For questions or other inquiries, please contact Brian Jochems or Melanie Kunkel.


Elephant Artificial Insemination and Reproduction – Dr. Dennis Schmitt
Elephant reproduction is unique in its length (longest gestation of land mammals) and in many other areas of reproduction.  The estrus cycle is almost 4 months long with several unusual features which only recently have been understood, with several more still to be investigated.  Elephants undergo a fixed embryonic diapause and then rapid development of the fetus for about 3 months with linear growth through the remainder of gestation.  Management of parturition is met with several challenges that don’t compare to other species.  This presentation will provide a current understanding of reproduction in elephants as it continues to unfold.

Life of a Circus Veterinarian – Dr. Dennis Schmitt
While some of the challenges of being a circus veterinarian are similar to a zoo veterinarian, many additional activities are highlighted in this presentation.  Travel is a major portion of traveling to three different units all of which travel 10-11 months a year throughout the United Sates and sometimes other countries.  Outstanding care is provided to performing animals is 24/7 by animal care staff and veterinary staff.  This presentation will discuss the some of those efforts in the life of circus veterinarians.

Preventative health care in captive carnivores – Dr. Peter Caldwell
More details coming.

Common diseases, disease management and clinical pathology in captive carnivores, A brief overview – Dr. Peter Caldwell
More details coming.

Feline Panleukopaenia in wild felids (Captive carnivores) – Dr. Peter Caldwell
More details coming.

Diseases of Fresh Water Fish – Dr. Michael P. Jones
This lecture will cover common infectious diseases encountered in fresh water fish; specifically pet fish and aquaculture species.  Bacterial, parasitic, fungal and some viral diseases will be discussed.

Diseases of Birds of Prey – Dr. Michael P. Jones
The lecture will focus on providing the most up-to-date information on selected infectious diseases encountered by captive and free-ranging birds of prey.  Bacterial, viral, fungal and parasitic diseases will be discussed.

Introduction to Avian Anesthesia – Dr. Megan Baebler
Anesthesia of pet birds tends to be a scary proposition to the general practitioner. In this lecture, learn how to properly evaluate a patient’s anesthetic risk, premedicate, sedate, and anesthetize avian patients for surgical and diagnostic procedures.

Introduction to Rabbit and Small Rodent Dentistry – Dr. Megan Baebler
Learn proper rabbit and small herbivore dental anatomy and practical tips on performing both dental exams in awake and sedated patients as well as the basics of the routine molar adjustment. Learn about what basic equipment is needed to start seeing these patients in your practice! Diet counseling for small herbivores will also be covered in this lecture.

Wildlife Health in Missouri – Dr. Kelly Straka
Wildlife Health in Missouri: a look at what it's really like to be a State Wildlife Veterinarian.

Wildlife Forensics: Tying it all Together – Dr. Kelly Straka
Interesting cases will be presented and attendees will explore some of the common and not so common wildlife pathology findings. Sometimes things aren't always as they seem when you work with wild animals...

Reptilian Anatomy – Dr. Cathleen Kovarik
This lecture will cover basic reptilian anatomy with an emphasis on comparative anatomy.  It will emphasize how reptiles are different from mammals, and how this influences clinical applications.

Aquatic Animal Anatomy – Dr. Cathleen Kovarik
This lecture will cover basic anatomy of the fish, frog and turtle, with an emphasis on comparative aspects.  In the lab, each group will have the opportunity to dissect a perch, a bullfrog, and a turtle. Lecture attendance is required for admittance to the Aquatic Animal Anatomy wetlab.

Avian Ophthalmology – Dr. Jacqueline Pearce
The Avian Ophthalmology lecture will cover normal anatomy of the avian eye and special adaptations of the avian species pertaining to vision and ocular function.  In addition, common ophthalmic diseases of raptors and pet birds will be covered with a case-based approach.

Approaching Exotics from a Non-Exotics Frame of Reverence - Dr. Dusty Nagy
This talk will focus on incorporating large animal exotics into a traditional large animal practice. We will cover basics of examination and approach to these large animals and the clients using knowledge gained in a traditional animal practice.

Routine Diseases and Common Problems in Miniature Swine - Dr. Dusty Nagy
This lecture will cover routine care and an assortment of ailments routinely encountered in pet mini pigs.

Pinniped Anesthesia – Dr. James Bailey
Students can appreciate capture, restraint and translocation logistics in pinnipeds and become acquainted with “sedation” and anesthetic drug options for pinnipeds. We will discuss current concepts and limitations in anesthesia patient management of pinnipeds. As well as become acquainted with some “new” anesthesia techniques/products and their application to pinnipeds.

Cetacean Anesthesia – Dr. James Bailey
Students will learn to appreciate translocation logistics in cetaceans with focus on dolphins. Student can become acquainted with “sedation” and anesthetic drug options for cetaceans and focus on some historical and current concepts and limitations of anesthesia patient management of cetaceans. Students can become acquainted with some “new” anesthesia techniques/products and their application to cetaceans.

Giant Panda Conservation: Reproduction, Medicine, and Reintroduction – Dr. Copper Aitken-Palmer
The giant panda is an icon for endangered species as the world's most recognized species. This talk evaluates advances in giant panda conservation over the past 10 yrs, challenging reproductive strategies and the new veterinary initiatives studying emerging diseases in this species as we look toward reintroduction.

Advanced Topics in Zoo Medicine: Simian Retroviruses and Herpes Viruses - Dr. Copper Aitken-Palmer
Viral diseases of non-human primates is an important topic for all veterinarians working with these species.  Often the most critical viral diseases are retrovirus and herpes viruses.  In this talk, we will discuss the viruses of high priority for simian species including the potential for zoonosis, possible treatment and diagnostics. 

Diagnostic Modalities in Zoo Medicine - Dr. Kirk Suedmeyer
Diagnostic capabilities in zoo animal medicine have rapidly advanced in recent years. The advent of digitalization and microchip development has allowed the invention and improvement of digital ultrasound, radiology, computed tomography, magnetic resonance imaging, and three-dimensional reconstruction of computed tomography and MRI images. Advances in DNA technology has led to the development of polymerase-chain reaction which can identify pathogens from extremely small samples of blood, tissue, feces, or urine. Utilization of these modalities has greatly increased our ability to provide the same level of care as the human medical field.

Overlooked Zoo Animals - Dr. Kirk Suedmeyer
Everyone knows what a rhinoceros, a zebra or a polar bear is. These iconic, high profile animals are routinely exhibited in zoological institutions. However, many smaller, lower profile animals exist in zoos that are far more in danger of extinction. While less charismatic, many of these animals are dependent upon zoo professionals to conserve and sustain their populations. This discussion will look at some of those animals, the reasons why they are not high profile, and how we need to remove ourselves from being speciests in order to conserve them.

Body Condition Scoring in Zoo Animals - Dr. Kirk Suedmeyer
Exotic animal medicine is a challenging discipline. Body condition scoring is one non-invasive management tool used to assess overall health and nutrition, but it isn’t always easy. Many factors influence body condition and this presentation will detail what you need to consider when evaluating an animal’s body condition.


University of Missouri
College of Veterinary Medicine
900 East Campus Drive
Columbia, MO 65211