Avian Anaesthesia & Analgesia | Centre for Veterinary Education

Avian Anaesthesia & Analgesia

Avian Anasthesia and Analgesia

Avian practice requires the frequent use of analgesia and anaesthesia to better manage patients and achieve good outcomes.

Yet many veterinarians are uncomfortable with, and nervous of, avian anaesthesia. And rightly so – Brodbelt’s study, The risk of death: the Confidential Enquiry into Perioperative Small Animal Fatalities, showed that avian patients are much more likely to die under anaesthesia than other species. Bob Doneley is firmly of the opinion that this higher risk is related more to how anaesthesia is managed, rather than an inherent susceptibility to death.

The management of pain in avian patients is another area of concern. As a ‘prey species’, birds are masters at concealing signs of pain from potential predators. As with other species though, pain has a detrimental effect on patient morbidity and mortality. Veterinary clinicians have both moral and clinical reasons to both recognise signs of pain and treat it effectively. 

This course aims to provide practitioners with the information needed to better understand the requirements for the successful management of avian anaesthesia, to recognise signs of pain in their patients, and how to deal with it.

Veterinary nurses with a special interest in the topic are welcome to enrol in this course. Please be aware that the course is designed for qualified veterinarians and you should consider this in light of your knowledge and experience before you register.

Learning Objectives

By completing this course, participants should be able to:

  • Understand avian anatomy and physiology as it relates to the effects of anaesthesia
  • Be able to recognise signs of pain and develop an effective analgesic plan to manage it
  • Understand the risks involved in avian anaesthesia and how to best prevent or minimise these risks
  • Develop an anaesthesia plan for an avian patient.


Monday 3 - Sunday 30 June 2019
Delivered Online


BVSc FANZCVS (Avian Medicine) CMAVA

Bob Doneley is an Associate Professor in Avian and Exotic Pet Medicine at the University of Queensland. After graduating from UQ in 1982 and working as an associate in practices in Queensland and the UK, Bob opened his own practice in 1988. He obtained his Membership of the Australian and New Zealand College of Veterinary Scientists in 1991 and his Fellowship in 2003. He sold his practice in 2010 to lead the newly relocated UQ Veterinary Medical Centre small animal hospital in Gatton. He is now Head of the Avian and Exotic Pet Service.

Bob is the author of Avian Medicine and Surgery in Practice, as well as numerous papers and book chapters on avian and exotic pet medicine. He is in demand as a speaker at veterinary conferences, having been the invited speaker at conferences around Australia and in the US, Spain and Singapore. In 2018 he was named the TJ Lafeber Avian Practitioner of the Year by the Association of Avian Veterinarians.

Course Fees

Member TypeTimeOnline
Recent Grad / Part-time Member$303
Student Member$152
Non-member / eMember$607
*Members include: Practice, Professional and Academic members