Reptile Medicine | Centre for Veterinary Education

Reptile Medicine

The aim of this course is to provide a good understanding of reptile husbandry, medicine and surgery.

You will discover why reptiles are different from other animal classes in a biological, anatomical and physiological sense. Many reptile disorders are related to suboptimal husbandry; hence, it is critical to have an understanding of reptilian biology and captive management.

With this knowledge, you will be able to sound like a vet who has a real interest in reptiles and know how to handle a variety of species and take appropriate samples. Diagnostics, hospital care, anaesthesia, analgesia and critical care will be covered, along with the diagnosis and treatment of commonly occurring diseases and injuries.

The emphasis of this course will be on captive reptiles; however, interesting and relevant information on the diagnosis and treatment of some conditions in free-living animals will also be mentioned. On completion of this course, you should have gained a greater understanding of the veterinary care of reptiles, both captive and free living, which will give you more confidence in dealing with for your reptile patients and clients and assist you in providing better outcomes for them.

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 Outcomes

By successfully completing this course, you will:

  • Gain an understanding of the unique challenges posed by reptiles, captive and wild

  • Gain an understanding of the impact of husbandry, good and bad, upon the health of captive reptiles

  • Learn techniques to handle a variety of species and to take appropriate samples

  • Review the diagnosis and treatment of commonly occurring and emerging diseases and injuries


  1. Introduction to Reptile Medicine/Husbandry

  2. The Consultation

  3. Common Conditions of Reptiles

  4. Interpretation of Diagnostic Tests

  5. Hospital Care

  6. Critical Care

  7. Anaesthesia and Surgery

Course Delivery

This course includes:

  • Written notes, photographs and videos

  • 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 and it will be open for 4 weeks.


Monday 19 February - Sunday 18 March 2018
Delivered Online


BVSc MANZCVS (Feline Medicine) CertZooMed BA

Robert Johnson runs a small animal, wildlife and reptile practice in Penrith with his veterinarian wife Jane. He has also worked as a clinical veterinarian at Taronga Zoo. Robert and holds a Certificate in Zoological Medicine from the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons. His professional interests include veterinary clinical practice, particularly reptile medicine and research involving reptilian species of Australia and the South Pacific and animal welfare. Robert also lectured in reptile medicine, wildlife medicine and veterinary professional studies at James Cook University Townsville. He is the co-author (with Dr Brendan Carmel) of A Guide to Health and Disease in Reptiles and Amphibians and has published and presented widely on matters reptilian. Robert also served as President of The Australian Veterinary Association 2015-2017. 

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.

The TimeOnline nurse rate is the same as the Recent Grad/Part-time member rate in the table above. 

Discounts and nurse registrations can’t be processed online so please contact the CVE on +61 2 9351 7979 or