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Unit information: Anaesthesia and Fluid Therapy in Veterinary Practice in 2015/16

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Unit name Anaesthesia and Fluid Therapy in Veterinary Practice
Unit code VETS20007
Credit points 10
Level of study I/5
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 4 (weeks 1-24)
Unit director Dr. Holopherne-Doran
Open unit status Not open

All first year units


All other second year units

School/department Bristol Veterinary School
Faculty Faculty of Health Sciences

Description including Unit Aims

This unit introduces the student to the concepts of anaesthesia, fluid therapy and the corresponding supportive nursing care. It aims to provide the theoretical underpinning knowledge to support the students practical experience during placements of undertaking various tasks related to these subjects.


  • To provide students with an understanding of the theoretical and clinical aspects of anaesthesia, analgesia and peri-operative care.
  • To enable students to understand the patho-physiology, clinical evaluation and management of disturbances of fluid balance in patients.

Intended Learning Outcomes

• Understand the pharmacology of the various classes of anaesthetic and analgesic agents and be conversant with their pharmacological effects

• Appreciate how the anaesthetic and analgesic drugs modify the physiology of organ systems

• Understand the theoretical principles involved in the function and use of anaesthetic equipment

• Check and care for the equipment used in the delivery of anaesthetics to the veterinary patient

• Monitor vital signs in the anaesthetised patient and record monitored parameters accurately

• Understand and carry out instructions relating to anaesthesia given by a veterinary surgeon during a surgical procedure and relay information about the patient in an accurate and succinct manner

• Understand how to deal with patient in the event of an anaesthetic emergency either under the direction of a veterinary surgeon or if in sole charge of the animal

• To calculate the rate and volume of fluids which should be administered to patients

• Be familiar with the equipment available for the administration of fluid therapy as well as that for monitoring of fluid input

• Assess and compute the fluid output of a patient

• Understand the physiological changes which occur in shock

• Be confident in basic horse handling and be aware of health and safety when working around horses.

• Understand changes in the pain pathway that occur with tissue injury and the principles of preventive & multi-modal analgesia

• Be able to recognize and quantify pain in cats & dogs

Teaching Information

  • Lectures
  • Practicals

Assessment Information

The overall pass mark for this unit is 40%

Students must obtain a minimum of 40% in each of the following areas:

  • written paper (1 hour) (50%)
  • practical (20 minutes) (50%)

Students who fail to satisfy any of the above criteria will be deemed to have failed the whole Unit.

NB Students are expected to wear uniform for practical examinations .

Resits as above.

Reading and References

Recommended: (Materials needed for a deep and comprehensive understanding of the subject that students should read but perhaps selectively)

  • BSAVA Manual of Small Animal Anaesthesia & Analgesia Edited by C. Seymour & R. Gleed
  • Anaesthesia for Veterinary Nurses ed: Dr E Welsh
  • Fluid therapy for Veterinary Nurses by P Hotston Moore
  • Equine Veterinary Nursing Manual by K Coumbe
  • The Equine Hospital Manual by Kevin Corley & Jennifer Stephen