February 2021 Module

February 21st Virtual Program

The American College of Veterinary Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation is pleased to present our annual continuing education program virtually! While we all miss the collegiality of an in-person meeting, ACVSMR remains dedicated to providing high-quality educational programs on important topics in sports medicine and rehabilitation as well as fostering research in the specialty.

* These programs has been approved for continuing education credit in jurisdictions that recognize RACE approval for attendees who participated in the live sessions.

Advancements in Needle Arthroscopy, Why You Should Consider Having One in Your Practice


Recent advancements in needle arthroscopy (NA) technology has improved image quality and ease of use, making NA a realistic patient side diagnostic and therapeutic tool. In this lecture, the key benefits of needle arthroscopy will be discussed along with indications and protocols in the canine patient.

The Cardiovascular System and Poor Performance in Horses: What Is the Evidence?

Virginia Reef, DVM, DACVIM, DACVSMR, Associate member ECVDI

While musculoskeletal and respiratory disease are the most common causes of poor performance, cardiovascular disease must also be considered in horses with poor performance. In many cases, the cause of poor performance in horses is multifactorial. Dr. Reef will discuss how cardiac arrhythmias, myocardial function, valvular regurgitation, shunts and peripheral vascular disease can affect performance in horses.

Research Deconstructed: The Critical Evaluation of Peer Reviewed Research

Benjamin Ahern BVSc, DACVS-LA, DACVSMR

The critical evaluation of published literature can be elusive and very difficult to achieve consistently. However, it is something that is extremely important to strive for as a clinician because what you accept or reject from the literature will affect your patients health and your reputation. Critical evaluation requires us to put aside preconceptions and hubris and evaluate the literature objectively. This can be hard, as a resident I remember presenting articles that I thought were really good only to be howled down by faculty on occasion because of my lack of historical knowledge and perspective (among other reasons). This was often due to my lack of experience. This short talk will explore what I now understand about how things get into the literature and how I try to judge what is valuable and what is publishing “noise”. Finally, when do I choose to apply things I have read in the literature into practice and why?

Tendinopathic Evaluation: Taking It to the Next Level

Sherry A. Johnson, DVM, MS, DACVSMR

This lecture will review various stall-side and advanced imaging modalities available to assess the spectrum of tendon healing. Literature micro-bursts will be utilized to review recent scientific advancements for various modalities including contrast-enhanced computed tomography, elastography and doppler evaluation.

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Featured Speakers

Dr. Peter Lotsikas


Dr. Peter Lotsikas is board certified by the American College of Veterinary Surgeons and the American College of Veterinary Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation. Dr. Lotsikas graduated with a BS degree in Biology from Virginia Tech and a DVM degree from the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine. He then completed a general small animal internship at Kansas State University, followed by a surgical internship at the Dallas Veterinary Surgical Center. He received his formal surgical residency training at Iowa State University.

Dr.  Peter Lotsikas founded Skylos Sports Medicine with locations in Frederick and Woodstock, Maryland. His practice specializes solely in orthopedic surgery, sports medicine, and the rehabilitation of performance and working dogs, as well as companion animals. Dr. Lotsikas serves as a veterinary surgical consultant for Arthrex Vet Systems and BioMedtrix. He is a national instructor in arthroscopy and minimally invasive surgery, as well as joint resurfacing and joint replacement. Dr. Lotsikas is very active in the continuing education of other veterinary surgeons and has presented at every major veterinary surgery meeting in the United States.

Dr. Virginia Reef

DVM, DACVIM, DACVSMR, Associate member ECVDI

Dr. Virginia Reef, a 1979 graduate of The Ohio State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine, completed a rotating internship in large animal medicine and surgery, and a residency in large animal medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. She became a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine. Dr. Reef subsequently became the Director of the Large Animal Cardiology and Ultrasound Service. Shortly thereafter she was instrumental in establishing the Section of Sports Medicine and Imaging at New Bolton Center and was the Chief of that Section for over 20 years. Dr. Reef has worked on the faculty at Penn for the past 30 years, advancing through the ranks of assistant, associate, and full professor. She has trained the majority of academics focusing on equine cardiology and ultrasonography in the United States, as well as many individuals in private practice and overseas. She was granted a prestigious endowed chair at Penn and currently serves as the Mark Whittier and Lila Griswold Allam Professor of Medicine. She is one of the charter diplomates of the American College of Veterinary Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation and is a large animal associate member of the European College of Veterinary Diagnostic Imaging. In addition to numerous original publications, she is the author and editor of a standard textbook on equine diagnostic imaging, “Equine Diagnostic Ultrasound” and was the chair of the ACVIM/ECEIM Consensus statement “Recommendations for Management of Equine Athletes with Cardiovascular Abnormalities”.  Dr. Reef received a Distinguished Alumnus award from The Ohio State University in 2005, the 2013 ACVIM Robert W. Kirk award, the 2015 American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP) distinguished educator award (Academic division), a doctor “honaris causa” from Ghent University in 2016 and the Frank J. Milne State-of-the-Art lecturer in 2018. She became an honorary diplomate of the ACVIM College of Cardiology (2019).

Dr. Benjamin Ahern


Dr. Ahern is a specialist in equine surgery and is board certified by the American College of Veterinary Surgeons and the American College of Veterinary Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation. He has authored multiple book chapters and has published on a wide range of topics ranging from orthopedics and lameness, to novel tie-back procedures and stem cell therapies. He is an associate professor at the University of Queensland and works in the equine specialist hospital.

Dr. Sherry A. Johnson


Dr. Sherry Johnson attended veterinary school at Iowa State University, completed an equine internship at Equine Medical Center of Ocala and then completed a one-year equine diagnostic imaging fellowship at Colorado State University. She then transitioned into the collaborative Equine Sports Medicine & Rehabilitation residency program through Colorado State University and Equine Sports Medicine, LLC. Following her residency training, she became a Diplomat of the American College of Veterinary Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation (DACVSMR) in 2019. She then transitioned into a PhD program at Colorado State University with specific research focus on novel rehabilitation modalities related to tendon healing. Dr. Johnson is the recipient of the American Quarter Horse Foundation Young Investigator Award (2018), named the EQUUS Foundation Research Fellow (2019), and was most recently granted the Storm Cat Career Development Award (2020) and Iowa State University’s 2020 Young Alumni Award. Additionally, she is a co-founder of Equine CORE, Inc. (eCORE, specialist equine telerehabilitation) and a partner & managing rehabilitation veterinarian of Equine Sports Medicine & Rehabilitation, LLC (ESMR).