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 Pain & Wound Management Course

 One-day course - 11 CVE credits


Pain & Wound Management Course


Next Course Date: will be announced in our newsletter so join our mailing list

On September 24th 2016 in Ashbourne Co Meath, wildlife rehabilitators, vets and vet nurses attended an International Wildlife Rehabilitation Council (IWRC) day course hosted by Wildlife Rehabilitation Ireland on Pain & Wound Management, specifically aimed at individuals who have completed the IWRC Basic Wildlife Rehabilitation Course, or experienced wildlife rehabilitators.

The course was presented by Lynn Miller, and was enthusiastically received by those who attended. Demand is such that we are hoping to offer this course again in 2017.

This Pain & Wound Management Course is designed to give wildlife rehabilitators and veterinary professionals a working knowledge of the vocabulary and concepts underlying the modern approach to pain and wound management in mammalian and avian species

Click on the tabs above to read a report of the course and see some photos taken on the day.


Recommended for: Individuals who have completed the IWRC Basic Wildlife Rehabilitation Course, or experienced wildlife rehabilitators

Next Date: will be announced in our newsletter so join our mailing list

Venue: Ashbourne Community School , Ashbourne, Co Meath

Credits: accredited by the Veterinary Council of Ireland for 11 CVE credits








Registration & Coffee


physiology and clinical signs of pain
supportive care techniques drug therapy including indications, contraindications and side effects
a systematic review of the physiology and treatment of the most common types of soft-tissue wounds seen in injured mammalian and avian species

12.00 Lunch
13.00 Skills and practical sessions;
wound assessment
wound types
antibiotic therapy
15.00 Coffee
15.20 - 17.30 Skills and practical sessions;
cleaning and topical agents
bandaging techniques
physiology and stages of wound healing



Lynn Miller B.Sc.Ag., Dipl. Ecotox., PhD, CWR – Director Emeritus

Lynn Miller Lynn began life in New Zealand surrounded by animals; cats, dogs, chickens, horses, budgies, etc. But it was her passion for wildlife and conservation that lead to Summer School at Jersey Wildlife Preservation Trust and a stint at London Zoo. A rather lovely holiday in France led to meeting a gorgeous French Canadian chap and a new life in Quebec. While attending McGill University’s MacDonald College, Ste-Anne-de-Bellevue, near Montreal, she began working with birds of prey at the Macdonald Raptor Research Centre. Of course, although the fact that raptors were the specialty did not deter the many people who bought in ducklings, song birds, herons and pigeons.  

In 1994 Lynn co-founded Le Nichoir. She qualified as an International Wildlife Rehabilitation Council (IWRC) instructor many years ago and subsequently joined the IWRC board, and in 2011, become president of IWRC. She also is a Certified Wildlife Rehabilitator (CWR). The classes Lynn teaches have allowed her to travel widely throughout North America and Mexico, Ireland and South Africa.

Lynn has continued her education with a PhD in Environmental Toxicology and continues research into the impact of oil in birds, especially the northern gannets that migrate south to Florida and the Gulf of Mexico through her research position in the Chemistry department at Concordia University. She has been the position of Director of Wildlife Rehabilitation for the Cape Wildlife Center in Barnstable, Massachusetts for four years now. Although based there, she continues her research at Concordia University, and returns regularly to visit Le Nichoir.

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Frequently Asked Questions  
Course Grant  


Be the first to hear the next course date announcement - join our mailing list

Veterinary Surgeons (MVB) if claiming CVE credits

€ tbc

Registered Veterinary Nurses if claiming CVE credits

€ tbc

General Public and anyone NOT claiming CVE credits

€ tbc

Fee includes:
lunch (vegetarian soup & sandwiches), morning and afternoon biscuits at coffee breaks
delegate pack - magazines, brochures and wildlife information
WRI Certificate of participation
11 CVE credits


Q - How often do you run these courses
A - This is the first time we've run this course in Ireland. Hopefully we'll be able to deliver it from 2017 onwards as demand dictates.

Q - Why is it more expensive for vets and nurses than general public
A - Though we have issues with the price of CPD for the veterinary profession, we have to face the fact that they have to pay one CPD provider or another, and we can't afford not to charge similar fees to the other CPD providers.

Q - Why is it more expensive for vets than for nurses
A - Vets are paid more than nurses!

Q - I'm a vet but don't need CPD, do I still have to pay the vet fee
A - No. Anyone not claiming CPD can register under the general public category

Q - How do I get notified of upcoming Courses?
A - Click HERE to join our mailing list and be the first to hear date announcements for future courses

Q - Can I get a refund if I can't attend after booking
A - Click HERE for Cancellation Policy

Q - Can I reserve a place on the next Course?
A - Sorry no. You can't know if you'll be able to attend until you know the date so I'm afraid it's first-come-first-served.

Q - How do I use the online registration system
A - When a course is open for registration, there will be a sentence saying: 'Click HERE to register', at the top of the page. Clicking on it brings you automatically to the online system - if you're having problems, click the HELP button below for instructions



Course Grant

If the fees are preventing your attendance you can contact us to discuss grant assistance

We have been asked by potential donors how to obtain the greatest good for wildlife from financial donations.   Our belief at WRI is that educating people about the importance and practice of wildlife care has the greatest long term good.

If you would like to donate specifically to the Wildlife Course Grant Fund to help subsidise our Wildlife Courses for those of limited means, please click on the DONATE button below.


Many thanks to those of you that have already donated


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Additional photos

International Wildlife Rehabilitation Council (IWRC)
Pain and Wound Management Course Report

Presented by Lynn Miller PhD
Director of Wildlife Rehabilitation, Cape Wildlife Centre, USA
International Wildlife Rehabilitation Council (IWRC) Instructor and Director

September 24th 2016 in Ashbourne, Co Meath saw a dedicated group of wildlife rehabilitators/carers, vet and vet nurses attending the IWRC day course hosted by Wildlife Rehabilitation Ireland (WRI). 
This course is one of the International Wildlife Rehabilitation Council’s (IWRC) many wildlife courses they offer, and this was the first time it has been hosted in Ireland. WRI have been running the IWRC’s hugely popular Basic Wildlife Rehabilitation Course for many years now, and this course is recommended as a follow-on course from the Basic one.

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The IWRC provides high-quality education, training and support to wildlife rehabilitators—from large organizations to individual in-home rehabilitators. The IWRC works with an interdisciplinary team to create courses, produce a peer-reviewed academic journal, and produce up-to-date scientific information for use by wildlife rehabilitators.

This course was developed to prepare us in the rehabilitation community to address and treat acute pain and the best way to manage wounds.  The morning flew by as Lynn explained signs of pain in wildlife casualties. Signs particular to mammals included ‘bruxism’; the grinding of teeth, this is something that we will often hear in cattle that are in pain.  Smaller mammals were more likely to produce high-pitched squeals when in pain.

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She explained one problem that we face when dealing with wildlife, and that is that these animals cannot afford to show any vulnerability for fear of predation, so recognising signs of pain in a wildlife casualty can be tricky at best. Lynn pointed out that “On admission, we must consider priorities relevant to the animal and situation we are facing. If that means that euthanasia is the only option, it must be carried out humanely and as promptly as possible.  As soon as possible, address the issue of pain. It is far more humane to continue treating the animal once it has some pain medication in its system.”
Supportive care of the patient is vitally important, this means assessing the patient and providing pain relief as soon as possible, gentle warming and rehydration.
By preventing the movement of any broken limbs or wings through appropriate wrapping/bandaging, pain can be minimised immediately.  A standard wing wrap or ‘figure of eight’ bandage immediately stabilises an injured wing. Flushing a wound and/or covering wounds with appropriate dressings can make a great deal of difference to the amount of pain felt by the animal. “As rehabilitators, we derive great benefit from working in a team with a veterinarian. This is especially so when we have wildlife arrive with severe injuries or requiring surgery” said Lynn.

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The afternoon was a practical session of and handling techniques, bandaging, and wound management; putting into practice what was learned in the morning lectures. The afternoon ‘practical’ sessions superbly complimented the morning ‘theory’ sessions with a hands on approach.  Students got to see many wild animals in cadaver form and got to handle most of the common species of wildlife in Ireland, even some very rare species.  Due to the easily manageable numbers in the class, Lynn and her assistant instructors were able to give ample attention to all the students and there was plenty of hands on experience and opportunities to ask questions.

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The course was attended by wildlife rehabilitation groups, zoo keepers, wildlife biology and science students, and veterinary practitioners from all over Ireland; Galway, Drogheda, Kildare, Clare, Dublin, Cork, Louth, Wexford, and the UK. These dedicated and interested individuals all left with a working knowledge of the vocabulary and concepts underlying the modern approach to pain and wound management in wildlife. 

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Overall a very worthwhile day of lectures, practicals and connecting/networking with a great group of volunteers dedicated to helping wildlife in need in Ireland.
Wildlife Rehabilitation Ireland has once again highlighted the need for co-operation between members of the public, veterinary professionals and wildlife rehabilitators to spread the message that our beautiful and sometimes unique Irish wildlife matters.

Author: Bev Truss RVN DipCABT
Wildlife Rehabilitator
The Hogsprickle Wildlife Rescue


Lecture - Lead toxicity in wildlife

Presented by Lynn Miller PhD

In the evening, Lynn also provided a fascinating talk on lead toxicity in wildlife.
In the Cape Wildlife Center, USA, where Lynn works, among others, they have treated swans, geese, owls and raptors all of which were victims of lead poisoning. The animals tend to ingest either prey that has eaten lead or discarded ammunition or old lead fishing weights. Lead poisoning is a slow process, as is the treatment. It can cause neurological issues, muscle weakness, and often eventually death. Many casualties that arrive at the Centre are too far advanced to be saved.

lead lecture

Lead isn’t just a problem for animals, it was first linked to adverse human health as far back as 250 BC and has been the subject of environmental controls since the late 20th century, when lead in paint and petrol was banned.
Lead was used for roofs, guttering, pipework and watertanks before the 1970s in many homes. Lead from these sources leeches into water with contamination levels of up to 80 times the legal limit found in drinking water in parts of Dublin

lead lecture

In the case of lead poisoning in wildlife though, there is something that people can do to help save the lives of these wildlife victims; using lead free ammunition and fishing tackle would save millions of animals.
Sea-Angling-Ireland says “we all know that lead is not very environmentally friendly.. a lot of manufacturers are making non-metallic fishing weights available, albeit freshwater anglers have pushed for this given the propensity for swans etc. to ingest smaller lead weights... if  you can avoid using lead weights, then use alternatives... old rusty bolts work!” is a website dedicated to lead free fishing weights information and products.

Lynn's sad message was that "It is impossible to overstate the devastating effect lead has on wildlife – lead poisoning is always painful and, far too often, fatal."


More course photos!

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Accommodation options  

The Wildlife Course is held in Ashbourne Community School, at the address below:

Ashbourne Community School
1 Deerpark,
Co. Meath

Click HERE for map and details


Driving directions:

From Dublin Airport:
From the airport follow signs for the M1 (Southbound) and the M50 (Southbound). Merge onto the M1 and stay in the left hand lane. After approximately 2km, take the slip road for the M50 (Southbound).
Stay on the motorway for 2 junctions, following signs for the N2, Ashbourne & Derry. Once you are on the N2/M2, after approximately 14km you will come to another roundabout, take the 3rd exit and drive all the way through Ashbourne village until you reach a cross roads with traffic lights and a campus petrol station on the left. Turn left there, then first right, then drive round to the left and you'll see the school.

From the M1 (Drogheda South junction):
Take the Drogheda / Duleek exit off the motorway and go through the toll booth on the slip road. At the roundabout at the top of the slip road take the 2nd exit signposted for Duleek. At the next roundabout take the 3rd exit towards Duleek / Ashbourne.
Go under the motorway and take the 2nd exit at the next roundabout, again signposted for Duleek / Ashbourne. Continue for 16km until you reach the junction with the N2. Turn left towards Ashbourne and travel along the N2 for approximately 8km until you reach a roundabout. Then follow the directions above (but taking the 2nd exit off the roundabout)

Public Transport directions:

From Dublin airport:
Bus number 109A click HERE for timetable or visit Bus Éireann's website

Taxi from Dublin airport roughly €48 (each way)

From Dublin city:
Bus number 103 click HERE for timetable



Price Range

Distance from Ashbourne Community School


32.8 km

Slane Farm Hostel
Harlinstown House
Co. Meath
Tel: 041 9884985 / 041 9824390

€ €

1.5 km

Baltrasna Lodge
Co Meath
Tel: 01 8350446

€ €

3 km

The Residents Hotel
Bridge Street
Co Meath
Tel: 01 8359300

€ €

4.6 km

Ashbourne House Hotel
Main Street
Co Meath
Tel: 01 835 8400
Email :

€ €

6 km

The Pillo Hotel
The Rath
County Meath
Tel: 01 835 0800
Email :

Delegates can also choose accomodation through HotelsCombined who scan and compare discounted rates from thousands of major travel sites.

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Comments from some delegates who have attended of the Course


Sept 2016 - Ashbourne, Co Meath

vet course

“A clear concise course, full of information, useful tips and hands on practical work. What more could you ask for”

“Comprehensive, very informative, easy to approach attitude of lecturer makes it a great learning experience”

“Keep learning”

“Lynn is an excellent facilitator who communicates the best skills and knowledge effectively with ease and humour. I feel more confident dealing with both wound and pain management in both avian and mammalian patents. Thank you. Looking forward to the next course”

“Enjoyable and learnt quite a lot”

“Yet again another fantastic delivery from Lynn, no matter how many times I hear her speak I learn so much more. Very well organized. Thank you everyone”

“Lynn is a legend and was brilliant from start to finish”

“We learn something new every day!!”

“Fantastic course for all involved in wildlife”

“Very informative and fun course. Highly recommend for anyone interested in wildlife”


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