Updates for all at ESVD congress

A variety of new dermatology information was discussed at the European Society of Veterinary Dermatology Annual Congress in Lausanne, Switzerland

01 December 2017, at 12:37pm

ESVD congresses are for everybody – not just dermatologists, although having an interest in the subject and wanting to learn more is a good start.

This year’s congress was held in Lausanne and there were three themes. The basic one was called ‘New Trends in Dermatology’, the intermediate one was ‘Advances in Clinical Dermatology’ and the third, at the highest level, was the ‘Cutting Edge’ programme of special interest for the academics.

Just reviewing the basic level, someone relatively new to veterinary dermatology could be brought right up-to-date in many areas assuming little prior knowledge. Topics covered included a review of microscope use, new information on PCR, allergy diagnosis, ectoparasite control, anti-allergy and antibacterial therapy, and new information on otitis, all on the first day.

The next morning, the same slot was entirely devoted to cats, starting with professor Stephen White from Davis, California, who talked about dermatology emergencies in cats. Dr Ekaterina Kusnetsova, who gave a superb lecture on feline immune-mediated and autoimmune diseases, and another on feline pyoderma, followed him.

Further sessions on geriatric and paediatric feline dermatology followed, with new information on food trials for the diagnosis of feline allergies. On the third day, there was a whole morning on equine dermatology, with Stephen White again prominent.

The academic dermatologists were well-catered-for with presentations from world experts such as Thierry Olivry and Claude Favrot, both originally from France but now in the USA and Switzerland respectively, and many others.

As is often the case at the ESVD congress, human specialists were brought in to expand on comparative aspects. For example, Carsten Flohr from St John’s Institute for Dermatology in London spoke on ‘Lessons from studies on the epidemiology of atopic eczema’.

The opening ceremony and welcome reception was held in the magnificent Lausanne Olympic Museum, with spectacular views over Lake Geneva. We were entertained by alpine horns and there was time afterwards to roam around the exhibition. The traditional banquet, which takes place on the Friday evening, was held in another spectacular Lake Geneva setting in Grandvaux, and attended by 450 people. 

Reflecting on success

At the well-attended ESVD AGM, Sue Paterson, the outgoing president, reflected on the success of this year’s congress. There was initially a worry that potential delegates would be put off by the location being perceived as too expensive. This did not prove to be the case. There were more than 725 registered, comparing favourably with last year’s successful congress in Krakow, where there were 827 (of whom 233 were Polish colleagues).

Furthermore, there were delegates from a total of 59 countries, with Germany and the UK leading the way (99 and 86 respectively) and an amazing 26 from Latin America. At the AGM three British veterinary surgeons – Ian Mason, Aiden Foster and myself – were honoured with life membership of the ESVD.

I always feel after attending an ESVD conference that it would be a hard act to follow. Each conference seems to rise to the challenge, however, and next year it is the turn of Dubrovnik in Croatia. This will be 27th to 29th September 2018. It will be in a prestigious setting but with a limit of 1,000 delegates, so keep an eye open for early registration to avoid disappointment.

Plans are afoot for a possible UK conference in 2019 with the 2020 world congress in Sydney.