Pre-Registration Closed-Onsite Registration Will Be Available

Small Animal I Speakers

Mollie Mesman


Sponsored by

Friday, March 1

  •  I’m All Ears: Diagnosis and Management of Canine Otitis Externa

  • It Looks Like Allergies But It’s Not: Conditions That May Mimic Hypersensitivity Disorders

  • Cases That Make You Scratch Your Head: Feline Dermatology

Dr. Mollie Mesman earned a bachelor’s degree from Louisiana State University in 2007, followed by a DVM degree from the LSU School of Veterinary Medicine in 2012. After a small animal rotating internship at Auburn University College of Veterinary Medicine, Dr. Mesman then went on to complete her dermatology residency with the Animal Dermatology Clinic in Marina del Rey, California, from 2013-2016. She obtained Diplomate status with the American College of Veterinary Dermatology (ACVD) in November 2016.

As a board-certified veterinary dermatologist, Dr. Mesman started a dermatology referral service in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. In 2019 she moved to Greenville, South Carolina, and joined Southeast Veterinary Dermatology which became Animal Dermatology Clinic in 2022.

Dr. Mesman loves all things dermatology. She is wife to a veterinary internist and mother to four children, a Rat terrier, an itchy and allergic Pug, two kittens and eight chickens.

Kevin Benjamino


Sponsored by

Friday, March 1

  •  Minimally Invasive Techniques in Soft Tissue Surgery

  • Managing Urinary Tract Emergencies

  • Urethrostomies: Tips and Tricks to a Successful Procedure

  • Gastrointestinal Surgery: From Biopsy to Resection

Kevin P. Benjamino, DVM, DACVS-SA, is a Board-certified Veterinary Surgeon at MedVet Columbus where he has been part of the medical team since 2017. Dr. Benjamino attended Purdue University and earned a Bachelor of Science degree before going on to earn his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from The Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine. Following his graduation from veterinary school, Dr. Benjamino completed a yearlong internship in small animal medicine and surgery at Michigan Veterinary Specialists as well as a yearlong internship in small animal surgery at Gulf Coast Veterinary Specialists. Additionally, Dr. Benjamino completed a three-year surgical residency at MedVet Columbus, which led to his board certification as a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Surgeons in 2012.

While Dr. Kevin Benjamino maintains an interest in all aspects of small animal surgery, he is particularly passionate about orthopedic and soft tissue surgical procedures, including minimally invasive procedures, fracture repair, joint related surgery including arthroplasties, wound management, skin reconstruction, laparoscopy, thoracoscopy, and abdominal and thoracic procedures. In addition to his clinical endeavors, Dr. Kevin Benjamino has published scientific articles on implants, pharyngeal mucoceles, and osteosarcoma.

Dr. Benjamino’s favorite part about being a veterinarian is having the opportunity to not only help patients, but also to improve the lives of their owners and families. When not caring for patients, Dr. Benjamino enjoys spending time with his family including his wife, daughter, three dogs, and three cats.

Amy Pike


Friday, February 10

  •  Feline Inappropriate Elimination-Forget the Litter Box and Focus on the Felines

Dr. Pike is a native Arizonan and graduated from Colorado State University’s school of veterinary medicine in 2003.  Working as an Army veterinarian after graduation and taking care of the Military Working Dogs returning from deployment spurred her interests in behavior medicine. Dr. Pike completed a Residency program and became board certified in 2015. She is owner of the Animal Behavior Wellness Center and was recently named one of the “Top Veterinarians of Northern Virginia” by NoVa Magazine for the sixth year in a row.

Dr. Pike speaks all over the world about veterinary behavior medicine, she has been published in numerous veterinary journals, she has conducted and published two scientific research studies, and is a contributing author in five clinical text books. She mentors 4 clinical behavior residents and is a clinical instructor for E-training for dogs and the Masters Program in Applied Animal Behavior at Virginia Tech.

Michael Jaffe


Friday, February 10

  • Canine Rehabilitation for the Small Animal Practitioner

Dr. Michael Jaffe is a 1991 graduate of the University of Missouri College of Veterinary Medicine. He completed a 1-year companion animal internship and a 3-year small animal surgery residency at LSU-SVM where he also received his Master’s degree.

Dr. Jaffe practiced for 17 years in specialty surgical practice in Michigan and Arizona. He was also part of the founding faculty at Midwestern University College of Veterinary Medicine and remained on faculty for 4 years. Dr. Jaffe is currently an Associate Professor and Service Chief of Small Animal Surgery at Mississippi State University CVM.

Dr. Jaffe earned his CCRP from University of Tennessee in 2017 and became a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Surgeons in 2002.

Christopher Byers


Sponsored by

Saturday, March 2

  • Practical Approach to Shock

  • Localizing Dyspnea in Cats & Dogs

  • Practical Approach to the Acute Abdomen

  • Acute Pancreatitis-Diagnosis and Management

  • Practical Management of Feline Urethral Obstruction

  • Practical Management of Immune Mediated Hemolytic Anemia

Dr. Christopher G. Byers is a board-certified veterinary emergency & critical care and small animal internal medicine specialist, as well as a certified veterinary journalist, based in Omaha, Nebraska. He received his Bachelor of Science degree as a University Honors Scholar in Animal Sciences from Colorado State University and his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from Cornell University. Dr. Byers works as a teleconsultant in emergency/critical care and small animal internal medicine for VetCT. He is the Co-Editor of the textbook, Feline Emergency & Critical Care Medicine and the upcoming textbook, Canine Emergency & Critical Care Medicine. He has published chapters and articles in numerous textbooks and peer-reviewed medical journals. Dr. Byers also publishes a blog called with goals to educate pet owners and promote the triad of care.

Mark Epstein


Sponsored by

Saturday, March 2

  • Have the Nerve: LocoRegional Anesthesia

Dr. Epstein received his DVM from University of Georgia and is the Senior Partner and Medical Director of TotalBond Veterinary Hospitals, a small group of AAHA-accredited practices in the Charlotte & Gastonia NC. He is a Diplomate of the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners (Canine/Feline) and is a past-president of ABVP. He is certified by the Academy of Integrative Pain Management (AIPM), is recognized as a Certified Veterinary Pain Practitioner (CVPP) by the International Veterinary Academy of Pain Management, and is a past-president of IVAPM; he is currently President of the IVAPM Research & Scholarship Foundation. Dr. Epstein chaired the AAHA Senior Care Guidelines Task Force and co-Chaired the 2015 AAHA/AAFP Pain Management Guidelines Task Force. He is a recipient of the 2022 Viticus Small Animal Educator of the Year Award.

Jennifer Sones


Sunday, March 3

  • Canine Prostate Disease

  • Semen Collection & Cryopreservation in Dogs

  • Canine Progesterone in Practice

  • Pregnancy Monitoring & C-Section Timing in Bitches

I received my Bachelor of Science in 2004 and Doctor of Veterinary of Medicine degree in 2008, both from Louisiana State University. After a year in private practice at Delta Equine Center in Vinton, LA, I moved to upstate New York to continue my advanced training in Theriogenology. At Cornell University, I received a PhD in reproductive physiology and genomics, completed an NIH postdoctoral fellowship in equine reproductive immunology and residency training in comparative Theriogenology. There I investigated the equine trophoblast transcriptome and identified novel genes involved in equine implantation and placentation. This resulted in the identification of a key transcription factor that regulates trophoblast invasion and migration in the horse but is also required for human pregnancy. Following on that, my PhD studies identified early pregnancy origins of preeclampsia and fetal growth restriction in a mouse model. I achieved board certification with the American College of Theriogenologists in 2016 and stay involved with training future theriogenologists as a faculty member at Louisiana State University School of Veterinary Medicine as an Associate Professor of Theriogenology, where I have been for the past 7 years. Besides being a clinician, I have established an independent research program investigating mechanisms of pregnancy maintenance in the horse and mouse model organisms as translational biomedical research funded by the Theriogenology Foundation, National Academy of Medicine, and the National Institutes of Health.

Cynthia Ward


Sponsored by

Sunday, March 3

  • New Options for Diabetic Therapy I

  • New Options for Diabetic Therapy II

Dr. Cynthia Ward received her VMD and PhD degrees from the University of Pennsylvania. She completed residency training at the Veterinary Teaching Hospital at the University of Pennsylvania in small animal internal medicine and a reproductive endocrinology fellowship at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. She was on faculty at the University of Pennsylvania and the University of Georgia. Dr. Ward has been honored by numerous teaching awards and was named the Josiah Meigs Distinguished Teaching Professor of Internal Medicine at the University of Georgia. She achieved Emerita status in 2021. Dr. Ward is the founder and Director Emerita of the UGA Veterinary Diabetes Clinic. She has authored numerous journal articles, book chapters, and research abstracts. Dr. Ward is a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine (small animal internal medicine).

Program Subject to Change