Choose your course

Bookings for this event will close at 12pm on Wednesday 10th April. Any bookings made after Friday 5th April will not be eligible for a delegate pack.

What is Rabbits and Small Furries Congress?

Rabbits and Small Furries Congress is a one day virtual event that explores the care of rabbits and small furries in veterinary practice.

This congress offers 7 hours of evidenced CPD and we are welcoming a range of expert industry speakers to deliver lectures on topics including:

  • Rabbit breeds – When appearance affects health and welfare
  • Rabbits - Pain and Analgesia
  • Families: The two legged and four-legged smallies
  • Small Rodent Pre, Peri and Post Anaesthesia Protocols
  • Dealing with Rats and Mice in Practice

Who should attend?

Veterinary nurses looking to develop their knowledge of nursing rabbits and small furries. This congress will be particularly useful if you're:

  • Interested in learning more about caring for rabbits, guinea pigs, ferrets and other small mammals
  • Aiming to specialise in the nursing of rabbits or small furries
  • Aiming to progress within your role
  • Interested in keeping up-to-date with everything happening in the industry

Why attend?

  • Listen to lectures from a range of speakers who will be sharing their experiences and knowledge
  • Q&A sessions mean your questions will be answered by the speakers themselves
  • Gain practical takeaways that you can implement in your practice
  • Gain information, product knowledge and offers from our virtual exhibitors
  • Earn 7 hours of evidenced CPD
  • Gain online access to recordings of all the lectures and lectures from previous congresses up until the next event
Download the agenda (PDF)

Online Registration, Exhibition and Lounges

Chair's Welcome

Jan De La Rey BVSc MRCVS, Medivet 

Rabbit breeds – When appearance affects health and welfare

Claire Speight RVN, A1, C&G Cert VNES

There are over 100 recognised rabbit breeds that vary greatly in size, fur type, ear position and length, as well as facial elongation and shape. These man-made characteristics are far removed from how nature intends rabbits to look and as such, many of these breeds can suffer from health, behaviour and welfare problems.

During this presentation we will look at:

  • The breeds and which are predisposed to problems
  • Common health problems seen
  • Welfare considerations
  • Advice to be given to owners of certain breeds to help prevent problems

Rabbits - Pain and Analgesia

Livia Benato DVM MScR CertZooMed Dip ECZM (Small Mammals) MRCVS

This presentation will cover the following key learning points:

  • How pain management in rabbits has improved greatly in the last 20 years
  • Optimal pain assessment is a key factor in rabbit pain amelioration
  • The Bristol Rabbit Pain Scale is a multifactorial pain scale specific for rabbits, similar to those available for cats and dogs
  • The knowledge of common painful conditions and available analgesic drugs helps to ameliorate pain where possible

Live Q&A Panel

Present questions (anonymously if desired) to the speakers.

Morning Break, Online Exhibition and Lounges

Families: The two legged and four-legged smallies

Dr Anne McBride

Research suggests that ownership of dogs and cats can support favourable psychological development in children, especially where there are suitable adult role models. Yet, small mammals, and other taxa, are increasingly chosen as children’s pets. They require less space, time and money - important considerations, especially for families with no garden access. However, this may not mean that children and small pets are a match made in heaven.

In this session we will explore ways to help children and their animals benefit from each other throughout the whole of the animal’s life, which can span several developmental phases of the child.

Live Q&A Panel

Present questions (anonymously if desired) to the speakers.

Lunch Break, Online Exhibition and Lounges

Small Rodent Pre, Peri and Post Anaesthesia Protocols

Carly Tonner RVN CertVNES

In this session, we will delve into comprehensive pre, peri and post-anaesthesia protocols for small rodents. There will be emphasis on the critical importance of monitoring these delicate creatures throughout the anaesthesia process.

The goal of this presentation is to increase confidence for veterinary professionals, when dealing with a variety of small rodent species, taking into account their specific requirements along the way.

Dealing with Rats and Mice in Practice

John Chitty BVetMed CertZooMed MRCVS

This presentation will cover the following key learning points, to enable you to feel better equipped when dealing with rats and mice within practice:

  • Learning to handle rats and mice
  • Making the clinic less stressful for rats and mice
  • How to medicate rats and mice
  • Some common diseases and husbandry issues in rats and mice

Live Q&A Panel

Present questions (anonymously if desired) to the speakers.

Chair's Close

Jan De La Rey BVSc MRCVS, Medivet 

Online Exhibition and Lounges

Please note this programme is subject to change.

Carly TonnerCarly Tonner RVN CertVNES
The Rodent Nurse

Carly is an RVN who has always been fascinated by and adored small rodents, from mice and rats to hamsters and gerbils.

She manages ‘The Rodent Nurse’ on social media, where she shares healthcare and ownership tips for both rodent owners and fellow veterinary professionals.

Carly has a particular soft spot for mice, of which she has owned and rescued many over the years! She also has an interest in wildlife rehabilitation, particularly of wild mice, rats, voles and shrews.

Claire Speight

Claire Speight RVN, A1, C&G Cert VNES

Claire qualified as a veterinary nurse in 2007, gaining the C&G cert of Nursing Exotics in 2009. After this, Claire completed her A1 Assessors qualification, and then Clinical Coach qualification, and trains students within practice.

Claire works as a Head Nurse at a busy first opinion practice, and lectures to veterinary professionals and owners on rabbit health, welfare and care. She has lectured at BSAVA Congress, BVNA Congress and regional events, CAW, Aspire CPD, Excel CPD, Bottle Green Training, The Webinar Vet, and VetNurse Online.

Claire is also a regular contributor to several publications including VNJ and Vetstreams LAPIS and exotic services and editor of the Rabbit Welfare Associations magazine, Rabbiting On. She is also an OSCE examiner and EPA assessor.

Dr Anne McBrideDr Anne McBride

Anne is a senior lecturer in Human-Animal Interactions at Southampton University, and current Chair of the Association of Pet Behaviour Counsellors.

Her fascination with small mammals started with a childhood menagerie and was embedded during her Psychology degree when learning how rabbit, rat, and mice research contributes to our own health and that of our pets.

Often maligned as small, dirty pests, or stupid, easy-to-keep pets, there is much more to learn about the many different species, their ethology, and abilities – which Anne believes can only enrich our respect for them and improve how we interact with and keep them.

Jan De La Rey BVSc MRCVS

Jan De La Ray graduated as a veterinary surgeon from the University of Pretoria in 2004. He has had the privilege to work in most clinical fields throughout his career.  

Jan started his career working in referral exotics practice in South Africa, which involved treatment of birds, reptiles, rabbits, rodents and primates. From there, he moved to a mixed general rural practice where he treated everything from small animals and exotics; to horses, production animals and game capture and relocation, before settling into general small animal practice for the majority of his career. Wherever he has worked, Jan has always maintained some level of involvement with exotic animals.  

Jan now works as a Graduate Support Mentor in Medivet’s Graduate Development Team. Within this role, he teaches and mentors new graduate vets as they start their careers.  

Outside of work, he enjoys spending time with his wife and two children and they have a lovely pet corn snake! 

John ChittyJohn Chitty BVetMed CertZooMed MRCVS

John Chitty qualified from the RVC in 1990, gained the RCVS Certificate in Zoological Medicine in 2000 and is an RCVS Advanced Practitioner in Zoological Medicine.

John formerly ran a small animal/ exotics practice in Andover with a 100% avian/ exotics/ small mammal caseload- referral and first opinion, as well as consulting to various zoos and reintroduction projects. He now provides a consultancy and advisory service.

He is a co-editor/author of five texts on avian/exotics and he is an author of various book chapters and papers on a range of species.

John was President of the European Association of Avian Veterinarians from 2015-17 and he is on the editorial board of the Journal of Exotic Pet Medicine, Veterinary Record, and Veterinary Evidence.

He was President at BSAVA 2017-18 and he is a Trustee and Honorary Secretary for Vetlife.

Livia BenatoLivia Benato DVM MScR CertZooMed Dip ECZM (Small Mammals) MRCVS
University of Bristol

Livia Benato has worked with rabbits and exotic animals since she graduated in 2002.

Livia is Head of the Small Mammal and Exotics Referral Service at City Vets in Exeter in the UK. She is also studying towards her PhD in Recognition of Pain in Rabbits at the University of Bristol (UK).

Livia is an RCVS and EBVS Recognised Specialist in Small Mammal Medicine.

CAW Business School

CAW Business School was set up in 2012 to offer business related qualifications. CAW Business School offers a number of highly recognised qualifications including the opportunity to study AAT Accounting, Business Administration, Customer Service, TAQA and ILM leadership and management, and coaching and mentoring courses.


Founded in 1987, Medivet is a veterinary owned and led group of more than 350 branches with 24 state-of-the art, 24-hour veterinary centres across the UK.

The Company offers a broad range of mainly small animal veterinary services – including both routine and advanced surgery – to meet all a pet’s health and wellbeing needs, from microchipping and neutering to more complicated surgeries and leading-edge diagnostic technology.

Medivet’s core purpose is to deliver exceptional care whenever needed and it has built a national community of passionate vets offering progressive care to pets and their pet owners.

Millpledge Veterinary LogoMillpledge Veterinary

Millpledge Veterinary has been manufacturing innovative products designed specifically for the veterinary professional for over 30 years.

Ranging from Pharmaceuticals to Nutraceuticals, Bandaging and Fluid Therapy, encompassing products for companion and large animal use. Providing complete peace of mind for the veterinary profession.

Popular products include Rapz Eazy Tear® Cohesive Bandages, Eaze-Off® Tape and Bandage Removal Spray, Tom Tiddle™ Urinary Cat Catheters, Millpack™ Sterilisation Pouches with built-in sterility test strips, Aniset™ IV Sets for small and large animals, and V-GEL® advanced species-specific supraglottic airway devices for Rabbits, Cats, and Dogs.

Visit our website at www.millpledge.com to view our full range.

Pet RemedyPet Remedy

Pet Remedy is a natural plant based range of calming products for pets. Easy to use and fast acting. This unique and patented formula is valerian root oil based and is made in the UK.

Pet Remedy works with the pet's own natural calming mechanisms and is suitable for use in all stressful situations. Pet Remedy will also help with developing emotional resilience and wellbeing. Now used by most veterinary practices and rescues on a daily basis. Visit the vet zone on our website and you will see a detailed explanation by Dr Robert Falconer-Taylor (veterinary neuro surgeon and author), about how Pet Remedy works. You will also see links to 9 published studies showing efficacy in multi-species including cat, dog, rabbit, pig and horse.

PALSPinmoore Animal Laboratory Services Limited (PALS)

Meet PALS – your one-stop exotics diagnostic laboratory...

We pride ourselves on our rapid and personalised veterinary diagnostic testing service and we are passionate in our aim to support vets in giving the best care to their patients.

We are specialists in the analysis of samples from all exotic species from zoos, wildlife parks and exotic veterinary practices, Aardvarks to Zebras, we do them all, along with an extensive range of diagnostic tests to support small animal, equine and farm animal vets. From tests involving multiple disciplines including, haematology, microbiology, biochemistry and cytology, to professional postmortem services – we offer a comprehensive list of options.

Throughout last year, we have launched several new ‘Express’ tests including E. cuniculi IgM & IgG antibody and PCR testing for E. cuniculi, Tritrichomonas and Chlamydia psittaci giving you results within 24 hours of receipt. Our continual investment in research and development ensures that we are at the forefront of veterinary laboratory technology and innovative techniques.

Our ethos is to give you and your clients the highest level of quality and service with exceptional customer care from our dedicated customer service team, all supported with expert veterinary advice from one of our specialists.

CAW LogoThe College of Animal Welfare

The College of Animal Welfare is one of the largest providers of veterinary nurse training in the UK, with centres in Cambridgeshire, North London, Yorkshire, Greater Manchester, West Midlands, County Durham and Scotland. We strongly believe that education and training is the key to raising standards of animal welfare. To this end, we strive to create new and accessible opportunities for learning, and encourage employers and those working with animals to undertake appropriate levels of training and continue with lifelong learning and education.


Vetlife is a charity dedicated to supporting the veterinary profession.

Everyone in the veterinary community is welcome to contact the Vetlife Helpline for free, independent and confidential support – including veterinary nurses, veterinary students, and non-clinical staff. The Helpline can be reached on 0303 040 2551 or by anonymous email.

Following contact with the Vetlife Helpline, volunteers can refer those needing further care to our award-winning Vetlife Health Support service which provides mental health support.

Vetlife Financial Support is available for eligible veterinary surgeons, registered veterinary nurses, and their dependants in the UK.

Tickets are Still Available

£210 (£175+VAT)

The Early Bird promotion has now ended.

Interested in exhibiting at Rabbits and Small Furries Congress?

Rabbits and Small Furries is a one day virtual event that focuses on care of rabbits and small furries in veterinary practice.

Why exhibit with us?

  • Limited exhibitor numbers - Unlike larger congresses where hundreds of exhibitors often mean that visitors will not remember everyone, exhibition space for these events is strictly limited. As such you will get the opportunity to engage with the delegates attending our congresses personally.
  • Make meaningful business connections – Network with those that influence decision making in veterinary practice and make relevant industry contacts virtually.
  • Cost effective – with exhibitor packages starting from just £50+VAT, our prices offer value for money and fall considerably below that of larger events within the industry.

To find out more contact Claire Gregory on 01480 422060.

Book now