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VetFest 2021
VetFest 2021 Virtual Conference
VetFest 2021
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This session brought to you by Royal Canin
How to adopt a growth mindset, harness passion and increase psychological resilience.

To strive is to make great effort to achieve a goal, to embrace change and step out of your comfort zone. It is about persevering in the face of rejection and struggling to overcome an obstacle. Happiness and fulfilment in life doesn’t come from having things easy, it comes from overcoming challenges, creating a sense of pride, building new capabilities and creating new opportunities. Explore the latest neuroscience supporting you to flourish during constant change and uncertainty.

Resilience/Psychology/Change

It’s time to Strive


Whether it’s regulation, technology or changing client expectations, adapting to change can be hugely challenging and stressful for planners. So, how can planners step out of their comfort zone and embrace this change?

“It’s a great question,” Andrew says, and one he intends to answer in his session, called ‘Strive’, at this year’s Congress. ‘Strive’ is based on a French word meaning to push through and come out the other side.

“Planners need to build in, what I call, ‘micro doses’ of change to their everyday lives,” he says. “That’s because so many people get stuck playing the ‘same game’. They end up doing the same thing, at the same time, with the same people, everyday.

“So, when we talk about industry reform, digitalisation and technological disruption – things that are so different from the sameness of our daily routines – then it’s little wonder we don’t cope well with change.”

To avoid the ‘same game’, Andrew believes it’s important we introduce ‘little bits’ of change every day to our lives.

“And that could mean taking a different route to work or introducing something different to your day, like having a ‘walking meeting’ or eating something different. It’s about disrupting your routine and learning to cope with that ‘micro dose’ of change.

“By doing little things to stimulate the brain, it makes us much less resistant to change. In fact, there is plenty of research to support the premises that when you start to introduce micro doses of change, people are better able to handle big doses of change.”

He adds that underpinning this concept of introducing micro doses of change is developing a growth mindset.

According to Andrew, a fixed mindset is very one dimensional – it’s either black or white, right or wrong. A fixed mindset doesn’t give you much capacity to change what you are doing. Whereas a growth mindset understands that mistakes are part of the learning process, and is better able to adapt and improve as a result of these mistakes.

“Introducing both micro doses of change and working on our growth mindset is imperative for planners in this rapidly changing environment. If you combine these two elements with getting your body moving, reducing your weight and getting your brain firing (see breakout story below: 3 tips to better health), then you’re going to be in a much better position to perform at your optimum and successfully take on change,” he says.

“So, when you talk about constructs like ‘grit’ (perseverance and passion) and ‘hardiness’ (finding meaning during tough and challenging times), they are both connected to ‘strive’. When asked what people are most proud of, typically they say they are most proud of the struggles they have endured and pushed through.

“By being MatchFit – both physically and psychologically – and then working on those skills to ‘strive’, push through and come out the other side, we can overcome any obstacles. And by doing so, we can build new capabilities and create new opportunities.”

Remember, be authentic


Andrew talks a lot about the need to step out of your comfort zone in order to embrace change. So, how can the profession take on a greater role when it comes to embracing change – both for themselves and their clients?

“It’s another great question,” he says. “To embrace change in others, you first need to embrace change for yourself. By doing so, planners can play a significant role in their clients’ lives – not just with their financial wellbeing, but also with their physical and psychological wellbeing.”

Andrew talks about the importance of practitioners being role models and leaders for their clients, by showing them how to better manage stress and change.

“It’s all too easy to think that change is just happening to other people. So, the first thing I’d say to planners is deal with change as it comes into your life by embracing and adapting to it. And be authentic with your clients. Understand the difficulties and stresses they are experiencing, and share with them your own personal stories of how you have dealt with change and struggle.

“For me, it’s been battling cancer, surviving a marriage breakdown with two young children and enduring a former toxic work environment. These types of shared stories can have a positive impact on your clients by showing them that change and struggle is a part of life we all endure and push through with.”

Key takeouts

For practitioners attending Andrew’s presentation on ‘Strive’ at this year’s Congress, he is confident they will take away some key insights that can be easily implemented within their businesses, as well as their own personal life.

“Strive is all about pushing through challenging times and coming out the other side. My presentation will be about getting to the core of what ‘change’ and ‘struggle’ is. I will encourage planners to acknowledge they have gone through some tough times, they have scars, but they will get through by drawing on their resilience – both individually and collectively as a profession. It’s also important to remember that the inherent struggle in life is actually good for us.”

But he emphasises that ‘strive’ is something that planners need to work at.

“The reality is that for a number of practitioners, they will have to make some big changes to the way they currently operate: in the way they look after their body; in the way they look after their brain; in the way they operate their business; and in the way they role model themselves to other people.

“But through ‘strive’, they can push through and come out the other side, and not only survive but thrive!”
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Room 1 - Small Animal
Small Animal - Room 1
Urinary incontinence can be a frustrating condition for vets and owners alike. Urinary incontinence occurs most commonly when the pressure in the bladder exceeds that of the urethra, usually due to a weak urethral sphincter or when the pressure in the bladder is excessively high or a combination of these problems. Anatomical abnormalities can also result in urinary incontinence. 
In this talk we will review the normal mechanisms that help maintain continence and where they can go wrong. 
Urethral Sphincter mechanism incompetence (USMI)
This is the most common form of urinary incontinence seen in small animal practice at around 1.6 - 3% of female dogs. Although it can occur in over 15% of spayed female dogs in high risk breeds (Irish Setter, Dobermans, Dalmatians) and usually occurs within 2-3 years of desexing. Incontinence is more common in large breed dogs. Classic history is urine leakage when the animal is sleeping, this is unconscious.
Ectopic ureters 
Most commonly dogs with ectopic ureters are incontinent from birth. Although this may not be noted in young puppies. Breed with a higher incidence are Golden Retrievers, Husky’s and Labrador Retrievers Unlike USMI dogs these dogs are usually dribbling urine at all times. Although surprisingly some animals with ectopic ureters can maintain some degree of continence.
Neurological disease
Most animals with neurological causes of incontinence have other symptoms of neurological disease. Such as hind limb weakness, ataxia, paresis, paralysis.
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Room 2 - Equine
Equine - Room 2
 Strangles, a highly infectious bacterial disease caused by Streptococcus equi, remains a global problem in horses. Despite impacting equine populations and its ability to spread through international movement of horses, infection with Streptococcus equi is not recognised as a listed disease by the World Organisation for Animal Health. Control of strangles is challenging due to limited surveillance, lack of awareness and/or failure to comply with biosecurity recommendations and pre-movement testing. Within the United Kingdom implementation of a laboratory surveillance network for strangles, the Surveillance of Equine Strangles (SES) network, has led to improved knowledge of laboratory diagnoses integrated with clinical history, temporo-spatial and genomic data. Surveillance outputs have contributed towards updating clinical guidelines, educational campaigns and aided continued molecular epidemiological analysis. This session will outline methods behind the development of SES and present research outputs from the network before highlighting the benefits and importance of laboratory surveillance alongside collating clinical and molecular data when investigating this highly infectious disease. 

The equine disease strangles, which is characterised by the formation of abscesses in the lymph nodes of the head and neck, is one of the most frequently diagnosed infectious diseases of horses around the world. The causal agent, Streptococcus equi subspecies equi, establishes a persistent infection in approximately 10% of animals that recover from the acute disease. Such ‘carrier’ animals appear healthy and are rarely identified during routine veterinary examinations pre-purchase or transit, but can transmit S. equi to naïve animals initiating new episodes of disease. This presentation describes the phylogenomic and epidemiological data for 670 isolates of S. equi recovered from 19 different countries using a new core genome multilocus sequence typing (cgMLST) web bioresource. This high-resolution analysis revealed evidence of national and international transmission events that drive this endemic disease in horse populations throughout the world.