Animal Lovers Lecture Series answers questions about pets

Animal Lovers

Whether you’d like your cat to stop eating toilet paper, or want to know why it’s important to keep Fido’s teeth sparkling clean, the School of Veterinary Medicine’s Animal Lovers Lecture Series is designed to answer questions you have about your furry family members.

The free talks, open to the public and held approximately once a month, aim “to serve the community and build awareness of Penn Vet, especially our specialty areas,” says series organizer Mary Berger, the school’s director of annual giving and advancement services.

The 2012 lecture series kicks off Sunday, Feb. 12, with John R. Lewis, an assistant professor of dentistry and oral surgery at Penn Vet, discussing “Dental and Oral Health for Your Pet.” The event takes place at the Dog Training Club of Chester County; other lectures will be held at Penn Vet facilities in Philadelphia and the New Bolton Center in Kennett Square, as well as other locations in the region.

Additional talks will cover topics including cat behavior, skin and allergy conditions in pets, and canine epilepsy.

Some of the most well-attended lectures have addressed improving pet behavior. Last year, roughly 70 people turned out for a talk by Penn Vet’s Cynthia Otto on the emotional health of dogs, during which Otto brought her own dog to act out some of the lessons she wanted to impart.

The events are popular, says Berger, because they provide attendees with accessibility to leading experts.

“All of our sessions have a question-and-answer period so it actually gives you an opportunity to ask a specific question to that expert right there in the room,” she explains.  “I think people walk away with some really valuable tips.”

Moreover, the interaction between vets and pet owners during the lectures can be less emotionally charged than one-on-one meetings at the vet’s offices. “It’s a different setting because they’re not as stressed as when they come to the hospital because their loved one is sick,” says Meryl Littman, an associate professor of medicine at Penn Vet. “This is a time to be more objective about broad topics and get information out there before a question needs to be answered.”

Pre-registration is suggested. Sign up in advance by visiting the Penn Vet website or calling 215-898-1480.

Originally published on February 2, 2012