Emergency Medicine in Cattle Practice | Centre for Veterinary Education

Emergency Medicine in Cattle Practice

Emergency medicine in cattle practice can be challenging, especially when faced with a large group of affected animals.

Dr Matthew Izzo joins the program as a course tutor.

This course is designed to give you the essential tools to quickly diagnose and carry out the appropriate treatment for emergency conditions in cattle.

It aims to guide you through a logical and practical approach to investigating and treating herd disease outbreaks. The course will use a case based approach to provide a critical approach to dealing with common emergencies in dairy cattle and guide you through a logical and practical approach to investigating and treating herd-level disease outbreaks.

This course is targeted at ANZCVS Dairy Medicine Membership candidates and practitioners wishing to update their skills.

Prior knowledge: Participants preferably should have some experience with dairy cattle and access to some large animal text books would be useful.

Learning Outcomes

On completion of this course, participants will be able to:

  • Perform a thorough clinical exam on a sick cow, including ancillary diagnostic tests for abdominal disease, and develop a problem list.

  • Diagnose the common acute abdominal conditions in a cow and explain how to treat these conditions. Describe risk factors contributing to these conditions.

  • Diagnose the common causes of diarrhoea in an adult cow and describe how to treat them. Describe the individual and herd level factors contributing to these conditions and discuss options for control and prevention.

  • List the common pasture related factors that can contribute to neurological disease in dairy cattle, be able to diagnose and treat these conditions and outline effective control and preventive strategies.

  • Be able to diagnose some common causes of sudden death in an adult dairy cow and describe how to treat these conditions. Describe the individual and herd level factors contributing to these conditions and discuss options for control and prevention. 


1.  My cow’s suddenly off her milk

This module will cover common acute abdominal conditions of the cow (excluding diarrhoea) and how to diagnose and treat them. It will also address how to prevent some of these conditions at a herd level.

2.  My cow’s scouring

There are a wide range of conditions that can cause acute scouring in a cow This module will cover accurate diagnosis and treatment of diarrhoea, including fluid therapy for adult cattle. This module will also present a logical approach to a herd level outbreak.

3.  My cow’s agitated and distressed

Grazing normal pastures and hay and silage can result in a multitude of diseases that cause agitation and incoordination. This module will cover diagnosis, treatment and prevention of some of the more common conditions associated with grazing pasture in individual cows and at a herd level.

4.  My cow won’t get up (incorporating sudden death)

It is a cattle vet’s worst nightmare to be called to a paddock of dead and dying cows. This module will work through a range of common conditions that should be considered when faced with a herd emergency, essential steps for diagnosis and approach to a field post mortem.

Course Delivery

This course comes with:

  • Video lectures, photographs, useful resources and case studies within each module

  • Self-assessed multiple choice quizzes to test your knowledge and understanding

  • A discussion forum for conversation, debate and information exchange with your peers and tutors

  • An electronic certificate available for download upon successful completion of the course

The estimated time to complete this course is 10 hours. The course will be open for 4 weeks.


Monday 23 October - Sunday 19 November 2017
Delivered Online



Alison Gunn graduated from the University of Bristol in 1988 and moved to Australia in 1990. Completed a Masters in Dairy Cattle Medicine in 1997 and joined the Australian and New Zealand College of Veterinary Scientists through examination in Medicine of Dairy Cattle. Alison has worked in clinical dairy practice in most Australian states and was most recently employed as a Senior Lecturer in Ruminant Health at the University of Sydney. Currently she runs her own veterinary and animal health consultancy business in East Gippsland and is part of a consultancy team working for Dairy Australia’s Countdown Project. Special interests in calf health, milk quality, bovine reproductive performance, on-farm biosecurity programs and farmer and veterinary education.

BVSc (Hons) MVetClinStud DipHRM FANZCVS (Dairy Cattle Med. & Prod.)

Matt graduated from the University of Sydney in 2004 and after a few years in mixed practice in NSW, he returned to the UOS to complete a residency in Ruminant health and production including a master’s degree. Matt obtained his fellowship in dairy cattle medicine in 2012 and is one of the few registered specialists in cattle in Australia. Has worked in private dairy practices in NSW, Victoria, and is currently Principal Veterinarian at Smithton Vet Service, Tasmania. Matt's main interests include dairy herd reproductive management, cattle embryo transfer and overall dairy cattle herd health.

Course Fees

Member TypeTimeOnline
Recent Grad / Part-time Member$289
Student Member$145
Non-member / eMember$578
*Members include: Practice, Professional and Academic members

You may be eligible for a 10% discount off your registration. Please read the full Terms & Conditions to see if you are eligible. Discounts can’t be processed online so please contact the CVE on +61 2 9351 7979 or cve.timeonline@sydney.edu.au to register.     

Further details

Have a question? Your answer could be on our frequently asked questions page. If you cannot find an answer for your question, please email us or call us on +61 2 9351 7979.