Medicine of Aquatics, Amphibians, and Reptiles Symposium

November 11–12, 2023

Register Today

The Purdue University Medicine of Aquatics, Amphibians & Reptiles Symposium is IN PERSON this year. Join us for our 4th biennial symposium that provides veterinary professionals and students the opportunity to develop the skillsets for treating aquatic, amphibian, and reptilian patients by learning from experts in these fields.

The 2023 MOAAR Symposium will be held November 11–12, 2023.


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Saturday, November 11, 2023

Registration - Optional Brunner Hospital Tours

8:00–9:50 a.m. EST|Lynn Hall Foyer
Registration in the Foyer of Lynn Hall

Keynote Presentation: All Creatures Great and Small

10:00–10:50 a.m. EST|Dr. Dan Meakin|Lynn Room 1136

Beardies for Weirdies (Pre-Lab)

11:00–11:50 a.m. EST|Dr. Dan Meakin|Lynn Room 1136|Track(s): Reptile/Amphibian
Discuss from experience  the most common problems for the most common reptilian pet. Topics include  laboratory sampling and interpretation of findings, surgery, and diseases to recognize in practice. Will also discuss general husbandry and preventative care with America's favorite dragon.

Learning an "Axolotl" Amphibian Preventative Medicine and Veterinary Assessments

11:00–11:50 a.m. EDT|Dr. Kathryn Gamble|Lynn Room G167 - ZOOM|Track(s): Aquatic
In this seminar, basic amphibian anatomy and physiology will be provided in the context of a preventive medicine assessment for healthy amphibians in a variety of taxa, including imaging. Axolotl will be highlighted as a species of particular diversity and treatment challenges.

Fish Biopsy and Bloodwork Techniques (Pre-Lab)

12:00–12:50 p.m. EST|Dr. Bartolomeo Gorgoglione|Lynn Room G167|Track(s): Aquatic

Current Updates in Reptile Therapeutics

12:00–12:50 p.m. EST|Dr. Olivia Petritz|Lynn Room 1136|Track(s): Reptile/Amphibian

Survey radiographs are a good initial diagnostic for most reptiles.  Contrast radiography will further enhance the information gained from this diagnostic, and we will review published normal references for certain reptile species across several diagnostic techniques.  During this session, you will also get an opportunity to apply your knowledge of reptile radiography to lizard, chelonian, and snake radiographic cases.

Anatomy of Lizards and Snakes

12:00–1:30 p.m. EST|Dr. Dan Meakin and Tim Arlowe|Lynn Hall 2214|Track(s): Wet Lab - Reptile/Amphibian


1:00–1:50 p.m. EST|Foyer-Ground Floor by Continuum|Outside Lynn Room 1136

Fish Anesthesia, Biopsy, Blood Draw, and Necropsy

1:30–3:00 p.m. EST|Dr. Lori Corriveau and Dr. Bartolomeo Gorgoglione|Lynn Hall B260|Track(s): Wet Lab - Aquatic

Pinniped Keratopathy and Other Ocular Diseases of Pinnipedimorpha

2:00–2:50 p.m. EST|Dr. Levi Smith|Lynn Room G167|Track(s): Aquatic
This hour lecture will include a brief review of the unique ocular anatomy and physiology of seals, sea lions, and walruses. We will focus primarily on the history and research that has led to the zoological community’s understanding of ocular surface disease (pinniped keratopathy) that is commonly encountered in captive pinnipeds, along with current recommendations for management and treatment. Time permitting, there will be a brief description of other reported ocular diseases in captive and wild pinnipeds.

Reptile Radiology and Case Review

2:00–2:50 p.m. EST|Dr. Olivia Petritz|Lynn Room 1136|Track(s): Reptile/Amphibian

What are the antibiotic options for a snake? What are the current analgesic recommendations for lizards?  There are a plethora of new publications on different drugs in reptile medicine.  During this session, we will review recent publications in the field of reptile therapeutics including antibiotics, sedatives, and analgesics, and several others. 

Introduction to Penguin Medicine

3:00–3:50 p.m. EST|Dr. Sam Bradley|Lynn Room G167|Track(s): Aquatic

This presentation is an introduction to penguin medicine. In this lecture we will discuss the most common case presentations within this taxon and how we treat these animals in a zoological setting.

Turtle Shell Repair (Pre-Lab)

3:00–3:50 p.m. EST|Dr. Julia Becker|Lynn Room 1136|Track(s): Reptile/Amphibian

The lecture will focus on several key aspects of injured turtle care. This includes basic triage and stabilization, necessary resources for treatment (medications, surgical supplies/equipment, housing, etc.), case selection (determining prognosis), various shell repair techniques, and ongoing management and captive care requirements.  The goal is to introduce the listener to approaching injured turtle cases equipped with the skills to successfully treat these awesome patients.

River Otter Reintroduction. An Indiana Success Story

4:00–4:50 p.m. EST|Dr. Steve Thompson|Lynn Room G167|Track(s): Aquatic
River otters were gone from the state of Indiana in 1942. 303 otters from Louisiana were reintroduced over a 5 year period in the late 90’s throughout the state. All otters went through the PVM on a Saturday in cooperation with the Indiana Dept of Natural Resources. They were examined under anesthesia, treated for parasites, vaccinated, and had IDs attached. Root canals and toe amputations were common surgical procedures needed as well. In 2005, they were removed from the state endangered species list.

Ball Pythons: America's Favorite Serpent

4:00–4:50 p.m. EST|Dr. Dan Meakin|Lynn Room 1136|Track(s): Reptile/Amphibian

Discuss from experience with snakes . Topics include  laboratory sampling and interpretation of findings, surgery, and diseases to recognize in practicing on snakes and in particular ball pythons. Will also discuss general husbandry and preventative care with America's favorite serpent.

Be Gull-Able: Seabird Medicine (Zoom)

5:00–5:50 p.m. EST|Dr. Heather Barron|Lynn Room G167|Track(s): Aquatic
The primary goal of seabird rehabilitation is always return to normal function and release back into the wild. Veterinarians are involved in wildlife care and rehabilitation with increasing frequency and are in an excellent position to advocate for the health and welfare of these patients. Even practitioners who do not live in a coastal area may provide care for sea or shorebirds, especially the near-pelagic species, such as gulls or cormorants. This lecture will cover the core tenants of seabird medicine and care.

Turtle Shell Repair

5:00–6:30 p.m. EST|Dr. Dan Meakin and Dr. Julia Becker|Lynn Hall 2214|Track(s): Wet Lab - Reptile/Amphibian

Herptile Emergencies

5:00–5:50 p.m. EST|Dr. Nicholas Jew|Lynn Room 1136|Track(s): Reptile/Amphibian
This lecture will cover common emergency presentations for reptiles and amphibians. We’ll cover presentation, treatment, and considerations for husbandry. Topics to be covered will include trauma, neurologic disease, respiratory illness, reproductive tract disease, and metabolic syndromes. A common misconception is that “there are no reptile emergencies.” Herptiles presenting emergently are typically as ill if not more than their mammalian counterparts. Their capacity to to hide illness is immense!

Catching Great Aquatic Career Chances. Studying Emerging Fish Pathogens

7:15–8:30 p.m. EST|Dr. Bartolomeo Gorgoglione|Lafayette Brewing Company, 622 Main St. Lafayette IN 47901
Dr. Bart’s lecture aims to stimulate students involved in aquatic animal health to continue their careers taking advantage of international opportunities. A brief overview of experiences that helped to develop his career will be discussed, including research on polymicrobial infections in fishes, and about the effort to design innovative learning for new generations of fish health professionals.

Sunday, November 12, 2023


8:00–9:00 a.m. EST|Lynn Hall Foyer
Foyer in Lynn Hall

Anesthesia, Analgesia and Surgery in Snakes.

9:00–9:50 a.m. EST|Dr. Steve Thompson|Lynn Room G167 - ZOOM|Track(s): Reptile/Amphibian
This topic will focus on recent advances in anesthesia and analgesia in snakes with a practical application to pet medicine as well as components involved in a Conservation project related to coelomic radiotransmitter implantation in timber rattlesnakes (Croatalus horridus).

Common Parasites and Diseases of Fish

9:00 a.m.–9:50 p.m. EST|Dr. Bartolomeo Gorgoglione|Lynn Room 1136|Track(s): Aquatic

Pinniped Medicine (Pre-Lab)

10:00–10:50 a.m. EST|Dr. Zack Ready|Lynn Room 1136|Track(s): Aquatic
A broad overview of the principles of medical care of seals, sea lions and walrus, with a focus on animals maintained under professional care. Topics discussed include taxonomy, unique anatomy and physiology, restraint, anesthesia, physical examination, diagnostic procedures, nutrition, and selected infectious and non-infectious diseases.

Tortoises and Terrapins: Don't Be Afraid of Their Shell (Pre-Lab)

10:00–10:50 a.m. EST|Dr. Dan Meakin|Lynn Room G167|Track(s): Reptile/Amphibian
Provide a general practitioner's overview of the unique physical attributes that challenge us in treating turtles, terrapins and  tortoises. Personal experience on how to treat a 25 gram failure to thrive hatchling, as well as an anorexic 250kg Sulcata.  Force feeding, esophageal tube placement,  and sample collection will be discussed.

Shark and Ray

11:00–11:50 a.m. EST|Dr. Lydia Hall|Lynn Room 1136|Track(s): Aquatic
This lecture will discuss elasmobranch taxonomy, anatomy, physiology, selected diseases, and necropsy techniques. The goal is to familiarize the participants with the unique features of elasmobranch anatomy and postmortem examination.

Care of Captive Amphibians: Husbandry and Wellness

11:00–11:50 a.m. EST|Dr. Nicholas Jew|Lynn Room G167|Track(s): Reptile/Amphibian
During this lecture, we’ll cover the basics of amphibians, trends and general recommendations for husbandry, bioactive enclosures, general anatomy, physical examination, and preventative diagnostic evaluation. While grouped into herpetology with reptiles, amphibians are not just scaleless reptiles.  Amphibians are unique and fascinating animals that are often underappreciated.

Pinniped Anatomy and Necropsy

12:00–1:30 p.m. EST|Dr. Zack Ready|Lynn Hall 2214|Track(s): Wet Lab - Aquatic

Turtle/Tortoise Handling and Physical Exam

12:00–1:30 p.m. EST|Dr. Steve Thompson and Dr. Dan Meakin|Lynn Hall B260|Track(s): Wet Lab - Reptile/Amphibian

Sea Lion Anesthesia

12:00–12:50 p.m. EST|Dr. Tomohito Inuoe|Lynn Room 1136|Track(s): Aquatic

Hellbender Project and Surgeries

12:00–12:50 p.m. EST|Dr. Kami Fox|Lynn Room G167|Track(s): Reptile/Amphibian

Field Trip: Shrimp Aquaculture Field Trip or Hellbender Field Trip

2:00–3:30 p.m. EST|Off Campus

Shrimp Aquaculture Field Trip: Time: 2-3:30 p.m. located at RDM Aquaculture LLC, 101 N 850 E Fowler, IN. 

 Indiana’s only shrimp farm.  Started in 2010.  If you are interested in learning about shrimp, aquaponics, and water quality management, this is the tour for you.  You will get a tour of the facility, a PowerPoint presentation about shrimp farming and maybe even get to sample some shrimp. What makes RDM so unique is that we used a RAS (Recirculating Aquaculture System) using a heterotrophic bacteria based water or ZEAH (Zero Exchange Aerobic Heterotrophic System) or bio flock.  It basically means we reuse our water for over 11 years.  We have built a bacteria system that maintains the water quality for the shrimp, by converting ammonia to nitrite and nitrite to nitrate.  In essences we are duplicating the ocean to the best of our ability indoors.

Hellbender Field Trip: Time: 2-3 p.m. located at the Aquaculture Research Lab, 5950 ASREC Lane West Lafayette, IN. 

Purdue's Help the Hellbender program began back in 2007 after discovering less than 50 Eastern Hellbenders throughout historic Indiana ranges. With the help of the Indiana Department of Natural Resources and Dr. Rod Williams of Purdue's Forestry and Natural Resources Department, the Help the Hellbender program was able to begin captive rearing efforts in 2012 for the state-endangered salamander. Purdue's Aquaculture Research Lab (ARL) is Indiana's largest captive-rearing and Hellbender research facility. Our program cares for many different life stages (from egg to juveniles) and is reared for reintroduction in Indiana and Kentucky. ARL has 2 environmental chambers for egg rearing, larval development/research, and juvenile research; as well as 2 (soon to be 3) artificial streams to mimic river conditions. Stop by to see the newly hatched larvae and our juveniles! You won't be disappointed.



West Lafayette and Lafayette Hotels

Purdue will host a home football game against Minnesota on Saturday of the Symposium. All hotel prices reflect the increase in demand with football traffic. The list below are a few properties with availability.

Hampton Inn and Suites

The Hampton Inn and Suites is located just half a mile from the Purdue campus.  Historic Lafayette downtown district is just across the river with access to local restaurants and shops. Parking is free.

Address: 160 Tapawingo Dr., West Lafayette, IN 47906
Phone: 765-269-8000

Drury Inn & Suites

The Drury Inn & Suites Lafayette, IN Offers free hot breakfast, free Wi-Fi throughout the hotel and the 5:30 Kickback® with evening snacks and cold beverages. Conveniently located at I-65 and South Street, the hotel is just 5 minutes from downtown Lafayette and 5 miles from Purdue University.

Address: 4110 South State St., Lafayette, IN 47905
Phone: 765-447-7707

Homewood Suites by Hilton

Classic extended stay hotel with fully equipped kitchens & free WiFi plus a pool and hot tub.  Located 5 miles from Purdue.

Address: 3939 South State St., Lafayette, IN 47905
Phone: 765-448-9700

Hampton Inn Lafayette

Modern hotel with free WiFi plus free breakfast and a pool.  Located 5 miles from Purdue.

Address: 3941 South State St., Lafayette, IN 47905
Phone: 765-447-1600


Low-key rooms and suites in a relaxed hotel with a restaurant, a lounge bar and indoor pool.  Located 5 miles from Purdue.

Address: 155 Progress Dr., Lafayette, IN 47905
Phone: 765-447-1600


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