Controversies in Veterinary Medicine & Surgery

6 months access
Fully flexible delivery
10 CPD points
Certificate on completion
controversies website image 2
What’s changed while you’ve been buried in the daily grind?

Open castrations are old school, CBD oil is here, and you might not need to delay insulin in DKA patients. There’s more. We can all be more creative with anaesthesia, and if you make an effort to manage patient stress, your day will run more smoothly (you don’t even need to live stream doggie yoga or bathe in essential oils).

This course presents a range of need-to-know updates in medicine, surgery, anaesthesia, behaviour, analgesia and conscientious, sustainable veterinary practice.

Controversy deserves your attention. Here’s your chance to up skill and update across 5 key areas of veterinary practice, all within a fully-flexible online course format.

What has changed?

// Should you change what you’re doing?
// Did you blindly follow the crowd on a new technique?
// Do you cling to what you were taught at uni?
// And are any of these things real problems?

Veterinarians are curious folk, but it’s hard to stay current in every area of veterinary science. This online series takes a broad look at what we do and why we do it, bringing controversial elements to you without criticism or an agenda.







  • Useless vs useful surgical techniques & procedures
  • IM & IV strategies for general anaesthesia
  • Evidence-based CBD therapies for dogs & cats
  • Quality behaviour advice to share with your clients
  • When you can relax (a bit) about treatment options in ECC
  • Positive steps to reduce your environmental impact

Why should you do this course?

This is your opportunity to gain traction in multiple areas of veterinary science, all at the same time. Update, confirm or adapt your clinical position on a number of topics from experienced presenters in anaesthesia, surgery, behaviour, internal medicine, emergency and critical care, and sustainable veterinary practice.

It’s also a chance for you to settle some of those heated discussions in the practice.


Module 1: Surgical Stitch Ups – Dr Julian Lunn
This session tackles misconceptions and misinterpretations in surgery, and brings you a series of recommendations that have changed in recent times. We’ll explore surgical debates like open versus closed castration, and show you how to stop stressing about closure methods for hollow viscera. Side note: did you know that single layer appositional has been the recommendation since 1812?

Other topics include:
// Using Penrose drains – Charles Bingham Penrose would be rolling in his grave
// Postoperative antibiotics – what does the evidence tell you?
// What’s real: fibrocartilaginous embolism vs high speed non-compressive disc herniation?
// Cholecystoenterostomies – why are we still teaching this when even Whipple himself abandoned the technique in 1945?

Module 2: Medicinal Cannabis – Dr Leon Warne
There is rapidly growing interest in the potential therapeutic use of cannabis for companion animals around the world. Unfortunately, there is a profound lack of formal veterinary education on the endocannabinoid system (ECS) and its clinical manipulation, despite its discovery more than 30 years ago.

This gap has left practitioners with a lack of knowledge, as well as comfort, in meeting the demands placed on them by clients. Some of these concerns revolve around the legality of prescribing cannabis as well as the challenge in accessing safe, quality-controlled, pharmaceutical-grade formulations.

This session explores these concerns and provides clarity around some clinically relevant questions, including which situations warrant medicinal CBD, what is an effective dosing strategy, and what precautions you should take before you prescribe it.

Module 3: Behaving Ourselves – Dr Natalie Maticka

You can improve the workflow, efficiency, safety and comfort of animals and humans in your practice if you just have an open mind. This session prepares you to handle controversial behaviour questions intelligently and with authority. You’ll also gain a solid update in clinical behavioural medicine.

// Low stress handling in the veterinary clinic: is it time efficient and cost effective for practitioners?
// Operant conditioning and training methods: the +R (positive reinforcement) debate.
// Behaviour medication: last resort or first line treatment?
// Behavioural euthanasia: can we save them all, or is it just more convenient?

Module 4: Net Zero Opportunities – Dr Jeremy Watson

Net zero is inevitable. Atmospheric greenhouse gases will stabilise: either on our terms, or on terms forced on us by mother nature.

The science of climate change is clear that climate change will progress, and all veterinary practices will need to deal with it. Extreme weather events, changing community attitudes, changing government regulations and new green technologies will present both opportunities and challenges.

This module introduces your path to net zero and presents Australia’s first carbon neutral veterinary practice. You’ll see ways to take advantage of sustainable opportunities and mitigate the risks in a transition to a low carbon economy.

Module 5: The Carbon Cost of Anaesthesia – Dr Donna White
Make no mistake: anaesthetic gases are greenhouses gases. The majority of general anaesthesia in veterinary practice involves the use of gaseous anaesthesia, particularly isoflurane. This session presents a range of alternative anaesthesia strategies which are useful for any practice, and some simple ways to reduce – or even eliminate – the carbon cost of veterinary anaesthesia.

In this session, we’ll cover:|
// The basics behind the carbon cost of anaesthesia
// How to reduce the carbon cost of your anaesthesia practice
// Becoming more adaptable with anaesthesia & sedation
// Incorporating multimodal anaesthesia & sedation into your routine practice
// IM & IV alternatives to GA
// How veterinary anaesthesia is moving beyond inhalational anaesthesia, & how you can adapt your clinical skills to keep pace with change.

Module 6: Emergency & Critical Care Conundrums – Dr Terry King

The popularity of veterinary treatments can depend on their widespread and established success over time. Yet occasionally, new evidence makes us spin on our heels and a brand new approach takes hold. ECC is no exception. While contemporary medical theories have a relatively short half-life, we need to challenge the assumptions and integrate the information with our clinical expertise and impressions.

In this module, Dr Terry King presents 6 areas of emergency medicine where new evidence is challenging the status quo:

// Current trends in fluid therapy – how much, how soon, and which flavour?
// Immediate deobstruction versus initial stabilisation in feline lower urinary tract dysfunction (FLUTD)
// When to reach for insulin in the treatment of diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA), and which type
// Acute seizure management (rescue therapy) for dogs already on regular medication
// Critical illness-related corticosteroid insufficiency (CIRCI) in true sepsis – the roles of hydrocortisone, vitamin C, vitamin B1 and vasopressors
// The use of antibiotics in Acute Haemorrhagic Diarrhoea Syndrome (AHDS) or Haemorrhagic Gastroenteritis (HGE).



Six modules of flexible online learning & a $497 commitment to your professional development


A broad range of clinical updates & important topics for real-world clinical practice


Use these updates to improve your clinical outcomes, patient care & time management

Your presenter

Doona White

Dr Donna White

Qualifications: BVSc (Hons) MVS MANZCVS DipECVAA

Specialisation: Anaesthesia and Critical Care

Donna completed her veterinary degree at Sydney University. She spent several years working as a general practitioner and emergency veterinarian in Australia, UK and Canada. Donna then followed her passion for pain management by undertaking speciality training in Veterinary Anaesthesia and Analgesia at Sydney University. Since completing her training in 2018, Donna has worked in several private referral hospitals in Sydney, and is co-director of the Sydney Animal Pain Clinic. The SAPC is a chronic pain clinic with treatments based around ultrasound-guided regional anaesthesia interventional pain management.

Dr Jeremy Watson

Dr Jeremy Watson

Qualifications: BVSc(Hons) MANZCVS(Surg)

Dr Jeremy Watson is a general practice veterinarian and a member of the Australian & New Zealand College of Veterinary Scientists in small animal surgery. In 1998, he established the Brimbank Veterinary Clinic which has since been registered as the first certified carbon neutral veterinary clinic in Australia.

Jeremy joined Vets for Climate Action in 2020 to help amplify the role that veterinary teams play in motivating our community to take urgent action on climate change. Within this organisation he helped develop and promote the Climate Care Program for vet clinics.


Dr Julian Lunn

Qualifications: BVSc, MANZCVS (Small Animal Surgery and Small Animal Medicine), MVetClinStud (Neurology)

Julian has worked at Veterinary Specialist Services (VSS) in Qld and Animal Referral and Emergency Centre (AREC) in NSW. He has also been a clinician and teacher at the University of Sydney, James Cook University and the University of Queensland.

He has memberships in both small animal medicine and small animal surgery and completed his surgical residency in 2007 with time at Murdoch University and Colorado State University. He also has a Masters of Veterinary Clinical Studies.

Julian has experience in all areas of surgery from cardiothoracic, oncology and vascular to orthopaedic, neurological and trauma. He is a passionate teacher and is keen to share real-world surgery with both undergraduate students and postgraduate veterinary surgeons.

Dr Leon Warne

Dr Leon Warne

Qualifications: BSc(Biol), BBiomedSc(Hons1), BSc, BVMS, MVS, MANZCVS, Diplomate ACVAA, PhD

Leon holds qualifications and expertise across a range of fields including biological, veterinary and medical sciences, higher education, pain research, anaesthesia and pharmaceutical R&D.

Leon is a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Anesthesia and Analgesia, an adjunct senior lecturer at Murdoch University and senior research fellow at Curtin University. He is currently researching medicinal cannabis across multiple species; Quality of Life as a primary outcome measure for chronic disease; and management strategies for complex pain disorders.

Leon founded The Vet Pharmacist in 2022 with a group of likeminded clinical specialists. Their aim is to improve patients' quality of life by supplying quality cannabis medicines and education to veterinarians across Australia.

Dr Natalie Maticka

Dr Natalie Maticka

Qualifications: DVM, MS, DACT, MANZCVS (Veterinary Behaviour), Level 3 FFCP

Dr Maticka chose theriogenology as her specialty because it combined her passions for medicine, endocrinology, and surgery across a wide variety of species. She is now a registered specialist in reproduction and also a member of the Australian and New Zealand College of Veterinary Scientists in veterinary behaviour. Combining the two, Natalie is the Breeding and Reproduction Manager of Guide Dogs Queensland, and she is also an Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) canine handler. Natalie has a keen interest in veterinary education and loves supporting vets as they update their skills in both reproduction and behaviour.

Dr Terry King

Dr Terry King

Qualifications: BVSc, MANZCVS, Honorary FANZCVS

Blessed with being able to work & learn with veterinarians all over this country and the World, Terry is adamant that Australian veterinary care is second to none. Terry is a committed family pet practitioner, loves the animal-person bond, and undertakes to prolong it.

Devoted to the veterinary profession, Terry has strived to repay it & his colleagues for the enjoyment & friendships he’s received by serving on various committees and sometimes office bearer on Brisbane Veterinary Practitioner Branch of AVA, AVA Qld, ASAVA, and the ANZCVS. He has been external examiner, guest lecturer and tutor at UQ’s School of Veterinary Science as well membership examiner for ANZCVS.



$497 AUD


x 4 monthly payments of $134

Your Questions Answered

What is “On Demand”?
We created the On Demand series because you asked us for longer course access. The veterinary industry can throw busy times at us, and we received more and more requests from individuals who needed more time to complete their online courses. We think 6 months is the sweet spot – you have plenty of time to work through your CPD, and we can regularly review and update the content to make sure the course stays relevant. You can revisit the materials as often as you wish.
How and when do I access learning materials?
We use a one-stop learning platform for our web-based courses. It’s intuitive, simple and easy to navigate, and we’ll email login details to you as soon as your purchase is confirmed. You can access notes, recordings and resources any time of day or night via your personalised course library. You don’t have to watch a whole video in one sitting, and you’re in complete control. 
How long is course access open?

24/7 access is available for 6 months via your course library, starting on your purchase date. For example, if you sign up on July 1st, your access will be open until January 1st the following year. We’ve chosen 6 months because veterinary medicine moves fast and our goal is to provide up to date learning materials to the VetPrac community. The education team will assess, review and update the course at the end of the subscription period. This way, we know we’re offering only current and relevant information. 

What happens when time runs out?
At the end of 6 months, your subscription will end. You’ll still be able to log in to your course library, but the on-demand course you’ve completed will disappear from the list of courses available to you. We will email you at the end of your access period, so you can download any resources you need for future use.
What kind of learning materials are included?
Each course is different but they all include video presentations recorded live during our most popular online courses and webinars. Our educators also provide a variety of other resources, so you can expect images, diagrams, course notes, slide presentations, journal articles, links to further reading, and more.
Is there learning support available?
Of course! We’ll stay in touch with a monthly email to check in with you, and share important information with you. We’ll also remind you when your access is about to finish. If you need a hand (or if you just want to chat) our online learning team is available via email [email protected] or on 0491 943 260.
Are there assessments to complete?
Yes, but they’re not mandatory. At the end of the course there will be multiple-choice questions available through the learning platform. You’ll need to pass these to receive your CPD certificate.
Will I get CPD points and a CPD certificate?
You certainly can! Each registration you will receive a CPD certificate with your points. All you need to do is complete the quiz questions at the end of the course. We’ll generate your certificate and email it to you.
Can I extend access beyond 6 months?
In most cases, yes, we can arrange this for you. It depends on recent developments in the field and whether our educators feel the information in the course is current and up to date. Some clinical areas are undergoing rapid change – we’re happy to chat about this towards the end of your subscription.

Still have questions? We’ve got answers. Call 0491943260