118.763 Canine and Feline Orthopedic Surgery (15 credit)

Lecturer: Wendy Baltzer DVM PhD  Diplomate ACVS Diplomate ACVSMR

Join Wendy for an in-depth study of orthopedic surgery. Canine and Feline Orthopedics is a taught distance course offered in Massey University’s Master of Veterinary Medicine Programme (MVM).

What will you learn?

On this course you'll learn:

  • evaluation techniques for orthopedic patients including gait analysis and physical examination
  • problem-oriented approach to diagnostic testing for common orthopedic diseases
  • how to integrate historical data, examination and imaging findings with other pertinent test results to arrive at a prioritized list of differential diagnoses
  • about the pathophysiology,  prognosis and treatment options for common orthopedic conditions
  • to comfortably perform selected orthopedic repair techniques.

How the course works

Orthopedics is one of the MVM courses for postgraduate veterinarians which is taught online via distance learning and led by a recognised international expert in the field.

The course is supported by the latest research, reviews and case material to challenge veterinarians with in-depth, relevant continuing education. Course materials include a printed guide to your reading and assessment which integrates online learning activities such as discussions, quizzes, lessons, library searches, critical evaluation and exercises for self-assessment with reading materials and personal study tasks.

Highlights of the orthopedics course include:  lecturer authored study guide, problem-based exercises and the contact course supported by SECUROS.

With the MVM programme you have the flexibility to study when and where you want and the support of the MVM team to gain an internationally-recognised veterinary qualification that will help you in your practice every day.

Your lecturer

Wendy is currently an associate professor and head of surgery at the University Veterinary Teaching Hospital Sydney. She graduated from UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine in 1994, completed an internship at Cornell and spent four years in emergency practice before specialising in small animal surgery and joining the staff at Oregon State University College of Veterinary Medicine.

Wendy has a special interest in sporting and working dog medicine as well as rehabilitation of small animals and holds Certification for Canine Rehabilitation Practitioner (CCRP). In 2013 she became a diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation - canine specialty.

Wendy’s role includes surgical teaching, clinical work and development of the sports medicine and rehabilitation service. Her research interests include: oxidant stress and injury in sporting dogs, bone healing using omental grafting, tendon and ligament injury and healing in dogs, osteoarthritis, and elbow collateral ligament dysfunction in elbow dysplasia.


In-depth part-time study 24 teaching weeks spread over a 7-8 month period

Learning materials and facilities

  • Study guide
  • 3-day contact/virtual workshop*
  • Electronic library access

Learning community

  • Webinars with Wendy (recorded)
  • Lecturer facilitated case discussions


  • Portfolio of course work (2 submissions)
  • Final written assignment


  • Internet access: high speed (broadband) internet access is required for this course to enable you to access full online content with ease.
  • Fossum TW (2019). Small animal surgery. 5th ed. Elsevier, Philadelphia, PA. ISBN: 0323443443, 9780323443449*
  • Johnston SA and Tobias KM (2017). Veterinary Surgery: Small Animal Expert Consult (Two volume set) 2nd ed. Elsevier, Saunders, St. Louis, Missouri. ISBN: 9780323320658*
  • DeCamp CE et al. (2016). Brinker, Piermattei, and Flo’s Handbook of Small Animal Orthopedics and Fracture Repair. 5th ed. Elsevier, St. Louis, Missouri. ISBN:  9781437723649

NOTES: These textbooks are recommended for this paper.  You may wish to purchase a personal copy. As an enrolled student you will have access to the ebook format of the current editions (*3 simultaneous users).

Wendy Baltzer

"Thanks for keeping the pain levels down through the year. This was a great paper from which I learned a lot. Your balance of letting us ramble and keeping us on the straight and narrow was perfect."

Contact/virtual workshop Information

*Due to COVID-19, contact workshops may have to be virtual. Please check your Stream site once enrolled for the current information or contact mvm@massey.ac.nz for the current information before you enrol.

The workshop is an opportunity for real-time interaction with your class and lecturer. Together you can build on the knowledge you’ve gained on the course through small group teaching, practical sessions and discussions of experiences in your own practice. 

For the best workshop experience, we recommend that you attend in real-time. While attendance is highly-recommended it is not compulsory in order to pass the course.

Mega 2 2021

In 2021 the contact workshop for Orthopedic surgery will run alongside those for the Neurology and Ophthalmology courses. This format provides a great opportunity for you to meet students and staff from other courses within the MVM programme and to combine with them for some sessions.

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You will find more detailed information on the 118.763 Course Page. Enrolments open October 1st in the year prior to study.

For more information on delivery and course content please contact the MVM team.