EWDA lecture event in Austria, June 2017

On June 8th, another Wildlife Disease Lecture Event was organized in Vienna by:

  • Sinan Julian Keleş, EWDA Student Chapter Country Representative Austria
  • AVE, Akademikergruppe Veterinärmedizin

Please find the report by Julian Keleş below:

“Two weeks ago I attended the Zoo and Wildlife Health Conference in Berlin, Germany. On the welcome evening at the Berlin Aquarium, I spotted Dr.Thompson, whom I had met about two years ago on an IVSA (International Veterinary Students Association) Exchange at Purdue University’s College of Veterinary Medicine. He was at the Conference with seven of his vet-students and he told me about his plans for the next two weeks, taking ten total students to the vet schools in Brno (Czech Republic), Vienna (Austria) and Budapest (Hungary) including an International Symposium on Viral Diseases in Lower Vertebrates, getting them as much exotic pet, zoo, and conservation experience as possible.
Lucky us, we were able to also get him as a speaker for an EWDA lecture event on their last day in Vienna.

On short notice, we still organized a „seminar-room“ thanks to the Viennese University Clinic for poulty and fish medicine.
Snacks were sponsored by Dr. Thompson and drinks by AVE and we had a successful Wildlife Disease Lecture Event with about 25 national and international vet and wildlife ecology students and included several researchers from our faculty.

We started the event with a short presentation on the Wildlife Disease Association, EWDA and the student chapters.


His topic was Veterinary Roles and Research in Conservation and Wildlife Medicine and he covered a wide range of wildlife aspects during 120 minutes. He began with how tax donations, banquet and stamp fundraising efforts, and ammunition and gun sales contribute to Conservation funding in the USA and North America.
Dr.Thompson shared information on a bovine tuberculosis concern in Michigan’s free ranging white tail deer in hunting areas close to Lake Huron, part of a poster abstract he also presented at the Berlin meeting.

He gave us great insight into one of his early projects with peregrine falcons when he was still a veterinary student at The Ohio State University. These falcon population declined in numbers due to being at the top of the food chain while a pesticide called „dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane = DDT“, was being used. High concentrations of a DDT metabolite prevented normal calcium production causing thin eggshells that would easily break under the parent’s weight during incubation. Urban falcon programs involved hacking out young on the top of city skyscrapers where they would learn to prey on city pigeons.


He also introduced us to Purdue projects working with sea otters and river otters, including immobilization, capture, transport and different procedures and difficulties that had to be overcome and dealt with in order to collect data and to successfully reintroduce more than 300 individuals back into Indiana rivers.

His final interesting topic was the capture, handling and radio tracking of timber rattlesnakes expanding on his veterinary presentation from Berlin and his upcoming publication in the July edition of Journal of Wildlife Diseases.

vien5As a country representative I am very happy that we could get Dr. Steve Thompson as a speaker about Veterinary Roles and Research in Conservation and Wildlife Medicine for our latest Wildlife Disease Lecture Event in Vienna.
It is impressive to see how a small animal clinician can contribute to saving species in the wild. Thanks for your talk Dr.T!”


Dr. Steve Thompson, DVM, DABVP (certified in canine and feline practice) is a clinical associate professor at Purdue University’s College of Veterinary Medicine, located in West Lafayette, Indiana, USA. He is head of the Pet Wellness initiative at Purdue, where he sees primary care dog, cat and exotic pet cases daily in addition to referral cases needing exotic pet, zoo or wildlife care, small animal dentistry and dog breeder genetic improvement. He served on the American Animal Hospital Association task force that published the Canine Life Stage Guidelines in 2012 and was the chairperson and host for the Primary Care Veterinary Educators inaugural World Symposium in 2013. He has presented Feline, Canine and Exotic/Wildlife topics internationally in the Czech Republic, Austria, Japan and Canada as well as at this summer’s Zoo and Wildlife Health Conference in Berlin, Germany.  

He is involved with several conservation organizations and provided veterinary care in wildlife cooperatives with the Ohio and Indiana Departments of Natural Resources and US Fish & Wildlife related to Peregrine Falcons, Whooping Cranes, River Otters, Allegheny Wood Rats, Hellbenders and Timber Rattlesnakes.