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Companion Animal Medicine & Surgery PtA (VETS90072)

Graduate courseworkPoints: 18.75On Campus (Werribee)

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Year of offer2019
Subject levelGraduate coursework
Subject codeVETS90072
Semester 1
FeesSubject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date

This subject will be comprised of the following two modules.

In both units within this subject a “clinical presentation” approach will be taken to the discussion of diseases of animals, their diagnosis, prevention and treatment.

Dogs, cats and miscellaneous companion animals

  • Clinical signs, diagnosis, treatment, prevention and public health aspects of infectious diseases of dogs and cats
  • Clinical signs, diagnosis and medical and surgical management of diseases of the neuroendocrine, musculoskeletal, haematopoietic, lymphoreticular, alimentary, cardiovascular, respiratory and urogenital systems, eyes and ears of dogs and cats
  • Clinical signs, diagnosis and treatment of poisonings of dogs and cats
  • Nutrition of dogs and cats
  • Dermatology of dogs and cats
  • Oncology of dogs and cats
  • Behavioural abnormalities of dogs and cats
  • Perinatal medicine in dogs and cats
  • Greyhound medicine
  • Diseases of miscellaneous companion animals


  • Physical examination, clinical signs, diagnosis and medical and surgical treatment of metabolic and multi-systemic diseases and diseases of the musculoskeletal, haematopoietic, lymphoreticular, alimentary, cardiovascular, respiratory, urinary and reproductive systems, eyes and skin of horses
  • Injury management in horses
  • Special considerations in foals
  • Exotic and emerging equine diseases and their associated risk factors
  • Routine procedures used to optimise reproductive performance
  • Equine castration

Intended learning outcomes

Students completing the Dogs, cats and miscellaneous companion animals module should:

  • Be familiar with breed and behavioural characteristics of dogs and cats
  • Possess essential information of the diseases of dogs and cats to approach a diagnosis on the basis of epidemiological data, clinical history, physical examination and clinical signs in an individual animal or group of animals
  • Be able to select appropriately and interpret and utilise the results of laboratory tests in making a diagnosis in a dog or cat
  • Be able to devise appropriate forms of therapy or management of disease in dogs and cats and be able to devise strategies for prevention and control of the same
  • Be aware of the public health implications of zoonoses of dogs and cats.
  • Be familiar with the principal features of the management and husbandry of miscellaneous companion animals such as rabbits and rodents, and have a thorough understanding of the welfare issues associated with keeping such animals
  • Have a thorough understanding of the diseases that affect these species and the factors that influence the occurrence of disease in individual animals and in groups of animals
  • Be able to carry out a thorough and safe physical examination of these species
  • Be able to reach a probable diagnosis or formulate a list of differential diagnoses in these species based on the history, epidemiological date, physical examination, clinical signs and gross necropsy lesions
  • Be able to recommend appropriate ancillary tests to reach a definitive diagnosis and accurately prognosticate
  • Be able to specify appropriate therapy
  • Be able to recommend appropriate measures for disease control and/or prevention

Students completing the Horses module should have a thorough understanding of:

  • The common equine diseases and diagnostic procedures
  • How to conduct a thorough and logical clinical investigation, based on the presenting signs, interpret the findings and arrive at an accurate diagnosis
  • How to provide adequate treatment for all problems commonly encountered in horses and related species
  • How to castrate a horse competently
  • How to implement appropriate prevention strategies for the common diseases of horses
  • How to deal with a suspected case of an equine infectiuos disease such as Salmonellosis or Strangles, an exotic infectious disease such as Equine Influenza, and a zoonotic disease such as Hendra virus

Generic skills

Students completing this subject should have developed:

  • An in-depth understanding of specific veterinary clinical disciplines
  • Manual dexterity and technical skills in the practical application of these disciplines
  • The ability to apply theoretical knowledge in a practical setting, to trouble-shoot technical difficulties
  • The ability to seek accurate solutions to complex biological problems
  • The capacity to apply a rigorous, critical and logical approach to problem-solving
  • Advanced experience in observation, interpretation of complex data, problem-solving, time management, record-keeping and communication in both written and verbal formats

Last updated: 23 July 2019