VET SC 7230BRW - Companion Animal Practice Part 2

Roseworthy Campus - Semester 2 - 2021

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 7230BRW
    Course Companion Animal Practice Part 2
    Coordinating Unit School of Animal and Veterinary Sciences
    Term Semester 2
    Level Postgraduate Coursework
    Location/s Roseworthy Campus
    Units 6
    Contact 4 hours of Lectures per week. Up to 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 Completion of Year 1 of DVM or equivalent
    Incompatible VET SC 7210RW and VET SC 7220RW
    Restrictions Available to Doctor of Veterinary Medicine students only
    Assessment On-course assignments; Mid-Semester examination and end-Semester 1 & 2 exam. Formative assessment ? practical competence in anaesthetising and desexing dogs and cats.
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Dr Lynette Bester

    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 conditions)
    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, as 3 units in each semester 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.

    An enrolled student should expect to spend, on average 12 hours per week per semester on the studies required for a 3 unit course.
    This includes both the formal contact time required to the course (e.g., lectures and practicals), as well as non-contact time (e.g. practical and tutorial preparation time, lecture pre-reading and exam revision).

    Learning Activities Summary
    The course requires on-campus attendance

    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

    No 1-6 Semester 1 - by week 12, Semester 2 - by week 12
    Practical Assessment Formative 0% No 1-8 Each Practical 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 Semester 2 Summative 10% Yes 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 2021.
    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 in anaesthesia or surgery or both, will be re-assessed for competency in the area/s concerned during the standard replacement / additional assessment period.
    End of Semester 1, Mid-Semester 2, End of Semester 2 Exams Cumulative 50% Yes At the end of Semester 2, an additional examination
    covering all material taught previously in CAP in a similar or different format.
    Assessment Detail
    The Companion Animal Practice course is a 6 unit course delivered over 2 semesters, comprised of Part 1 and Part 2. A final grade is only given in Part 2, which comprises all assessments undertaken in Part 1 and Part 2.

    On-course assessment:
    Students will undertake two assesments that will consolidate material taught during didactic sessions as well as enhancing their problem solving ability. The assesment 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 (80 minutes) 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, oral, practical tests and performance-based exams. The semester 1 mid-semester test will serve to guide the students on the level
    of knowledge required to successfully pass the remaining examinations, and give them experience with the various question types. Any tests or examinations can cover any material taught previously in the course, but will focus on material covered in the most recent 6 to 8 weeks.

    Desexing Clinic: 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 disciplines. Students must pass each of the criteria for competency to achieve a pass in each discipline. A pass is required in both disciplines to be able to pass the C.A.P. course and indicates that the student has reached a level of competence that is satisfacotry for their stage in the DVM program.
    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 submissions.
    Course Grading

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

    M10 (Coursework Mark Scheme)
    Grade Mark Description
    FNS   Fail No Submission
    F 1-49 Fail
    P 50-64 Pass
    C 65-74 Credit
    D 75-84 Distinction
    HD 85-100 High Distinction
    CN   Continuing
    NFE   No Formal Examination
    RP   Result Pending

    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.

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