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Zoo and Exotic Animal Anaesthesia & Surgery

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Veterinary Surgeons
Vets Now Referrals, Swindon, SN1 2NR, Wiltshire, United Kingdom

Anaesthesia is a critical component of the majority of zoo and exotic animal medicine, being required for basic work-ups, physical examination as well as major surgery. Over the last decade there have been huge advances in the field of zoo and exotic animal anaesthesia combined with developments in the equipment available for our patients. This course has been designed for veterinarians in practice, working with a wide range of zoo and exotic patients, wishing to gain a higher level of expertise in ensuring best current practice in zoo and exotic anaesthesia. The course is structured to provide examples of current practice for the major taxonomic groups, ranging from invertebrates through to the mammalian megafauna. The course will include discussion of the agents available for anaesthesia of the specific groups, taxonomic specific considerations, equipment choice and selection including circuits as well as monitoring equipment, challenges of field anaesthesia, understanding human error and management in the anaesthetic situation, clinical audit of anaesthetic programmes, and emergency resuscitation. In preparation of the wet lab, the second day starts with an introductory lecture on airway management and ventilation, followed by an extensive 3-hour wet lab, where all delegates will undertake a variety of airway techniques required when confronted by our smaller zoo and wildlife patients.

On the first day the following topics will be covered in lectures and case presentations:

  • Human error – understanding the impact on our patients
  • Pharmacology – review of the common agents utilised in zoo and exotic anaesthesia
  • Remote chemical immobilisation, including darting system selection and operation
  • Monitoring the exotic patient
  • Invertebrate, amphibian and piscine anaesthesia
  • Reptile anaesthesia
  • Avian anaesthesia
  • Small mammal (NTP) anaesthesia
  • Primate anaesthesia
  • Carnivore anaesthesia
  • Hoofstock anaesthesia
  • Megafauna anaesthesia

Frank and honest topical discussions will be encouraged during the dedicated question times, with speakers sharing their successes and failures in order to maximise the learning experience for all attending veterinarians. Day 1 will conclude with an optional course dinner, which will give delegates the opportunity to get to know each other and to spend more time with the speakers.

On the second day, after an introduction to airway management and ventilation, the 3-hour practical session will give delegates the opportunity to put theory into practice on cadaver specimens and to ask questions in small groups, all under the supervision of the course tutors. The following topics will be covered during the practical sessions:

  • Air sac breathing tube placement
  • Tracheotomy on rabbits
  • Use of V-gels (laryngeal masks)
  • Endoscopic intubation
  • Retrograde intubation
  • Ventilation techniques and overcoming challenges
  • Understanding vaporisers
  • Demonstration on siting darting rifle

Day 2 will finish with case discussions. Delegates will be encouraged to bring cases with them.

The course fee includes lunches on site, coffee/tea breaks, extensive course notes and a certificate of attendance. On the evening of the first day all delegates are invited to attend the course dinner, which costs £30 (not included in the price, drinks will be charged extra). Early course registration is recommended as there are only a very limited number of places available.

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