Veterinary Care of Australian Wildlife | Centre for Veterinary Education

Veterinary Care of Australian Wildlife

This course is designed to give the veterinary practitioner a basic understanding of the treatment of native fauna.

It is not intended to be a comprehensive course on diseases and treatment of native fauna, but rather a practical guide to the problems that a veterinary practitioner may encounter in practice and how to deal with them.

Native fauna or wildlife that is presented to veterinarians generally falls into one of three categories. The first is orphaned wildlife. These are reptiles, birds and mammals that have for various reasons been separated from their adult care giver and require hand-rearing. The second group is injured wildlife. These animals are presented to veterinarians because they have been traumatised either by motor vehicles, introduced predators or other misadventure. The third group is wildlife suffering disease. Some diseases occur commonly in certain species and some in certain areas and these will be discussed. Basic first aid for native wildlife is important and is covered in the course. Restraint of native wildlife is discussed as is the hand-rearing of native fauna.

In addition to orphaned and injured wild fauna, veterinarians may be called upon to diagnose and treat native wildlife in fauna parks or zoos. They may also be called upon to treat pet native animals in some Australian states where it is legal to keep these animals as pets.

On completion of this course, participants will have a basic knowledge and understanding of the common presentations in native wildlife and the treatment options available.

Learning Outcomes

On completion of this course, participants will:

  • have a good understanding of aspects of anatomy and physiology of marsupials, birds and reptiles that are important for the practical considerations of veterinarians

  • be more confident in restraining native fauna and administering first aid

  • have an appreciation of common presentations and their treatment for Australian native mammals, birds and reptiles


  1. Introduction

  2. Hand-rearing

  3. Macropods (kangaroos and wallabies)

  4. Koalas

  5. Possums and Gliders

  6. Flying Foxes and Bats

  7. Wombats

  8. Echidnas and Platypus

  9. Birds

  10. Reptiles 


Monday 24 July - Sunday 20 August 2017
Delivered Online


BVSc MACVSc MRCVS DipVetWildMed MBA AIMM GradCertCaptAnMan

David graduated from the University of Sydney in 1982 with second-class honours. He worked for five years in private practice including companion animal, equine and mixed practices. From 1988 to 1990 he taught part-time at Sydney TAFE in the school of biology whilst completing a post-graduate Diploma of Veterinary Wild Animal Medicine and Husbandry at the University of Sydney and Taronga Zoo. He was employed as a clinical veterinarian at Taronga Zoo from 1988 to 1989. At the end of 1989 he moved to Dubbo where he was employed as the clinical veterinarian at Western Plains Zoo. In 1991 he was appointed as the Manager, Life Sciences, Western Plains Zoo. David was admitted to the Australian College of Veterinary Scientists by examination in the Medicine of Zoo Animals in 1992. He became an examiner and mentor for candidates for College examinations in Medicine of Zoo Animals and Medicine of Australasian Wildlife Species from 1992 to 2006. In 2001 David moved to Sea World, on the Gold Coast where he was employed as the clinical veterinarian, a position that he holds currently. Current interests include artificial reproduction, reintroduction biology and diseases of macropods and cetaceans.

Course Fees

Member TypeTimeOnline
Recent Grad / Part-time Member$289
Student Member$145
Non-member / eMember$578
*Members include: Practice, Professional and Academic members

You may be eligible for a 10% discount off your registration. Please read the full Terms & Conditions to see if you are eligible. Discounts can’t be processed online so please contact the CVE on +61 2 9351 7979 or to register.     

Further details

Have a question? Your answer could be on our frequently asked questions page. If you cannot find an answer for your question, please email us or call us on +61 2 9351 7979.