Approach to Spinal Disease in General Practice TimeOnline

12/04/2021 all-day
Centre for Veterinary Education
02 9351 7979
Approach to Spinal Disease in General Practice TimeOnline @ Online

Spinal disease is a common clinical presentation in veterinary practice. It is however a misconception that these conditions can only be managed by veterinary specialists.

During this course we will emphasize what you can do in general practice without expensive diagnostics and invasive treatments.


  • Dr Steven De Decker

CPD Points: 10

We will see in the first module how following the principles of a problem-based clinical-reasoning approach will allow you to recognise the most likely diagnosis in dogs with acute paralysis. This will help you differentiating between cases that can be managed in clinical practice and those that require referral.

We will introduce the ‘5-finger-rule’ which will greatly help you differentiating between surgical and non-surgical spinal emergencies.

The second module will introduce you to a group of common, but poorly understood conditions; chronic spinal disorders. We will discuss new insights and remaining controversies about the most common chronic spinal disorders, such as Type II intervertebral disc disease, vertebral/spinal malformations, degenerative lumbosacral stenosis and cervical spondylomyelopathy (‘wobbler syndrome’).

Module three will focus on another common clinical presentation: neck problems in dogs. We will highlight different clinical presentations and discuss how to recognise the most common clinical presentations.

The last module will highlight that some common canine spinal disorders occur only very rarely in cats. You therefore need to consider different conditions and a different diagnostic approach when evaluating a cat with spinal disease. We will see again how following the principles of clinical reasoning can help you recognizing the most likely spinal condition in your feline patient.

By successfully completing this course, you will:

  • Be comfortable assessing the most common causes of acute paralysis in practice
  • Have a basic understanding of the current concepts and controversies associated with chronic spinal disease
  • Be able to recognise a neck problem and list the most likely differentials for your patient
  • Know that cats are affected by different spinal conditions than dog


Monday, 12 April 2021 to
Sunday, 09 May 2021

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