Love your liver: Liver disease in dogs and cats (2023)

10 weeksInternal Medicine12 CPD hours

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

The course is run by our very own Scott Kilpatrick (EBVS and RCVS Recognised Specialist in Small Animal Internal Medicine). The course runs over a ten-week period and takes around 12 hours to complete. The course is delivered via video webinars and supplemented with discussion forums and live chats with the course tutor, 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. If you sign up to the course after the live sessions have run, you will still be able to access the recordings from the live sessions).


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Course Content

Lesson 1: Diagnosis of Liver Disease… which enzymes matter? 17/04/2023
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? 24/04/2023
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: Canine Infectious and Inflammatory Liver Disease 01/05/2023
learning outcomes
  • Learn the most common infectious diseases to affect the liver.
  • Inflammation in the liver… does it really matter?
  • When to biopsy and how.
Lesson 4: Feline Inflammatory/Infectious Liver Disease 08/05/2023
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 5: Hepatic vascular anomalies… its all in the shunt 15/05/2023
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 6: Metabolic and Toxic Diseases of the Liver… why is the Scottie special? 22/05/2023
learning outcomes
  • Review the most common drugs that cause liver damage.
  • Understand the most common metabolic cause of liver disease.
  • What is the best treatment and does the Scottie dog care?
Lesson 7: A tale of two toxins… A liver’s story 29/05/2023
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 8: Feline Hepatic Lipidosis 05/06/2023
learning outcomes
  • Understand the pathophysiology of hepatic lipidosis.
  • Review the best way to diagnose this condition.
  • Learn the most up to date treatment options for treating cats with hepatic lipidosis.
Lesson 9: Diseases of the Gallbladder… do you care about the sludge? 12/06/2023
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?
Live Q&A and Case Discussion (Thurs 22/06/23 @ 8pm BST)
learning outcomes
  • Take away advice from the discussion and apply to your cases in practice.
  • We will bring along a few interesting cases too!

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.

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