C-VA.1 Small Animal Anaesthesia and Analgesia

Key Information

Course Format: Distance learning, assessment only - encouraging independent, adult-centred, self-directed learning

Enrolment: April - November

Assessment: Case diary with synopsis, critical commentaries and case reports

Timetable: November - March

Module Syllabus

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£699.00 module fee

Course Information

Please note:
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How to enrol as a new CertAVP candidate.

About this course

At the end of the module, candidates should be able to:

  • Provide appropriate care for the unconscious patient, including support / maintenance of normal homeostasis
  • Demonstrate a sound knowledge of the physiology, pharmacology and biophysics of relevance to anaesthesia
  • Demonstrate knowledge of the anatomy of the thorax, abdomen, head and neck as they relate to anaesthesia
  • Appreciate the impact of commonly encountered pathological processes in the various species, on the conduct of anaesthesia, and be able to appropriately modify the anaesthesia in light of these
  • Understand the pharmacology and clinical use of drugs used for premedication and sedation
  • Understand the pharmacology and clinical use of analgesic drugs (opioids, non-steroidal anti-inflammatories, local anaesthetic agents)
  • Demonstrate familiarity with commonly performed regional nerve blocks
  • Understand the pharmacology and clinical use of intravenous anaesthetic drugs, and their use in total intravenous techniques
  • Appreciate how a generic anaesthetic machine and vaporiser function, and be able to perform appropriate safety checks
  • Understand the pharmacology of the inhalational anaesthetic agents, and how this dictates their clinical use
  • Understand the functional characteristics of anaesthetic breathing systems (“circuits”)
  • Understand the pharmacology and clinical use of neuromuscular blocking drugs
  • Appreciate the advantages and disadvantages of intermittent positive pressure ventilation, and how this may be delivered
  • Understand in general terms how the electronic monitoring systems used during anaesthesia function, and be able to interpret the information they provide
  • Plan and deliver appropriate fluid therapy (including an awareness of the principles of blood transfusion) for the range of patients encountered in small animal practice
  • Provide appropriate anaesthesia for specific clinical situations, for example, paediatric and geriatric anaesthesia, ophthalmological procedures, caesarean section, etc
  • Appreciate the unique characteristics of small mammals, birds, reptiles and fish which may complicate the anaesthetic process
  • Recognise and deal with common anaesthetic emergencies
  • Review and constructively criticise current literature on the speciality, to determine its relevance to their current practice
  • Utilise their understanding of Evidence Based Medicine and Decision Analysis to develop practical treatment protocols for their patients
  • Review the outcomes of at least part of their clinical work, using the process of clinical audit to improve performance
  • Recognise when they require support from more experience anaesthetic colleagues for a particular case.


Please download the Module Outline, found in the Key Information box




Senior Lecturer in Veterinary Anaesthesia
The Royal Veterinary College