Anaesthesia, Analgesia and Critical Care for Rabbits (Oct 2022)


4 week course (10 hours CPD), starting 3rd October 2022 – confirmed running.



This course is confirmed as running.


Week 1
Making Rabbit Anaesthesia Safer

  • Pre-op advice for clients
  • ASA grading – what increases the risk?
  • Monitoring under general anaesthesia
  • Post-operative care

Learning objectives
After completion of this week, participants should be able to:

  • Recap rabbit anaesthesia and how you can help build up your confidence, including pre op, intra op and post op care
  • Identify signs to be monitoring under anaesthesia – including CO2, SPO2, reflexes, HR, RR and BP readings
  • Use the ASA grading system, to look at why rabbits may be at a higher risk, compared with dogs and cats when placed under GA
  • Understand the options for intubation and maintaining an airway


Week 2
Analgesia – Taking the Pain Away

  • The signs of pain
  • Causes of pain
  • Knock on effects of uncontrolled pain
  • Analgesia options

Learning objectives
After completion of this week, participants should be able to:

  • Identify the signs that rabbits show when in pain – these can be easily missed!
  • Learn how to use with the ‘Rabbit Grimace Scale’ in conjunction with clinical signs
  • Appreciate the secondary problems that pain can lead to, when it is not managed correctly
  • Know what analgesia options can be used in rabbits


Week 3
Preparing for an Emergency

  • Preparation at the practice
  • Triaging rabbits
  • Obtaining a capsule history
  • Assessment
  • Managing owner expectations

Learning objectives
After completion of this week, participants should be able to:

  • Appreciate that when the phone rings it is important to be prepared for the emergency rabbit case. Know what to do and what equipment to set up to be ready
  • Understand how to triage rabbits and when continuing to do so may be detrimental
  • Obtain a quick and useful history from the owner to enable treatment to commence
  • Conduct a full assessment of the rabbit – from head to toe
  • Communicate with clients, managing their expectations and keeping them informed


Week 4
Critical Care – Keeping them Alive!

  • What is and what isn’t an emergency
  • What to do when faced with a rabbit emergency
  • Stabilisation and oxygen therapy

Learning objectives
After completion of this week, participants should be able to:

  • Identify rabbit emergencies – they are not always obvious, and knowing what is and what isn’t an emergency is important
  • Understand the health conditions which are emergencies in rabbits, including gastrointestinal stasis/blockages, flystrike, liver lobe torsion and respiratory distress
  • Achieve the important goal of keeping stress to a minimum
  • Identify the signs of improvement and deterioration


The course will be fully tutored by Claire Speight and will consist of 10 hours of CPD given in various formats, including tutorials, tasks, case studies, forum discussions and quizzes.



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Claire Speight

A1 Clinical Coach, C&G Cert Nursing Exotic Species, RVN


Qualifying as a veterinary nurse in 2007, Claire has always had an interest in rabbit nursing. She gained the City and Guilds veterinary nursing of exotic species certificate in 2009, and has worked as an A1 assessor and now a clinical coach within her practice.


Claire currently works in Kettering as a Senior Nurse in a practice with a high rabbit caseload, and also frequently lectures on rabbits to both veterinary professionals and owners. Claire has and continues to be a regular contributor to several publications including; LAPIS, Pet Gazette, Veterinary Nursing Journal, and Veterinary Nursing Times, and is also the editor of ‘Rabbiting On’ – the Rabbit Welfare Association’s quarterly magazine.

This online course is worth 10 hours of CPD.


A certificate will be available from the ‘My Courses’ section, for you to download and print, once you have completed the course.  A permanent record of your total CPD hours will also be recorded in your account section.


Upon purchase you will be registered to attend the course, for 4 weeks from the start date.  The course will consist of various interactive tasks and lessons, including quizzes, case studies, forum discussions and further reading material.


The course is fully tutored, with new material will be provided weekly, but the onus will be on the individual delegate to ensure that all tasks are fully complete.  The certificate will only be issued at the end of the course when all tasks have been accomplished.  Fewer CPD hours will be awarded at the the end of the course if there are unfinished tasks or there has been no contribution to the discussion forum, for example.


The course is fully flexible, and there are no weekly ‘deadlines’ – the lessons and tasks may be completed whenever is convenient for each delegate, and any live lessons with be recorded and made available in that format.   Furthermore, all the course material (excluding the interactive discussion forum) will be available for a further 2 weeks, to allow delegates the opportunity to catch up on missed lessons and tasks, or to take the opportunity to delve further into the suggested reading texts.  Please note however, that the course will not be tutored by the speaker during these final two weeks.


After 6 weeks, the course will be complete and there will be no further opportunity to gain the certificate or CPD hours, however, you will have unlimited lifetime access to the tutorials, further reading and quizzes for future reference.  If you make any personal notes during the course using the ‘take notes’ app, these will be saved, along with your certificate and CPD record for permanent access in ‘My CPD’.


For some further information about our Online Tutored CPD courses – please read our PDF guide to Online Tutored CPD