Karl Storz & An Act of Kindness

I want to share an out of the blue act of kindness with you from our wonderful training partner, Karl Storz.

Karl Storz and VetPrac joined forces in February 2020 to host a very successful workshop, Laparoscopy: Principles & Practice. Through a series of unfortunate events, timely ordering of the correct size & type of gas cylinders was not actioned. Without these cylinders, insufflation of the abdomen for laparoscopy is not possible, and therefore our workshop would not have gone ahead.

I solved the problem in an intense few hours the day before the participants were due to use the carbon dioxide for insufflation. Because of the late notice and urgent requirement for supply and delivery, the supply company applied a surcharge which of course I agreed to.

By the time we had wrapped up and debriefed on this workshop, and completed all our tasks for “Laparoscopy” the pandemic had hit, and we were busy organising, designing and coping with the present and future. Therefore, it was mid-April 2020 when I emailed Jayne Thompson, Karl Storz South Pacific Regional Manager, to discuss our plight, and ask for a contribution towards the gas cylinder bill. I had hoped for a contribution that would cover the modest “urgent fee” that had been applied to our bill.

Instead Jayne and Karl Storz offered so much more. Jayne replied with a thoughtful email, which showed that she understood VetPrac’s plight in the face of the pandemic; they appreciated that our core business for now, has stopped. Her email described VetPrac perfectly, and her empathy was tangible. On behalf of Karl Storz Jayne offered to, and has now paid, for the entire cost of the carbon dioxide cylinders that were supplied for the Laparoscopy: Principles & Practice workshop.



This act of kindness and support was as uplifting as it was unexpected. VetPrac’s responsibility was to supply the carbon dioxide cylinders, as they are “consumables” and this is our agreement with Karl Storz. In writing to Jayne and Karl Storz, I was hoping for a contribution because the communication between our companies had not been pristine, not expecting or asking for the bill to be paid in full. Jayne’s empathy, and appreciation of VetPrac’s postponement of core business for the moment, and her understanding of what that must feel like for our team, was incredible.

These times can be stressful for many who’re facing difficult circumstances. I encourage everyone to participate in a random act of kindness even if it’s only a small gesture to show appreciation for someone doing it tough or even someone who looks like they have it all together. Help us spread gratitude and kindness.


Thank you Jayne Thompson. Thank you Karl Storz. The VetPrac Team feels very appreciated and supported. You are amazing.



Surgical Instrument Care for Vet Techs & Nurses

Veterinary technicians and nurses have exceptional educational opportunities with VetPrac. We value your skills, knowledge and enthusiasm as an essential part of the veterinary care team.

On May 27 and June 17, veterinary technicians and nurses are invited to join us online for a complimentary two part series on instrument care and maintenance presented by the wonderful Cindy Grew from B Braun. Places are limited so register now to secure your spot.

Thank you for this introductory blog Cindy!

To write a blog about yourself is not easy! How do you describe yourself, what it is you do and who are you? Put me in a room with a group of people and I can talk all day, but this is difficult….so here we go.

My name is Cindy Grew and I am the Business Development Coordinator for the Vet Care division of B. Braun Australia and New Zealand.

When I am not working full time for B. Braun, I am a mother of 3 beautiful girls, wife to a supportive husband (I travel a lot), vet nurse and a wildlife carer.

I like to keep busy and learn new things; it is my love of learning that brought me to leave my fulltime position as a vet nurse, trainer, and practice manager.

For the past 8, actually now I think about it almost 9 years, I have had the privilege to be a part of an amazing team of vets and nurses at 3 hospitals, one of which is 24hrs.

The decision to leave the clinic on a full-time basis was a difficult one; who can really walk away from caring for animals every day? However, it has been so worth it.

I’ve been working for B. Braun for 2 and a half years, and part of my role is to train and educate vets, techs and nurses. Training people is something that I truly enjoy and to be able to offer this to veterinary clinics around Australia and New Zealand has been incredible. I learn a lot from my discussions with so many amazing veterinary professionals which has made me a better trainer.

I feel that continuing one’s education is vital; it helps us become better, more adaptable to our workplace and more accepting of change. To be able to bring different levels of training to nurses and techs is really important to me and to be able to offer this training remotely is incredible.

Everyone should have this opportunity, and no one should miss out.



Join Margie and Cindy on Wednesday May 27th. We’ll cover how to identify damaged and non-functioning instruments, how to clean, dry and store them and what to look for during the inspection process. Are you inspecting them every time? We will help give you the tools to process your instruments, so that you have a better understanding of the importance of their function. Then it’s over to you – tell us what it’s like in your practice and let’s go over your challenges.

Places are limited so register now to secure your spot.


Dr Charles Kuntz reviews the iM3 tabletop mouth gag

Treatment for respiratory and associated ailments in brachycephalic patients are proving common due to the popularity of these breeds. VetPrac’s Fix the Face: Brachycephalic and Ear Surgery workshop is open for registrations and we’re fortunate to have a wonderful education team led by Dr Charles Kuntz.

Register now to join us in October for hands on training with expert educators and experience using the latest equipment such as the iM3 TTMG tabletop mouth gag (TTMG).

The TTMG was designed by iM3 with the help of specialists to hold anaesthetised patients in the best possible posoition for examination and treatment of the oral cavity.

Dr Charles Kuntz has provided this review about his experience using the tabletop mouth gag (TTMG).



“I have been using the iM3 tabletop mouth gag (TTMG) for about 4 years for positioning of the head for numerous procedures, most commonly brachycephalic airway surgery. This device is absolutely perfect for positioning dogs’ heads for this procedure and saves a lot of time and expense (think endless rolls of tape) normally required for positioning brachy’s heads for surgery. The other really nice thing is that it is adjustable. We can have the head in one position for the nares and then change the position for the soft palate and saccules. I strongly recommend the use of the TTMG for this purpose”.

Dr Charles Kuntz
Specialist Surgeon
DVM, MS, MACVSc, Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Surgeons, Registered Specialist of Small Animal Surgery, Fellow of Surgical Oncology.



Join us in October! Dr Charles Kuntz, Dr Tania Banks, Dr Abbie Tipler and Dr Kat Crosse are our wonderful team of educators for this practical hands-on training. Registrations are open for the Fix the Face workshop and places are limited so book now to secure your place.


B. Braun Disinfectant is active against Coronavirus

With the global outbreak of Coronavirus (COVID-19) it’s easy to be confused about the dos, don’ts, and best practices to avoid this respiratory illness due to the overabundance of reports and social media innuendo.

B. Braun is to the rescue! A recent statement released by Andreas Arndt (Head of Research & Development, B. Braun) and Michel Mathys (International Product Manager, B. Braun) advises the hand disinfectants Softa-Man® and Softa-Man® ViscoRub are active against enveloped viruses including those from the Coronaviridae family such as COVID-19.


What is Softa-Man®?
Softa-Man® is a hand disinfectant suitable for frequent and long term use. The unique two alcohol solution is so effective, it’s also an approved surgical hand disinfectant. The product is available in liquid or gel form with sizes ranging from 100ml (ideal for carry in medical pouches) through to 1000ml that can be wall mounted in reception or surgical prep areas.


Is Softa-Man® gentle for frequent use?
Softa-Man® is suitable for frequent and long term use. The liquid and gel products are free of colourants, contain hypoallergenic perfumes, and they contain emollients dessigned to protect the skin while making the epidermal layers of the skin softer and more pliable.


Where can I purchase Softa-Man®?
Contact B. Braun with your enquiry. The Australian and New Zealand contact details are available in this brochure.

for product and contact details



Click on the images for more details about these workshops or to book your place.



Management of Wildlife injured in bushfires

Given the unprecedented number of wildlife that have been injured in Australia’s recent bushfires, many vets with minimal or no experience in wildlife injury management may have been presented with injured wildlife.

Drs Bob Doneley and Alex Mastakov of UQVets Wildlife and Exotics team have kindly offered us some basic principles of treatment of injured wildlife to share with you.

Wildlife are the unfortunate victims of bushfires within Australia. Veterinarians have a role in the management of these injured animals and can provide care through administration of anaesthesia and analgesia, wound cleaning and debridement, bandaging, dispensing medication and euthanasia. It is important for the veterinarian to remember that the aim of treating any injured wildlife is to allow them to be released back into their natural habitat and successfully breed. (The exception to this may be a rare and endangered species that is not able to survive if released into their natural habitat, but which may still be considered for breeding programs).


The aim of treating any injured wildlife is to allow them be released back into their natural habitat and successfully breed.


Accurate assessment and triage is required when dealing with burnt animals.

Triage is particularly important for wildlife injured in bushfires as it allows for appropriate allocation of resources towards animals that require rehabilitation, and for prompt euthanasia of suffering animals that are unlikely to survive even with intensive treatment.


The decision to rehabilitate or euthanize a burnt wild animal can be difficult.

Factors such as the depth, area, and location of the burn, and also how the injury will impact the animals’ ability to survive once it has been rehabilitated and released (i.e loss of multiple claws in tree dwelling animals) should be considered when making this decision. Burns to less than 15% of the body have a reasonable prognosis; burns to 15-50% of the body have a poor prognosis. Burns to over 50% of the body have a grave prognosis and require prompt euthanasia of the animal. The extent of the burn may not be fully apparent until 7 days after the initial injury due to initial tissue devitalisation and ongoing damage.


The extent of the burn may not be fully apparent until 7 days after the initial injury.


Prior to providing treatment for wildlife it is important to recognise that these animals are undomesticated and that any form of handling may result in significant stress to the animal. Thus, sedation and anaesthesia is often required to allow the animal to be safely examined and treated. Additionally, anaesthesia may be required for dressing changes and superficial wound debridement. General treatment typically involves correction of shock, provision of analgesia, fluid therapy, antimicrobial therapy and nutritional support. Surgical removal of eschars may be required in cases with full thickness burns.

Healing of the burn may take a prolonged period of time and is dependent on multiple factors including the size and depth of the burn, any complication events and clinical status of the animal. Thus, a network of experienced and committed wildlife carers that are familiar with the animals’ husbandry and care is important once the animal is ready to be managed as an outpatient.


If you require more help in management of injured wildlife the following resources may be useful: AVA Bushfire Resources.


Wiley has released JVECC Burn Injury, Burn Shock, and Smoke Inhalation review articles for Free Access for the next 6 months.


Dr Bob Doneley and Dr Alex Mastakov have generously agreed to answer email or phone queries to our community of veterinarians requiring more detailed advice re specific cases of injured wildlife. Their contact details are as follows:

Dr Alexandr Mastakov BVSc MVM MANZCVS (Avian Health)
Avian and Exotics Resident

Dr Bob Doneley BVSc FANZCVS (Avian Medicine) CMAVA
Associate Professor and Head of the Avian and Exotic Pet Service

Both Alex and Bob are based at the UQVets Wildlife and Exotics Department
UQ Veterinary Medical Centre
Building 8156, Main Drive
University of Qld, Gatton 4343
Queensland Australia
Ph 61-7-54601788


The team at VetPrac would like to take this opportunity to express our appreciation to all those involved with the challenging task of treating the huge numbers of injured wildlife. We’ve taken an initiative of donating $100 per participant at the Practical Ophthalmology Workshop at UQ Gatton on February 15-16, 2020 to the AVA Benevolent Fund.



Dr Alexandr Mastakov BVSc MVM MANZCVS (Avian Health)
Avian and Exotics Resident at the UQ Veterinary Medical Centre

Alex Mastakov graduated from James Cook University in 2013 and worked in veterinary practices in Nanango, Bundaberg and Newcastle before being accepted into the avian medicine and surgery residency and doctor of veterinary clinic science post graduate degree at The University of Queensland, Gatton in 2018.

He has completed an externship in avian medicine and surgery at the Abu Dhabi Falcon hospital and a Master of Veterinary Medicine Degree with distinction through Massey university.  He attained membership in the Avian Chapter of the Australian and New Zealand College of Veterinary Surgeons in 2018.

Alex has a keen interest in avian pain therapy, anaesthesia and surgery. His current clinical work consists of avian, reptile, small mammal and native Australian wildlife species.


Guest Blog: Pulmonary Contusions in the Small Animal Trauma Patient

Trauma in dogs and cats can cause a range of potentially serious conditions and our friends at Vet Education have developed a 4-week course addressing emergency management of trauma patients. More details about the Vet Education course are available below.

We are proud to support our friends at Vet Education and this guest blog has been kindly provided by Dr. Philip R Judge BVSc MVS PG Cert Vet Stud MACVSc (VECC; Medicine of Dogs).




Trauma in dogs and cats can cause a range of potentially serious conditions, from obvious injuries, such as fractures, open wounds, and external haemorrhage, to serious head trauma, internal haemorrhage, and life-threatening injuries of the chest cavity.

Despite advances in the management of trauma patients over recent decades, the morbidity and mortality that occur secondary to trauma remain remarkably high1. In fact, in a study evaluating causes of death in more than 74,000 dogs, trauma was the second-most common cause of death in juvenile and adult dogs2.

Thoracic injuries are one of the most common causes of mortality in the trauma patient3. Among thoracic injuries, pulmonary contusions remain one of the more challenging conditions to manage.

Pulmonary contusion occurs following non-penetrative, compression-decompression injury to the chest wall. The disruption of alveolar-endothelial integrity results in haemorrhage and oedema4. Interestingly, 80% of humans with pulmonary contusions also suffer non-thoracic injuries5 necessitating the clinician conduct a thorough patient evaluation and consideration of pulmonary contusions in patients presenting with injuries following trauma.


Lung ultrasound image showing evidence of pulmonary fluid in a patient suspected of having pulmonary contusions following chest trauma.


The pulmonary injury suffered in contusions, results in a secondary inflammatory reaction that leads to massive extravasation of fluid and inflammatory cells into pulmonary interstitial and alveolar spaces that results in progressive impairment in gas exchange for up to 12-18 hours following trauma. Concurrent myocardial contusion, rib fracture, or diaphragmatic hernia may also be present, further complicating patient management.


Radiograph of a cat that was attacked by a dog, showing a diaphragmatic hernia. Pulmonary contusions are common with this type of injury and are one of the major contributing factors to mortality.


Treatment of pulmonary contusions can be challenging. Oxygen therapy should be provided – ideally by intranasal cannula. Pleural space disorders, such as haemothorax or pneumothorax, should be managed to provide for maximal lung expansion during inhalation. Additionally, local anaesthesia and/or stabilisation of rib fractures, along with appropriate and timely management of diaphragmatic hernia are also indicated.

Some patients with pulmonary contusions require ventilation assistance, and careful patient monitoring is essential to identify such patients.


ECG tracing showing paroxysmal ventricular tachycardia, in a dog with pulmonary and myocardial contusions following trauma.


Administration of appropriate intravenous fluid therapy to patients with pulmonary contusions has long been an area of controversy, owing to concerns about excessive fluid administration contributing to pulmonary oedema. Scientific studies offer conflicting evidence regarding appropriate fluid administration. As a result, clinicians must therefore achieve a balance between limiting pulmonary pressures and providing adequate fluid resuscitation to avoid hypoperfusion complications of other organ systems.

Administration of large volumes of isotonic crystalloids, e.g., lactated Ringer’s solution should be avoided, as they are associated with excessive lung water accumulation and a deterioration of respiratory function and gas exchange.

A study6 in 2009 explored the concept of biphasic (early and late) fluid management of patients suffering septic shock complicated by acute lung injury – which has many facets similar to those observed in pulmonary contusions – including the presence of high pulmonary capillary permeability and inflammation. The study evaluated the relationship between adequate initial fluid resuscitation (AIFR), where patients received an initial fluid bolus corresponding to a positive fluid balance, and conservative late fluid management (CLFM), defined as an even-to-negative fluid balance measurement during the 7 days after lung injury. Mortality rates were lowest if used in combination, suggesting an additive effect of both fluid strategies (Murphy el al., 2009).

Given many patients with pulmonary contusions have traumatic injury to other organ systems (such as head trauma, fractures, open wounds, etc.) – all of which require positive initial fluid balance to ensure adequate tissue oxygen delivery, a strategy of fluid resuscitation to restore cardiac output and tissue oxygen delivery in acute resuscitation, followed by a more conservative fluid administration protocol seems appropriate for most patients with pulmonary contusions.

Frequent patient monitoring is essential and should be coupled with adequate analgesia and other supportive care in order to achieve optimal outcome.


Vet Education offers a comprehensive, RACE-approved 4-week online course on acute trauma management in the dog and cat, covering in detail, many aspects of the treatment of trauma, including respiratory complications. For more information, visit the Vet Education website, or email info@veteducation.com.au.



  1. Hall, KE; Sharp, CR; Adams, CR; Beilman, G. A Novel Trauma Model: Naturally Occurring Canine Trauma. Shock 41 (1) 2014
  2. Fleming JM, Creevy KE, Promislow DE: Mortality in north American dogs from 1984 to 2004: an investigation into age-, size-, and breed-related causes of death. J Vet Intern Med 25 (2): 187–198, 2011.
  3. Simpson SA, Syring R, Otto CM: Severe blunt trauma in dogs: 235 cases (1997–2003). J Vet Emerg Crit Care 19 (6): 588–602, 2009.
  4. Roch A., Guervilly C. and Papazian L. (2011). Fluid management in acute lung injury and ARDS. Annals of intensive care, 19(16).
  5. Fulton R., Peter E. and Wilson J. (1970). The pathophysiology and treatment of pulmonary contusions. J Trauma. 10, 719-730.
  6. Murphy C., Schramm G., Doherty J., Reichley R., Gajic O., Afessa B., Micek S. and Kollef M. (2009). The importance of fluid management in acute lung injury secondary to septic shock. Chest. 136(1), 102-109.



Independent Vets of Australia presents the Synergy Conference 2019

In veterinary business there are a number of key elements that when given strategic and synergistic attention can have multiplying effects on the results for the practice.

This September 19th to 21st, the Independent Vets of Australia Synergy Conference will be held at Pier One in Sydney.

Over three days this event brings together practice owners, associates and managers to learn how to accelerate practice results through collaboration with key speakers, experts and partners. International speaker and author Dr Peter Weinstein is just one of the key speakers who will present across the three days. With experience in private practice ownership and corporate practice, Dr Peter Weinstein discusses the key influencers which make independent practices excel in competitive environments. Dr Peter Weinstein will cover Education Marketing, Patients for Life, Customer Experience, Corporations and workshops based on his book entitled EMyth The Veterinarian – Why Most Veterinary Practices Don’t Work and What to Do About It.

In addition, a number of experienced guest speakers will share insights and solutions around Managing People, Thriving in Practice, Solutions to the Vet Drought, 2020 Planning & Social Media throughout the event.

Working in (and on) a veterinary practice requires agility, collaboration, and determination. The IVA Synergy Conference is designed to enable practices to identify and establish the strategies that will work synergistically towards a common goal to create success.


Full details are available online at ivaconference.com.au.
Early bird tickets available until the 31st of August.





Vet Education Online Veterinary Conference 2019

Advance your clinical decision-making and take your diagnostic skills to the next level from your couch! Join Vet Education for 2 weeks of LIVE online lectures and expert Q&As delivered by renowned specialists and speakers from around the world.

Topics include medicine, surgery, dentistry, behaviour, anaesthesia and more at the Vet Education Online Veterinary Conference 2019

You can participate live from your couch or afterwards when you have a spare moment to grab a beverage to unwind. Every lecture includes comprehensive notes and video recordings you can watch any time from your webinar library. Join in this digital conference and tell your colleagues about this extraordinary opportunity.




From July 22 – August 1, 2019 – this is an event like no other featuring a virtual conference center, virtual exhibition hall, 16 webinars, a webinar library and so, so much more! You can attend the online live lectures or watch the recording later from your own Vet Education Webinar Library!


VetPrac are proud to be supporters of this extraordinary conference
and we recommend you Register Now and lock it in to your calendar.




Proudly supported by:




VetPrac has upcoming practical workshops with limited spots remaining. Register now to avoid missing out!




We’re very proud to support the Vet Education Online Veterinary Conference 2019

vPOP is a Surgeon’s Best Friend designed by Vets for Vets

vPOP-pro is the veterinary Preoperative Orthopaedic Planner vets have been waiting for.

If you’re a busy surgeon, needing precise planning tools that are always at your fingertips  in your pocket or at your nearest device , or if you’ve had enough of never finding the  out-of-date  fading slippery disappearing acetates  , just maybe you can’t afford an overpriced software licence with pixelated implant templates restricted to one pc that’s never near when you need it .

Well, the solution is downloadable in 5 minutes at vPOP-pro. 
Just click ‘get vPOP’.

Every surgeon and their patients deserve the best portable precise and accessible planning tools to facilitate better patient outcomes.

You’ll have one account across all your devices for seamless cloud syncing. Want to upload a radiograph you’ve been sent on your iPhone?…Done!

Want the convenience of being able to plan on your office laptop with your colleagues over a coffee?… Just login!

You can then take the plan into theatre to visualise your calculations. Simply prop your iPad on the trolley or stream it via Apple TV for the big screen experience!

“I believe as vets we deserve peerless resolution for precision implant templating. Every implant has been painstakingly digitally redrawn in vector graphic format – no more pixels!

For less than the price of a cup of coffee every week, a surgeon can have these precision planning tools in their pocket. Not only that, we can inform owners efficiently in the consultation room too. Orthopaedic consultations can be very stressful. Vets are always under time pressure because we want to ensure our clients understand everything, and it’s all too easy to overrun simply because we care. If you have your iPhone and an internet connection, you can use vPOP.  I now save so much precious time every day,  I can efficiently  inform owners and leave them with a lasting image of the solution, not the problem that they have entrusted their pet to me for.”  ~ Dr Rory Paton BVSc CertAVP MRCVS (founder of vPOP)

At only £125 per surgeon per year, or £12.50 GBP per month, you really can now plan and template a TTA, TPLO, CBLO, angular limb deformity, even a THR on your iPhone.

Take a mini tour to the vPOP mini instructional YouTube video channel. Watch a virtual  TPLO, CBLO, and TTA being performed and planned with efficiency and precision.

Designed by Vets for Vets, vPOP is helping surgeons in universities, referral centers, training course providers and first opinion practices around the world. Let vPOP help you and come see what people are talking about at vpop-pro.com and just click ‘ get vPOP’.

More details are available on the vPOP pro website. You can also join them on Facebook and Instagram.