Online CPD for Vet Nurses

Introduction to Nursing Exotic Patients (*NEW* - Oct 2023)



Start:  16th October 2023

CPD:   15 hours (UK), 15 points (AUS, NZ) over 6 / 8 weeks 

Level:  Introduction / Intermediate




The aim of this course is to introduce veterinary nurses to exotics in practice. The emphasis will be placed on examination and handling techniques as well as essentials of anaesthesia, imaging techniques, and making the veterinary visit as stress-free as possible for pets. This will enable exotics and small mammals to be incorporated into any small animal practice with standard facilities.


Week 1
The Rabbit Consultation

  • Handling, examination and history taking
  • Preventative care
  • Making your clinic rabbit friendly

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

  • Appreciate the importance of stress reduction in rabbits, including during hospitalisation and examination
  • Understand essentials of preventive care of rabbits
  • Understand handling and therapeutic techniques in rabbits

Week 2
Anaesthesia of Small Furries

  • Basic anaesthesia
  • Reducing stress around anaesthesia

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

  • Describe a holistic approach to stress reduction in the peri-anaesthetic period to improve anaesthetic success rates
  • Prepare a patient for anaesthesia
  • Understand how to provide airway support for rabbits

Week 3
Examination of Parrots

  • Handling and examination of parrots
  • Basic husbandry of parrots
  • Routine grooming techniques

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

  • Achieve safe handling techniques for parrots
  • Understand the basic husbandry of pet parrots and how this relates to disease
  • Appreciate and apply the techniques of beak, nail and wing trimming and understand how issues with these adnexa may reflect systemic disease

Week 4
Avian Anaesthesia and Imaging

  • Basic anaesthesia techniques
  • Introduction to avian radiography and ultrasound

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

  • Appreciate basic anaesthetic techniques, including induction and intubation, to improve anaesthetic success rates
  • Take a well-positioned radiograph and interpret the image
  • Understand the indications for ultrasonography in birds

Week 5
Reptile Examination Techniques

  • Handling
  • Examination techniques
  • History taking, including the husbandry review

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

  • Achieve safe handling techniques of reptiles – snakes, lizards and chelonia
  • Perform a basic examination of these species
  • Appreciate the role of husbandry in reptile disease and how to conduct a full husbandry review

Week 6
Reptile Anaesthesia, Imaging and Hospitalisation

  • Basic anaesthesia techniques
  • Introduction to reptile radiography and ultrasound
  • Hospitalisation requirements for reptile species

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

  • Appreciate basic anaesthetic techniques, including the importance of ventilation and when to use it
  • Take a well-positioned radiograph
  • Perform ultrasonography in reptiles
  • Understand the hospitalisation needs of reptile species

This course will be fully tutored by John Chitty and will consist of 15 hours of CPD given in various formats, including tutorials, tasks, case studies, forum discussions and quizzes.

This course is tutored for 6 weeks, followed by a two week extension of untutored ‘catch up’ time, before the course officially ends.

All delegates will then have unlimited lifetime access to the learning material for future reference.


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John Chitty

BVetMed, Cert ZooMed, CBiol, MRSB, MRCVS


John qualified from the RVC in 1990 and gained the RCVS Certificate in Zoological Medicine in 2000. He is director of a small animal and exotics practice in Hampshire, with an exotics and zoo caseload.  John is the editor and author of four texts on avian, rabbit and tortoise medicine, and the author of various book chapters and papers. He is also secretary of the European Association of Avian Veterinarians and the 2017/18 president of the BSAVA


This online course is worth 15 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.


The Australian Veterinary Nurse and Technician (AVNAT) Regulatory Council has allocated 15 AVNAT CPD points to this continuing education activity.


This course is also recognised by the New Zealand Veterinary Nursing Association (NZVNA) as providing 15 CPD points.


Upon purchase you will be registered to attend the course, for 6 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 each Monday morning, 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 later that same day.   Furthermore, all the course material 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, but the time spent will count towards your CPD hours.


After 8 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

This course has been listed as ‘Introduction / Intermediate’ level


All of our courses are aimed at veterinary nurses in general practice, but everyone who works in the veterinary profession is very welcome to attend, whether you are a clinical receptionist, veterinary surgeon, student nurse or have been a qualified nurse for over 20 years!


The courses are not formally assessed for skill level, so the following CPD levels are just a rough guide to help you decide if a course may be more or less suitable:


  • Introduction – maybe most suitable for qualified nurses in general practice approaching a new topic or looking for a refresher course.
  • Intermediate – maybe most suitable for qualified nurses in general practice along with referral / specialist nurses looking for a refresher course
  • Advanced – maybe most suitable for referral / specialist nurses and highly experienced qualified nurses in general practice.

You will earn 250 Pawprint Points (£25 website credit) when you purchase this course


Our loyalty scheme rewards you with 10% in website credit to spend on future courses.  Choose pay with Pawprint Points during checkout.

Invoice My Practice

Payment with debit or credit card is the preferred payment method

Please ask your practice manager or accounts department to visit the website, register an account in their own name, and during checkout, complete the ‘delegate name’ and ‘delegate email’ sections with your personal details.  We will then register you a personal account on your behalf, and transfer the course booking over to your new personal account.  We will of course email you all the information you need to access this new account and your CPD course.

If you need an invoice and no other payment method is available to you, then please email [email protected] with all the following information:

Please note the following:

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