused on all cat related items and we finished the day with my items. Two of our group did not make the review so we will finish with their work tomorrow. We have the read our items aloud so we have time to absorb them and drill down into the vignette and distractors to be sure we have a good question for use. Here is a good example of how it feels to keep drilling down.



In this economic environment, it is not easy to operate a profitable veterinary practice. I came to the revelation through some discussion with an individual about another practice that I had built a fairly well managed veterinary practice. We certainly went through some recessions and economic challenges though probably not as severe as the most recent recession and lack of significant economic recovery.
Definitely, the current thinking about what makes a profitable practice and one that has some value to sell is very different than past years. Even different from what was thought 10 years ago. It is amazing what we learn from experience or that we even learn at all from life’s lessons.

25th Anniversary Photo Collage of Civic Feline Clinic

Vicki and her former business partner, Dr. Josie Thompson. Civic Feline Clinic’s waiting room and stained glass cat entry.

Art For Cat's Sake

Karen has her booth set up and is selling the cat art in a mad fashion. Bob has turned into super assistant and salesman. He is upselling and writing up tickets as fast as he can write. A true business person.

One of the artists is Laura Seeley from Orange County, CA. She has a lot of lovely pendants, tiles, posters, etc. She is a great and gung ho artist and super find for Karen to have at the booth. Here is Laura with Karen and I at Lola’s Restaurant.


Meeting Up With Friends

The ABVP portion of the meeting was held this afternoon. Bob, Karen and Tim Becnel, and I went to Lola’s Restaurant to eat with Joanna Guglielmino. Joanna has been a long time, good friend to us. It was great to see her and break some bread, as they say. Here are the Three Amigos at Lola’s.



Traveled last night up to Seattle for 5 days of veterinary conferences. Last evening I took some time to do 2 podcasts with Dr. Jessica Quimby of Colorado State University. The podcasts will be used to generate interest in Winn’s research.

Today will be spent in lectures with 12 other veterinarians listening to Dr. Quimby lecture and also hearing about Onsior and Atopica as products from Novartis. I will be podcasting the talks to share with the IACD group (International Association of Cat Doctors). It will be great to see the group and hear all the new information available.

Bob and Tim Becnel were able to go to a Seattle Mariners baseball game. Here is the manager, Buck Showalter, with one of his assistants at the game.

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