Osteoarthritis congress returns to Leicester this May - Veterinary Practice
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Osteoarthritis congress returns to Leicester this May

Offering not a snapshot but an in-depth progress report on where we are today

The Veterinary Osteoarthritis Alliance (VOA) is running the second annual VOACON (Veterinary Osteoarthritis Congress) at the Grand Hotel, Leicester, on 22 and 23 May.

Retaining its strapline, Progress in Motion, this congress brings together some of the world’s foremost experts on all things OA over two days of lectures, workshops and networking. It is open to all members of the veterinary team, small animal and equine, along with animal physiotherapists and hydrotherapists, and anyone else involved in the treatment and management of OA conditions, and offers up to 14 hours of CPD.

The programme

Day 1 features two small animal streams – umbrella sessions covering “Dealing with chronic pain”, “OA in practice”, “What guides management decisions in OA?” and “Complementary therapy in mobility cases”, and an equine programme with Elisabetta Giorio and Giorgio Ricardi. There will also be a cross-stream debate on the COAST v. NICE guidelines, followed by a happy hour and a charity gala dinner.

Day 2’s main stream includes “The animal athlete” and “Comparative regenerative medicine”; stream one tackles “Evidenced-based medicine today” and “Current trends”; and stream two “Comfort and care for the OA patient” and “Surgery in OA”. The day wraps up with a cross-stream debate on collaborative care.

Speakers and sponsors

Speakers from the veterinary, physio and human fields include Mike Farrell, Kirsty Cavill, Greg McGarrell, Kathryn Patel, Jana Gams, Trace Allen, Nichi Cockburn, John Innes, Stuart Carmichael, Jacky Reid, Colin Capner, Andy Armitage, Lauren Davis, Siobhan Menzies, Drew Tootal and Carly Nairn.

Sponsors for the event – Animalcare (Platinum), Zoetis, Vetoquinol, the Canine Hydrotherapy Association and VetzPetz – Antinol (all Gold sponsors) – will be joined by a host of firms at the cutting-edge OA products, services and development, plus professional partners the BVNA and IRVAP.

Making progress

Professor Stuart Carmichael, co-founder and director of the VOA, comments: “Last year’s inaugural congress was just the beginning of an ambitious drive to further people’s understanding of osteoarthritis in animals, pooling our knowledge and resources for the greater good, and with cross-profession participation. So, this year we have more defined streams that offer not a snapshot but an in-depth progress report on where we are today.

“The VOA may be a relatively young organisation, but we’re growing every week and attracting members from across the professions and industries, and it’s hugely encouraging to see it so well-received. After all, OA conditions affect the majority of animals we see, and it’s not just about old age or the inevitable development of problems – we feel we can collectively make a real positive difference to their quality of life, which works for them, their owners and us too.”


As last year, there are two sets of rates (and early-bird rates are available until 10th April). VOA member rates (plus VAT) are:

  • Veterinary surgeon: two days £320; one day £180
  • Veterinary nurse/physio: two days £230; one day £140

Non-members (plus VAT):

  • Veterinary surgeon: two days £395; one day £255
  • Veterinary nurse/physio: two days £305; one day £215

Rates include a hot buffet lunch, a comprehensive congress book and CPD certification. In April, tickets to the charity gala dinner will be offered to all delegates on a first-come, first-served basis.

Visit the VOA website to book or download the full programme. To enquire about joining the VOA, email ben@vet-oa.com.

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