Surgery | Centre for Veterinary Education


Provide better outcomes for all your surgical patients and boost your confidence to approach more complex surgeries.

Wouldn’t it be great to provide your patients and clients with more and better surgical options and be able to confidently advise on their pros and cons to guide your clients’ decision making? Imagine the satisfaction of correctly doing the surgery yourself.

This course aims to present an overview of surgery and assist you to improve your approach to diagnosis and management of surgical diseases. The resources provided to support your learning in this course include not only notes and journal articles, but also video clips illustrating how to perform procedures, manipulations and operations you can carry out in your own practice. By the end of the course, you will have built a video library of common surgical procedures that you can review prior to performing the procedure. In addition, the course is supplemented by a two-day workshop that combines case studies, surgical demonstrations and an extensive wet lab practical session. Throughout the course, important principles and details are emphasised.

For the experienced practitioner, this course will provide both a refresher and a confidence boost for approaching more complex surgeries, while for the beginner, it will provide a strong foundation to pursue surgery with more assurance. In addition, it can help preparations for those looking towards sitting the small animal surgery membership examination of the Australian and New Zealand College of Veterinary Scientists.

Past Participants:

"Very clinically relevant and great approachable tutors. The workshop was extremely useful. Definitely has increased my surgical skills and knowledge."

Natasha Hanrahan, Nightcliff NT

"DE Surgery is a great course for general practitioners as it focuses on surgical procedures that you will see in day to day practice. There is a big time commitment but the more time you put in the more you will get out it. If you have a good surgical caseload at your practice then you will benefit greatly from this course."

Lauren Harrison

Learning Outcomes

By successfully completing this course, you will:

  • Refreshed and updated surgical knowledge through a comprehensive overview of small animal surgery

  • Improve your approach to the diagnosis and management of surgical diseases and better your understand of the ‘hows’ and ‘whys’ of surgery through case-based learning

  • Gain an increased understanding of both general principles and detailed techniques of surgery for each of the body systems

  • Increase your confidence about broadening your surgical endeavours


1.  Principles of Surgery I – Pre-operative evaluation of the surgical patient

  • Intra operative and post-operative considerations
  • Wound healing
  • Factors affecting wound healing, including biomaterials
  • Suture material

2.  Principles of Surgery II

  • Surgical sterilisation and asepsis
  • Role of antibiotics in surgery
  • Tissue handling
  • Haemostasis
  • Surgical oncology

3.  Principles of Surgery III – Wound Assessment and Management

  • Patient assessment and stabilisation
  • Wound classification
  • Principles of open wound management

4.  Principles of Orthopaedic Surgery

  • Examination for lameness
  • Principles of fracture management, biology and biomechanics in fracture repair
  • Biology and biomechanics in fracture repair
  • Complications of fracture repair
  • Common surgical approaches to bones and joints
  • Bone grafts
  • Physiotherapy

5.  Surgery of the Alimentary Tract

  • Diagnostic methods
  • The upper, middle and lower gastrointestinal tract
  • The liver and biliary system
  • The exocrine pancreas

6.  Applied Orthopaedic Surgery

  • Techniques of internal fixation of fractures
  • Repair of long bone and joint fractures
  • Repair of physeal and flat bone fractures
  • Tendons and ligaments
  • Selected conditions affecting bones/joints

7.  Surgical Diseases of the Respiratory & Cardiovascular Systems

  • The upper and lower respiratory tract
  • Congenital cardiovascular problems

8. Surgical Conditions of the Spine 

  • Surgical Conditions of the Spine
  • Neurological examination and functional neuroanatomy
  • Intervertebral disc disease
  • Caudal cervical spondylomyelopathy
  • Traumatic vertebral fractures/luxations
  • Degenerative lumbosacral compressive disease (cauda equine syndrome)
  • Atlantoaxial Instability
  • Fibrocartilaginous embolism
  • Discospondylitis

9.  Surgery of the Skin, Eye, Ears, Haemolymphatic System and Endocrine System

  • Selected Skin, Eye and Ear Conditions
  • The Lymphatics and Spleen
  • The adrenal gland, pituitary gland, thyroid gland, parathyroid gland and endocrine pancreas

10. Urogenital Tract Surgery

  • Surgical anatomy
  • Principles of urogenital tract surgery
  • Urinary tract trauma
  • Dysuria/haematuria
  • Urinary incontinence

Course Delivery

This online course comes with:

  • A set of detailed written notes, images, videos and recommended readings 

  • Self-reflection exercises to test your knowledge and deepen your understanding

  • A discussion forum for conversation, debate and sharing cases with your peers and tutors

  • A monthly assignment where you will receive individual feedback and explanations from your tutors

  • A 2 day workshop including a hands-on surgical practical session and in-depth discussion of key topics and cases 

Pay as you learn

Choosing your DE course is a big commitment, so there’s no need to add further stress by paying your course up front. To pay as you learn, you will need a $1,000 deposit to secure your place, followed by 50% of the total course fee 10 days prior to course commencement date. We’ll arrange simple monthly direct debits from your credit card over 3 or 6 months.

Note: Payment Plan will incur an additional $250 administration fee, and Early Bird rates do not apply if you choose the payment plan option.

Distance Education

Thursday 1 February - Friday 30 November 2018
2-Day Workshop
Date TBC
Delivered Online
Super Early Bird
30 June 2017
Early Bird
31 October 2017


DVM MVS MACVSc (Surgery)

Wing Tip Wong has spent most of his professional career as a clinician and teacher. He worked for several years in private practice in Malaysia and returned to the University of Melbourne in 1988 to work at the Veterinary Clinic and Hospital. From 1999 he spent 14 months as staff surgeon in private referral practice. He then returned to The University of Melbourne to become a consultant surgeon (orthopaedics and neurosurgery) in the Veterinary Clinic and Hospital as well as senior fellow in the Department of Veterinary Science until his retirement in 2014. He is currently a consultant surgeon to various practices around Melbourne and continues to run hip and stifle and basic bone plating workshops for the CVE. He is passionate educator and a long-standing co-tutor in the CVE Surgery DE course with Guy Yates. He has produced two outstanding DVDs for the CVE - A Practical Guide to Basic Bone Plating and Surgical Approaches to the Bones and Joints of the Dog, which are used by veterinarians around the world and have been translated into Japanese and Chinese.

BVSc (Hons) MVS FACVSc (SA Surgery)

Guy Yates is a Melbourne-based specialist small animal surgeon and consultant surgeon at the University of Melbourne. He is a Fellow of the Australian College of Veterinary Scientists who maintains active interests in both soft tissue and orthopaedic surgery. Guy has conducted clinical research in soft tissue reconstructive and minimally invasive surgery, and has current international orthopaedic collaborations. He is strongly focused on optimising veterinary surgical practices and outcomes through the application of available evidence and a structured approach to continuing education. He is an inaugural partner at the Centre for Animal Referral & Emergency established in Melbourne in 2013, where he continues to work as a specialist surgeon. He is co-tutor of the CVE Surgery DE course with Wing Tip Wong.


Chris is a registered specialist in small animal surgery working at Sydney's latest veterinary specialist centre, Sydney Veterinary Emergency and Specialists. He holds an academic appointment at the Surgical and Orthopaedic Research Laboratories, Prince of Wales Hospital, Randwick. Collaborating with fellow veterinarians, biomechanical engineers and human surgeons from a variety of fields, Chris hopes to bring the latest technologies and techniques to the field of veterinary surgery. Chris continues his passion for teaching through his involvement with the Centre for Veterinary Education as a Surgery Distance Education and practical workshop tutor, the Asia Pacific group of AOVET and mentoring membership candidates for the ANZCVS.

Course Fees

Member TypeSuper early birdEarly birdFull rate
Non-member / eMember$6650$6960$7150
*Members include: Practice, Professional, Part-time, Recent Graduate, Academic and Student members

Please note: All course fees will be charged in Australian dollars AND you must be a qualified veterinarian to enrol in this courses.

If you completed 2 or more Distance Education (DE) courses in the previous 5 years, you are eligible for a 10% discount on the next DE course/s. Contact the CVE on +61 2 9351 7979 or to redeem this discount.


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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.