Supporting the vets of the future

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IVSA2 Lake Maggiore in Italy
International Veterinary Students’ Association Milan-Liverpool Exchange on a trip to Lake Maggiore

Each year the University of Liverpool Veterinary Alumni Association (ULVAA) receives monetary donations from alumni that helps to support our activities. Our latest event for alumni was our eighth annual drinks held at BSAVA congress. We have also supported a number of student-led initiatives. Here, the students tell us about how the money was used.

Small Animal Emergency and Critical Care Event

Christina Ratcliffe and Ana Warren


In December, we held our first Small Animal Emergency and Critical Care morning which was a great success! The event was made up of four workshops to help educate and prepare undergraduates on FAST scanning, dealing with toxicology cases, approach to a trauma case and CPR techniques. This was all made possible with the help of Dr Alison Patrick from Vets Now, and Dr Frederike Schiborra from the University of Liverpool, who both kindly gave their time to share their expertise with us.

The morning started with a wonderful talk by Alison about the differences in approaching an emergency case and how to prepare efficiently. FAST scanning, led by Dr Schiborra, was a big hit - students took turns having a go at positioning the ultrasound probe and moving through each position which would be used to assess presence of intra-peritoneal free fluid in a trauma patient.

The remaining workshops were led by the Vets Now team. For the toxicology station, students were given a set of cases to work through with the aid of several toxicology resources and a small animal formulary. This station was self-directed, allowing students to think through where information on toxicology can be found, the main priorities in stabilising the patient and prognoses for a range of cases.

Our trauma station consisted of a discussion of an RTA cat case. We started from the moment the owner phones right through to the tests and treatments we would need to perform. So this workshop included thinking about how you would communicate with the owner over the phone, how to prepare the practice for the incoming patient, and what things to prioritise following the ABCD.

Finally, we had a CPR station with dog and cat models. As well as getting to practise technique and act out a hypothetical scenario, we discussed how difficult it can be to perform CPR both physically and mentally. It was highlighted that if the patient doesn’t come back, we shouldn’t blame ourselves; it is important to learn from the experience and take some time to deal with it emotionally, with a friend or colleague, as losing a patient always takes a toll.

All the students found the event helpful and we hope to run more events like this in the future! We will continue working with Vets Now to organise more training workshops and practicals. Our committee feel that ECC is extremely important and a skill that all undergraduates could develop further to increase knowledge and confidence in dealing with emergencies.

A special thanks to ULVAA for providing funding for this event.

Liverpool University Veterinary Zoological Society (LUVZS) Day 2019

Tobias Hunter


LUVZS Day 2019 was a huge success. The morning was packed with talks from fantastic speakers; topics covered included common reptile emergencies, surviving your first bird consult, and anaesthesia in wild tigers. The day concluded with an afternoon of animal handling provided by Oreo and Friends. The event also raised money for LUVZS' chosen charity, Freshfields Animal Rescue, who work to rescue, rehabilitate, and release wildlife across Merseyside.

International Veterinary Students’ Association Milan-Liverpool Exchange

Alice Hodgson


This March the IVSA in Liverpool completed an exchange with IVSA Milan. We hosted six students from Milan and six Liverpool veterinary students from second and third year visited Milan. The programme consisted of extracurricular talks and practicals, visits to veterinary related venues, and offered plenty of opportunity for the students to socialise and network.

During our hosting week in Liverpool, our lecturers and clinicians offered their time to provide: a necropsy practical, a clinical skills session and tours of the hospitals at Leahurst. We also visited Chester Zoo and spent the day at Crufts, where we attended talks on brachycephalic breeds. We also spent a day showing our guests the sights of Liverpool.

At the University of Milan we had lectures on parturition in dogs, sedating horses, basic exotic veterinary care and a one-to-one cytology practical. We visited a fish farm and had a private tour; learning about different types of fish and the difficulties of treating them in a shared water system. We also had the opportunity to learn some Italian and absorb some of the culture in Milan and Lake Maggiore.

Overall, all participants had a fantastic time. We all feel we have developed our veterinary knowledge from a different perspective, made international connections in the veterinary field and learnt about a different culture. The IVSA Liverpool committee are very grateful to ULVAA for their support. Thank you!

Sponsorship of the Liverpool University Veterinary Men’s Rugby Union Football Club

Callum Burke, Scot Christy, Luke Beeby, William Prydderch, Jack Unsworth and Finlay Jones (Liverpool University Veterinary Men’s RUFC Committee 2018/19)

Rugby Team photo season 2018 19

The Liverpool University Veterinary Men’s RUFC have had an improved season compared to the previous year and have beaten teams that currently sit at the top of the league.  This achievement is with great thanks to ULVAA and our other sponsors, Charmac Ltd and Flanagan’s Apple, without whom we would not have been able to play.

The sponsorship provided by ULVAA was used to purchase replacement team shirts which were unfortunately damaged earlier in the season.  Having good condition, matching kit gives the right impression of a professional rugby squad, and brings us closer together as a team.

LUVS RUFC has risen from division three of the North West Intermediate Rugby Union Leagues in 2015 to division one, where we have played for the past two years.  We can also boast that we are the highest achieving veterinary rugby team in the UK and the top campus rugby team at the University.  The team is predominantly made up of men studying veterinary science and is a weekly break from the demands of our course.  Skill level in the team varies; some had played at county level, whilst others had never picked up a rugby ball before university. To play at such a high level with such mixed ability is a huge achievement.  Additionally, the team has a busy social calendar with weekly socials held at Flanagan’s Apple and an annual end of season ball.

The next student-led initiative that we are supporting is a Careers Fair taking place on 24 May. We’re looking for alumni to help with CV clinics. If you’d like to be involved please get in touch by e-mailing: