25 Jan 2022

PgC/GPCert Small Animal Emergency Medicine and Surgery


PgC/GPCert Small Animal Emergency Medicine and Surgery


Current interest in small animal accident and emergency medicine and surgery is greater now than ever before. This exciting modular course is dedicated to providing high quality, relevant, clinically useful information for the small animal practitioner. Information that is practically relevant is presented using an approach based around the major organ systems.

Interactive discussions and clinical case material will be used to highlight important elements in successful patient management. This course will be of immense value to all veterinary surgeons and particularly those who see emergency cases as part of their regular workload.


The modules will assist delegates in consolidating their knowledge of medical and surgical emergency situations and help them develop a structured clinical approach to the emergency patient.


The Small Animal Emergency Medicine and Surgery programme is provided by Improve International in collaboration with the International School of Veterinary Postgraduate Studies (ISVPS) and Harper Adams University.

Complete the one-year programme (all modules) and achieve the General Practitioner Certificate (GPCert) by passing the required assessments with the International School of Veterinary Postgraduate Studies (ISVPS).

Continue on to the Postgraduate Certificate (PgC) that combines the GPCert clinical studies, plus reflective practice, and successful completion of the Advanced Practitioner Module with Harper Adams University. The PgC represents Masters Level 7 within the Quality Assurance Agency’s framework for higher and further education. It provides 60 transferable academic credits.

After successfully completing your PgC, you may apply for the RCVS Advanced Practitioner Status. This is subject to meeting all of the other entry requirements set out by the RCVS in the Applicant Guidance Notes.

The Programme Tutor will discuss which learning option you wish to progress and advise the necessary requirements to support you.

All of our PgCs are recognised by the RCVS as eligible entry qualifications for application to Advanced Practitioner status with the exception of the PgC Endoscopy and Endosurgery for which the RCVS has no designated award.

All delegates studying for a PgC will receive a subscription to Harper Adams online e-library providing access to 1,000s of scientific articles and abstracts.

Our online learning management system: Moodle – Provides access to course notes, discussion forums and other study resources, including surgical videos and webinars.

A dedicated Programme Tutor will support every individual during their PgC programme to ensure a rewarding and successful learning journey.

Registration is from 9.15am, course starts at 9.30am and finishes at 5.00pm on taught modules.

Modules with practical element:
Day 1 - 9.30am to 5.00pm
Day 2 - 9.00am to 4.30pm

A buffet lunch and refreshments are provided on each day.

Delegates wishing to complete the Postgraduate Certificate examination will be required to attend all of the taught modules (including the practical sessions). These modules can be completed in one year or delegates can extend the programme over two or three years. Modules can be attended in any order, to suit individual preferences.

The full programme course fees INCLUDE registration with Harper Adams University and all examination and assessment fees including the Advanced Practitioner fee. These are NOT included in the individual or paired module fees and if you choose to do the course in this way additional fees will apply.

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PgC/GPCert Small Animal Emergency Medicine and Surgery Modules

The Initial Approach to the Emergency Patient
25 Jan 2022 | Swindon

The aim of this module is to become familiar with the initial approach to the emergency patient and how to maximise success. The effective performance of a primary survey and prioritisation will be discussed followed by the secondary survey with a particular focus on the respiratory system. The relative value of different catheter types and vascular access and various types of monitoring and laboratory assessment will be evaluated. Some of the concerns regarding nosocomial and zoonotic infection in our veterinary patients will be discussed before finally applying the principles we have learned to clinical scenarios. This module will set the scene for later modules that will build and expand on specific areas of emergency medicine.

Key learning objectives:

  • Understand the administrative, legal and ethical issues involving the critically ill patient
  • Appreciate triage systems and detail a suitable initial patient assessment
  • Explain emergency vascular access techniques including jugular and intra-osseous routes
  • Understand pain management, stabilisation and monitoring
  • Review health and safety concerns and precautions including managing a situation involving potential zoonoses
  • Be familiar with infectious diseases and preventative healthcare

    Reference sources or notes for the additional learning objectives on the recumbent patient will be provided

Speaker: Gayle Hallowell MA VetMB PhD CertVA DipACVIM-LAIM DipACVECC FHEA MRCVS
Laboratory Diagnosis, Clinical Pathology and Transfusion Medicine
26 Jan 2022 | Swindon

Key learning objectives:

  • Understand sampling techniques, processing, storage and data recording
  • Apply knowledge to using the microscope to examine blood smears, urinary sediment and basic cytology and be able to diagnose common acute and chronic conditions seen in general practice
  • Assess haemostasis
  • Interpret clinical laboratory medicine information including haematology, biochemistry, electrolyte and arterial and blood gas analyses
  • Consider when transfusion should be considered and appreciate that there are no ‘magic’ numbers
  • Select appropriate blood products and protocols to minimise adverse outcomes
  • Manage common conditions leading to haematological abnormalities requiring transfusion

Speaker: Sara Gould BVetMed DSAM MRCVS
Anaesthesia, Analgesia, Sedation and Therapeutics
8 Mar 2022 | Swindon

Emergency patients very often require anaesthesia or sedation and analgesia to proceed with diagnostic tests or the treatment of their conditions. Due to the severity of their condition administering anaesthesia can be challenging. This module will provide detailed information about safe anaesthetic and analgesic options available to minimise the anaesthetic risk for the emergency patient. The potential interactions between commonly used anaesthetic and analgesic drugs and therapeutic drugs used for the emergency patient will be explored. By the end of this course the practitioner will have a good understanding of the safest approach to anaesthetise, sedate and provide analgesia to the critical patient.

Key learning objectives:

  • Detail an approach to patient stabilisation prior to anaesthesia
  • Select appropriate parenteral and inhalational anaesthetic regimes and appreciate their relative advantages and disadvantages. Sedation versus anaesthesia
  • Have an understanding of anaesthetic equipment and monitoring techniques and their advantages and disadvantages
  • Explain the selection of NSAIDs, opioids, local anaesthetic and topical treatment options for the emergency patient
  • Understand the pharmacokinetics, potential interactions and adverse effects of commonly used therapeutic agents including anti-microbials and anti-parasiticides in addition to anaesthetics and anti-inflammatories in the emergency patient
  • Consider the use of neuromuscular blockers

Speaker: Maria Angeles Jimenez Lozano DVM CertVA DipECVAA MRCVS
Neurological and Neuro-Toxicological Emergencies
9 Mar 2022 | Swindon

Key learning objectives:

  • Perform a neurological examination
  • Select appropriate diagnostic tests and apply them to individual cases, including radiography and CSF analysis
  • Understand how to manage common neurological emergencies
  • Appreciate the fundamentals of neurosurgery
  • Recall the common toxicities such as insecticides, molluscicides, rodenticides,herbicides, household preparations and plants
  • Diagnose, treat and assess the prognosis of patients presented with the common poisonings

Speaker: Mark Lowrie MA VetMB MVM DipECVN RCVS Specialist in Veterinary Neurology and EBVS®️ European Specialist in Veterinary Neurology
Renal, Urinary Tract, Reproductive and Paediatric Emergencies
18 May 2022 | Swindon

Key learning objectives:

  • Apply diagnostic techniques including laboratory investigations and imaging to these cases
  • Investigate and manage common renal and urinary tract emergencies
  • Understand the principles of renal, ureteral, bladder and urethral surgery
  • Formulate an approach to cystocentesis and the placing and maintenance of urinary catheters and appreciate their limitations
  • Improve your knowledge of normal reproductive physiology and function and the physiology of conversion from foetal to neonatal circulation
  • Appreciate the common important clinical signs associated with reproductive and paediatric emergencies
  • Plan a diagnostic approach to these cases and manage common conditions

Endocrine and Metabolic Emergencies
19 May 2022 | Swindon

Key learning objectives:

  • Detail the common metabolic conditions requiring urgent or emergency therapy
  • Be familiar with the impact of metabolic disturbances on the patient’s major body systems
  • Devise an approach to the diagnosis and management of common diseases including hypoadrenocorticism and diabetes mellitus
  • Understand key diagnostic tests and their application
  • Appreciate the complications encountered during therapy, their prevention and management

Supporting the Emergency Patient
27 Jun 2022 | Swindon

There are many different emergencies that can present to us in practice but each and every one of these patients needs triage and stabilisation to enable us to safely manage their underlying disease. This module aims to help practitioners to develop a measured approach to fluid therapy and management of circulatory shock. Specific techniques for venous access, including central line placement, will also be discussed. Blood gas analysis can be a daunting and bewildering task but our discussion surrounding acid-base disturbance will focus on providing a simplified approach to enable you to rapidly assess cases without over-complicating matters. Finally we will consider how to spot patients in need of nutritional support and how to provide this in the different clinical situations we might face.

Key learning objectives:

  • Assess, recognise and treat shock
  • Develop your appreciation of the indications for the different types of fluid therapy with their advantages and disadvantages and the need for electrolyte supplementation.
  • Review techniques for venous access : sites, catheter placement, preparations and complications including advanced techniques and intraosseous techniques
  • Have a general understanding of acid-base balance and its treatment
  • Explain the need to monitor for complications during treatment and to record central venous pressure
  • Appreciate the importance of acute malnutrition
  • Formulate a plan to provide enteral, total parenteral and partial parenteral nutrition

Speaker: To be confirmed.
Respiratory Tract Emergencies
28 Jun 2022 | Swindon

Key learning objectives:

  • Understand the general approach to dyspnoea
  • Utilise and interpret a range of diagnostic techniques for respiratory patients including auscultation, radiography, endoscopy and arterial blood gas analysis to localise the underlying cause
  • Appreciate the methods of oxygen delivery and be able to monitor the efficacy of treatment
  • Review the problems associated with oxygen delivery
  • Explain the techniques available for drainage of the pleural cavity

Speaker: To be confirmed.
Emergencies in Rabbits, Rodents and Cage Birds
1 Sep 2022 | Swindon

Key learning objectives:

  • Interpret the practical findings of a physical examination
  • Formulate a diagnostic approach to common presentations of emergency conditions
  • Manage common emergency conditions
  • Approach the anaesthesia and analgesia of these species in emergency situations

Speaker: Richard A. Saunders BSc (Hons) BVSc FRSB CBiol DZooMed (Mammalian) DipECZM(ZHM) MRCVS  RCVS Specialist in Zoo and Wildlife Medicine (Mammalian) European Specialist in Zoological Medicine (ZHM)
Ophthalmological Emergencies
2 Sep 2022 | Swindon

Key learning objectives:

  • Perform a practical ophthalmological examination
  • Recognise normal features and variants
  • Formulate a diagnostic approach to common presentations including the red eye, ocular pain, ocular discharge and blindness
  • Understand the medical and surgical management of common ocular conditions including corneal ulceration, uveitis and glaucoma
  • Consolidate your understanding of ocular manifestations of systemic disease
  • Select current ocular medications and have an understanding of therapeutics

Speaker: Ben Blacklock BVSc DipECVO MRCVS
The Principles of Surgery and the Approach to Trauma and Wound Management
9 Nov 2022 | Swindon

Key learning objectives:

  • Stabilise a patient prior to surgery, plan surgery and manage complications
  • Appreciate the indications for immediate surgical intervention
  • Understand surgical asepsis, theatre protocol and the rational use of anti-microbials in surgical patients
  • Approach the acute management of haemostasis, abdominal and respiratory trauma
  • Approach external soft tissue wounds, myocardial injury and musculoskeletal trauma

Speaker: Guillaume Chanoit DEDV PhD DECVS DACVS FHEA FRCVS
Gastrointestinal Emergencies
10 Nov 2022 | Swindon

Key learning objectives:

  • Approach the acute abdomen
  • Understand the common emergency conditions affecting the oesophagus, stomach, small intestine, large intestine, liver and pancreas
  • Formulate a diagnostic plan, including the use of imaging modalities, and effective monitoring strategies for these cases
  • Consolidate your appreciation of appropriate surgical intervention

Speaker: Guillaume Chanoit DEDV PhD DECVS DACVS FHEA FRCVS
Cardiovascular Emergencies & CPR
12 Dec 2022 | Swindon

Key learning objectives:

  • Understand the cardiovascular assessment and management of patients presented with cardiovascular emergencies
  • Utilise and interpret a range of diagnostic techniques including ECGs, radiographs, echocardiographs and laboratory data
  • Diagnose and manage acute canine congestive heart failure, feline cardiomyopathy and aortic thromboembolism
  • Recognise and manage pericardial disease and understand how to perform pericardiocentesis
  • Identify and manage cardiac arrhythmias
  • Consider the predisposing factors likely to result in cardiac arrest, how this changes the approach to CPR and determining prognosis following CPR
  • Understand the various components of CPR (DABC) and their various importance

Speaker: Brigite Pedro DVM MSc DipECVIM-CA (Cardiology) MRCVS
Emergency Medicine & Surgery - Practical Session
13 Dec 2022 | Swindon

This practical day will provide you with the opportunity to practise the following techniques in the wet-lab:

  • Tracheotomy and chest drain placement
  • Emergency abdominal surgery including the approach to the acute abdomen and peritonitis, enterotomy and enterectomy
  • Gastric dilatation/ volvulus and gastropexies
  • Urinary obstruction including urethrotomy in the dog and perineal urethrostomy in the cat

Speaker: Guillaume Chanoit DEDV PhD DECVS DACVS FHEA FRCVS

Booking Options

Payments Initial
Payment Options All prices exclude VAT
PgC/GPCert Programme £9,499.00 £0.00 £9,499.00
PgC/GPCert Programme (Deposit and 12 Monthly Payments) £760.00 £999.00 £10,119.00
PgC/GPCert Programme (Deposit and Payment in Full) £8,500.00 £999.00 £9,499.00

To book any option please click the "Book Now" button and select your preferences in your shopping cart.

Payment Terms & Conditions

  1. Payment for the course can be paid by credit card or bank transfer.
  2. Please contact us for pricing relating to corporate veterinary groups and multiple booking discounts.
  3. Full details regarding the course cancellation procedure can be found here: https://www.improveinternational.com/uk/terms-and-conditions/

Registration Information

  1. Applications are accepted on a first-come, first served basis.
  2. Where all available places are full, applicants will be offered first refusal for the next available date.
  3. Confirmation and enrolment details will then be sent to confirm your booking.

Key information

PgC/GPCert Small Animal Emergency Medicine and Surgery
25 Jan 2022
13 Dec 2022
14 Day Course
Ben Blacklock, Gayle Hallowell, Guillaume Chanoit, Maria Angeles Jimenez Lozano, Richard A. Saunders, Sara Gould, Tobias Grave, Brigite Pedro, Mark Lowrie, Daniel Lewis
From £9,499.00 + VAT