Zion National Park, Utah 2023

October 7 - 9, 2023


Geriatrics End of Life – Dr. Mary Gardner
Pain Management- Dr. Sheilah Robertson

THIS MEETING IS SOLD OUT!! Please email jack@vetvacationce.com or Joel@vetvacationce.com to be placed on the wait list, include your cell number.  We do have hotel rooms available at the Holiday Inn.

Zion National Park is a southwest Utah nature preserve distinguished by Zion Canyon’s steep red cliffs. Zion Canyon Scenic Drive cuts through its main section, leading to forest trails along the Virgin River. The river flows to the Emerald Pools, which have waterfalls and a hanging garden. Also along the river, partly through deep chasms, is Zion Narrows wading hike.

Plan Ahead:

If you plan to hike Angel’s Landing the permits are available the day before the hike at https://www.recreation.gov/permits/4675325


October 7, 2023
12:30-1pm REGISTRATION Just outside the Mukuntuweap Room
1-1:50pm Senior vs Geriatric – Where are all the Grey Muzzles? (MG)
2-2:50pm Home Hacks and Practical Care for the Geriatric Dog (MG)
3-3:50pm Home Hacks and Practical Care for the Geriatric Cat (MG)
3:50-4:10pm BREAK AND SNACK
4:10-5pm Old and Older – Here They Come! (SR)
5:10-6pm Purrfecting Your Acute Pain Assessment Skills (SR)

October 8, 2023
8-8:50am Managing Chronic Pain and Mobility Issues in Dogs (SR)
9-9:50am Fatalities, Adverse Events; Accidents in Anesthesia: Can We Do Better? (SR)
10-10:50am The Central Role of Ketamine in Veterinary Anesthesia and Analgesia (SR)
10:50-11:10am BREAK AND SNACK
11:10-12noon Mapping the Euthanasia Appointment I (MG)
12:10-1pm Mapping the Euthanasia Appointment II (MG)

October 9, 2023
8-8:50am Helping Families with Assessing Quality of Life and End of Life Decisions (MG)
9-10:15am When Loving Hurts – Caregiver Burden (MG)
10:15 -10:45am BREAK AND SNACK
10:45-12noon Unravelling Challenges of Assessing & Managing OA in Cats (SR)
12:10-1pm Anesthesia for Brachycephalics (SR)

Out of stock

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Super Saver Rate: $895 with 90 days advanced registration
VetVacationCE Rate: $945 from 89 days to 45 days advanced registration
JetSetter Rate: $995 less than 45 days advanced registration

Technician Discount

If you are a technician, use Coupon Code TECH75 for $75 off the regular registration rate.

RACE approved CE

15 Hours of RACE approved for CE for Veterinarians and Technicians.

Your Destination

Hampton Inn & Suites Springdale and Holiday Inn Express

Hampton Hotel with Red Rocks in the background
Call in: 435-627-9191 Hampton Inn or 435-772-3200 Holiday Inn
Referring Code/Group Name: Group Code VV3 using the online link Group Name VetVacation
Room Rate: $279+ 13.37% tax Free parking and no resort fee

Book early! Rooms are very limited. Rates are available 3 days pre and post based on availability at time of booking. These blocks will sell out fast.
Reservation includes hot breakfast, high-speed internet, and fitness center, views of the towering Red Rocks and the Virgin River. The Hampton Inn is one mile from the Zion National Park entrance with a tram stop in front of hotel and close proximity to Bryce Canyon. The overflow hotel is the Holiday Inn Express and is 0.2 miles from the Hampton Inn. 1 minute by car.
The Holiday Inn has available rooms located at 1215 Zion Park Boulevard, Springdale, UT, US. The meeting will be held at the Hampton Inn.
There is a shuttle from the St. George Airport https://www.stgshuttle.com/zion-national-park-shuttle#:~:text=The%20St%20George%20to%20Zion%20National%20Park%20Shuttle%20offers%20free,our%20Zion%20National%20Park%20Shuttle.

Getting There

McCarran International Airport Las Vegas (LAS)
Distance from Hotel:145 mi.
Drive Time: 2 hr. 46 minutes
St. George Municipal Airport (SGU)
Distance from Hotel: 45 mi.
Drive Time: 55 minutes
Taxi, rental car, limousine service and public bus service are all available from both airports.

Geriatrics and End of Life

Mary Gardner DVM, ABVP

A dynamic and engaging speaker, Dr. Mary Gardner is able to draw on a wide range of career experiences and life lessons to educate and motivate diverse audiences. Her presentations cover a variety of topics, and encourage both professional and personal growth within the veterinary industry and beyond. Ironically, veterinary medicine was not her first career choice.

After graduating from the University of Miami, she began working as a Technical Business Architect for an order and supply chain management software company. Her innate talent for understanding logistics in a client-centric organization developed a unique skill set for a veterinarian. After 10 years in software she found herself longing for something different and more meaningful – the path she selected was to become a veterinarian. She completed her Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine in 2008 from the University of Florida.

After spending two years in general practice, her friend and fellow UF graduate, Dr. Dani McVety, reached out to her about partnering in Lap of Love, which offered end of life services for pets and had been flourishing in the year that she began its service. Together they took the company from one veterinarian in Tampa to over 130 veterinarians around the country.

Dr. Mary leads development for Lap of Love's proprietary web-based practice management software called Sunshine. The program is specifically designed for veterinary hospice and euthanasia services and also dynamically ties to the Lap of Love website to allow families the ability to locate the veterinarian closest to them. Throughout the years, she has also developed The Pet Hospice Journal, an online Quality of Life Assessment program, as well as the first Quality of Life App (Grey Muzzle), both of which are free to the public. She received the Alumni Achievement Award from the University of Florida in 2016 and was voted the veterinarian to watch in 2018 by Fetch/DVM360.

Geriatric medicine, the aging process in animals and teaching family’s practical ways to care and manage their elder pets is Dr. Mary’s passion. Dr. Mary is on the advisory board of The Grey Muzzle Organization as well as Prized Pals.

Presentation Synopsis

1. Senior vs Geriatric – where are all the grey muzzles?
2. Practical Care for the Geriatric Patient
3. Guiding Families and Pets From Long Term Extensive Care to Death
4. Caregiver’s Dilemma - Assessing QOL
5. Mapping the Euthanasia Appointment I
6. Mapping the Euthanasia Appointment II
7. When Caregiving Hurts- Caregiver’s Dilemma
8. “When Loving Hurts – Caregiver Burden"
9. Home Hacks and Practical Care for the Geriatric Dog
10. Home Hacks and Practical Care for the Geriatric Cat
11. Helping Families with Assessing Quality of Life and End of Life Decisons

Pain Management


Dr. Robertson graduated from the University of Glasgow in Scotland. She spent time as a surgery intern followed by specialized training in anesthesia and analgesia including a PhD at Bristol University (United Kingdom). She is board certified in anesthesia and in animal welfare in the USA and Europe and holds a certificate in small animal acupuncture. She has been a faculty member at the University of Saskatchewan, Michigan State University, and the University of Florida. She spent 2 years as an assistant director in the division of Animal Welfare at the American Veterinary Medical Association. In 2014 she completed her graduate certificate in Shelter Medicine at the University of Florida. In 2019 she received her certification as a Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine Palliative and End-of-Life practitioner by the Chi Institute of Chinese Medicine. She has published widely on the recognition and alleviation of acute pain in cats. Currently she is the senior medical director of Lap of Love Veterinary Hospice, a large network of veterinarians dedicated to end-of-life care and in-home euthanasia throughout the USA. Dr Robertson is also a courtesy Professor in the Department of Small Animal Clinical Sciences, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida. She continues to volunteer at community cat clinics and High-Volume High Quality Spay and Neuter Programs.

Presentation Synopsis

1. Old and older – here they come!
2. Purrfecting Your Acute Pain Assessment Skills
3. Is Your Anesthetized Patient in Trouble?
4. Fatalities, Adverse Events and Accidents in Small Animal Anesthesia: Can We Do Better?
5. The Central Role of Ketamine in Veterinary Anesthesia and Analgesia
6. Unravelling the Challenges of Assessing and Managing Osteoarthritis in Cats
7. Anesthesia for Brachycephalics