Are You Addicted Yet?

Did you know most people who attend one VetPrac workshop, attend two? Ever wondered why?

It might be that the workshop content gives them exactly what they need to treat cases in general practice successfully and with confidence.

It might be because they get to spend time with wonderfully kind and supportive specialists who want them to succeed too.

It might be because the other people at the workshop are just like them. Struggling everyday with GP life where you feel like a Jac of all Trades and a Mistress of none, but loving the variety and challenges.

It might be because we manage to immerse ourselves into something and savour it completely for two full days and it feels amazing.

It might be because we all get to escape our lives for a short time and reflect on what we love and want and that feels amazing.

It might be because the food is always delicious.

It might be because the facilitators are always around to help make it easy and fun.

It might be because vets have high expectations and on trying an alternative no other practical skills education provider in Australia has come close to the quality provided when they come to a VetPrac workshop.

It might be because after you do 3-4 procedures, the money is insignificant and the only thing you are left with is a greater opportunity to treat cases better and have successful outcomes, earning accolades for yourself and the hospital you work for and making you more valuable to the community you are a part of.


It might be…. How about you come and see? Check out our 2020 workshops.


CLICK HERE TO SUBSCRIBE for announcements about all the workshops we’re planning for 2020



“Educational, practical, friendly, encouraging, very positive experience. Enthusiasm +++ Great theory & practical components. Great lineup of educators & great support staff who made all aspects run smoothly. All involved adapted to make everything work and be delivered as advised – great course with the amount of content covered and took questions as the workshop progressed.”
Dr Lynne Falconer (RSPCA Qld)  – TPLO Surgery Workshop September 2019


“Brian’s instruction is clear, concise and practical. With the lessons from this workshop combined with my background knowledge in orthopedics, I can definitely move forward with confidence in performing TPLOs. Thank you!”
Dr. Waylon Wiseman (Greater Springfield Vets)  – TPLO Surgery Workshop September 2019


“This workshop is a wonderful way to help GPs become more confident with procedures that will allow for better standard of care and level of proficiency.”
Kate Story (Peregian Springs Vet Surgery) – Ophthalmology Workshop February 2018


“This was a well-targeted surgical workshop revising a series of procedures that can be done in general practice. Labs were great and lecture style enjoyable. Food and social events were really well organised, relaxed and made this a special event. Thank you.”
Anon – VetPrac Workshop 2019


A quick snapshot of Dr Edith Hampson and the tools of her trade

VetPrac are delighted to welcome back specialist ophthalmologists Dr Edith Hampson, Dr Martyn King and Dr Mark Billson as educators at the Practical Ophthalmology workshop on February 15-16, 2020.

I sat down with Edith recently and asked her a few questions about her career as an ophthalmologist and educator, and the single piece of equipment she deems essential in her ophthalmology practice.

Do you have a favourite surgery or procedure that you like to perform?
Eyelid surgery


What is your biggest challenge with being an ophthalmologist?
Keeping at the cutting edge. I appreciate the opportunity to spend time together and share knowledge with Martyn and Mark as colleagues, as well as teaching vets at the VetPrac Ophthalmology workshop.


What is the best advice you have ever received when training as an ophthalmologist?
Be curious – ask questions.


What do you enjoy about teaching?
When students understand a new or difficult concept.


What practical tips for ophthalmic examinations that you learned from experience would you share with general practitioners?
Review your cases in a timely manner.


What single piece of equipment has revolutionised ophthalmological practice for you?
“I cannot work without my Vorotek loupes! I don’t go anywhere without them!

They have pristine magnification with a light source, you can accomplish all sorts of surgery with them, and without them I wouldn’t dream of attempting surgery, especially with sharp objects so close to the eye. By using Vorotek loupes the incisions and suturing are very precise – less trauma with better healing.

These Loupes are also versatile; they can be used for visualising any lesions, e.g. skin lesions or surface abrasions on our patients.

They are especially vital for veterinarians over 40’s who, like me, need magnification when performing tasks.

My Vorotek loupes allow me to achieve the best ophthalmic outcomes for my patients.


What do you like to do to wind down? What do you like to do for fun?
Walking, laughing, sharing meals with friends.


Thanks for your time Edith. VetPrac looks forward to welcoming you back to the education team in February 2020.

Dr Edith Hampson can be contacted by email:



Participants at the VetPrac Practical Ophthalmology workshop will have an opportunity to share Vorotek loupes, thanks to Sound Veterinary Equipment’s generous support of this workshop. Further to this, participants will receive 15% off select equipment thanks to our training partners Vorotek & Sound Veterinary Equipment. Contact Sound Veterinary Equipment and place your orders now so you have your own equipment to practice with at the workshop!


Click here to download the brochure about this special offer.


Seeing Things Eye to Eye… Meet Dr Martyn King

Back in the mid 1980’s as a recent graduate, Dr Martyn King didn’t always see “eye to eye” with his senior veterinary associates when they were managing ophthalmic cases. 

He sensed that there must be better ways to treat many of these cases, and began a long journey towards specialisation which initially involved reading, and then moving to the UK. Martyn has worked full time in veterinary ophthalmology since 1994, and has been a specialist ophthalmologist since 2002. 

Martyn now recognises that the best way of learning about ophthalmology is from experience, such as attending a VetPrac ophthalmology workshop, rather than just reading a textbook. He has found that vets often think that the picture in the ophthalmology textbook will show you exactly what glaucoma looks like, or what a corneal ulcer looks like, but that real life is very different. In Martyn’s opinion vets need to get their hands dirty if they ever hope to be an ophthalmic surgeon. 

Attending an ophthalmology workshop will offer an opportunity to learn how to do a thorough ophthalmic examination and to recognise a normal eye, 2 areas which Martyn considers vital to becoming competent enough to be able to accurately diagnose and appropriately manage ophthalmic cases. He suggests that “vets should keep looking at everything to build up a repertoire of normal, and to be thorough, doing every test on every eye. Start with checking for comfort, then do the neuro-ophthalmic testing – any eye that does not have a PLR and you don’t know why needs to be referred. Then start at the front and work towards the back – use magnification – look at everything. Do exactly the same protocol on every eye and don’t get distracted by obvious things when sometimes the more subtle things can give you the diagnosis. Always examine both eyes.” 

Martyn believes that GPs should have a certain skill set to be able to deal with simple lid and lash surgery, or enucleations etc, and be able to cope with some surgeries (e.g. conjunctival grafts) where owners can’t or won’t go for referral. Another valuable lesson GP vets can gain from attending an ophthalmology workshop, according to Martyn, is the ability to recognise the difference between eye conditions that they are able to manage themselves and those that should be referred. 

Practising in the UK offered many opportunities for Martyn to develop a special interest in ophthalmology due to the high rate of insurance, allowing scope to investigate and treat fully, and the large size of practices which tend to be very well equipped. Martyn returned to Australia in 2005, after 19 years of practice in the UK, to be back in his home town. He would encourage all vets to have a stint in the UK – not necessarily the 19 years he spent there but a few years would be good. He was a little worried initially on his return to Australia because insurance was not as common in 2005 and he thought that referral was going to be less commonplace in Australia than in the UK, but this has not been his experience at all. Martyn has found that vets here and their clients are very keen to be referred, insurance or not. 

Martyn’s work in ophthalmology is extremely rewarding, especially when he’s able to restore sight or relieve pain. “The happiness of a pet and their owner when they “see” each other is amazing. You can just see how happy the animal is – and the owners are so grateful. Whether it be cataract surgery or performing laser surgery or gonioshunt surgery for glaucoma, or corneal grafts – all these techniques are very rewarding.”  He’s currently setting up an endolaser unit at Perth Animal Eye Hospital to improve the management of glaucoma and intraocular neoplasia. 

Martyn loves teaching the students at Murdoch University and at the Vetprac courses. “Imparting knowledge is wonderful, and seeing the amazement on student’s faces when they see the fundus for the first time is fantastic! It’s wonderful to know that by helping these people to learn we are not just helping them but also all the patients they will be seeing themselves”. He encourages new graduates to listen to nurses! “They know heaps and are a great source of information! Keep asking your boss for help and if they won’t help then find a new job! Admit things if you are not sure so you can work them up with your colleagues, or to give you time to practice examining the fundus etc. Keep practicing, keep looking” 

Martyn looks forward to opening your eyes to the area of veterinary ophthalmology at the VetPrac Practical Ophthalmology workshop in February at UQ Gatton. Register today or click here to read more information.

Written by Alison Caiafa


Contact information:
Dr Martyn King
Perth Animal Eye Hospital
Phone (08) 6110 1616 


Join VetPrac on the 15-16th of February 2020 for the popular Practical Ophthalmology Workshop where you’ll develop skills that will build your surgical confidence. With over 7 hours of practical wet labs this hand-on’s stimulating environment will allow you to walk away with skills that can be immediately applied to general practice. Class size is limited with tutelage by specialist ophthalmic surgeons Dr. Mark Billson, Dr Martyn King, and Dr. Edith Hampson. Did we also mention the workshops are super fun?

VetTips: Practical Ophthalmology

Tip 1:

Pupillary responses to light, the menace reflex, the ‘dazzle’ response and even the ability to respond to a moving object in the visual field do not measure vision. Instead, they evaluate the integrity of certain neuroanatomical pathways. All these can be present yet the patient may still be unable to avoid obstacles or navigate.


Tip 2:

It is vital to the success of surgery to identify the cause of the entropion. Failure to do so will result in poor success rates and even worsening of the condition. Entropion can be either congenital, juvenile or acquired.

Before embarking on surgery ask:
Do I understand the cause of this entropion?
Have I planned the surgical procedure carefully?
Do I have the expertise and instrumentation to perform the procedure?

If the answer to any of these questions is no – ask your local specialist or join our Practical Ophthalmology workshop to learn more.


Tip 3:

It is hoped that removal of an eye is not frequently necessary, but sometimes it is inevitable and we must decide which of the following procedures is best suited for the condition at hand. Most commonly the reason for enucleation is the “blind, painful eye”. Make an effort to recognise when there is pain and take time to explain to owners the usually extensive and irreversible loss of function in the eye and the difficulties in controlling the signs and symptoms, especially pain. Best practice indicates that the surgery is being carried out as an act of kindness for the patient.



Join VetPrac on the 15-16th of February 2020 for the popular Practical Ophthalmology Workshop where you’ll develop skills that will build your surgical confidence. With over 7 hours of practical wet labs this hand-on’s stimulating environment will allow you to walk away with skills that can be immediately applied to general practice. Class size is limited with tutelage by specialist ophthalmic surgeons Dr. Mark Billson, Dr Martyn King, and Dr. Edith Hampson. Did we also mention the workshops are super fun?


This workshop is a wonderful way to help GPs become more confident with procedures that will allow for better standard of care and level of proficiency.
Kate Story – Ophthalmology Workshop (February 2018)


I learned a lot of handy new tips; Refined procedures that I am already doing and enjoyed learning brand new techniques I haven’t done before.
Scott Raleigh – Ophthalmology Workshop (February 2018)


Ophthalmology has been something I’ve avoided as a bit of a black hole. This workshop demystified the entire subject again. Fantastic instructors and excellent practical surgery day. I have gained so much more out of this than I thought.
Sarah – Ophthalmology Workshop (February 2018)


The 2018 workshop filled quickly and there’s is plenty of interest in Practical Ophthalmology 2020. Download the brochure for more information but don’t delay – it will fill quickly. CLICK HERE to Register Now!