VET SC 7230ARW - Companion Animal Practice

Roseworthy Campus - Semester 1 - 2018

In this course students will learn about the pathophysiology, diagnosis and treatment of medical and surgical conditions that are encountered in companion animal practice.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code VET SC 7230ARW
    Course Companion Animal Practice
    Coordinating Unit School of Animal and Veterinary Sciences
    Term Semester 1
    Level Postgraduate Coursework
    Location/s Roseworthy Campus
    Contact 4 hours of Lectures / tutorials per week. 18 x 3 hour practicals throughout the course plus 8 full day Desexing Clinic rotations during the year
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange N
    Prerequisites VET SC 7001RW, VET SC 7002RW, VET SC 7005RW, VET SC 7006RW, VET SC 7008RW, VET SC 7009RW, VET SC 7010RW
    Incompatible VET SC 7110RW and VET SC 7220RW
    Restrictions Available to D.Veterinary Medicine students only
    Course Description In this course students will learn about the pathophysiology, diagnosis and treatment of medical and surgical conditions that are encountered in companion animal practice.
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Dr Olaf Schaaf

    Course Timetable

    The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.

  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes
    On successful completion of this course students should be able to:

    1. Apply to clinical veterinary medicine knowledge learnt in previous courses, especially anatomy (surgery and imaging), physiology (medicine), pharmacology (medicine and surgery) and pathology.

    2. Describe medical and surgical disorders of companion animals, including their pathogenesis, pathophysiology, investigation, diagnosis, management and prognosis.

    3. Use patient histories and clinical examination findings to evaluate the medical condition of companion animals.

    4. Construct differential diagnosis lists for medical and surgical conditions of companion animals and use the lists to propose a diagnostic approach to patients’ clinical problems.

    5. Interpret results of clinical pathology, diagnostic imaging, and other clinical investigations in order to reach a diagnosis for medical and surgical conditions.

    6. Recognise common diseases and disorders in companion animals and plan therapeutic approaches to them, knowing when to refer complicated or uncommon cases to specialist veterinarians.

    7. Plan and employ, under supervision, safe anaesthetic practices for common simple procedures in companion animals.

    8. Plan and perform, under supervision, basic surgical procedures safely.

    9. Work well in a team when conducting basic surgical and anaesthetic procedures.
    University Graduate Attributes

    This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attribute(s) specified below:

    University Graduate Attribute Course Learning Outcome(s)
    Deep discipline knowledge
    • informed and infused by cutting edge research, scaffolded throughout their program of studies
    • acquired from personal interaction with research active educators, from year 1
    • accredited or validated against national or international standards (for relevant programs)
    Critical thinking and problem solving
    • steeped in research methods and rigor
    • based on empirical evidence and the scientific approach to knowledge development
    • demonstrated through appropriate and relevant assessment
    Teamwork and communication skills
    • developed from, with, and via the SGDE
    • honed through assessment and practice throughout the program of studies
    • encouraged and valued in all aspects of learning
    Career and leadership readiness
    • technology savvy
    • professional and, where relevant, fully accredited
    • forward thinking and well informed
    • tested and validated by work based experiences
    Intercultural and ethical competency
    • adept at operating in other cultures
    • comfortable with different nationalities and social contexts
    • able to determine and contribute to desirable social outcomes
    • demonstrated by study abroad or with an understanding of indigenous knowledges
    Self-awareness and emotional intelligence
    • a capacity for self-reflection and a willingness to engage in self-appraisal
    • open to objective and constructive feedback from supervisors and peers
    • able to negotiate difficult social situations, defuse conflict and engage positively in purposeful debate
  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    This 6 unit course will be delivered over 2 semesters split over 1-2 teaching days per week as
    • 4 hours lecture per week
    • 7-10 x 2-3 hour practicals per semester
    • 4 Neutering Clinic practicals per student per semester.
    Students will receive lecture notes and other materials online and will be required to log on weekly to blackboard.

    The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.

    A student enrolled in a 6 unit course, such as this, should expect to spend, on average 12 hours per week per semester on the studies required. This includes both the formal contact time required to the course (e.g., lectures and practicals), as well as non-contact time (e.g., reading and revision).
    Learning Activities Summary
    This course will apply a body systems based approach to the theoretical and practical aspect of medical and surgical disorders of companion animals, principally dogs and cats.

    In practical classes, students will develop clinical problem solving ability using case analyses, use cadavers or purpose-made synthetic materials to practice clinical techniques associated with the diagnosis and treatment of common clinical conditions, and develop anaesthesia and surgical skills.

    In the desexing clinic students work in teams to apply & further develop anaesthesia and surgery skills in a real-life setting.
    Lectures will encompass different teaching methods such as, but not limited to, traditional lectures, clicker sessions, team based learning to integrate clinical learning with preclinical learning areas such as anatomy, physiology, clinical pathology and pharmacology.
  • Assessment

    The University's policy on Assessment for Coursework Programs is based on the following four principles:

    1. Assessment must encourage and reinforce learning.
    2. Assessment must enable robust and fair judgements about student performance.
    3. Assessment practices must be fair and equitable to students and give them the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned.
    4. Assessment must maintain academic standards.

    Assessment Summary
    Assessment Task Type of assessment Weighting Hurdle Learning Outcome Due
    On-Course Assessments Formative & Summative 20% No 1-6 Semester 1 weeks 5,6,11,13 Semester 2 weeks 5,7,9 and 11
    Practical Assessment Formative 0% No 1-8 Each Pratical Class
    Desexing Clinic Formative 0% Yes 3,7,8,9 Weekly, approx 33% of class per week
    Mid-Semester Test Semester 1 Summative 10% No 1-8 Week 6-8
    Mid-Semester Test Semester2 Summative 10% No 1-8 Week 6-8
    End of Semester Exam Semester 1 Summative 30% Yes 1-8 Exam Week
    Final Exam Semester 2 Summative 30% Yes 1-8 Exam Week
    An exemption to the hurdle requirements of the Assessment for Coursework Programs Policy has been approved by the Faculty of Sciences for 2018.
    Assessment Related Requirements
    Assessment item with hurdle % needed or requirement to meet hurdle Is additional assessment available if student does not meet hurdle requirement? Yes or No Details of additional assessment, if available
    Desexing Clinic Pass/Fail – based on minimum level of competence expected at the DVM2 level. 


    Students deemed not yet competent (anaesthesia or surgery or both) by week 9 of Semester 2 will be reassessed for competency in the area concerned during the final 3 classes (weeks 10-12). Further assessment is at the discretion of the course coordinator/s.
    End of Semester Exams Cumulative 50% Yes Additional examination with similar or different format
    Assessment Detail
    On-course assessment: (20%)Students will undertake a number of assignments that will consolidate material taught during didactic sessions as well as enhancing their problem solving ability. The assignment formats that might be used include quizzes delivered in class or during practicals or online; written assignments e.g. problem solving through case evaluation and management plans, to be completed out of class; or other assignments at the discretion of the individual instructors. Students receive formative feedback on the assignments, e.g. individual comments on written assignments and publication of “ideal” answers to the cases; correct answers revealed at the end of online assessments.

    Desexing Clinic: (0%) Students receive verbal formative feedback during each class as they work in small groups to anaesthetise and prepare an animal for surgery, perform the surgery, monitor the animal’s recovery from anaesthesia, provide post-operative care, keep anaesthesia records, write surgery reports, and finally write discharge instructions for post-operative care when the animals are discharged from hospital. Students will receive a Pass/Fail for each of anaesthesia and surgery. A Pass is required in both areas to be able to pass the course, and indicates that the student has reached a level of competence that is satisfactory for their stage in the DVM program.

    Students not participating in the desexing clinic are scheduled to participate in the DVM2 practical rotations for other courses

    Practical Assessment: Students will also receive formative assessment of their practical skills within relevant practical activities. The practical classes might be delivered as small or large group clinical problem solving sessions, practical classes in technical/procedural skills, clinical information interpretation.

    Mid-semester test (1 hour) and final semester examination (2 x 2 hours) will test a combination of theoretical knowledge, application and practical skills. Question formats that might be used include MCQs, short answers, practical tests and performance-based exams.

    The Mid-semester tests will serve to guide the students on the level of knowledge required to successfully pass the end of the semester and end of year examinations, and give them experience with the various question types.
    If an extension is not applied for, or not granted then a penalty for late submission will apply. A mark of zero will be allocated to late submitted assessment.
    Course Grading

    Grades for your performance in this course will be awarded in accordance with the following scheme:

    NOG (No Grade Associated)
    Grade Description
    CN Continuing

    Further details of the grades/results can be obtained from Examinations.

    Grade Descriptors are available which provide a general guide to the standard of work that is expected at each grade level. More information at Assessment for Coursework Programs.

    Final results for this course will be made available through Access Adelaide.

  • Student Feedback

    The University places a high priority on approaches to learning and teaching that enhance the student experience. Feedback is sought from students in a variety of ways including on-going engagement with staff, the use of online discussion boards and the use of Student Experience of Learning and Teaching (SELT) surveys as well as GOS surveys and Program reviews.

    SELTs are an important source of information to inform individual teaching practice, decisions about teaching duties, and course and program curriculum design. They enable the University to assess how effectively its learning environments and teaching practices facilitate student engagement and learning outcomes. Under the current SELT Policy ( course SELTs are mandated and must be conducted at the conclusion of each term/semester/trimester for every course offering. Feedback on issues raised through course SELT surveys is made available to enrolled students through various resources (e.g. MyUni). In addition aggregated course SELT data is available.

  • Student Support
  • Policies & Guidelines
  • Fraud Awareness

    Students are reminded that in order to maintain the academic integrity of all programs and courses, the university has a zero-tolerance approach to students offering money or significant value goods or services to any staff member who is involved in their teaching or assessment. Students offering lecturers or tutors or professional staff anything more than a small token of appreciation is totally unacceptable, in any circumstances. Staff members are obliged to report all such incidents to their supervisor/manager, who will refer them for action under the university's student’s disciplinary procedures.

The University of Adelaide is committed to regular reviews of the courses and programs it offers to students. The University of Adelaide therefore reserves the right to discontinue or vary programs and courses without notice. Please read the important information contained in the disclaimer.