Surgery Distance Education | Centre for Veterinary Education

Surgery Distance Education


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

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 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:

  • Have a refreshed and updated your 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 

  • 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:

  • Comprehensive 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 

  • Keeping DE notes in digital format saves almost 300 000 sheets of paper, 1 500 000L of water and 30 trees.

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.

Please email us to express your interest in this course

Distance Education

Saturday 1 February - Monday 30 November 2020
2 Day Workshop (Sydney)
Choose 6/7 JUN OR 20/21 JUN
Delivered Online
Super Early Bird
30 June 2019
Early Bird
31 October 2019



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.


Mark graduated from Massey University with a Bachelor in Veterinary Science in 2006. After graduation, Mark completed an internship at University College Dublin in 2007, followed by several years of general practice in New Zealand and Australia. Mark completed a Residency in Small Animal Surgery at the University of Sydney, and finished a Masters in Veterinary Studies (Small Animal Practice) during this time. In February 2015 Mark was awarded the status of Diplomate of the European College of Veterinary Surgeons. Mark was then appointed as a lecturer in small animal surgery at Murdoch University, where he has remained since 2015. Mark also performs clinical referral surgery in The Animal Hospital at Murdoch University in both the Orthopaedic/Neurosurgical and Soft Tissue/Oncologic departments. Mark is an active Member of the Australian and New Zealand College of Veterinary Scientists and a faculty member of AOVET, an international organisation for the teaching of fracture repair and advanced orthopaedics.

Mark’s particular interests include neurosurgery, arthroscopy, and minimally invasive fracture repair.


Katherine graduated from the University of Queensland in 2008 and after graduation completed a rotating and surgical internship at Queensland Veterinary Specialists. She relocated to Melbourne in 2013 and completed a 3 year residency in small animal surgery at the University of Melbourne. She also completed Masters in Veterinary Studies and Masters in Veterinary Science during this time. In February 2017 Katherine was awarded the status of Diplomate of the European College of Veterinary Surgeons and was registered as a specialist in small animal surgery.

Katherine returned to Brisbane in 2016 and performs referral surgery at Brisbane Veterinary Specialist Centre. She maintains an interest in all aspects of small animal surgery, but has a particular interest in soft tissue and oncology.

BVSC, MS, Diplomate ACVS-SA

Wendy graduated from Massey University in New Zealand in 2003 with a Bachelor in Veterinary Science. She completed internships at a private referral practice in Auckland and at the University of Pennsylvania, before starting a residency in small animal surgery at Purdue University. Wendy completed her residency in 2009, and became a board certified Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Surgeons in 2011.

Wendy spent 3 years as an Assistant Professor of Small Animal Surgery at the Virgina-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine, before moving to Australia in 2012 to work in private referral practice. She currently works at Veterinary Specialist Services in Brisbane.

Wendy is particularly interested in biliary, oral and urogenital surgery. She is also passionate about wound management. 

Course Fees

Member TypeSuper early birdEarly birdFull rate
Non-member / eMember$7010$7310$7510
*Members include: Practice, Professional, Part-time, Recent Graduate, Academic and Student members

Loyalty DE Discount: Completed 2 or more Distance Education (DE) courses in the previous 5 years, you are eligible for a 10% discount on future DE courses. Discounts are not cumulative. For further information about discount options for multiple registrations at the one event, please read the full Terms & Conditions. To redeem your discount contact the CVE on +61 2 9351 7979 (Monday to Friday, AEST 9am to 5pm) or

Note: Enrol in a Distance Education course and pay in full before 31 October 2019 to save up to $250 and go in the draw to win a $1,000 CVE voucher. Winner announced 8 November 2019.


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