Liver and pancreatic predicaments in dogs and cats

14 weeksInternal Medicine16 CPD hours

This veterinary thought exchange online tutored course takes a more detailed look at the investigation and management of liver and pancreatic disease in dogs and cats.

The liver plays a critical role in many biologic processes essential to life. The liver has a remarkable regenerative capacity after significant loss. However, liver diseases associated with fibrosis, inflammation or viral infections impair this regenerative process and liver function deteriorates. Liver enzymes can become increased for many reasons, not always due to primary liver disease. Clinical signs can also be non-specific, which can make diagnosis challenging. We will cover diseases of the liver from acute toxicity to portosystemic shunts. Why is pancreatitis still such a challenge? We aim to answer all these questions and much more.

The course is run by Scott Kilpatrick (EBVS and RCVS Recognised Specialist in Small Animal Internal Medicine) and Aaron Harper (EBVS and RCVS Recognised Specialist in Small Animal Oncology). The course runs over a fourteen-week period and takes around 16 hours to complete. The course is delivered via video webinars and supplemented with discussion forums with the course tutors, giving you the opportunity to ask questions or discuss cases you may be facing in your practice.

(Access to this course is for 12 months).

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Course Content

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Lesson 1: Diagnosis of liver disease… Which enzymes matter? 1 Quiz Available on 05/08/2024 8:00 am 05/08/2024
learning outcomes
  • Get the most out of your biochemistry… which enzymes really matter?
  • Understand what truly tells us about liver function.
  • Ultrasound and FNA… what’s really useful?
Lesson 2: Treatment of liver disease… What actually works? 1 Quiz Available on 12/08/2024 8:00 am 12/08/2024
learning outcomes
  • Review the evidence surrounding the treatment of liver disease.
  • Understand if there is really a role for steroids and antibiotics.
  • Consolidate your understanding of copper and its management.
Lesson 3: Chronic hepatitis… Coping with copper 1 Quiz Available on 19/08/2024 8:00 am 19/08/2024
learning outcomes
  • Learn the most common presentation of chronic hepatitis.
  • Inflammation in the liver… does it really matter?
  • Discuss when copper accumulation is relevant and how to treat it.
Lesson 4: Canine infectious liver disease… In a puddle near you 1 Quiz Available on 26/08/2024 8:00 am 26/08/2024
learning outcomes
  • Discuss the most common infectious disease to affect the liver.
  • Consider the most appropriate diagnostic steps.
  • Discuss the treatment options in more acute presentations of liver disease.
Lesson 5: Feline infectious or inflammatory liver disease 1 Quiz Available on 02/09/2024 8:00 am 02/09/2024
learning outcomes
  • Cats are not small dogs… and why.
  • Review the most common causes of feline liver disease.
  • How does treatment differ… cats and dogs?
Lesson 6: Hepatic vascular anomalies… It’s all in the shunt 1 Quiz Available on 09/09/2024 8:00 am 09/09/2024
learning outcomes
  • How much does the blood tell us… ammonia to bile acids?
  • Review the imaging modality of choice.
  • Surgical vs medical… what is the best treatment?
Lesson 7: Hepatic lipidosis… And other metabolic disease of the liver 1 Quiz Available on 16/09/2024 8:00 am 16/09/2024
learning outcomes
  • Understand the most common metabolic causes of liver disease.
  • What are the best treatment options and does the Scottie dog care?
  • Learn the most up to date treatment options for treating cats with hepatic lipidosis.
Lesson 8: A tale of two toxins… A liver’s story 1 Quiz Available on 23/09/2024 8:00 am 23/09/2024
learning outcomes
  • Understand how various toxins can lead to toxic insult of the liver.
  • Learn about how two specific commonly seen toxins (paracetamol and xylitol) affect the liver and how we should treat them.
  • Why are cats always different?
Lesson 9: Diseases of the gallbladder… Do you care about the sludge? 1 Quiz Available on 30/09/2024 8:00 am 30/09/2024
learning outcomes
  • Review the most common disorders of the gallbladder.
  • What is gallbladder sludge, and do we need to treat?
  • What does the evidence say regarding treatment of gallbladder disease?
Lesson 10: Cancers of the liver – Are they always a massive headache? 1 Quiz Available on 07/10/2024 8:00 am 07/10/2024
learning outcomes
  • Describe the common tumours affecting the liver in dogs and cats.
  • Understand and evaluate the different liver biopsy techniques that are available to achieve a diagnosis.
  • Be able to develop treatment plans for the most common presentations of hepatic tumours in dogs and cats.
Lesson 11: Canine pancreatitis 1 Quiz Available on 14/10/2024 8:00 am 14/10/2024
learning outcomes
  • Pathophysiology… what do we know?
  • What is the difference between acute and chronic pancreatitis?
  • What is the difference between pancreatitis in dogs and cats?
Lesson 12: Feline pancreatitis 1 Quiz Available on 21/10/2024 8:00 am 21/10/2024
learning outcomes
  • Discuss the diagnostic challenges in cases of pancreatitis.
  • What is the best treatment option… are steroids still off the cards?!
  • What are the best strategies to manage pancreatitis long term?
Lesson 13: Exocrine pancreatic insufficiency (EPI)… Making your enzymes work! 1 Quiz Available on 28/10/2024 8:00 am 28/10/2024
learning outcomes
  • Discuss the most appropriate diagnostic pathway.
  • Review the importance of cobalamin and the best ways to supplement.
  • Review more unusual presentations of this condition… not just the German Shepherd.
Lesson 14: Cancer of the pancreas – A tale of two tumours 1 Quiz Available on 04/11/2024 8:00 am 04/11/2024
learning outcomes
  • Describe the common presentation of pancreatic tumours in the dog and cats.
  • Understand the appropriate testing necessary to achieve a diagnosis.
  • Be able to develop treatment plans for common pancreatic tumours in dogs and cats.

Meet the speakers

Scott Kilpatrick

Director, Internal Medicine Specialist

Scott graduated from Edinburgh Vet School in 2007. Initially, he worked for the PDSA, before taking a Senior Veterinary Surgeon position with Vets Now in Edinburgh in 2010. Scott started his residency in internal medicine at the University of Edinburgh in 2012 after completing a year as a Teaching Fellow in Anatomy and Physiology. He completed his residency in 2016 after finishing his Masters in the pathogenesis of canine liver disease and has since been working in referral practice. Interventional radiology is something that really interests Scott, and he spent some time in 2018, working in this area at UC Davis in California. Scott has created and delivered a Post-graduate Certificate in Small Animal Emergency Medicine in association with the University of Chester. In 2023 he was awarded Fellow of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (FRCVS) for his meritorious contribution to clinical practice.

Aaron Harper

Oncology Specialist

Aaron began his career in general practice in Northwest England back in 2008 after graduating from the University of Cambridge. In 2016, he completed a residency in small animal oncology at the University of Liverpool and during that time he completed the Certificate in Advanced Veterinary Practice (Small Animal Medicine). Aaron achieved the European Diploma in Veterinary Internal Medicine (Oncology) in 2017 and became a European and RCVS recognised Specialist in Oncology. He moved into private practice in 2018, working at Southfields Veterinary Specialists before moving to Wear Referrals in 2021. He established the Oncology service which has quickly grown over the last two years. His most recent accomplishment is completing a post-graduate certificate in medical education with the University of Dundee in 2023. Aaron’s main areas of interest are in haematological cancers and the medical management of these conditions. He is also interested in novel therapies for dogs and cats with cancer, along with the management of side-effects in these cases and his research to date has been on this subject.   Aaron is particularly passionate about the management of lymphoma and has spoken extensively on a variety of medical oncology topics at local and national CPD events. He has sat on the BSAVA Congress Programme Committee and the ECVIM Oncology Exam Committee, and is currently the Subject Matter Expert for the Linnaeus Clinical Board. Outside of work, Aaron’s spare time is taken up walking the beaches of North East England with his mini-Dachshund, Penfold. MA VetMB CertAVP (SAM) PGCME(Onc) DipECVIM-CA (Onc), MRCVS RCVS RCVS and EBVS European Veterinary Specialist in Small Animal Oncology

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