It has been a fine Tagung über Pferdekrankheiten. Very interesting and up-to-date presentations, many content participants (609) and a fully booked trade exhibition made for a relaxed, cordial atmosphere in the Congress Centre of the Essen fair venue. The simultaneous EQUITANA Equestrian Sports World Fair was well-frequented with more than 200,000 visitors and many congress participants took the chance to go there as a complementary item.
The first conference day offered an international programme which was universally presented in two languages (English/German). Renowned speakers such as Sue Dyson (GB), Safia Barakzai (GB) Olivier Simon (BEL) and Erik Bergman (BEL) reported on the results of their work. Presentations with particular relevance for equine practice were the positive experiences with selective worming over a four-year-period presented by Markus Menzel (Thurmading), furthermore Olivier Simon's talk on the possibilities of conservative treatment of incarcerated inguinal hernias and, extremely interesting and important for every practitioner, the latest insights on pain perception of castrated stallions by Dirk Lebelt (Havelland, Berlin). He and his colleagues observed that the method of choice to improve the comfort of castrates after the procedure was to perform local anaesthesia of the spermatic cord prior to emasculation. On Friday afternoon, two presentations on the use of the German Radiography Guidelines in correlation with findings during pre-purchase examinations were also met with great interest in the auditorium. The results brought forward by Ulrich Walliser (Kirchheim) were taken as a basis for discussion by many colleagues. After reviewing his patients, Walliser came to the conclusion that only findings of Class 4 and Class 3-4 detected in the course of a pre-purchase exam can be said to have any prognostic significance for the future soundness of the horse. One colleague from the auditorium suggested to only classify horses into two groups due to pre-purchase examinations, Group 1 "acceptable" (RöKl. 1,2,3) and Group 2 "not acceptable" (RöKl. 3-4,4). Furthermore, it was suggested from the plenum to change the term "pre-purchase examination" to "on-the-day soundness check".
Christine Aurich from Vienna opened the second conference day with a well-structured and practical presentation on mares during early pregnancy. With impressive rhetorical skills, Christiane Cuny from Robert Koch Institute conveyed the latest insights on the dangers of MRSA colonisation in humans and horses. We were glad to see that the presentations on digitalisation in veterinary practice were also met with great interest: Dr. Google, Facebook & Co. seems to be an important topic for most of us and dealing with the internet-educated client is a daily challenge. During his entertaining talk, speaker Björn Becker (Bad Bentheim) recommended objective analysis of veterinary facts and postulated charging higher rates for the increased consultation effort resulting from the prior knowledge of patients' owners in accordance with the GOT. Willy Neumann (Kamen/Hochmoor) took the edge off surgical procedures on the lens during his presentation with informative images and clear statements. The conference ended with impressive talks by Karsten Feige on coil embolization during treatment of guttural pouch mycosis and by lawyer Burkhart Oexmann who illustrated positive effects of changes in liability law for veterinarians. In the late afternoon, Hartmut Gerhards (München) closed this thoroughly successful event with a historical review of the means of operating on standing, non-anaesthetised patients.
The proceedings for this year's conference can be purchased from wak Verlag or via the bookselling trade (ISBN 978-3-9812848-7-4) at the price of 28 Euro. - order here -