Course code VET308

VET308 Veterinary Pharmacology and Toxicology

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Showing course contents for the educational year 2019 - 2020 .

Course responsible: Tor Einar Horsberg
ECTS credits: 15
Faculty: Faculty of Veterinary Medicine
Teaching language: NO
(NO=norsk, EN=Engelsk)
Teaching exam periods:
This course starts in Fall semester. This course has teaching/evaluation in Fall semester
Course frequency: Yearly
First time: Study year 2014-2015
Last time: 2022H
Preferential right:
Course contents:


  • Pharmacology (the study of drugs, their composition, effects and use in various domestic animals species).
  • Toxicology (the study of poisons, their effects in different domestic animals species and treatment of poisoning). An introduction to environmentally hazardous compounds, their  prevalence and effects is also given.
  • Legislation regarding medicinal compounds and training in prescription writing

Aims and learning outcomes

Veterinary Pharmacology and Toxicology is a subject dealing with the fate and effects of the compounds in the animal. Knowledge in both pharmacology and toxicology is essential for understanding drug therapy in clinical settings in domestic animals and fish, and to make rational therapy choices for treatments of diseases and poisoning cases. Knowledge in these disciplines is essential to understand the part of food hygiene, including meat control, which deals with drugs and toxins, and to understand the background for withdrawal periods for products of animal origin intended for human consumption when the animals have been treated with medicinal products or exposed to other xenobiotica.

Veterinary Pharmacology and Toxicology in relation to past and future courses:

The subjects builds on the previous subjects, for example in physiology and biochemistry. It is often necessary to repeat or highlight parts of these subjects. This applies to parts that are essential for the understanding of mechanisms of action. We will meet the students again during teaching in clinical diciplines and the specialization semester where important subjects will be repeated and elaborated.

Learning outcome:

After completing the course, the students should master the following «Day one skills» by EAEVE: 1.3, 1.4, 1.6, 1.9, 1.11, 1.12, 2.1, 2.2, 2.3, 2.5, 2.6, 2.7, 2.8, 2.9, 3.4, 3.10, 3.13, 3.14, 3.15 

After completion of the courses, the students should:

  • Have acquired knowledge and attitudes that will allow him or her to be able to use medicinal products for animals in accordance with the current legislations and regulations.
  • Be able to define key concepts in pharmacology and toxicology.
  • Be able to explain key processes in pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics, and their expected impact on treatment outcome.  
  • Be able to explain key processes in toxicokinetics and toxicodynamics, and their expected impact on the outcome of the incidense.  
  • Be able to clarify the mechanism of action for the different main groups of drugs.
  • Be able to clarify side effects and interactions between different drugs.
  • Be able to clarify the regulations that apply for requisition, handling and storage of medicinal products.
  • Be familiar with the content of the legislation and regulations governing the use of veterinary medicinal products.
  • Be able to clarify the mechanism of action for relevant toxins.
  • Define key concepts in environmental toxicology.
  • Be able to clarify the different groups of environmental toxins, the characteristics of the different groups and what effects they may have.
  • Be able to use available information channels related to medicinal products and their use.
  • Be able to prescribe medicinal products for animals in compliance with the regulations for prescription writing.
  • Be able to consider the ethical aspects and propose rational drug therapy in domestic animal and fish diseases.
  • Have learned to collaborate through tutorials and group work, and be able to present the material both in writing and orally.
Learning activities:
Emphasis will be placed on admission, distribution, transformation and excretion (kinetics), mechanisms (dynamics) and effects in various animal species. The course emphasizes in addition clinical veterinary pharmacology and toxicology of small animals, horses and production animals and aquatic species. Teaching is provided in the form of lectures (80 hours) and organized study groups (30 hours).
Recommended literature and detailed description of the course are found at the block's home area on Canvas. 
Recommended prerequisites:
The blocks provided previous in the programme.
Mandatory activity:

Test: A test must be passed in order to take the exam in Animal Nutrition. In special cases, in agreement with the Block Leader, the exam may be taken before the test is passed, but the grade will not be valid until the test is passed. The Block Leader will decide when a new test can be conducted in the following semester. If the student fails the test for a second time, he or she may have to wait until the next time the block is implemented.  


Teaching in colloquiums is mandatory. You are allowed one absence from the courses / colloquia. In absence beyond this, one must submit an additional task assignment (s) which must be assessed as passed before one gets a valid grade in the subject. The colloquium additional task (s) will be distributed after the first exam, and papers will be submitted for evaluation during the first week of the spring semester.


Written final examination: 4 hour last week before Christmas  

Examination support material: Calculator is allowed on tasks that require extensive number crunching.

Grading scale: A-E

Entrance requirements:
Admitted to the Veterinary Medicine Program and completed minimum 100,5 ECTS the first and second year at the program
Reduction of credits:

Requirements for personal equipment:



Biochemistry Hall: It is considered to be very low risk activity in the block. A first aid kit is available. All handling of drugs is carried out by the teachers. However, when extraction and processing of fish, students will be in contact with low concentrations of anesthetic drugs. Prior to the course students are instructed about safe handling of drugs, and during the practical part, teachers ensure that safety is maintained in terms of the students using gloves and protective clothing.

Stig Anders Ødegaard
Examination details: Skriftlig eksamen, flervalgstest og undervisning : A - E / F