VET SC 7230ARW - Companion Animal Practice Part 1

Roseworthy Campus - Semester 1 - 2019

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 Part 1
    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 Doctor of 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 Resources
    Required Resources
    Personal stethoscope
    One pair of dark green scrub suits must be sourced, purchased and ready to wear prior to your
    Orientation Day in the Desexing clinic.
    Students are responsible for laundering of these garments.
    They must be clean when attending the Desexing clinic otherwise students will not be able to
    participate in the class.
    Library – various online references

    Recommended Resources
    General texts
    100 Top Consultations in Small Animal General Practice, 2011, Hill, Warman and Shawcross
    Clinical Veterinary Advisor Dogs and Cats - 2nd Ed, 2010, Cote
    Blackwell's Five-minute Veterinary Consult: Canine and Feline, 2006, Tilley
    Blackwell's Five-minute Veterinary Consult: Lab Tests and Diagnostic Procedures Canine and Feline, 2009, Vaden, Knoll, Smith & Tilley

    Discipline specific texts

    Small Animal Internal Medicine, Nelson & Couto, 4th edition 2009
    Feline Medicine and Therapeutics - Chandler, Gaskell and Gaskell - 3rd Ed, 2007
    The Cat, Little
    Canine and Feline Endocrinology and Reproduction, Third Edition - Feldman and Nelson - 2003
    Kirk's Current Veterinary Therapy XIV & XV - Bonagura, 2008/2013 (useful potted summaries of latest recommendations for selected
    Textbook of Veterinary Internal Medicine - 2009, Ettinger +
    Feldman. Gold standard 2 volume text, but advanced content.
    Infectious Diseases of the Dog and Cat, Greene, 2013

    Small Animal Surgery – 4th Ed, 2013 Fossum
    Veterinary Surgery Small Animal – 1st Ed 2012, 2 Volume set, Tobias and Johnson
    Fundamentals of Small Animal Surgery - 1st Ed 2011, F. Mann
    Manual of Small Animal Soft Tissue Surgery 1st Ed, 2010, Tobias
    Handbook of Small Animal Orthopedics and fracture repair 4th Edition 2006 – Piermattei, Flo and DeCamp
    Miller's Anatomy of the Dog – 4th Ed, 2013 Evans and De Lahunta

    Anaesthesia and Analgesia
    These three are good basic practical books, especially for small animals.
    Veterinary Anaesthesia, Principles to Practice – 2010, Dugdale A
    Small Animal Anaesthesia and Analgesia – 2008, Carroll, GA.
    BSAVA Manual of Canine and Feline Anaesthesia and Analgesia - Seymour  and Duke

    The most comprehensive veterinary anaesthesia text, and most useful as a reference book.
    Lumb and Jones' Veterinary Anaesthesia - 4th Ed, 2007, Tranquilli et al

    These are good general books covering pain and its control.
    Pain Management for the Small Animal Practitioner  - Tranqilli, Lamont and Grimm 2004
    Pain Management in Animals - 2005, Flecknell & Waterman-Pearson
    Handbook of Veterinary Pain Management – 2nd Ed, 2009, Gaynor and Muir

    BSAVA Manual of Canine and Feline Oncology 3rd edition. Useful basic handbook.
    Withrow and MacEwen's Small Animal Clinical Oncology, 2013, Withrow and Vail, 5th Ed.  Gold standard text. 

    Drug Formularies
    Plumb's Veterinary Drug Handbook - 7th Ed, 2011 - Donald Plumb.
    BSAVA Small Animal Formulary - Ramsey

    Online Learning
    This course will use a combination of lectures and practical classes and interactive sessions. This course utilises Canvas and resources including announcements, lectures, and further reading material will be available on the course pages.

  • 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
    • 7-8 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 MyUni.

    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 24 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.
    Specific Course Requirements
    Practical classes held within laboratories will require closed-in shoes and the wearing of a laboratory gown. You will also
    need to have your student ID with you. Students must wear any required safety or protective clothing as directed.

    Attendance to all lectures and practicals is compulsory as valuable material is learnt from discussions during the lectures.

  • 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 10% No 1-6 Semester 1 - by week 12, Semester 2 -by week 12
    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 1 Exam Summative 35% Yes 1-8 Exam Week
    End of Semester 2 Exam Summative 35% 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 2019.
    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 covering all material taught during the entire year in a similar or
    different format.
    Assessment Detail
    On-course assessment: Students will undertake two 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.

    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 tests (1.33 hour each) and end semester examinations (2 x 2 hours each) will test a combination of theoretical knowledge, application and practical skills. Question formats that might be used include MCQs, short answers, essay, OSCE, 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 examinations, and give them experience with the various question types.

    Desexing Clinic: The Desexing Clinic is a practical class of the Companion Animal Practice course. Each week, one third of the students participate in the class and divide into teams of 3 or 4.  Each team member has a different role in the practical exercise, and individual team members may be called to assist another team from time to time.
    Students not participating in the desexing clinic are scheduled to participate in the DVM2 practical rotations for other courses

    There is no formal examination, however it is a hurdle. Student anaesthetists are assessed by the anaesthesia supervisors and student surgeons are assessed by surgical supervisors and surgical nurses. Anaesthesia and surgery assessments are each given equal weighting in student assessments. 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.

    Desexing Clinic Assessment Guidelines:
    To pass this course, students must meet the minimal competencies specified in the learning objectives by the end of Semester 2. Achieving competence in the desexing clinic is different from learning a skill – competence describes the ability to put together a number of skills to produce a high-level performance judged satisfactory by experts in the field.
    Students are formatively assessed in every class of the Desexing Clinic, with immediate oral feedback provided. Students who are at risk of not achieving the competencies will be advised of this no later than the end of Semester 1, so as to allow sufficient time in Semester 2 to focus on and correct the deficiency and gain competence. If there are any major or repetitive deficiencies, students will be given additional practise and assessment in weeks 10, 11, or 12 of Semester 2 in order to demonstrate minimum competency level.
    Repeated anaesthetic indiscretions which may negatively affect the student’s assessment include: reckless drug administration; inattentive patient monitoring; careless attitude; i.e. behaviour or conduct that would endanger the animal’s life or result in morbidity. Also a consistently poor professional attitude will be considered unacceptable.

    Formative feedback is given immediately by surgical supervisors and nurses during every class of the Desexing Clinic. In additional student surgeons are graded each week according a rubric. This helps track a student’s progress throughout the year and ensure their continued improvement and refinement of their surgical skills and techniques to attain the minimum level of competence expected at their level of training. If there are any major or repetitive deficiencies, students will be given additional practise and assessment in weeks 10, 11, or 12 of Semester 2 in order to demonstrate competency.

    Assessment philosophy
    Failure of the desexing practical is only likely to occur when students have serious deficiencies that have been repeatedly observed and documented by the supervisors. Errors include serious errors in judgment, failure to achieve the required level of technical skills for a DVM 2 student, and errors that may prevent students from completing the procedure correctly, and/or cause significant morbidity or endanger an animal’s life.  Making a single mistake, in itself, does not constitute a serious deficiency. All students are expected to make mistakes as they learn and the extremely close supervision provided in the clinic helps guide students through the experience. We expect that student technical skills and overall competency improves to an acceptable standard as they progress through the year.
    If an extension is not applied for, or not granted then a penalty for late submission will apply. Generally a mark of zero will be allocated to late submitions.
    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.