Blog | Centre for Veterinary Education


  • by Lis Churchward

    Cycads – Sago 'palm' seeds from the cycad family. Recognise these…? More importantly, did you know they were highly toxic? This beautiful image is a close-up of seeds from the Sago cycad, often mistakenly referred to as a palm. If you didn’t recognise this image, there are probably 2 reasons: You’re not familiar with the plant and its seeds, or You didn’t see this image in the eBook. If option 1, you didn’t recognise these seeds, don’t worry – you’re not alone The aim of Amy Lam’s C&T was to warn vets about this plant which is becoming increasingly popular; correspondingly, there has been an increase in poisoning cases with the Small Animal Specialist Hospital treating at least 10 cases in the last 6 months. A small pretty palm, its seeds are highly attractive to dogs – and also highly toxic. Although other parts of the plant have toxic capacities, it’s the seeds that have proven to be most attractive and dangerous to dogs which suffer acute liver failure after ingesting them.

  • by Lis Churchward

    I remember feeling overwhelmed more times than I can count that first year out. Practice is just so…practical, and I certainly didn’t feel ‘practice ready’ when I graduated. I was really lucky that my first workplace had a CVE practice membership, which allowed me to enrol in my first TimeOnline course. TimeOnline are short, 4 week, highly practical and very easily digestible online courses on a wide variety of topics. My first one was Avian Medicine and I was hooked! Care of wildlife, pain management, managing diabetics, neonatal medicine, dermatology, behaviour, clinical pathology, emergencies in a variety of species, nutrition, pharmacology and the list goes on. After completing my TimeOnline courses, I feel confident and competent in a variety of areas that previously made me shudder when I saw them listed on the scheduler. Since moving onto a new role, I have maintained my CVE membership at my own expense.

  • Was your initial reaction to this statement ‘you’ve gotta be joking’? (Or something more colourful… which involved a few beeps?). You’re probably aware that mental illness is being increasingly recognised in humans. The causes of illnesses such as depression, anxiety, obsessive compulsive disorder or aggression may have some environmental component but often they have a genetic basis as well. You may know someone, a close friend or family member, taking medication such as Prozac to deal with anxiety or depression issues which are having a debilitating effect on their daily lives. Why should pets be any different? In fact, the medications humans are taking to deal with their mental health issues have been tested on lab animals first to see if their moods were altered by them. So, if society is willing to take medications tested for their efficacy in animals, why are some people sceptical about using those same animal-tested drugs on their veterinary patients? Especially if training has not helped and behaviour modification and change of environment are not successful in helping their pet. Owners, like parents, understand that loneliness and separation anxiety are powerful emotions which, for pets left alone 5/7, can have disastrous consequences. Pets in 2-pet households can also embroil themselves in physically abusive relationships. Non-pet owners may find this concept laughable, but owners experiencing this frustrating and injurious problem certainly do not.

  • Register for the Non-accidental injury cases in vet practice podcast with Lydia Tong to find out. Lydia’s fascinating podcast will enlighten you about the links between violent behaviours toward animals and humans, what that can mean for you in the clinic, and what to do if you are also worried about human welfare. Research has proved that animals that are the victims of abuse do present to private practice but many vets have never received formal training about how to deal with distressing cases where suspected non-accidental injury is involved. Participating in this podcast will show you how to identify the warning signs, how to safely conduct a consultation in these circumstances, how to get further assistance and what your ethical, professional, and legal obligations are in these situations. This podcast will be of immense benefit to all staff at your practice. Please put the dates in your diary now.

  • Proceeds will be donated to veterinary mental health charities.

    It's not too late – entries close 31 December 2016, so please share this with as many veterinary friends and colleagues as possible. Don't let your practice go unrepresented! Support your colleagues. Being an experienced practitioner brings its own stressors, whether these are practice ownership, the ever increasing complexity of life, burnout or higher expectations of ourselves or others. While there are now some support structures for veterinary students and recent graduates, experienced practitioners may feel very isolated at times. Sometimes the best thing you can do is drop in for a cuppa with a colleague. A problem shared is a problem halved. A problem shared over food is a problem minus hypoglycaemia, which is bound to be better. Being stressed is bad enough, but everything’s worse when you’re ‘hangry’.

  • Support large animal CPD

    If you work in large animal or mixed practice, we have a range of CPD coming up over the next 6 months that caters for vets with differing needs in terms of level of commitment and time. There’s literally something for everyone. Struggling to manage work and life balance, but still keen for a mental refresher if you can fit it in around all your other commitments? Then our PodcastPLUS is ideal for you. Free to CVE Members (but very reasonably priced for non-Members at $60) this is short, sharp but highly informative CPD led by one of Australia’s foremost authorities.

  • Here’s what two of your peers from Murdoch University have to say. As part of the CVE’s drive to alert every Australasian veterinary student to the benefits of life-long membership, commencing as a Student Member and transitioning through to Recent Graduate and Professional Member, the CVE made complimentary places available at our recent Feline Medicine Conference in Perth. Two students, in return, agreed to share their experience with their peers. Note: Student Membership is FREE and entitles students to 75% discount on most courses. Visit for more info.

  • You’ll know immediately that we’re talking about Dr Graeme Allan (BVSc ‘66 MVetSc '72 DVetSc '12), a visionary educator in the field of veterinary radiology whose achievements were honoured recently at the University of Sydney Veterinary Faculty Alumni Award evening (27 July 2016) where Graeme accepted the Award for Innovation & Entrepreneurship. This award celebrates Australia’s foremost thinkers and achievers who have left an indelible mark on the lives of their fellows and animals.

  • by Lis Churchward

    Ever fancied yourself behind a camera, or maybe in a post-production role? Dreams are NOT free – but if you’re a CVE Member, they’ve just become a helluva lot more achievable! We know from recent breakfast discussions held with vets and from general feedback that many of you feel stressed and burnt out, and are looking for some emotional nourishment. Here’s your chance.  The CVE have negotiated a 10% discount off Centre for Continuing Education (CCE) courses at the University of Sydney (UoS) for all CVE Members. This is an amazing offer and equals the discount available to UoS employees. Big ideas. Short courses. Open to the general community, the CCE is the vehicle whereby the UoS – recognising the value of continuing education and lifelong learning for all – extends access to its resources and expertise to the public. The CCE offers an amazing range beginning with A at Arts & Humanities and ranging through to Travel. Investigate the range of courses available here:

  • Ever wish you had more of a say in how veterinary continuing professional development is designed and provided? Now’s your chance. Please participate in our online survey and tell us what your ‘dream’ veterinary continuing education organisation would look like and what benefits are important to you. We want to hear what you believe the CVE and other organisations are doing well and what improvements you’d like to see.