Study small animal veterinary emergency and critical care (ECC) online

  • Learn how to prioritise and respond appropriately to life threatening clinical situations
  • Learn to apply knowledge and skills gained in this course to novel situations
  • Acquire a level of understanding and expertise that allows you to be able to give sound advice in the field of ECC to other practitioners
  • Single subject study is available under the Community Access Program 

Course Description

This course focuses on emergency and critical care (ECC) of the dog and cat. The course will cover both the fundamental pathophysiological and clinical aspects of ECC. In this way, the course will provide the theory required for preparation of the ANZCVS ECC membership examinations. Passing of ANZCVS ECC membership examinations is a mandatory requirement before a veterinarian is able to sit specialty veterinary examinations within Australia and thus the course will be of assistance to those entering into a residency position in this area. 

Specifically this course leads to the ability to identify and address life threatening conditions such as, but not limited to, major trauma, toxicities, sepsis, acute abdomen, cardiac failure, respiratory and ventilatory failure, renal failure and urethral obstruction. You will develop knowledge in the techniques necessary to perform emergency and critical care procedures and develop knowledge in the monitoring of these patients. And you will gain understanding and confidence for dealing with ECC patients through didactic course work, use of realistic case studies and assessment that provides feedback and re-enforcement of material.

Course Structure

The Graduate Certificate in Small Animal Emergency and Critical Care consists of four mandated subjects worth 12.5 points each. A prerequisite for the course is to have a veterinary degree that is recognised by the University of Melbourne.


At the completion of the course you should be able to demonstrate;

  • Understanding of the pathophysiological principles that relate to ECC
  • The ability to apply knowledge of anatomy, physiology, pathology and therapy in order to successfully manage system-derangements including; cardiovascular, respiratory, abdominal gastrointestinal, renal, urinary tract, reproductive, metabolic, endocrine, haemo-lymphatic, neurologic, musculo-skeletal, ophthalmic, integumentary and nutritional
  • The ability to rapidly and accurately assess the emergency patient in order to prioritise a patient’s problems based on principles of triage
  • Understanding of global conditions such as SIRS, DIC, sepsis, trauma, hyperthermia, toxicities and anaphylaxis and demonstrate effective assessment and management of such conditions
  • Knowledge of the principles of anaesthesia and analgesia as they apply to the emergency or critically ill patient
  • Knowledge of surgical emergencies including techniques and complications
  • Knowledge of pharmacology required for successful management of ECC conditions including the dose, indications, mechanism of action, contraindications and drug interactions
  • Understanding of the use of fluid and transfusion therapy  including uses, limitations, and risks
  • Ability to interpret various tests and monitoring parameters used in ECC
  • Ability to interpret ultrasound and radiographic images related to common emergency scenarios
  • Knowledge of the current CPR guidelines and to be able to describe effective CPR
  • Knowledge of techniques, monitoring and procedures commonly used in emergency and critical care.

Course Start Dates

  • Semester 1 (12 teaching weeks) including:  Monday 26 February  Sunday 27 May 2018
  • Semester 2 (12 teaching weeks) including:  Monday 23 July  Sunday 21 October 2018

Next : See what subjects you’ll be studying

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