October 11, 2024


milwaukee county zoo milwaukee, WI 7:30 a.m. – 6 p.m.

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Current members should log in first and then click the button below to begin registration.


You can choose to join the WVMA as part of the registration process. This will reduce your Zoo School admission price to $250, plus you’ll receive ongoing access to all online CE and all other member benefits. 


Meet a variety of species
and learn how the animals’
health and well-being are cared
for up close and personal

This event offers a full day of
5 scientific CE credits, including courses that align with many interests and professional development needs

See all the attractions across
the 190-acre site, home to over 2,300
animals and 314 species with a focus
on education and conservation

Make valuable connections
with peers from various clinics
and backgrounds, expand your
knowledge and have a blast


7:30 a.m. Registration & Breakfast
9 a.m. Animal Experiences
9:30 a.m. Zoo Opens to Public
10 a.m. CE Lectures
11:15 a.m. CE Lectures
12:15 p.m. Lunch
1:30 p.m. CE Lectures
3 p.m. Animal Experiences
3:30 – 6 p.m. Wildlife Wine Down

For more detail, read the April Voice cover story, where WVMA President Dr. Meg Mueller introduces Zoo School and provides insight on our 2024 marquee event.

The June Voice cover story has the latest news, including tracks, course topics, and speakers.


Small Animal

10 a.m. – 11 a.m.

101: Anesthesia Case Studies

101: Drugs, Drugs, and More Drugs—Novel Therapeutic Techniques in Companion Animal Anesthesia and Analgesia Cases

1-hour Lecture • 1.2 scientific credits

This interactive presentation will highlight the newest and most practical, common, yet challenging anesthetic and analgesic drugs and techniques encountered in clinical practice. Topics will include novel and validated pain-scoring systems, innovative advances in clinical techniques and agents, and the most helpful monitoring techniques for specific procedures and species. All veterinary personnel caring for critical patients, including veterinary assistants, veterinary technicians, and veterinarians, will find this session intriguing, informative, and immediately useful.


Becky Johnson, DVM, PhD, DACVAA, Clinical Professor and Research Anesthesiologist, University of Wisconsin-Madison, obtained her DVM degree from the Ohio State University in 1993, completed a residency and MS degree at the University of Wisconsin, and became board-certified in Veterinary Anesthesiology and Pain Management in 1997. In 2002, she completed a PhD in Respiratory Neurophysiology. She’s currently a Research Anesthesiologist and a Clinical Professor of Anesthesia and Pain Management at the University of Wisconsin’s School of Veterinary Medicine. Her interests include advances in anesthetic and analgesic techniques of laboratory animal species, and the effects of opioid and non-opioid analgesics on the gastrointestinal and respiratory systems of companion animals.
102: Juvenile Canine Orthopedics

102: Top Juvenile Orthopedic Issues—Early Diagnosis and Treatment to Optimize Outcomes

1-hour Lecture • 1.2 scientific credits
Sponsored by Midwest Veterinary Specialists

In this session, we’ll talk about the top orthopedic conditions affecting puppies and kittens. Using a case-based approach, we’ll discuss common developmental and traumatic injuries with a focus on early identification and treatment to optimize outcomes.

Michael Dearmin, DVM, DACVS, Board-Certified Small Animal Surgeon, Midwest Veterinary Specialist, earned his DVM in 2000 at UC Davis and proceeded on to an internship at Texas A&M and completed his Small Animal Surgery Residency at the University of Georgia in 2005. Following residency, he entered private practice and has enjoyed helping animals with all manner of surgical problems, but with particular interests in Orthopedics, Minimally Invasive Surgery, and Zoological Surgery.

11:15 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.

201: Emergency Stabilization & Transportation

201: Tips for Success—Emergency Stabilization and Transfer of the Small Animal Patient to Your Local ER

1-hour Lecture • 1.2 scientific credits

This lecture aims to reduce the stress of the most common emergency situations in small animal medicine. No longer fear the CHF cat or the GDV dog! We’ll go over quick diagnostics, stabilization with commonly found supplies in general practice, prognosis, and methods for a seamless transition of care to your local emergency and/or specialty and referral hospital.

Sarah Vuolo, DVM, DACVECC, Veterinary Criticalist at WVRC (Waukesha), Ethos Veterinary Health, received her DVM from the University of Illinois and completed an internship at VCA Aurora before moving to Wisconsin. She worked as an emergency doctor before completing an emergency and critical care residency at the Fox Valley Animal Referral Center in Appleton. She works at WVRC in Waukesha with a diverse and talented group of DVMs, technicians, and assistants, providing 24/7 care for critical ICU patients. She heads up the blood donor program, enjoys teaching, and provides educational outreach to the referring community. She enjoys running, skiing, and hanging out with her husband, children, and yellow labrador in her rare free time.
202: Orthopedic Rehabilitation

202: Small-Animal Rehabilitation—Optimizing the Peri-Operative Experience

1-hour Lecture • 1.2 scientific credits

This presentation will provide an overview of the principles of rehabilitation and the framework for progressing patients through a rehabilitation program. Orthopedic and neurologic case examples will be provided with differences in peri-operative and conservative management highlighted. Participants will gain tools to manage pain and mobility in a variety of patients.

Molly Hopp, DVM, CVA, CCRT, Wisconsin Veterinary Referral Center by Ethos,
established the Integrative Medicine service at Wisconsin Veterinary Referral Center’s Waukesha and Racine locations and works part-time in emergency medicine. She’s a 2017 UW-Madison School of Veterinary Medicine graduate, certified in Veterinary Acupuncture from Chi University since 2018, and a Certified Canine Rehabilitation Therapist through the Canine Rehabilitation Institute since 2022. She especially loves working with geriatric patients with multiple comorbidities.

1:30 – 2:30 p.m.

301: Toxicology Trends & Updates

301: Tox Trends—Emerging Toxins and Updates in Clinical Veterinary Toxicology

1-hour Lecture • 1.2 scientific credits

Focused on clinically relevant toxicology, this one-hour session will cover the toxic syndromes on the rise in companion animals and share new information and therapies used to manage exposed patients. We’ll discuss psychedelic mushrooms, delta-8 THC, oclacitinib, illicit xylazine, and more. The second half of the session will highlight extracorporeal elimination, grape and raisin exposures, and ropinirole use.

Renee Tourdot, DVM, DABT, DABVT Associate Director, Quality Assurance & Protocol Management ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center, serves as the Associate Director of Quality Assurance and Protocol Management for the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center. She earned her DVM from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2009 and completed an internship in small animal medicine and surgery before starting her career in emergency medicine and toxicology. She became a Diplomate of the American Board of Toxicology in 2019 and a Diplomate of the American Board of Veterinary Toxicology in 2021. In addition to teaching veterinary professionals, Dr. Tourdot has authored numerous textbook chapters and online publications. A strong advocate for treating the patient, not the poison, Dr. Tourdot is proud to be a reliable resource for veterinary medical professionals in the trenches. When the toxicologist hat comes off, she enjoys volunteering as a Master Gardener, sewing her wardrobe, and lounging on a sunny patio with her furry family.
302: Canine & Feline Vaccines

302: Vaccine Refresher for Small Animal Practices

1-hour Lecture • 1.2 scientific credits

Vaccines are a daily part of most small animal veterinary practices, but do you remember how they work? Immunology class may have been a long time ago, so let’s brush off the dust! A good understanding of mechanisms of action will help you use vaccines appropriately and communicate associated risks and benefits with your clients. This talk will focus on the WHYs and HOWs of vaccinology, using case scenarios and data gathered from the field.

Laurie Larson, DVM, Director CAVIDS Laboratory, UW-Madison School of Veterinary Medicine, has over 30 years of experience studying veterinary vaccines, infectious disease, and immune responses. She’s currently an instructor of immunology at UW-Madison SVM and the director of a fee-for-service titer testing laboratory (CAVIDS Lab). On most days, you’ll find her deep into a science experiment, leading a discussion in the classroom, consulting about a disease outbreak in a breeding kennel, or developing a study for an industry partner. She lives in Madison, where she gardens, hikes, and makes music with friends. She’s never been to the Milwaukee Zoo in all these years—until today!

Food Animal

10 a.m. – 11 a.m.

103: DairyComp Tips & Tricks

103: DC305—Tips for the Dairy Practitioner

1-hour Lecture • 1.2 scientific credits
Sponsored by ProAGtive Dairy Nutrition

This session will cover practical applications of dairycomp305 to improve the insight and understanding you can deliver at your herd health visits. Topics will include protocol management, reproduction, transition health, milk quality, and culling/inventory. Tips will range from basic to advanced, and suggested commands will be provided for use in the field.

Dr Scott Earnest, Director of Technical Services, ProAGtive Dairy Nutrition,
 is a dairy veterinarian and Director of Technical Services with ProAGtive Dairy Nutrition. He holds a doctorate of veterinary medicine from UW Madison and a bachelor’s degree from University of California Berkeley. His family roots are in Maine, but Lodi, Wisconsin, has been home since 2014. His professional interests include records analysis and management consulting, farm employee training and communication, protocol development and review, and calf care and milk quality. Outside of work, Dr. Earnest enjoys woodworking and time outdoors with his wife and sons, Carter and Camden.

11:15 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.

203: WVDL Diagnostic Trends

203: Food Animal—Diagnostic Trends at the WVDL

1-hour Lecture • 1.2 scientific credits

This session will provide a review of pathogens seen in Food Animal Production Medicine and the different ancillary testing modalities used for screening and/or disease diagnosis. We’ll discuss past and present testing and how the submitting veterinarian utilizes this information. We’ll also take a look at what’s in store for the future of testing.

Ryan Breuer DVM, DACVIM- LAIM, Diagnostic Case and Outreach Coordinator (WVDL) & Clinical Assistant Professor of Large Animal Internal Medicine (UW-SVM),
holds a dual appointment at the University of Wisconsin-Madison: He’s a Clinical Assistant Professor of Large Animal Internal Medicine at the UW School of Veterinary Medicine (UW-SVM) and a Diagnostic Case & Outreach Coordinator at the Wisconsin Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory (WVDL). As part of his commitment to UW-SVM, Dr. Breuer is actively involved in the didactic, laboratory, and clinical instruction of veterinary students in large animal internal medicine and food animal production medicine (FAPM). His teaching interests are in clinical large animal internal medicine, small ruminant medicine, concepts of AVMA-approved humane euthanasia for large animal species, herd health investigations, and diagnostic/infectious disease consultation.

1:30 – 2:30 p.m.

303: Beef on Dairy Heifer Management

303: Beef on Dairy—Managing Heifer Inventories

1-hour Lab • 1.2 scientific credits
Sponsored by CentralStar

This presentation will highlight the benefits of team-focused collaboration with genetic companies to assist producers in creating the ideal number of heifer replacements. We’ll discuss genetic strategies to maximize genetic progress and herd health using a sexed and beef focus. We’ll provide tools to calculate the precise number of tagged heifer calves each month on the farm. We’ll share tips for reducing heifer-raising costs and expanding beef on dairy revenues. And we’ll show producers how to work together to establish the long-term value of beef on dairy calves.

Susie Martin, Regional Consulting Manager, CentralStar Cooperative, is a Regional Consulting Manager on the CentralStar/Select Sires team. Her main role is to assist producers and CentralStar teams in developing genetic strategies to achieve successful and profitable herds. Utilizing various tools, she helps control heifer replacement inventories, genetic recessives, haplotypes, and inbreeding levels. For over two decades, Susie negotiated and secured the procurement of genetically superior bulls for worldwide markets. With hands-on experience as a Holstein genetic program manager and sire analyst, she’s well-versed in genetic programs and evaluations. She has a passion and deep understanding of the dairy industry, a strong farm background, and working relationships with dairy customers, veterinarians, nutritionists, and sales teams around the world. Susie grew up on a dairy farm in southern Minnesota and earned her degree in Diary Science from the University of Minnesota. She’s been in the dairy industry for thirty-five-plus years and lives near Madison, Wisconsin.


10 a.m. – 11 a.m.

104: Interpreting Blood Work

104: Equine Practitioners—Interpreting Blood Work Using Case Examples

1-hour Lecture • 1.2 scientific credits

Using case examples, this presentation will highlight the usefulness, and pitfalls, of bloodwork in the diagnostic work-up of equine adults and foals when physical examination alone does not clarify a diagnosis. Emphasis will be placed on case material likely to be seen in ambulatory rather than referral practice.

Simon Peek BVSc, PhD, MRCVS, DACVIM, Clinical Professor of Medicine, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Wisconsin-Madison, originally from Suffolk in South-East England, Dr. Peek received his veterinary degree from the University of Bristol in England. He was in private large-animal practice in Southwest England before moving to the College of Veterinary Medicine at Cornell University in New York in 1991. He remained at Cornell from 1991 to 1998, initially as a resident in ambulatory medicine, then in large animal internal medicine before completing a PhD in viral hepatitis. In the fall of 1998, Dr. Peek left Cornell to take up a faculty position at the University of Wisconsin in Madison, where he has been ever since. Dr. Peek is a member of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons in the United Kingdom and a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine. He’s currently a Clinical Professor and Section Head of Large Animal Internal Medicine, Theriogenology, and Infectious Diseases at the University of Wisconsin School of Veterinary Medicine.

11:15 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.

204: Leveraging Clinical Pathology Consultation

204: Maximizing Clinical Pathology Consultation in Equine Practice

1-hour Lecture • 1.2 scientific credits
Sponsored by Zoetis

Through a series of case examples, this session will demonstrate when and how a clinical pathology consultation provides the greatest value to your practice. We’ll share which types of samples to submit for common clinical presentations and diagnostically challenging cases. We’ll look at tips for ensuring the submission of high-quality samples, with a focus on how to prepare in-clinic fluid cytology and hematology slides. We’ll review common mistakes and how to avoid frustrating “non-diagnostic” results. We’ll discuss nuances of what you can expect from a clinical pathologist’s report and how to prepare for the next steps.

Ashley Parsley, DVM, DACVP (Clinical Pathology), Clinical Pathologist, Zoetis, earned her DVM from Purdue University. After graduation, she completed an equine medicine and surgery internship at the University of Illinois and a clinical pathology residency at North Carolina State University. She is passionate about equine medicine and specializes in equine diagnostics, including cytology, hematology, and other laboratory modalities.

1:30 – 2:30 p.m.

304: Cytology of Masses

304: Equine Masses—When is Cytology Helpful?

1-hour Lecture • 1.2 scientific credits
Sponsored by Zoetis

Using case examples, this session will provide applicable knowledge of when cytology is appropriate for the assessment of equine masses. Emphasis will be on clinical identification of suitable cases for cytologic evaluation, selection of appropriate sampling techniques for successful assessment, and results you and your client can expect from the report. We’ll also consider the limitations of cytology, possible next steps to prepare owners for, and tips to ensure you’re getting the most from each submission.

Ashley Parsley, DVM, DACVP (Clinical Pathology), Clinical Pathologist, Zoetis, earned her DVM from Purdue University. After graduation, she completed an equine medicine and surgery internship at the University of Illinois and a clinical pathology residency at North Carolina State University. She is passionate about equine medicine and specializes in equine diagnostics, including cytology, hematology, and other laboratory modalities.


Small Animal, Large Animal, and Equine CE tracks are bookended by two of these animal experiences.  

Witness the impressive outdoor routine of African elephants as they engage in staff-led activities that maintain their health and well-being. Learn about the daily care routines and husbandry practices of these majestically massive creatures, as well as their social dynamics and natural behaviors. The training wall allows an up-close experience from the safety of a covered pavilion.

Observe the graceful movements of the tallest land animals in the world from the indoor giraffe enclosure. Listen as the zookeeper provides a deeper understanding of the everyday lives, adaptations, husbandry practices, and daily care routines of these gentle giants.

Learn about the fascinating worlds of Gentoo and Rockhopper Penguins. These flightless beauties native to South America’s coastal regions exhibit playful antics and endearing personalities. Hear how distinctive black and white plumage serves as camouflage from predators while hunting fish and squid, and how their wings serve as flippers to propel their streamlined bodies forward in the water.

Tending to the physical health and overall well-being of every animal in the zoo is a demanding but rewarding job for the Animal Health Center staff. With a focus on preventive medicine, this team cares for a collection of unique animals, each with individual health needs. This is your chance to get a private tour and in-depth look at the quarantine and treatment spaces where this specialized care is provided.

Get an inside look at a feeding and training session for lions or hyenas. Zoo staff share details about the power of these magnificent predators. Hear the vital role of training and how it complements natural instincts when providing daily care. View enrichment activities that give the big cats space and freedom to do what comes naturally.

Caring for marine mammals presents a whole new set of challenges than those of the zoo’s land-dwelling cohorts. The animal care staff will share interesting facts about the harbor seals, including behaviors, diet, and care routines, during a training session that offers a unique glimpse into the daily lives of these intelligent creatures.

View the underwater world of the Amazon Basin from above the indoor environment tank. The zookeeper will discuss the intricacies of this rich ecosystem, sharing insights into the lives and husbandry practices of the various species. During a fish feed, learn about the behaviors, dietary preferences, and conservation efforts aimed to preserve biodiversity.

Swing into the world of these fascinating primates in a naturalized outdoor habitat while hearing about their intricate matriarchal social structures, unique behaviors, adaptability, and intelligence. Learn the importance of conservation efforts in place to protect the many endangered macaque species. And meet the staff on the overlook deck to observe a macaque enrichment opportunity.

Go behind the scenes of an immersive tank exhibit replicating the vibrant underwater world of Wisconsin’s lakes. Amidst the gently swaying aquatic vegetation and rocky outcrops is a diverse array of fish species. Learn about the importance of preserving these delicate habitats and the role each species plays in maintaining the health of Wisconsin waters.

Inca terns, seabirds native to the Pacific coast of South America, are known for their striking appearance, with black and white plumage, red bills, and distinctive white mustaches. Inca terns primarily feed on small fish skillfully caught by diving from the air. Assist with supplying food to the Inca terns during this private session in the indoor aviary.

Visit the serene surroundings of the outdoor flamingo habitat as the knowledgeable staff shares engaging commentary on the lives and care of these beautiful residents. Hear about their social behavior, diet, and healthcare needs, and gain a deeper understanding of these captivating creatures and their importance to the ecosystem.

Housing a variety of breeds, the Milwaukee County Zoo Dairy has won multiple awards over its 37 years, including milk quality and high achievement awards from DATCP. The dairy scored 100% on its last federal inspection, ranking in the top 3–5% of Wisconsin dairy farms. Observe the milking process as the staff addresses dairy production and the cows’ well-being.


Breakfast at 7:30 a.m.

Pastries, fruit, and coffee are available in the Peck Center after you register for the day’s activities.

Lunch at 12:15 p.m.

A variety of fresh, grab-and-go boxed sandwich options. Walk the zoo while you eat to maximize your animal time.


Coffee and zoo snacks will be available all day to keep you fueled through your lectures, wildlife encounters, and peer connections.


Join us from 3:30 – 6 p.m. in the Peck Center.

When the afternoon CE sessions wrap up, join the zookeepers for a second up-close animal experience before ending the day with our social hour, The Wildlife Wine Down.

The Wildlife Wine Down begins as the Zoo closes to the public and will feature light snacks, music, sponsor giveaways, and onsite Ambassador Animals.

Ambassador Animals are friendly, specially trained zoo residents ready to get up close and personal with visitors to support education and conservation goals.


Questions? Call 608-257-3665 or email wvma@wvma.org.

Milwaukee County Zoo, Milwaukee, WI

Dates: Friday, October 11, 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Address: 10001 W. Bluemound Road, Milwaukee, WI 53226 

Parking and Entry: Zoo School attendees can park in Lot #1 and will arrive before the zoo officially opens. Please let the person at the gate know you are there for the WVMA event. Once parked, enter at the front doors and register at the WVMA table in the lobby.

Thank you to our Event Partner


Reservations made outside of the block will be charged at a higher rate.

Renaissance Milwaukee West Hotel
2.8 miles from Zoo

October 10 – 12
Standard King $179

Call 414-771-2300, ask for WVMA room block
or book HERE until Sept. 11

2300 North Mayfair Road
Wauwatosa, WI, 53226

Sonesta Milwaukee West Wauwatosa
1.8 miles from Zoo

October 10 – 12
Standard King $99, Two Queens $109
Complimentary shuttle to the zoo from 8am-5pm

Call 414-475-9500, ask for WVMA room block
or book HERE until Sept. 12 at 5 pm

10499 Innovation Drive
Wauwatosa, WI 53226

Holiday Inn Express & Suites Milwaukee
(West Allis)

2.8 miles from Zoo

October 10 – 12
Standard King or Two Queens $119
Breakfast included

Call 414-327-2200, ask for WVMA room block
or book HERE until Sept. 9

10111 West Lincoln Avenue
West Allis, WI 53227