Course code VET334

VET334 Introduction to Diagnostic Work and Veterinary Public Health

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Showing course contents for the educational year 2022 - 2023 .

Course responsible: Karianne Muri
Teachers: Hege Kippenes Skogmo, Erik Georg Bø-Granquist, Andreas Lervik, Kathe Elise Kittelsen, Olav Reksen, Simen Foyn Nørstebø, Ellen Margrete Skancke, Hege Cathrine Mittet Brun-Hansen, Sindre Thørn Nelson, Lisbeth Hektoen, Terje Fjeldaas, Snorre Stuen, Snorre Stuen, Henning Andreas Haga, Eystein Skjerve
ECTS credits: 8.5
Faculty: Faculty of Veterinary Medicine
Teaching language: NO
(NO=norsk, EN=Engelsk)
Teaching exam periods:
This course starts in Spring semester. This course has teaching/evaluation in Spring semester
Course frequency: Annualy
First time: Study year 2018-2019
Last time: 2023V
Preferential right:



Course contents:

6 weeks course in the 6.semester. 


Propedeutic course

Diagnostic methods and anaesthesia

Poultry medicine

Veterinay Public Health


Small ruminant diseases and herd medicine

Learning outcome:

In part 1 of Introduction to diagnostic work and veterinary public health, the students will be presented with many of subjects where vets play an important role. This is an introduction to clinics, diagnostics, and veterinary medicine. The students will learn diagnostics and get their first insight into clinical activities, and see this in light of the animals' environment and vets' role in the society. "One health", one world, the vets' role through the history, food safety management and regulations, as well as academic conflicts that vets have to live with in the interface between bio-production, animal health and animal welfare. Although this is a closing subject, it is expected that students have this knowledge and use this it in clinics and on exams later in the study. 

After the courses the students should:

Module: Propedeutic course:

  • Hoof/cloven hoof trimming: The student should know how to trim and shoe a hoof, and the most important hoof diseases in horses and production animals. The students will practice hoof trimming on feet of cow cadavers and live cows.
  • Clinical examination. It is expected that the students can carry out a basic clinical examination of horse, production animal and companion animals.This includes:

    • To know how to approach a patient and an owner in a professional manner.
    • To know how to take a case history.
    • To know how to do a clinical examination.
    • To know how to discuss a problem-based investigation of a case, with differential diagnoses.
  • Handling of animals and health and safety routines: The student should know the main principles in safe handling of large animals and safety routines, correct handling during clinical examination and sampling.
  • Obstetrics: The student should know the main principles of obstetrics on cats, dogs, pig, sheep and cows.
  • Aseptics, antiseptics, sutures: The students should understand how to obtain aseptics and antiseptic routines when preparing for surgery, and know the most common sutures.
  • Reproduction, all animals: The student should know the reproduction physiology of male and female dogs, sheep, goats, cows, pigs and horses. The students practice on real organs of a cow, and testicular examination and semen sampling on a male dog or sheep.
  • Anaesthesia: The student should know the basic principles for an how to practically do:

    • endotracheal intubation
    • use of larynx mask
    • blood vessel catheterisation

Module: Diagnostic methods and anaesthesia:

Clinical pathology

The course provides an introduction to the use and interpretation of laboratory results, with emphasis on clinical biochemistry and haematology. There is also an introduction to fine needle biopsies and the preparation of smears for cytological examination. After completing the course, the students should know the principles for how reference intervals are established, know the preanalytical and analytical errors and principles for interpretation of laboratory results.

Diagnostic imaging: 

After completing the course, the students should know basic X-ray- and ultrasound physics, know the principles of other diagnostic modalities, get incipient relationship to assessment of X-ray images and know about ultrasound-artifacts, and know the basics of endoscopic methods.


The teaching consists of lectures that give an overview of general and local anaesthesia, pain physiology and pain management. This provides a basis for the 7th semester, when teaching about these topics continue. After the 6th semester, the students should have an understanding of the basic principles of anesthesia and pain management.

Module: Poultry medicine:

The poultry medicine will be taught as mandatory lectures and post-mortem training. The main focus will be poultry health, infectious and non-infectious diseases, both in commercial and backyard poultry. In addition, the students will gain knowledge of Norwegian poultry industry, one health in relation to poultry, different production forms, poultry welfare, diagnostic methods and biosecurity.

During the lectures, the students will gain knowledge of the most important infectious and non-infectious poultry diseases in commercial flocks and in backyard poultry. This includes both the most common diseases in Norway along with important A-list diseases, like Avian Influenza. Poultry pathology and post-mortem investigation are also part of the Poultry Medicine. This will be taught during the 8th semester, as practical post-mortem training. After the pathology session the students should be able to evaluate the post-mortem findings and how to use this in the diagnostic workup.

Module: Veterinary Public Health:

  • Have a basic understanding of the veterinary profession's role and our responsibility towards the society.
  • Be able to understand the relationships between veterinary public health and other subjects in the veterinary study as well as other subjects and professions.
  • Have knowledge to central parts of the veterinary professions history. 
  • Understand our role in society and be able to reflect about this in topics as food safety, environmental protection, infection control, terrestrial and marine bio-production and sports and companion animals.
  • Be able to view the veterinary profession in a "One Health" context.
  • Know about the basic elements of the legislation that defines veterinary activities, including the Food Act and central regulations in the so-called hygiene package.
  • Know about the Food Safety Authority and it's organization
  • Know about central elements when it comes to animal welfare in slaughterhouses and the meat controllers role inside the veterinary medicine. 
  • Be able to reflect on the relationship between management systems in livestock and animal welfare, animal diseases and food safety. 
  • Understand key elements in the infection epidemiology and use this insight in the evaluation of specific disease control situations. 

Module: Obstetrics:

  • Know the basic principles in birth and obstetrics for large animals.

Module: Small ruminant diseases and herd medicine

This module will provide knowledge in: clinical examination, interpretation of clinical findings, post-mortem findings and clinical pathology. There will also be a theoretical introduction to diseases of small ruminants.

Assessment of the live sheep involves learning on:

  • Clinical examination of small ruminants
  • Blood sampling and restraint of sheep
  • Location of intramuscular, intravenous and intraperitoneal injections, including aseptic / sterile injection techniques
  • Body condition scoring of sheep
  • Assessment of claw health
  • Reproductive examination
  • Handling and treatment of sick lambs
  • Lambing assistance and routines
  • Welfare indicators: assessing sheep behaviour and key indicators of good health and disease

Assessment of dead sheep involves teaching of:

  • Post-mortem technique and assessment of major organs
  • Distinction between normal anatomy and variation, and pathological changes
  • Interpretation of post-mortem findings
  • Morphological and aetiological diagnoses based on pathological findings

Introduction and knowledge of current diagnostic methods (following clinical examination and post-mortem), sampling methods and interpretation of results:

  • Preparation of blood smears
  • Preparation, examination and interpretation of faecal worm egg counts
  • Post-mortem sampling: Seed on blood vessel and sampling of parasitological samples
  • Maintenance of accurate and good quality records (live and dead animals)
  • Advice to the producer.
Learning activities:
The teaching takes place as lectures, but also some practical lessons in propedeutic course, obstetrics and small ruminant medicine, as well as demonstrations/case-discussions in several of the modules. The teaching in Veterinary Public Health is a in so-called "inverted classroom". This means that the students get access in form of recorded video lectures or presentations with recorded text. The time gathered is used to clarify questions, discussions and dialogue-oriented activity. This emphasizes that the subject is a reflection subject more than a knowledge subject. 
Teaching support:
The module leaders and the teachers will be available to the students during normal work hours during the course weeks. 
Lists with recommended litterature can be found on Canvas
Recommended prerequisites:
The previous courses in the study programme.
Mandatory activity:

Only valid absence is allowed. See each module for specifications. Valid absence is defined as absence due to disease (with medical certificate), due to specific welfare reasons, or due to official duties at NMBU Faculty of Veterinary Medicine and approved by the study department. 


Module: Propedeutic course:

Everything is mandatory. 

These are lessons that cannot be replaced by self-study, and prepares students for the clinical periods. It is accepted with up to two-times valid absences before substitute teaching must be taken. 

Absence over two days from the propedeutic course will be replaced by attendance at the ambulatory clinic the same number of days as the absence, during the summer holiday between 6th and 7th semester, or with a suitable program in the training clinic. Lessons taught during the propedeutic course can be included in the OSCE exam after the 9th semester. If necessary substitute teaching is not undertaken, SFA shall be notified so that credits for the subject are not given. 


Module: Veterinary Public Health

Gatherings and discussions are mandatory because of the teaching methods (dialogue, interaction, reflection). All the lectures will be found on Canvas. Absence will be noted, and a maximum of one day valid absence is accepted to be eligible to take the multiple-choice exam. 


Module: Obstetrics:

All teaching is mandatory. Topics differ from day to day. If the student has invalid absence, the specific topics from that day must be retaken the following year.


Module: Small ruminant diseases and herd medicine

All teaching is mandatory. Topic differ from day to day. If the student has invalid absence, the specific topics from that day must be retaken the following year.

Summer practice and reports.


Module: Diagnostic methods and anaesthesia:

Oral assessment of group assignment. Attendance and active participation. 

Module: Poultry medicine:

The lectures are followed by a compulsory multiple choice exam. Pass /not pass.

Module: Veterinary Public Health

Multiple choice test on Canvas Pass / not pass.

Nominal workload:
405 hours. 
Entrance requirements:
Admitted to the Veterinary Medicine Program and completed minimum 100,5 ECTS the first and second year at the program
Type of course:
The block contains 6 weeks of teaching. 

Requirements for personal equipment

Look on Canvas


Look on Canvas


The multiple choice tests will be corrected automatically by Canvas

When the student passes all individual modules the whole block will be approved. 

Examination details: Langsgående vurdering: Passed / Not Passed