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 Advanced Wildlife Veterinary Treatment

 One-day Course - 11 CVE credits


  Next course: 2020..


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This training course concentrates on the theory and practice of wildlife treatment options available to veterinary practioners. In order to provide the optimum learning opportunity the course is limited to an intimate group of twenty attendees. With this small group size our instructors are able to tailor their teaching to the level of knowledge you already have. This course is therefore open to anyone in the veterinary profession - regardless of your wildlife experience.

This course - 'Advanced Wildlife Veterinary Treatment' is designed to give veterinary professionals an in-depth knowledge of the modern approaches to mammalian and avian wildlife treatment options after first aid and stabilisation has been achieved.

This one day course has been accredited by the Veterinary Council of Ireland for
11 CVE credits








Registration & Coffee


Veterinary legal and ethical obligations
Rehabilitator responsibilities
Clinical examination
Basic treatments
Common conditions; waterbirds, raptors, passerines, mammals
Fracture management
Hospitalisation considerations
Postoperative management
Case studies

12.00 Lunch
13.00 Skills and practical sessions;
Capture, Handling, Restraint
Physical examination
Triage, Stabilisation
Diagnostics, Sampling
15.00 Coffee
15.20 - 17.30 Skills and practical sessions;
Case studies



David Couper, MRCVS

David has been the wildlife veterinary officer at the RSPCA's West Hatch Wildlife Centre in Somerset for the past 13 years, where he mainly works with native wildlife. David also works with companion animals in the Domestic Centre which deals with Inspectorate-generated animals - cruelty cases, abandonments etc.
David graduated from Glasgow in 1996 and worked in mixed practice for about 5 years, and did an MSc in Wild Animal Health at the Royal Veterinary College / Institute of Zoology.

David has been to Canada a couple of times to do voluntary work on a Swift Fox reintroduction program, and has written the fox and bat chapter, and co-authored the otter chapter, for the 2nd edition of the BSAVA Manual of Wildlife Casualties.


Kieran Corry, MVB


Kieran’s wildlife interest started at the age of 4 when he asked for a bird guide and a pair of binoculars for Christmas. As a profession he initially intended to become a marine mammal vet and did an externship with Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute in the USA which included a capture and health assessment of wild bottlenose dolphins. After realising that marine mammal veterinary meant either research or working at sea world, Kieran quickly changed his mind about this career idea.

After graduating with first class honours from University College Dublin in 2005 he worked in a busy large and small animal practice in County Tyrone.


During breaks from working in practice, Kieran did voluntary work with Amazon Community Animal Rescue, Education, and Safety in Peru, and Pilpintuwasi Wildlife Rescue - a wildlife rescue and temporary custody centre located on 20 hectares of land 20 minutes outside Iquitos, the largest city in the Peruvian Amazon. Pilpintuwasi is dedicated to protecting animals affected by the poaching and trafficking industry which thrives in Iquitos.

To pursue this interest in the small animal field, particularly orthopaedic and soft tissue surgery, he moved to Birmingham to work in a progressive small animal practice where he expanded his skills. After moving back to Ireland in 2010, Kieran wanted to work in a practice that offered the highest standard of equipment and an ethos for veterinary care that matched his own. To this end, he now commutes from Tyrone to work in Clontarf Veterinary Hospital in Dublin.

On return to practice he took on any wildlife cases that came his way and rehabilitated them himself but was limited due to lack of proper facilities until he met Dan Donoher from Kildare Animal Foundation (KAF). Kieran is now able to concentrate on the veterinary treatment of Irish wildlife and leave KAF and Hedgehog Rescue Dublin to do the rehabilitation.

His main wildlife workload involves surgical and medical treatment of traumatic injuries caused by humans.


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Frequently Asked Questions  
Course Grant  


Anyone NOT claiming CVE credits

€100 (85 GBP)

Registered Veterinary Nurses if claiming CVE credits

€140 (120 GBP)

Veterinary Surgeons (MVB) if claiming CVE credits

€200 (170 GBP)

Fee includes:
lunch (vegetarian soup & sandwiches)
morning and afternoon tea, coffee and biscuits breaks
delegate pack - magazines, brochures and wildlife information
WRI Certificate of Participation

This course has been accredited by the Veterinary Council of Ireland
for 11 CVE credits


Q - How often do you run these courses
A - As demand dictates. We announce dates in our e-newsletter as and when they are confirmed.

Q - Why is it more expensive for vets and nurses than general public
A - Though we have issues with the price of CPD for the veterinary profession, we have to face the fact that they have to pay one CPD provider or another, and we can't afford not to charge similar fees to the other CPD providers.

Q - Why is it more expensive for vets than for nurses
A - Vets are paid more than nurses!

Q - I'm a vet but don't need CPD, do I still have to pay the vet fee
A - No. Anyone not claiming CPD can register under the general public category.

Q - How do I get notified of upcoming Courses?
A - Click HERE to join our mailing list and be the first to hear date announcements for future courses.

Q - Can I get a refund if I can't attend after booking
A - Click HERE for Cancellation Policy.

Q - Can I reserve a place on the next Course?
A - Sorry no. You can't know if you'll be able to attend until you know the date so I'm afraid it's first-come-first-served.

Q - How do I use the online registration system
A - When a course is open for registration, there will be a sentence saying: 'Click HERE to register', at the top of the page. Clicking on it brings you automatically to the online system - if you're having problems, click the HELP button below for instructions.

Difficulty Registering?




Course Grant

If the fees are preventing your attendance you can contact us to discuss grant assistance

We have been asked by potential donors how to obtain the greatest good for wildlife from financial donations.   Our belief at WRI is that educating people about the importance and practice of wildlife care has the greatest long term good.

If you would like to donate specifically to the Wildlife Course Grant Fund to help subsidise our Wildlife Courses for those of limited means, please click on the DONATE button below.



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Wildlife Rehabilitation Ireland’s
Advanced Wildlife Veterinary Treatment Course Report

Presented by David Couper MRCVS, and Kieran Corry MVB

On September 25th in Ashbourne Co Meath, vets and vet nurses attended a day course hosted by Wildlife Rehabilitation Ireland on Advanced Wildlife Treatment for Veterinary Professionals.
The course was accredited by the Veterinary Council of Ireland.

Kieran Corry MRCVS introduced himself as a small animal vet who treats wildlife. He initially intended to become a marine mammal vet but after realising that marine mammal veterinary meant either research or working at Sea World, he changed his mind. He has a particular interest in orthopaedic and soft tissue surgery but has a passion for working with wildlife when it comes his way. He now works in Campsie Vet Centre in Tyrone in Northern Ireland.

vet course

Kieran spoke about Veterinary obligations around treating wildlife, and reminded veterinary professionals that they are obligated to attend to a wildlife casualty in an emergency even though it might just be in the form of providing first aid, then ideallythey refer the animal to a wildlife rehabilitator. He also spoke about rehabilitators’ responsibilities to casualties and the differences between treating and caring for wildlife versusdomestic animals. For severely injured wildlife, managing soft tissue injuries was discussed.
The morning continued with lots of great advice on treatments and handling, and two comprehensive lectures on anaesthesia and fracture managementwhich included anaesthesia techniques and considerations, advanced orthopaedic conditions in wildlife, treatment options for various of these conditions, and post-operative care.

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Following on from Kieran’s’ lectures, David Cooper MRCVS spoke about the importance of a veterinary examination and history taking when presented with a casualty. David is the wildlife veterinary officer at the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) West Hatch Wildlife Centre in the UK for the past 13 years, where he mainly works with native wildlife.
West Hatch has excellent wildlife rehabilitation facilities with enclosures specifically designed for housing wildlife, and a fully equipped veterinary examination room and operating theatre. The Centre treats thousands of animals from Southern England every year.
After his lecture on history taking and clinical examination, he went on to speak about common conditions of waterfowl, raptors, passerines and mammals. Fishing tackle injuries, lead toxicity, and developmental conditions such as ‘angel wing’, were among the most common conditions he encounters. 

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After lunch there were practical sessions so the vets and vet nurses could gain hands on experience in handling techniques and clinical examination of a selection of our Irish wild birds, bats and other large mammals. This included applying wing bandages, gavaging birds, and the more specialised veterinary techniques such as peritoneal and intraosseous fluid therapy, fracture repair and management.  Both of the course instructors; David and Kieran, are experts in the field of wild animal management so the vet and vet nurse delegates were given a great insight into the handling, capture and restraint of wild animals.  The delegates were then given the opportunity to practice all the techniques shown by the instructors.
As the class was split up into small groups, the instructors were able to easily give plenty of individual attention to each delegate.  Many vets and nurses had different species specific interests which were excellently addressed by each instructor.

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The vets and vet nurses who attended this course went away with a greater understanding of just how important their role is when dealing with wildlife, and that ofhistory taking from the member of public who bringsthe casualty to them for treatment.
Vet clinics sometimes see wildlife casualties as something they wish they could avoid, but practices that treat inured and orphaned wildlife are highly respected and admired bytheir clientsand the public, which in turn; via social media and word of mouth, increases their client numbers. These practices benefit by being identified as compassionate and caring to all animals,clients trustthese practices more, and hence have greater confidence in them should their own domestic animal need help.
A WRI survey published in the Veterinary Journal 'Wildlife seen, treatment and outcomes in Irish veterinary hospitals and clinics' highlighted the vital role that veterinary practitioners play in the welfare and conservation of Irish wildlife – in one year alone, over 3000 casualties were brought into veterinary practices in Ireland. The fact that this WRI coursewas highly oversubscribed certainly illustrates the interest and desire for further education on this topic.

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Encouragingly, there are more and more veterinary practices willing to help wildlife and referring wildlife calls to experienced wildlife rehabilitators for advice. As awareness of the Irish Wildlife Matters website increases, so too does the number of casualties referred to these rehabilitatorsfor ongoing care following the provision of veterinary first aid and stabilisationtreatment.
For more details on upcoming courses join WRI's mailing list


Bev Truss RVN DipCABT
Wildlife Rehabilitator
The Hogsprickle Wildlife Rescue

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Accommodation options  

The Wildlife Course is held in Ashbourne Community School, at the address below:

Ashbourne Community School
1 Deerpark,
Co. Meath

Click HERE for map and details


Driving directions:

From Dublin Airport:
From the airport follow signs for the M1 (Southbound) and the M50 (Southbound). Merge onto the M1 and stay in the left hand lane. After approximately 2km, take the slip road for the M50 (Southbound).
Stay on the motorway for 2 junctions, following signs for the N2, Ashbourne & Derry. Once you are on the N2/M2, after approximately 14km you will come to another roundabout, take the 3rd exit and drive all the way through Ashbourne village until you reach a cross roads with traffic lights and a campus petrol station on the left. Turn left there, then first right, then drive round to the left and you'll see the school.

From the M1 (Drogheda South junction):
Take the Drogheda / Duleek exit off the motorway and go through the toll booth on the slip road. At the roundabout at the top of the slip road take the 2nd exit signposted for Duleek. At the next roundabout take the 3rd exit towards Duleek / Ashbourne.
Go under the motorway and take the 2nd exit at the next roundabout, again signposted for Duleek / Ashbourne. Continue for 16km until you reach the junction with the N2. Turn left towards Ashbourne and travel along the N2 for approximately 8km until you reach a roundabout. Then follow the directions above (but taking the 2nd exit off the roundabout)

Public Transport directions:

From Dublin airport:
Bus number 109A click HERE for timetable or visit Bus Éireann's website

Taxi from Dublin airport roughly €48 (each way)

From Dublin city:
Bus number 103 click HERE for timetable



Price Range

Distance from Ashbourne Community School


32.8 km

Slane Farm Hostel
Harlinstown House
Co. Meath
Tel: 041 9884985 / 041 9824390

€ €

1.5 km

Baltrasna Lodge
Co Meath
Tel: 01 8350446

€ €

3 km

The Residents Hotel
Bridge Street
Co Meath
Tel: 01 8359300

€ €

4.6 km

Ashbourne House Hotel
Main Street
Co Meath
Tel: 01 835 8400
Email :

€ €

6 km

The Pillo Hotel
The Rath
County Meath
Tel: 01 835 0800
Email :

Delegates can also choose accomodation through HotelsCombined who scan and compare discounted rates from thousands of major travel sites.

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Comments from some delegates who have attended our Courses:

    2018       2019  

June 2019

Course practical session

“A great overview on treating a variety of wildlife in a compassionate and practical capacity”

“It was very informative and enjoyable to partake in”

“Well worth doing make excellent contacts for the future”

“An informative and enjoyable day of learning”

Course practical session

“As a vet when a wild animal arrives in your practice you often feel alone, useless, unprepared. This course will give you the confidence not to pts without proper reason”

“An in-depth experience into the clinical treatment of Irish wildlife”

“Very interesting, very relevant, presented by enthusiastic and knowledgeable people! Great!”
“Useful, practical and well presented!”

Course practical session

“Lovely bunch of people running this course and great contacts to have for future wildlife advice”

“A crash course in wildlife veterinary providing all the resources to leave you confident in your ethical treatment plan”

“Learned loads, ate loads – left satisfied!”

Course practical session

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October 2018

Course practical session “I enjoyed the whole learning experience and would recommend it to any practitioner having an interest and seeing wildlife in practice”

“Ideal to understand what you have to face if you don’t have experience with wildlife medicine”

“Great opportunity to learn and practice clinical skills”

“Covered everything that I expected in a very relaxed but informative manner”

Course practical session

“Excellent and interesting course that provides easy to apply theory and practical skills to implement in everyday veterinary practice”

“Understandable even for VN students. Very useful”

“Great day to learn and meet likeminded professionals”

“Great coverage of topics related to all areas of wildlife rehab”

Course practical session


“Fantastic course – a must for all vet students and graduates wanting to work with wildlife”

“Very comprehensive and useful for vets/VNs in first opinion practice”

“Very enjoyable”

“The course was excellent and really helped to further my knowledge on treating wildlife. Would highly recommend”

Course practical session

Course practical session

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2016 Course

September 2016

vet course 9

vet course 2

“Practical, detailed, in-depth information to further your wildlife knowledge”

“Great to get hands on experience”

“Enjoyable learning alongside likeminded, passionate, altruistic people”

“It is always a pleasure to meet nice people that put such an effort together because wildlife matters”

“You get used to the smell after a while!”

“As ever a fab weekend on this important topic and it’s very encouraging to see so many professionals willing to help and support wildlife rehabbers”

“Super wildlife course!”



vet course 3 vet course 8







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