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The 62nd Annual Convention & Trade Show of the AAEP: Was your vet there?

Sunny and warm Orlando, Florida was the location of this year’s AAEP (American Association of Equine Practitioners) Convention, the world’s largest continuing education (CE) event dedicated to equine practice. Held Saturday December 3rd through Wednesday December 7th at the Orange County Convention Center — the second largest convention center in America (McCormick Place in Chicago is the largest) – the event offered more than 100 CE hours, showcased 300-plus exhibitors, and attracted thousands of veterinarians in private practice, academia, industry, and research, as well as veterinary students, veterinary technicians, and others.


I’ve been attending the AAEP Convention since my first year in veterinary school, and now when I go it’s not only to attend Educational Sessions and network with other vets, but also to represent SmartPak in our 10 X 20 “island” booth in the trade show.


Five of us attended from SmartPak, including (from left to right) me, Casey, Viviane, and Kerri. Paal our CEO also went, as he also attends Educational Sessions (his favorite is the Kester News Hour where three vets share research headlines from the past year), holds business meetings, and scours the exhibit hall for new and exciting products.


Even though attendance was down this year because 2015 was at a popular location – Las Vegas – and 2017 will be at another popular location – San Antonio – our booth was “hopping” during the three days that the trade show was open. Vets came by for their free gifts, to ask questions about ColiCare, and sometimes just to tell us how much they love us!

I managed to sneak out and attend a few Educational Sessions, such as:

• Managing Endocrine Horses at Home
• Therapies for Equine Soft Tissue Injuries
• Warmblood horses with PSSM: Clinical characteristics and muscle glycogen concentrations
• Case-control study of pasture- and endocrinopathy-associated laminitis in horses
• How to feed horses with exertional myopathies



Of all the new and exciting products in the Trade Show and research presented in Educational Sessions though, I have to admit that my favorite was Millenia, the Robot With a Heart, that tooled around the exhibit hall, sneaking up on unsuspecting attendees, singing and dancing, even handing out mints!


I can’t wait to see what next year’s AAEP Convention has in store? Maybe a robot horse?

Lydia F. Gray, DVM, MA SmartPak Staff Veterinarian and Medical Director Dr. Lydia Gray has earned a Bachelor of Science in agriculture, a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM), and a Master of Arts focusing on interpersonal and organizational communication. After “retiring” from private practice, she put her experience and education to work as the American Association of Equine Practitioner’s first-ever Director of Owner Education. Dr. Gray continues to provide health and nutrition information to horse owners through her position at SmartPak, through publication in more than a dozen general and trade publications, and through presentations around the country. She is the very proud owner of a Trakehner named Newman that she actively competes with in dressage and combined driving. In addition to memberships in the USDF and USEF, Dr. Gray is also a member of the Illinois Dressage and Combined Training Association (IDCTA). She is a USDF “L” Program Graduate and is currently working on her Bronze Medal. Find Dr. Gray on Google+

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