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58th Annual Veterinary Conference and Alumni Weekend

Hosted by: Office of Continuing Education

We are excited to welcome you back to Athens this year!

What can you expect?


  • Friday, March 11 - 8 hours of large and small animal CE, which includes 1 hour of LEAP.
  • Saturday, March 12 - 7 hours of small animal CE.
  • Alumni Awards Luncheon (Friday)
  • 50th Class Recognition Luncheon (Saturday)
  • Saturday Reception with Hairy Dawg (6:30 - 8:30 pm)

Registration is now closed for this event. There is no on-site registration available. 

This conference will not have a virtual option.


Event Information

2-Day Conference (Small Animal) : $375
Friday Sessions (8 hrs. CE, includes LEAP) : $195
Saturday Sessions (7 hrs. - Small Animal) : $185
Alumni Awards Luncheon : $25
50th Class Recognition Luncheon : $25
Saturday Reception with Hairy Dawg : $40


UGA Center for Continuing Education and Hotel
1197 South Lumpkin Street
Athens, GA 30602
United States


Office of Continuing Education
Phone Number: (706) 542-7182
Email: vetmedce@uga.edu

Event Agenda


Start Time
End Time
8:00 am8:10 am
8:10 am9:00 am
Cold topic: refrigerated pharmaceutical storage
Emmanuel Rollin

This will be a combined session for small and large animal practitioners.

9:00 am9:50 am
Small and Large Animal Sessions
Ben Brainard/John Peroni

Feline urethral obstruction: New insights, old story (SA)

Equine Imaging Interpretation Challenge. What’s your diagnosis?(LA)


9:50 am10:10 am
Refreshment Break
10:10 am11:00 am
Small and Large Animal Sessions
Layla Shaikh/Brad Heins

Abdominal Imaging Pearls: Tips and tricks for getting the most out of your basic abdominal radiograph (SA)

Remote Drug Delivery (RDD) in Food Animal Medicine? (LA)

11:00 am11:50 am
Small and Large Animal Sessions
Layla Shaikh/Katie Ellis

Thoracic radiography for respiratory distress: Parenchyma and pleural space (SA)

Equine rehabilitation modalities: How they work, evidence for use, and clinical application  (LA)


12:00 pm1:25 pm
Alumni Award Luncheon
1:30 pm2:20 pm
Small and Large Animal Sessions
Janet Grimes/Katie Ellis

Improving the Palatability of Bulldog Breathing: Updates on Brachycephalic Obstructive Airway Syndrome (SA)

Tips and tricks for maximizing your equine musculoskeletal ultrasound exam in the field (LA)


2:20 pm3:10 pm
Small and Large Animal Sessions
Joe Bartges/Kate Myrna

Urine Pain: Urolithiasis (SA)

So your horse’s eye is tearing….what now? (LA)


3:10 pm3:30 pm
Refreshment Break
3:30 pm4:20 pm
Small and Large Animal Sessions
Kate Myrna/Rachel Reed

Eyes on Fire: Cases of uveitis for small animal (SA)

Equine Pain Management(LA)


4:20 pm5:10 pm
State Veterinarian Update: Cases and More (LEAP GBVM-2647)
Janemarie Hennebelle

This will be a combined session for small and large animal practitioners.


Start Time
End Time
8:00 am8:50 am
Oh No! Another Constipated Cat. Tips, Tricks and Nutrition
Sherry Sanderson
8:50 am9:40 am
The Veterinary Honeybee Program
Joerg Mayer
9:40 am10:10 am
Refreshment Break
10:10 am11:00 am
To treat or not to treat: Updates on canine breeding management from conception to delivery
Robyn Ellerbrock
11:00 am11:50 am
Incorporating Fear Free in Practice
Acacia Roman

This session sponsored by Vetoquinol.

12:00 pm1:25 pm
50th Class Recognition Lunch
1:30 pm3:10 pm
Part 1: Lymphadenopathy and lymphocytosis- is it cancer or reactive? A low-invasive approach to diagnosis of lymphoma and leukemia in cats and dogs.
Jaime Tarigo
3:10 pm3:30 pm
Refreshment Break
3:30 pm4:20 pm
Part 2: Putting it into practice: Case studies of low invasive diagnosis of lymphoma and leukemia in cats and dogs.
Jaime Tarigo


  • Rachel Reed, DVM, DACVAA

    Rachel Reed attended veterinary school at North Carolina State University graduating in 2011. After spending some time in mixed animal private practice, Dr. Reed completed an anesthesia residency at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, becoming board certified in Veterinary Anesthesia and Analgesia in 2016. Since that time, Dr. Reed has been working as faculty in the anesthesia service at the University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine.

  • Joerg Mayer, DVM, MS, DABVP, DECZM, DACZM

    Dr. Jorg Mayer studied veterinary medicine in Budapest / Hungary to study veterinary medicine shortly after the “iron curtain” fell. During his studies he was fortunate to be able to work with veterinarians in South Africa and Namibia for 6 months. After receiving his veterinary degree from the University of Budapest/Hungary, he went to the USA for an internship in ‘Zoological Medicine and Surgery’ at the Roger Williams Park Zoo in Providence, RI. At the end of the internship he was part of a research team to study wild tree kangaroos in the rainforest of Papua New Guinea for 3 months. After this exciting experience, he went to the Royal veterinary College in London / England to study for his Masters of Science degree in wild animal health. The masters project which focused on lead toxicity in the common loon, brought him to the Tufts Wildlife Clinic in the USA. There he was hired to serve as a clinical associate professor and as the head of the clinical service for exotic animals. After 10 years at Tufts University he moved to Athens, Georgia in 2010 to take the job of Associate Professor in Zoological Medicine at UGA.

    He lectures regularly at large national and international conferences on all aspects of exotic animal medicine. Dr. Mayer qualified with the first batch of specialists in Exotic Companion Mammals as a Diplomate of the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners, in addition he is also a Diplomate of the American and the European College of Zoological Medicine. He served as the president of the Association of Exotic Mammal Veterinarians from 2010-2012. Since 2012 he is also an International Fulbright Specialist in Zoological Medicine.

    Dr. Mayer published many scientific articles, book chapters some of which have been translated into French, Spanish and Portuguese. His latest book the “Veterinary Clinical advisor for birds and exotic pets” was published in early 2013 and contains over 750 pages. In 2013 he received the exotic speaker of the year award by the NAVC.

  • Janet Grimes, DVM, MS, DACVS-SA

    Janet Grimes, DVM, MS, DACVS-SA is an Associate Professor of Small Animal Surgery at the University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine. She is a graduate of the University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine, class of 2010. She completed a rotating internship in Small Animal Medicine and Surgery at the Texas A&M University College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences. She then completed a residency in Small Animal Surgery at the Auburn University College of Veterinary Medicine, where she also received a Master’s degree in Biomedical Sciences. She then was an Assistant Professor of Companion Animal Surgery at the Louisiana State University School of Veterinary Medicine prior to joining the University of Georgia in 2016.

  • Katie Ellis, DVM, MS, DACVSMR

    Dr. Katie Ellis graduated from the University of Georgia in 2009. She stayed at UGA to complete a Large Animal rotating internship in 2010. Dr. Ellis then worked as a general equine ambulatory practitioner for Jacksonville Equine Associates for approximately 4.5 years. During this time, she became certified in Equine Chiropractic and Acupuncture. She then completed a specialty internship in Equine Surgery and Sports Medicine at the University of Florida from 2015 to 2016. Dr. Ellis completed a combined Equine Diagnostic Imaging internship and Equine Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation residency at Colorado State University in July 2020. She joined UGA as an Assistant Clinical Professor in Equine Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation in September 2020. She became board-certified in Equine Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation in March 2021. Dr. Ellis has a strong interest in equine rehabilitation as well as musculoskeletal imaging.

  • Sherry Sanderson, BS, DVM, PhD, Dipl ACVIM (SAIM and Nutrition)

    Sherry Sanderson received a BS degree from the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay in 1986 and a DVM degree from the University of Minnesota-College of Veterinary Medicine (CVM) in 1990. She then completed a 1 year rotating internship in Small Animal Medicine and Surgery at Oklahoma State University-CVM. After that she returned to the University of Minnesota to complete a combined graduate program and dual residencies in Small Animal Internal Medicine and Small Animal Clinical Nutrition. She is a double diplomate in The American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine (Small Animal Internal Medicine and Small Animal Clinical Nutrition). She is currently an Associate Professor at the University of Georgia-CVM where she received the Zoetis Distinguished Veterinary Teacher Award in 2013 and was honored as a Veterinary Medicine Outstanding Teaching Faculty from the University of Georgia in 2014. She has published over 80 manuscripts, book chapters and research abstracts. Her research interests include the use of nutritional management for the prevention and treatment of diseases in dogs and cats. Areas of particular interest include Urology and Nephrology, Obesity, Prebiotics, Probiotics and Diet Induced Canine Dilated Cardiomyopathy. Most recently she has added the Human Animal Bond as an area of research, and is currently involved with a feasibility study funded by the Human Animal Bond Research Institute (HABRI )with supplemental support from Nestle Purina Pet Care that pairs seniors living alone with foster cats (with the option to adopt) from the local humane society.

  • Joe Bartges, DVM, PhD, DACVIM, DACVN

    Dr. Joe Bartges is from West Virginia and a graduate of Marshall University. After receiving his DVM in 1987 from the University of Georgia, he completed an internship and dual residency in internal medicine and nutrition and a PhD from the University of Minnesota in 1993. He joined the faculty at the University of Georgia and in 1987 joined the faculty at the University of Tennessee where he remained until 2013. At Tennessee, he was Professor of Medicine and Nutrition, held the Acree Endowed Chair of Small Animal Research, and served as interim department head. He then was internist, nutritionist, and academic director at Cornell University Veterinary Specialists in Stamford CT and was an Adjunct Clinical Professor of Medicine at Cornell University. He joined the faculty at The University of Georgia in 2016 and is currently Professor of Internal Medicine, Interventional Radiology, and Nutrition in the Department of Small Animal Medicine and Surgery. He is board certified in small animal internal medicine and nutrition. He is a past president of the American Society of Veterinary Nephrology and Urology and is Chairperson of the Residency Training and Credentials Committee for Nutrition. Dr. Bartges is internationally known for his research and publications in veterinary nephrology and urology and nutrition. He has published over 400 peer reviewed manuscripts, research abstracts, review articles, and book chapters and is the primary editor of Nephrology and Urology of Small Animals with Dr. Dave Polzin. He has spoken at over 275 meetings including many international. He has two children now adults, two cats, and his significant other is Dr. Donna Raditic.

  • John Peroni, DVM, MS, DACVS

    Dr. Peroni graduated from the College of Veterinary Medical Science at the University of Parma in Italy in 1994. During Veterinary School traveled to the U.S. and attended several institutions for prolonged periods of time including Delaware Equine Center, the University of Pennsylvania at New Bolton Center, Davis College of Veterinary Medicine and Chino Valley Equine Hospital. As a result of those experiences, he was encouraged to pursue an internship at Chino Valley Equine Hospital where he remained for 2 years from ’94 to ‘96. He subsequently moved to Michigan State University where he completed a surgical residency and a MS degree from 1996 to 2000. Following this training he was fortunate to become a faculty member at the University of Georgia in the Fall of 2000 and is currently a Professor of Surgery with clinical, didactic and research responsibilities. In the clinic Dr. Peroni fucuses on lameness and orthopedic surgical case management but enjoys all aspects of surgery including those involving small and large ruminants. In the classroom Dr Peroni teaches lameness – musculoskeletal biology and imaging and performs a large part of his didactic effort on the clinic floor with senior veterinary students. Dr. Peroni’s research interests began with and still include the area of equine laminitis. The focus of this interest has been the understanding of microvascular flow within the equine hoof capsule and the changes that occur to blood flow during the onset of laminitis. In the last 10 years, however, his research interest has shifted toward the field of Biological Therapies to include the use of cell based (stem cells) and blood derived (PRP and Platelet Lysate) to repair of musculoskeletal disorders in horses. A more recent development in the laboratory has focused on the use of platelet derived products to fight infection and he and his laboratory staff and students are excited to continue this effort because of its major implications on clinical practice.

  • Emmanuel Rollin, DVM, MFAM

    Dr Emmanuel Rollin completed his undergraduate studies in Biology at the University of Georgia, and then received his DVM from the UGA College of Veterinary Medicine in 2007. After graduation, he was convinced to stay at UGA a little longer and become a Triple Dawg, and was the first graduate of the new Masters in Food Animal Medicine program in December of 2008. He joined a progressive dairy practice in central Georgia in 2009, and serviced dairy and beef clients throughout Georgia and South Carolina for four years. In 2013, he joined the faculty at the UGA CVM as a Dairy Production Medicine specialist. As an Associate Clinical Professor, he spends most of his time teaching senior students on farms, but also teaches in the classroom and collaborates on applied research projects.

  • Brad Heins, DVM, MFAM

    Brad Heins is a graduate of the University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine and also completed a Master’s of Food Animal Medicine following his DVM. After spending several years in private practice, he returned to UGA and joined the Department of Population Health where he teaches veterinary students throughout the curriculum. He has clinical and research interests in youngstock development of beef, dairy, and swine herds.

  • Kate Myrna, DVM, MS, DACVO

    Dr. Kate Myrna has a BA from Vassar College and received her DVM from the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine in 2004. She completed a 1-year internship in Small Animal Medicine and Surgery at Western College of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Saskatchewan, and went on to complete a 1-year specialty internship at Angell Animal Medical Center – Western New England. Dr. Myrna then completed a Residency in Comparative Ophthalmology and obtained a Master of Science in Comparative Biomedical Sciences at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
    Dr. Myrna has been teaching at the University of Georgia for the past seven years where she has been recognized for her teaching and engaging lecture style through the Zoetis Distinguished Teaching award, multiple student teaching awards and a Lilly Teaching Fellowship.

    Dr. Myrna’s research focuses on corneal wound healing as well as the role of tear cortisol levels on ocular health. She has authored or co-authored over 20 research abstracts and journal articles as well as multiple book chapters.

    Dr. Myrna is a diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Ophthalmologists.

  • Layla Shaikh, VMD, DACVR

    Dr. Shaikh is a board-certified diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Radiologists. Since 2015, Dr. Shaikh is the CEO of Insight Veterinary Imaging and Consulting, LLC, a boutique teleradiology service providing worldwide consultations. She is also the COO of Insight Veterinary Ultrasonography of Georgia, LLC, a mobile sonography service serving North Georgia. She enjoys all aspects of veterinary diagnostic imaging, including radiology, CT, MRI, and ultrasonography, with a special interest in supporting technical sonographers. Dr. Shaikh has been invited to give CE lectures and labs on a variety of topics at various conferences, including at the Gulf Coast Veterinary Conference and Florida Veterinary Medical Association, as well as for the Cobb County Veterinary Medical Association and other local groups. She completed her radiology and diagnostic imaging residency at the University of Georgia, where she completed and presented on research projects involving musculoskeletal MRI and neuroimaging. She is an ACVR Outstanding Resident Award recipient for her research performed at UGA, including novel sequence MRI technique. Prior to her residency, she practiced high-quality small animal emergency and critical care and general practice in the Philadelphia area and California. Dr. Shaikh graduated from the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine, earning her VMD in 2007. She now permanently resides in the Atlanta region with her husband and children.

  • Ben Brainard, VMD, DACVAA, DACVECC

    Benjamin Brainard is the Edward H. Gunst professor of small animal critical care, in the Dept. of Small Animal Medicine and Surgery at the University of Georgia. He received his undergraduate degree from Dartmouth College and VMD from the University of Pennsylvania. He completed dual residencies at the University of Pennsylvania and is a diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Anesthesia and Analgesia and the American College of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care. His research interests focus on platelet biology and thrombosis in many species, in addition to coagulation assessment and antithrombotic and antifibrinolytic drugs. Dr. Brainard serves as the director of clinical research at the University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine and is an Associate Editor for the Journal of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care.

  • Janemarie Hennebelle, DVM

    Dr. Janemarie Hennebelle was raised in Augusta, Georgia, where her family fostered her passion for animals and supported her pursuit of becoming a veterinarian. She received her Bachelor of Science in Animal Science from Berry College in 2003 and went on to the University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine to receive her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine in 2007.

    Dr. Hennebelle has had a diverse professional career, beginning in a mixed animal practice in the Northeast, before serving the community through both small animal and shelter animal work. Dr. Hennebelle continued her education at the University of California Davis, where she received a Master of Preventive Veterinary Medicine in 2012.

    In 2013, Dr. Hennebelle joined the Georgia Department of Agriculture Meat Inspection Section as a Veterinary Supervisor. She subsequently moved into the role of Assistant State Veterinarian in 2016.

    In July of 2021, Dr. Hennebelle was appointed State Veterinarian. She is an active member of the American Veterinary Medical Association, Georgia Veterinary Medical Association, United States Animal Health Association, and the National Assembly of State Animal Health Officials.

    Dr. Hennebelle is married to her husband, Nicolas. In their spare time, they enjoy spending time with family and friends, and taking advantage of the natural beauty of Georgia through hiking, camping, and outdoor activities.

  • Robyn Ellerbrock, DVM, DACT

    Dr. Robyn Ellerbrock is starting her 5th year as an assistant professor at the University of Georgia.  She received her BS (2007) and DVM (2012) degrees from Cornell University, and then completed an internship in equine sports medicine in California, before completing a residency and becoming board certified in Theriogenology (2016) and a PhD in Comparative biosciences (2019) at the University of Illinois.  Her research interests focus on reproductive toxicology, and diseases of pregnancy and parturition in the horse, dog, and ruminant.

  • Jaime Tarigo, DVM, PhD, DACVP

    Jaime attended veterinary school at UGA and graduated in 2002. She practiced medicine full and part-time at feline hospitals from 2002 through 2014 in Maryland, Virginia, and North Carolina prior to and during completing a residency veterinary clinical pathology in 2007 and a PhD in 2013 at North Carolina State University, College of Veterinary Medicine. She is currently a faculty member at University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine where she teaches, provides service as a clinical pathologist, and oversees a veterinary clinical flow cytometry service to help with the diagnosis of lymphoma and leukemia in cats and dogs. Jaime enjoys working with veterinarians on a case by case basis and has provided continuing education on topics including hematology, cytology, and the diagnosis of lymphoid neoplasia in cats and dogs.

  • Acacia M. Roman, DVM

    Dr. Acacia Roman was born and raised in Puerto Rico. She has her Bachelor’s degree in Animal Science from the University of Puerto Rico at Mayaguez. She earned her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from Tuskegee University School of Veterinary Medicine in 1994 and owned a mixed animal practice in Puerto Rico from 1995-2008. In 2008, Dr. Roman relocated to the state of Georgia and worked as a small animal practitioner for Banfield Pet Hospital in Duluth, Ga until June 2012.

    In July 2012 she joined the Royal Canin USA Scientific Services Veterinarian team where she participated delivering continuing education programs on nutritional management of diseases of the renal, dermatological, gastrointestinal, urological systems, and obesity.

    In July 2017 Dr. Roman joined the Technical Services Veterinary team at Vetoquinol USA. She supports the company’s sales force and veterinarians in the field.
    Her professional interests are Internal Medicine, Dermatology, Nutrition, Rehabilitation, and Behavior. She is an Elite Fear Free certified professional and belongs to the Fear Free Speakers Bureau.

    Dr. Roman is undergoing the certification as a Canine Rehabilitation Practitioner (CCRP) and plans to take the certification exam as soon as she can completes her internship after COVID.

    She is a member of the American Academy of Veterinary Dermatology (AAVD), AVMA, GVMA (Georgia VMA), and PRVMA (Puerto Rico VMA).

    Dr. Roman continues to practice as a locum veterinarian in the state of Georgia. Dr. Roman is married to Edgardo Rivera, also a veterinarian. Together they live in Duluth, Ga and have two wonderful sons, Guillermo 21 and Juan Pablo 20. They enjoy traveling nationally and internationally, hiking, the ocean, and spending quality time together.


Additional Information

We are unable to offer refunds for cancellations after March 1, 2022.

Annual Conference + COVID-19: The health and wellbeing of all students and community members remains our top priority. We will continue to monitor and adhere to all safety and social distancing guidelines provided by university and state health officials. Programs and events will only be conducted if deemed safe to do so by officials. We will continue to communicate any program changes or cancellations due to COVID-19. (Updated September 17, 2021)

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