Vets Course

Exotic Animal Practice

ISVPS General Practitioner Certificate (GPCert)

  • OVERVIEW
  • MODULES
  • OPTIONAL MODULES
  • PRICING
  • FAQs

July 2023 - November 2024

Feel equipped to understand and treat the more varied cases and species

Exotic pets often fill veterinary surgeons with dread as they come through the surgery door. This programme will assist you in consolidating your knowledge of exotic medicine and surgery and help you to develop an informed clinical approach to exotic patients.

The programme has been designed to provide up to date knowledge across a range of different zoological and exotic species, from the initial examination and diagnostic sample collection to sedation and anaesthesia, diagnostic imaging and the workup and treatment of common diseases seen in those species. The programme will cover the latest techniques and therapeutic options for exotic animals and give you knowledge and skills that you can take back into practice with you.

At the end of your programme, you can choose to attend three practical attendance modules which will cover small mammal surgery, avian surgery and endoscopy. For those completing the full Exotic Online Learning Programme, you can purchase these modules at an exclusive price.

Providing a logical approach to even the most complex cases, this programme will provide the basis for renewed clinical enthusiasm and satisfaction.

The programme can also be undertaken as a face-to-face course, giving you the flexibility to decide the right learning approach for you, you can find out more here.

Key features of this programme:

14 varied modules

Covering key exotic animal subjects delivered over 2 years

3 optional practical modules

You can choose to attend 3 optional practical modules at the end of your programme, covering small mammal surgery, avian surgery and endoscopy

Support and guidance from a Module Tutor who is recognised in their subject field

The specialist in the subject area will provide online support during each module and will be available to answer all your questions

Multiple learning processes

Presentations, written notes, interactive quizzes and exercises which test your knowledge as you work

Discussion forum

A discussion forum for conversation, debate and sharing cases with your peers and Module Tutors

Course Director

Simon Girling BVMS (Hons) DZooMed DipECZM(ZHM) EurProBiol CBiol FRSB FRCVS, oversees the programme ensuring the latest Exotic Animal content

Four sessions per month

Each module consists of four sessions spread over one month. Sessions comprise separate lessons and case-based studies to work through at your own pace

100% online

Giving you access 24/7 via our world-leading Learning Management System

Regular assessments

Pre-module and post-module assessments encourage you to reflect on your learning and evaluate your progress

Dedicated Programme Tutor

A dedicated Programme Tutor who will support you every step of the way

Interactive and engaging modules

Which allow you to absorb the learning materials in an online environment

Programme Details:

Module Summary
  1. Clinical Pathology
  2. Therapeutics and Immunisation
  3. Principles of Anaesthesia, Analgesia and Emergency and Critical Care
  4. Diagnostic Imaging
  5. Current Concepts in Surgery
  6. Avian Medicine and Surgery
  7. Biology, Nutrition, Husbandry and Common Diseases of Mice, Rats, Hamsters, Guinea Pigs, Chinchillas, Degus and Gerbils
  8. Biology, Nutrition, Husbandry and Common Diseases of Rabbits
  9. Biology, Nutrition, Husbandry and Diseases of Ferrets and Fish
  10. Biology, Nutrition, Husbandry and Diseases of Other Pets and Invertebrates
  11. Reptile Medicine and Surgery
  12. Wildlife Medicine
  13. Primate Biology and Medicine
  14. Zoo Animal Management

Please note the module order may be subject to change

Qualifications

The Exotic Animal Practice Online Learning Programme offers you a comprehensive range of structured learning with the ultimate flexibility to access the training that you want whilst working around your busy practice life.

You can choose to let the Programme give you new knowledge and skills to take back to practice or you can work towards a recognised qualification.

General Practitioner Certificate (GPCert)

By attending the full online structured programme and the successful completion of the International School of Veterinary Postgraduate Studies (ISVPS) assessments including an exam you can gain the GPCert awarded by ISVPS.

Only registered veterinary surgeons who have been qualified for a minimum of one year can apply to undertake a General Practitioner Certificate.

Postgraduate Certificate (PgC)

A route to a PgC in Exotic Animal Practice is available through our partnership with Harper Adams University (HAU).

The PgC is a recognised higher education qualification demonstrating that you have achieved the required standard within a designated subject. The qualification represents Masters Level 7 within the Quality Assurance Agency’s framework for higher and further education.

For GPCert and PgC fees please see our pricing table in the ‘Pricing’ tab above.

RCVS Advanced Practitioner Status

After completing your Postgraduate Certificate you can apply for the RCVS Advanced Practitioner Status. This is subject to meeting all of the other entry requirements set out by the RCVS in the Applicant Guidance Notes. You will also need to provide evidence of Key Professional Skills knowledge to the RCVS when applying for the Advanced Practitioner Status.

Venue: Online
Date: July 2023 - November 2024

PgC/GPCert in Exotic Animal Practice

July 2023 - November 2024
Online
14 Modules
14 Online sessions
3 Optional Practical Attendance Modules
PgC/GPCert in Exotic Animal Practice
See the pricing tab – pay as you learn options available

ACCREDITED BY:

ISVPS

IN PARTNERSHIP WITH:

Harper Adams University
01 - Clinical Pathology
E-learning | July 2023
Online

Key learning objectives:

  • Understand how to collect diagnostic samples including sampling sites and blood volumes, faecal, urine and bone marrow samples
  • Interpret haematological and biochemical profiles based on knowledge of normal values and the changes which occur in disease processes
  • Evaluate bone marrow samples
  • Describe how to collect and evaluate cytological samples
  • Appreciate microbiological investigation of exotic animals
Tutors:
Prof. Simon Girling ( BVMS (Hons) DZooMed DipECZM(ZHM) EurProBiol CBiol FRSB FRCVS)
02 - Therapeutics and Immunisation
E-learning | September 2023
Online

Key learning objectives:

  • Revise the correct storage, dispensing and labelling of medicines
  • Understand the pharmacokinetics, potential interactions and adverse effects of common therapeutic agents including anaesthetics, anti-inflammatories, analgesics, anti- microbials and anti-parasitics.
  • Describe what immunisation options exist for exotic patients
  • Delivery of drugs to exotic pets and zoo animals
Tutors:
Prof. Simon Girling ( BVMS (Hons) DZooMed DipECZM(ZHM) EurProBiol CBiol FRSB FRCVS)
03 - Principles of Anaesthesia, Analgesia and Emergency and Critical Care
E-learning | October 2023
Online

Key learning objectives:

  • Identify the type of fluid replacement required
  • Calculate fluid requirements
  • Appreciate different administration techniques and cannulation techniques
  • Select appropriate agents for the restraint, pre-medication, induction and maintenance of anaesthesia
  • Monitor anaesthesia
  • Apply knowledge of emergency and resuscitation techniques in anaesthesia to clinical situations if required
  • Understand the basic principles of emergency and critical care medicine of exotic pets
Tutors:
Prof. Simon Girling ( BVMS (Hons) DZooMed DipECZM(ZHM) EurProBiol CBiol FRSB FRCVS)
04 - Diagnostic Imaging
E-learning | November 2023
Online

Key learning objectives:

  • Appreciate the value of imaging techniques in mammals, reptiles and avian species including:
    • Review radiography and radiology of soft tissues and the skeleton
    • Revise contrast media techniques
    • Describe ultrasonography and echocardiography of exotic patients
    • Become familiar with the principles of endoscopy including the respiratory, gastrointestinal and reproductive tracts
Tutors:
Charly Pignon (DVM, Dipl. ECZM)
05 - Current Concepts in Surgery
E-learning | January 2024
Online

Key learning objectives:

  • Understand basic surgical techniques, surgical neutering and coelomic surgery
  • Use knowledge gained to implant microchips
  • Apply knowledge gained to performing various oesophagostomy techniques
  • Describe how to repair shell and beak defects
  • Explain the use of radiosurgery in exotics
  • Approach the orthopaedic patient and understand the common fracture types in different species, the principles of internal and external fracture repair and muscle tendon adhesions
Tutors:
Prof. Stephen Divers (BVetMed, DZooMed, DECZM(Herp), DECZM(ZHM), DACZM, FRCVS)
06 - Avian Medicine and Surgery
E-learning | February 2024
Online

Key learning objectives:

  • Explain the investigation and treatment of gastro-intestinal diseases in birds
  • Investigate and treat diseases of the upper and lower airways including the nares, sinuses, and infections such as Chlamydophilosis and Aspergillosis
  • Approach beak and feather disease and feather plucking
  • Understand urogenital tract disease including excessive egg laying, egg binding, cloacal disease and orchitis
  • Manage trauma cases including fractures
Tutors:
Prof. Simon Girling ( BVMS (Hons) DZooMed DipECZM(ZHM) EurProBiol CBiol FRSB FRCVS)
07 - Biology, Nutrition, Husbandry and Common Diseases of Mice, Rats, Hamsters, Guinea Pigs, Chinchillas, Degus and Gerbils
E-learning | March 2024
Online

Key learning objectives:

  • Describe the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of common skin diseases including ectoparasitic, bacterial, viral, fungal and endocrine disorders
  • Understand diseases affecting the gastro-intestinal tract including Tyzzer’s disease, wet tail, dental malocclusions and coccidiosis
  • Transform your approach to the diagnosis and treatment of respiratory disorders
  • Approach the diagnosis and treatment of endocrine conditions
  • Develop your understanding the diseases which affect the reproductive and urinary tracts
  • Appreciate conditions which affect the CNS
  • Understand sebaceous gland dermatitis, reproductive and adrenal gland disease affecting the skin and behavioural induced skin disease in gerbils
Tutors:
Richard A. Saunders (BSc (Hons) BVSc FRSB CBiol DZooMed (Mammalian) DipECZM(ZHM) MRCVS  RCVS Specialist in Zoo and Wildlife Medicine (Mammalian) European Specialist in Zoological Medicine (ZHM) )
08 - Biology, Nutrition, Husbandry and Common Diseases of Rabbits
E-learning | April 2024
Online

Key learning objectives:

  • Diagnose and treat dermatological diseases
  • Investigate and treat gastrointestinal diseases including motility disturbances, mucoid enteropathy and diarrhoea
  • Formulate a treatment plan for dental disease including overgrown teeth and traumatic injuries to teeth, treatment of abscesses and caries
  • Be familiar with the diagnosis and treatment of respiratory tract disease including Pasteurellosis
  • Understand conditions affecting the musculoskeletal and nervous systems including vestibular disease
  • Investigate and treat reproductive and urinary tract diseases
  • Describe common infectious diseases such as E cuniculi, myxomatosis and viral haemorrhagic disease
Tutors:
Richard A. Saunders (BSc (Hons) BVSc FRSB CBiol DZooMed (Mammalian) DipECZM(ZHM) MRCVS  RCVS Specialist in Zoo and Wildlife Medicine (Mammalian) European Specialist in Zoological Medicine (ZHM) )
09 - Biology, Nutrition, Husbandry and Diseases of Ferrets and Fish
E-learning | May 2024
Online

Key learning objectives:

  • Diagnose and treat ectoparasitic, bacterial, fungal, viral and neoplastic skin disease in ferrets
  • Investigate and treat diseases affecting the gastrointestinal, respiratory and urogenital systems in ferrets
  • Understand infectious diseases in ferrets such as distemper, tuberculosis, Aleutian disease and human influenza
  • Assess disease patterns, environmental factors and fish husbandry and apply these to quarantine and disease prevention strategies
  • Perform clinical examinations and have a knowledge of anaesthesia, medication and therapeutics with respect to fish
  • Diagnose and treat common skin diseases, ocular disorders, respiratory and internal disease and have an understanding of the principles of fish surgery
Tutors:
Prof. Simon Girling ( BVMS (Hons) DZooMed DipECZM(ZHM) EurProBiol CBiol FRSB FRCVS)
10 - Biology, Nutrition, Husbandry and Diseases of Other Pets and Invertebrates
E-learning | June 2024
Online

Key learning objectives:

  • Review the husbandry and diseases of small pet marsupials such as sugar gliders, wallabies and opossums and how to treat them
  • Outline the husbandry and diseases of pet skunks and how to treat them
  • Describe the husbandry and diseases of Procyonids such as the raccoon, coatimundi and kinkajou and how to treat them
  • Explain the husbandry and diseases of Herpestids such as the dwarf mongoose and meerkat and how to treat them
  • Understand the husbandry and diseases of Asiatic short clawed otters and how to treat them
  • Review the husbandry and diseases of African pygmy hedgehogs and how to treat them
  • Detail the husbandry and diseases of Prairie dogs and how to treat them
  • Increase your knowledge on the husbandry and common conditions affecting pet amphibians and how to treat them
  • Outline the husbandry and diseases of commonly kept invertebrates and how to treat them
Tutors:
Prof. Simon Girling ( BVMS (Hons) DZooMed DipECZM(ZHM) EurProBiol CBiol FRSB FRCVS)
11 - Reptile Medicine and Surgery
E-learning | July 2024
Online

Key learning objectives:

  • Formulate an approach to the sick reptile including post hibernation anorexia and hypocalcaemic collapse
  • Diagnose and treat dermatological conditions including dysecdysis, scale rot and abscesses and metabolic, nutritional and infectious bone and shell disorders
  • Diagnose and treat common gastroenterological disorders including mouth rot, vomiting and regurgitation and liver disease
  • Approach respiratory and cardiovascular disease including pneumonia and lungworm
  • Investigate respiratory tract and reproductive disease
  • Understand the common infectious diseases of reptiles
Tutors:
Prof. Simon Girling ( BVMS (Hons) DZooMed DipECZM(ZHM) EurProBiol CBiol FRSB FRCVS)
12 - Wildlife Medicine
E-learning | September 2024
Online

Key learning objectives:

  • Formulate an approach to the restraint, anaesthesia and trauma management of wild birds and mammals
  • Diagnose and manage common disorders of the following wildlife species: the red fox, badger, hedgehog, bats, deer, small mustelids (Weasels, Stoat, Polecat, Pine Martens), otter, wild cats, squirrels, wild lagomorphs, seals, rodents, wild birds, reptiles and amphibians
  • Approach rehabilitation of wildlife
  • Understand the zoonotic diseases which affect particular species of wildlife
Tutors:
Prof. Simon Girling ( BVMS (Hons) DZooMed DipECZM(ZHM) EurProBiol CBiol FRSB FRCVS)
13 - Primate Biology and Medicine
E-learning | October 2024
Online

Key learning objectives:

  • Diagnose, treat and prevent ectoparasitic, bacterial, viral, fungal and neoplastic skin diseases
  • Understand gastrointestinal disease including bacterial gastroenteritis, gastric dilation, diarrhoea and dental caries
  • Appreciate diseases affecting the cardio-respiratory system
  • Describe metabolic/ nutritional bone disease, musculoskeletal and neurological disease, arthritis and limb fractures
  • Investigate and treat infectious diseases
  • Diagnose and treat diseases of the urogenital tract including endometrial, ovarian and mammary disease
Tutors:
Prof. Simon Girling ( BVMS (Hons) DZooMed DipECZM(ZHM) EurProBiol CBiol FRSB FRCVS)
14 - Zoo Animal Management
E-learning | November 2024
Online

Key learning objectives:

  • Approach the routine health-care management and common disease problems of zoo animals
  • Review how to restrain zoo animals
  • Understand drug delivery systems, immobilisation and anaesthetic regimes
Tutors:
Prof. Simon Girling ( BVMS (Hons) DZooMed DipECZM(ZHM) EurProBiol CBiol FRSB FRCVS)

Venue: Online
Date: July 2023 - November 2024

PgC/GPCert in Exotic Animal Practice

July 2023 - November 2024
Online
14 Modules
14 Online sessions
3 Optional Practical Attendance Modules
PgC/GPCert in Exotic Animal Practice
See the pricing tab – pay as you learn options available

ACCREDITED BY:

ISVPS

IN PARTNERSHIP WITH:

Harper Adams University

At the end of your Exotic Animal Practice Online Learning Programme, you can choose to book the three optional attendance practical modules, details below. These modules will be delivered at our state-of-the-art training venue using the latest equipment and capped to a maximum of 12 delegates. For those wanting to book the full Exotic Animal Practice Programme, these modules will be at an exclusive price. You can book these at a later date by contacting your Programme Tutor, however, we will also be opening these up to our wider veterinary community so please let us know as soon as possible, so we can guarantee you a place!

Entry Requirements

Initial registration for the Optional Practical Attendance Modules is open on a first come first serve basis to delegates booking onto the Exotic Animal Practice Online Learning Programme. Any bookings made thereafter will be subject to review and acceptance. Improve International have the right to refuse a booking if it does not meet the entry requirements stated above. Please contact us for further information.


01 - Small Mammal Surgery
Practical | 22/01/2024
Swindon
  • Discuss pre-operative and anaesthetic planning to minimise patient morbidity and mortality  
  • Appreciate the important components of exotic animal surgical instrumentation, patient positioning/preparation, and surgeon ergonomics 
  • Perform the following surgical procedures on cadavers; 
  • Interosseous catheterisation 
  • Endotracheal intubation 
  • Incisor extraction 
  • Ovariohysterectomy 
  • Orchidectomy 
  • Cystotomy 
  • Gastrotomy, enterotomy 
  • Appreciate and plan post-operative care and re-evaluation to minimise patient morbidity and mortality 
  • Tutors:
    To be confirmed
    02 - Avian Surgery
    Practical | 23/01/2024
    Swindon
  • Discuss pre-operative and anaesthetic planning to minimise patient morbidity and mortality  
  • Appreciate the important components of exotic animal surgical instrumentation, patient positioning/preparation, and surgeon ergonomics 
  • Perform the following surgical procedures on cadavers; 
    • Intravenous and interosseous catheterisation 
    • Endotracheal intubation 
    • Ingluviotomy and crop biopsy 
    • Left lateral coeliotomy and salpingohysterectomy 
    • Ventral coeliotomy and cloacopexy 
    • Cloacoplasty 
    • Tibiotarsal and/or humeral fracture repair 

    4. Appreciate and plan post-operative care and re-evaluation to minimise patient morbidity and mortality 

    Tutors:
    To be confirmed
    03 - Endoscopy
    Practical | 24/01/2024
    Swindon

    1. Explain how endoscopy equipment works and is put together 

    2. Review the basic endosurgical procedures 

    3. Perform the following procedures on cadavers; 

    • Otoscopy 
    • Stomatoscopy  
    • Laryngotracheoscopy 

    4. Laparoscopy and; 

    • Liver biopsy 
    • Ovariectomy 
    • Cystoscopy 
    • Colonoscopy 
    • Coelioscopy (left) 
    • Exploration and evaluation 
    • Liver, kidney, lung and spleen biopsy 
    • Coelioscopy (right) 
    • Exploration and evaluation 
    • Pancreatic biopsy 
    • Cloacoscopy 

     

    Tutors:
    To be confirmed

    Venue: Online
    Date: July 2023 - November 2024

    PgC/GPCert in Exotic Animal Practice

    July 2023 - November 2024
    Online
    14 Modules
    14 Online sessions
    3 Optional Practical Attendance Modules
    PgC/GPCert in Exotic Animal Practice
    See the pricing tab – pay as you learn options available

    ACCREDITED BY:

    ISVPS

    IN PARTNERSHIP WITH:

    Harper Adams University
    • Early bird prices
    • Regular prices
    Less than a month before the start date
    Exotic Animal Practice
    Payment Option Initial Payment Remaining Balance Total Payable
    GPCert - Payment in full £7,249.00 - £7,249.00
    PgC - Payment in full £9,249.00 - £9,249.00
    GPCert Programme deposit 12 monthly installments - Total cost £1,649.00 £5,600.00 £7,249.00
    GPCert Programme deposit and remaining balance £1,649.00 £5,600.00 £7,249.00
    PgC - deposit and 12 monthly installments - Total cost £1,649.00 £710.00 x 12 £10,169.00
    Payment Option Initial Payment Remaining Balance Total Payable
    GPCert - Payment in full £8,698.80 - £8,698.80
    PgC - Payment in full £11,098.80 - £11,098.80
    GPCert Programme deposit 12 monthly installments - Total cost £1,978.80 £6,720.00 £8,698.80
    GPCert Programme deposit and remaining balance £1,978.80 £6,720.00 £8,698.80
    PgC - deposit and 12 monthly installments - Total cost £1,978.80 £852.00 x 12 £12,202.80
    Optional modules
    Payment Option Initial Payment Remaining Balance Total Payable
    Full price £1,799.00 - £1,799.00
    Payment Option Initial Payment Remaining Balance Total Payable
    Full price £2,158.80 - £2,158.80
    Up to one month before the start date
    Exotic Animal Practice
    Payment Option Initial Payment Remaining Balance Total Payable
    GPCert - Payment in full £6,999.00 - £6,999.00
    PgC - Payment in full £8,999.00 - £8,999.00
    GPCert Programme deposit and remaining balance £1,399.00 £5,600.00 £6,999.00
    PgC - Deposit and remaining balance £1,399.00 £7,600.00 £8,999.00
    PgC - deposit and 12 monthly installments - Total cost £1,399.00 £710.00 x 12 £9,919.00
    GPCert Programme deposit 12 monthly installments - Total cost £1,399.00 £525.00 x 12 £7,699.00
    Payment Option Initial Payment Remaining Balance Total Payable
    GPCert - Payment in full £8,398.80 - £8,398.80
    PgC - Payment in full £10,798.80 - £10,798.80
    GPCert Programme deposit and remaining balance £1,678.80 £6,720.00 £8,398.80
    PgC - Deposit and remaining balance £1,678.80 £9,120.00 £10,798.80
    PgC - deposit and 12 monthly installments - Total cost £1,678.80 £852.00 x 12 £11,902.80
    GPCert Programme deposit 12 monthly installments - Total cost £1,678.80 £630.00 x 12 £9,238.80
    Optional modules
    Payment Option Initial Payment Remaining Balance Total Payable
    Full Price £1,599.00 - £1,599.00
    Payment Option Initial Payment Remaining Balance Total Payable
    Full Price £1,918.80 - £1,918.80
    The fees include ALL registration and exam fees to achieve both a GPCert from ISVPS and a PgC from Harper Adams University.

    Payment Terms & Conditions

    1. Payments can be made by BACS, credit card or Direct Debit.

    2. Direct Debit plans are administered and collected on our behalf by GoCardless Limited.

    3. In certain circumstances, multiple booking and corporate discounts are available, please contact us on 01793 759159 for further information.

    4. In order to confirm your place, we must receive payment in full or the relevant initial payment.

    5. In addition, if paying by Direct Debit, we must receive the completed mandate prior to course commencement.

    6. Please also see our full terms and conditions on our website – Terms and Conditions.

    We will charge VAT by default if you are part of an EU country outside of the UK. However, if you can supply a valid intra-community VAT number the invoice will be exempt from VAT.

    Registration Information

    1. Applications are accepted on a first-come, first served basis.

    2. Where all available places are full, applicants will be offered first refusal for the next available date.

    3. Improve International reserves the right to close the intake early if the number of applications received exceeds the number of available places.

    4. Confirmation and enrolment details will then be sent to applicants once we have received a completed application form.

    Venue: Online
    Date: July 2023 - November 2024

    PgC/GPCert in Exotic Animal Practice

    July 2023 - November 2024
    Online
    14 Modules
    14 Online sessions
    3 Optional Practical Attendance Modules
    PgC/GPCert in Exotic Animal Practice
    See the pricing tab – pay as you learn options available

    ACCREDITED BY:

    ISVPS

    IN PARTNERSHIP WITH:

    Harper Adams University

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Vet Online Learning

    Who can enrol on the Online Learning programmes?
    What does the GPCert consist of?
    What does the PgC consist of?
    Is the PgC programme recognised by other countries?
    Can I do the GPCert and the PgC at the same time?
    How can I track my progress in the programme?
    Does the Postgraduate Certificate (PgC) programme differ from the GPCert?
    Do I have to access the programme via a specific browser?
    Which modules do I choose for the PgC and when do I have to choose them?
    Is the General Practitioner Certificate (GPCert) all online?
    How do I submit my case report for the GPCert?
    How do I register for the GPCert and/or the PgC?
    What do the case logs for the case diary consist of?
    Can I defer a module?
    If coming from a non-European country – how would face-to-face module attendance work for the PgC?

    Venue: Online
    Date: July 2023 - November 2024

    PgC/GPCert in Exotic Animal Practice

    July 2023 - November 2024
    Online
    14 Modules
    14 Online sessions
    3 Optional Practical Attendance Modules
    PgC/GPCert in Exotic Animal Practice
    See the pricing tab – pay as you learn options available

    ACCREDITED BY:

    ISVPS

    IN PARTNERSHIP WITH:

    Harper Adams University