ECG, Acid/Base & Lytes for Veterinarians

Thursday May 9th - Thursday June 6th, 2024

7:30pm AEST (Queensland time)

CPD points: 10 points


Certificate on completion

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Many vets have a ‘thing’ about ECGs and blood gases, but understanding and using these tests is easier than you think.

You already have the background knowledge to interpret blood gases and ECGs: we’ll show you how to join the dots and use these tests in clinical practice. Electrolytes and lactate are the cherries on top.

This is a must-do CPD course for GP vets, emergency vets, internal medicine interns and recent graduates. See how you can integrate these fundamental tests from critical care, and how you could be using blood gas, electrolytes, lactate and ECGs to improve the scope of your workups. Deliver more accurate treatments for your patients – and faster – with these tools.

Access opens Thursday April 25, 2024 and expires Thursday December 6th, 2024.

These emergency & critical care tests are accessible & useful to vets everywhere

Acutely ill patients often present with irregular rhythms, acid/base derangements and electrolyte abnormalities. This course is about getting your head around the diagnostics, and making positive steps for the patient that’s waiting for you.

Practical ECGs

ECGs have this aura of mystery, but they aren’t as complex as you might think. We’ll cover some easy rules and show you how to apply them in two different types of arrhythmia: a heart that’s beating too fast, and a heart that’s beating too slowly. We’ll springboard from there, but it doesn’t get much simpler than that.

It’s time to take notice of the acid/base situation

Blood gases aren’t just for specialist hospitals. They can help you decide when to initiate emergency treatment and determine patient prognosis (think paralysis tick cases). Blood gases aren’t as tricky as those university flashbacks are telling you, and they can make a huge difference to survival rates in any veterinary clinic, including yours.

Electrolytes have far-reaching effects

Sodium, chloride, potassium and calcium are all on the hit list for medical workups, but they are also important for surgical ones, too. See how each of these important electrolytes can affect your patient, and how they can guide your stabilisation and treatment efforts, as well as surgical decision making. 

When lactate is your friend

Did you cop a nasty exlap on Friday night? How is the patient’s lactate after surgery? Nowadays, serum lactate is absolutely achievable in-house, and it doesn’t cost the earth. Should you be using it? Almost certainly – but with caveats. We’ll explain how it can help you with diagnosis, prognosis and monitoring when your clients want answers and your nursing team wants action.







  • Understanding when an ECG will progress your workup (& when it won’t)
  • How to get a meaningful trace
  • How to identify the big red flags in your ECG readout
  • How to make a cageside interpretation that drives treatment decisions
  • What to send away if you’re seeking a second opinion
Blood gas
  • When to use it & why you should have it (or not)
  • Venous versus arterial sampling
  • Hear about the relationship between acidosis & acidaemia
  • Make sense of alkalosis & alkalaemia
  • What an acid/base derangement means for the patient in front of you
  • The clinical significance of sodium & chloride derangements 
  • How serum potassium levels can be just the tip of the iceberg
  • When to order ionised calcium levels  
  • How to approach hypocalcaemia 
  • When hypercalcaemia should be the start of a witch hunt
  • Really understand the relationship between serum lactate & hypoperfusion
  • See how lactate helps you diagnose, monitor & treat critically ill patients
  • What lactate tells you about patients with hypovolaemic, septic or cardiogenic shock
  • How to use lactate as a prognostic indicator in GDVs & GIT FB obstruction cases
  • How to use lactate to make informed fluid resuscitation plans

Course schedule

BONUS MODULE – What the ECG is Telling You About Your Patient

This introductory module is free to all vets, and will give you a taste of what’s to come in this excellent online course. The focus is on abnormal heart rates: too fast or too slow, and what ECG can tell us about our patients. In this short masterclass, we talk about what the ECG means in terms of heart function, and when we should be running an ECG for the patient in front of us. 

Module 1: ECGs & the Approach to Tachyarrhythmias

So you’ve been chanting ‘Is there a P for every QRS?’ … and then what? This is the sticking point for many of us who are intimidated by ECGs, but it doesn’t have to be this way. The first two modules of this course approach ECGs slightly differently. By breaking things down into tachyarrhythmias versus bradyarrhythmias, you’ll get a simple set of guidelines to help you make sense of the trace. We’ll match it to the physiology you already have, so you can apply the ECG readout to the patient in front of you.

Bonus: we want to cover actual scenarios from GP, emergency and referral practice, so we’re opening up this forum to you. Please BYO ECG trace from practice – grab a case and submit a photo or video with an optional patient history when you join the course, and we’ll use as many as we can in the live sessions. You can email [email protected] or SMS / MMS 0491 943 260.

Module 2: ECGs & the Approach to Bradyarrhythmias

Enjoy a moment of clarity when you map the ECG trace against the physical action of the heart. In this session, we’ll use the clinical approach to bradycardia to help you get your head around matching the lines to the beats. Your interpretation of an ECG could be the difference between a life threatening situation, and a life saving one. This is a great session to join live and participate in the Q&A.

Module 3: Sodium & Chloride 

What can decreased sodium tell you about your patient? There’s diarrhoea, vomiting, diabetes mellitus and others. And then there’s increased sodium with diarrhoea, vomiting, diabetes mellitus, and others. That seems unfair. Then consider chloride. Increased levels can be found with diarrhoea and vomiting. Decreased levels can also suggest both diarrhoea and vomiting. It all sounds complicated on the surface, but the key to interpretation is context. In this module, we’ll explore how to investigate electrolyte derangements in sodium and chloride, citing real clinical cases. Once again, please BYO patient lab results ([email protected] or 0491 943 260) and we will add a selection of your cases to this module.

Module 4: Potassium & Calcium

Ah, potassium. It’s not all blocked cats and kidney disease, you know. The issue here is that serum potassium levels change along with acidosis and alkalosis, and that puts it into the Very Important category. There’s also calcium. Remember HARDIONS-G? It’s still a thing. Module 4 focuses on anticipating what your patient’s potassium or calcium derangement means, and what action you should take to protect them from what’s already happening… or what’s about to happen next.

Module 5: Acid/Base & Lactate

Why? Because acid/base matters! Yes, there’s some technical data in this section, but work with us on this, because it’ll help you with the next part. The bottom line is: the pH of blood is very tightly controlled under healthy circumstances. When the balance is upset, you might need to intervene and it could be urgent. How do you know when to make your move? The blood gas results will tell you.

Here’s an example. If your patient has a significant respiratory acidosis, it can herald ventilatory failure or an issue with the CNS control of ventilation. You might need to ventilate.

Respiratory alkalosis is the flip side. Sure, it could just be your anxious patient panting at 120 breaths a minute, but it could also be a sign of pulmonary embolism. Or it could be respiratory alkalosis on top of a metabolic alkalosis, as you might see in sepsis. We’ll show you how to tease these out and decide what to do next for the patient.



5 Thursday evenings, an enquiring mind & just $660 towards your career development


Integrate ECC diagnostics into your practice and see how your patients benefit


Recognise & address critical situations sooner, & feel confident with diagnostic interpretation

Your educator

Katie Nash

Dr Katie Nash


Katie is a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care and has worked in the US and Australia in both private and academic practice.

Katie loves breaking complex topics down into digestible pieces and watching staff members and students flourish as they gain knowledge and confidence. Her clinical interests include transfusion medicine, polytrauma, perioperative critical care, mechanical ventilation, and any ‘cool’ case with a chance for a good outcome despite a poor initial prognosis.



$660 AUD


x 3 monthly payments of $237

Your Questions Answered

Do I need to attend specific session times?

Not at all. Of course, you can only ask questions and participate in the discussion if you attend live, but it’s not a requirement. Each live session is recorded and uploaded within 24 hours of the live timeslot. Participants have access to recording during the course and for 6 months afterwards.

Are there group discounts available?

Absolutely Work together, learn together, we say. If 3 or more participants register from the same clinic under the same booking, you’ll receive a 5% discount at checkout when you book on our website. For 4+ registrations, the discount increases to 10%. This isn’t valid with any other promotion.

Can I pay in instalments, or do you offer payment plans?

Under some circumstances, we can accept payment in instalments. Please email us at [email protected] for a confidential discussion.

Will I get CPD points and a CPD certificate?

Of course! Each participant will receive a CPD certificate via email. We do this after you’ve provided feedback and completed the quiz questions at the end of the course.

What kind of learning materials are included?

All live online courses include live and recorded video presentations. Our educators also provide a variety of other resources so you can expect supporting materials like images, diagrams, course notes, slide presentations, journal articles, links to further reading, and more.

How long is course access open?

24/7 access is available for the duration of the course, and for 6 months after the last live session. You can access recordings, references and reading materials via your course library at any point during this period. We’ll remind you to download and review the course materials before the time is up.

What happens if the workshop is cancelled?

If we cancel a course, we will refund your course fees. It’s a simple as that.

What happens if I pay and then later can’t attend?

See the terms and conditions tab on our website for full details. In a nutshell, refunds are provided for cancellations made in writing up to 45 days prior to the course. Cancellations made inside 45 days incur a 30% administration fee, and cancellations made less than 7 days before a course are not refundable.

Still have questions? We’ve got answers.

Still have questions? We’ve got answers. Call 0409 743 100 or  0411 798 165