Course code VET331

VET331 Differentiation in Aquatic animal medicine

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Showing course contents for the educational year 2017 - 2018 .

Course responsible: Øystein Evensen
ECTS credits: 30
Faculty: Faculty of Veterinary Medicine
Teaching language: NO
(NO=norsk, EN=Engelsk)
Teaching exam periods:
Look at the semester plan
Course frequency: Yearly
First time: Study year 2017-2018
Last time: 2018V
Preferential right:
Course contents:

Content Comparative immunology 

The teaching consists of lectures and discussions of case. The cases are related to the topics that are covered in the lectures and students are expected to go through and discuss them among themselves and are prepared to answer the questions related to the cases in class. Some practical exercises will also be posted such as blood sampling and anesthesia, practical handling of fish for research.

Content Vaccinology 

The course will include an overview of vaccination history (general), use and assessment of the benefits of foil-based vaccines in farmed salmon and a comparison of vaccination procedures in cold-and-hot-water-based aquaculture.

Content Medicine in Aquaculture 

The course reviews key principles of fish pharmacology and legislation on drug residues in food and feed. Recent drug groups are examined (anesthetic agents, antiparasitic agents, antibiotics, topical disinfectants). The course will also focus on legislation and animal welfare considerations in the use of fish as experimental animals.

Content Infectious diseases in farmed fish 

Infectious diseases in fish

Introduction and overview of sampling procedures and analytical methods for parasitological, histopathological, bacteriological and virological investigations

Content Clinical nutrition of farmed fish 

Nutrition of carnivorous fish species, Introduction and overview of the importance of nutrition as a basis for good health, and the effects of malnutrition

Content External work veterinarian/breeding farm 

External work: Practice with a practicing veterinarian/fish health biologist with involvement in daily tasks/issues.

Breeding farm: The presence at a farm with the operator or veterinarian. Review of the daily routines on the farm (feeding, caring, care, clarifications of illness etc.). 

Content Disease control in Aquaculture 

Theoretical basis for disease control in aquaculture. The students will be introduced to the principles and tools for use in disease control in aquaculture production.

Content Fish welfare 

Theoretical and practical foundation to understand the concept of fish welfare

Students will get an introduction to and overview of the importance of fish welfare for economic and sustainable production.

Content Scientific and methodological specialization related to the thesis

Self-study and preparation work to accomplish a thesis within 13.5 weeks.

Scientific and methodological specialization related to the thesis through participation in conferences, meetings and self-study in a relevant subject.

Optional labarotory animal science: Content

To create interest and knowledge about the various tasks a laboratory veterinary has. We will look at the career opportunities a vet have within laboratory animals and teach the students to start thinking critical and ethical like a real scientist. To increse the student's skills in practical handling and simple methods (like blood tests and injection methods) and surgical methods (like OVHV and tooth pull) of rabbit, rat and mice. Aswell as get to know these species as laboratory animals, we would like to have a closer look at them as pets. 

Learning outcome:

Aim Differentiation in Aquatic Medicine 

The teaching in the differentiation year in aquatic medicine will provide students with in-depth theoretical and practical knowledge about infectious diseases in farmed salmon, the diagnosis of these, principles about prevention by vaccination and the underlying immunological mechanisms and importance of nutrition for fish health.

Aim and Learning outcome Comparative immunology 

Provide an introduction to the basic principles of immunology with a focus on comparative aspects based on current understanding of immune responses in higher vertebrates (mainly mice). Compliance with immune responses in fish will be presented and discussed where these are known and it¿s relevant.

After completing the course the student should be able to explain the immune responses of fish and how these can be measured.

Aim and learning outcome Vaccinology 

Provide an overview of the use of vaccines as a tool to prevent disease in farmed fish.

After completing the course, students should be able to explain the principles of vaccination and propose options for disease control through vaccination for hot-and-cold-water fish species.

Aim and learning outcome Medicine in Aquaculture 

Give the student a good introduction to medicine use in aquaculture.

Upon completing the course, the students should know:

  • Basic principles of absorption, distribution, metabolism and excretion of drugs in fish.
  • Be familiar with the indications for the use and operation of the most common groups of drugs intended for fish.
  • Basic concepts for toxicological risk assessment and know and understand how ADI-, MRL-values and retention times are calculated.
  • National and international legislation on drug residues in food and feed, and know about the surveillance programs for medication and drug residues in fish.
  • Legislation and animal welfare considerations when using fish as experimental animals.

Aim and learning outcome Infectious diseases in farmed fish 

Provide an overview of the most important infectious diseases in fish with special emphasis on cold-water fish.

After completing the course the students will:

  • Have good knowledge of the pathogenic agent of the most important infectious diseases affecting cold water fish.
  • Have good knowledge of virulence mechanisms including bacterial antibiotic resistance which is included in the course.
  • Be able to explain the basic principles of international law on fish diseases.
  • Be able to perform routine sampling for diagnostic examination after autopsy, could suggest methods of preservation of samples for various diagnostic procedures and know the limitations with respect to the possibility of identification of agents that cause disease.
  • Be able to perform molecular characterization of a disease-causing organism using the computer.

Aim and Learning outcome

Provide an overview of the importance of nutrition for good fish health (with emphasis on salmonids).

After completing the course the students will:

  • Have good knowledge of the nutritional requirements of salmonid fish.
  • Have knowledge of nutrient sources used in feed for salmonids.
  • The relationship between vegetable and marine feed ingredients in fish feed.
  • The importance of anti-nutrients in vegetable feed ingredients.
  • The vegetable feed ingredients and intestinal health.

Aim and learning outcome External work veterinarian/breeding farm 

Provide an insight into the clinical fish health/aquatic medicine and/or production conditions in a breeding farm for fish.

After the practice period the students will have knowledge of typical, clinical problems in fish farms, understand how to analyze and diagnose disease problems under practical conditions.

With the work experience on breeding farms, students will be familiar with the daily feeding and curing routines at a breeding farm.

Aim and Learning outcome Disease control in Aquaculture 

Provide an introduction to disease control in aquaculture (with emphasis on salmonids).

After completing the course the students will:

  • Have good knowledge of the principles of disease control in aquaculture.
  • Have knowledge of systematization and presentation of data describing the disease in breeding farmed populations.
  • Have knowledge of instruments for use in disease control.
  • Have knowledge of disease control in wild fish populations (Gyrodactylus salaris).
  • Have knowledge of methods of cost benefit analysis of the resources used in disease control

Aim and Learning outcome Fish welfare 

Provide an introduction to fish welfare in modern fish breeding (with emphasis on samonids).

After completing the course the students will:

  • Have good knowledge of the criteria for the welfare of salmonoids.
  • Have knowledge of the concepts used in the field of welfare and understand how it is defined.
  • Know comparative aspects of welfare in modern animal husbandry.
  • Harvest the practical experience of critical points during the production of salmonids that are important for fish welfare.

Aim and Learning outcome Scientific and methodological specialization related to the thesis

Give more time associated with tasks that require extra preparation.

After the practice period the students will have detailed knowledge of the academic subject as the thesis deals with.

Aim and learning outcome Ambulatory clinic 

Enhanced hands-on clinical work at individual levels out in the farms/fields with focus on cattle and pigs, as well as some sheep and horse- practice

After the course the student shall have extended knowledge- and skill level with regards to dealing with practical work in clinics on production animals and horses, as well as to assess this against the need to take action at the herd level and to implement such measures.

Learning activities:

Program Vaccinology 

The program consists of lectures and group work where students will work on a vaccine application to be submitted by the end of the course for evaluation.

Program Medicine in Aquaculture 

Teaching methods are lectures and group discussions. There is also a full day at NIVA¿s marine research station in Drøbak.

Program Infectious diseases in farmed fish 

Teaching will be a combination of lectures and practical laboratory work.

Program Clinical nutrition of farmed fish 

Teaching will be a combination of lectures and exercises.

Program External work veterinarian/breeding farm 

Students deliver a brief report at the end of the practice period.

Program Disease control in Aquaculture 

Teaching will be a combination of lectures, assignments, and presentations by participants from industry, suppliers and management.

Program dish welfare

Teaching will be a combination of lectures, exercises and a field course (practical course)



Elective arrangement: 1 week

There is a total of 1 week, 1.5 ECTS in which the student can choose from the following arrangements in the differentiation in medicine in aquaculture:

Program Scientific and methodological specialization related to the thesis

The period may include participation in meetings, work experience in administrative or production environments, or in research environments within the industry.

Program Ambulatory clinic 

The teaching will take place in small groups with a lot of self-study under supervision.

Time: Spring semester, or summer or December. Exact time period are agreed upon individually after agreement with Hans Petter Kjæstad, depending on the capacity of the section and adapted to the individual student¿s participation in mandatory education

Program Optional laboratory animcal science 

From 2016, this couse will be an "inverse classroom". It means that the students will get access to lectures in form of instruction videos and they have to reviewing the syllabus in the form of own work. The gatherings (flipped sessions) with lecturer will be used for review of group assignment, discussion and practical work with the animals/cadavers

Part 1: Laboratory animal science

We will delve into the subject and looking specifically at what tasks a vet can have within laboratory animals. 

Part 2: Clinical examination techniques on living animals.

We will work specifically with clinical examination and simple techniques (like blood samples and infection methods) on rabbit, rat and mice.

Part 3: Surgery methods

We will work specifically with surgical methods (like OVHV and tooth pull) on cadavers of rabbit, rat and mice.

This is defined by the supervisor and will consist of text books, scientific review articles and original articles, technical reports and other relevant literature.
Admitted to the Veterinary Medicine Program and completed 1-9. semester of the veterinary medicine program
Recommended prerequisites:
Based on the examination in medicine in aquaculture from 8th semester
Mandatory activity:

Mandatory teaching and program requirements: Comparative immunology 

Oral test

Mandatory teaching and program requirements: Vaccinology 

Approved group assignment, (vaccine proposal) required.

Mandatory teaching and program requirements: Medicine in Aquaculture 

Full day trip is mandatory.

Oral test.

Mandatory teaching and program requirements: Infectious diseases in farmed fish 

The laboratory portion of the course is mandatory.

Multiple choice test and approval of laboratory reports

Mandatory teaching and program requirements: Clinical nutrition of farmed fish 

Written test

Mandatory teaching and program requirements: External work veterinarian/breeding farm 

Mandatory attendance during the entire practice period id required.

Mandatory teaching and program requirements: Disease control in Aquaculture 

The course is mandatory for students with aquaculture as a specialization.

Written submission of the thesis is required.

Mandatory teaching and program requirements: Fish welfare

The field course is mandatory.

Written test/submission of assigment

Mandatory teaching and program requirements: Scientific and methodological specialization related to the thesis

Mandatory attendance. The student submits a brief report.

Mandatory teaching and program requirements: Ambulatory clinic 

Everything is mandatory, including shift participation. Approval of submitted records.

Mandatory teaching and program requirements: Optional animal laboratory science

- Attendance: All gatherings (flipped sessions 1, 2 and 3) is mandatory.

- Participation in the review of the group tasks. 


Assessment of academic specialization topics:

To pass the academic specialization, assignments, reports and tests need to be approved in line with what has been described for each subject. Students may have to wait until next year if no assignments, reports and tests are approved after 3 attempts. In addition, the student must attend mandatory activity. If the student has a valid absence of this, it may be accepted with later work experience in the same academic year. If invalid absence, the student must wait until the next time it is held. Subject manager keeps lists of students with approved topics in the academic study and file them. Subject manager acknowledges the subject as approved on the censorship form to the student.

Review of optional part

Presence and mandatory activities have to be completed in order to get approved. It is the students responsibility to ensure that the optional part will be completed, and it will not be given extra lectures unless the students can document valid absence.

Course supervisor gives diploma/certificate and/or acknowledge the evaluation form where the chosen part will be listed. Only 100% completed optional tasks is approved. 

Evaluation Thesis

To pass the differentiation direction of medicine in aquaculture, the following 2 parts must be passed:

  • Thesis (20 ECTS): Passed

Norwegian and English names should be applied to the diploma

  • Specialization in medicine in aquaculture (31.5 ECTS): Passed

(Consists of 30.0 ECTS mandatory part and 1.5 ECTS elective part).

Censorship form and 2 copies of the thesis must be delivered SFA no later than 1 week before the end of the term for the diploma to be issued to exam completing.

Entrance requirements:
Admitted to the Veterinary Medicine Program and completed 1-9. semester of the veterinary medicine program

External work experience in companion animals/horses/aqua as an elective part (1 week)

Up to one week of the elective courses can be taken externally.

This requires 100 % attendance.

It is essential that this is a full day on a small animal- or horse practice.

The clinic must meet the same requirements for approval that are set in the small animal- and horse direction.

The student must participate in on-call arrangements.

Optional laboratory animal science: HMS

Quarantine rules: No contact with rodents or rabbits on 48 hours. No contact with animal abroad on 72 hours. 

Notify if you have allergy against animals, dust or grass

Optional laboratory animal science: Following students can apply the course:

Open for everybodt: Maximum 12 participants.

Requirements for own equipment

No special requirements

Examination details: :