VET314 Pathology

Credits (ECTS):16.5

Course responsible:Gjermund Gunnes

Teaching language:Norsk

Course frequency:Yearly

Nominal workload:12,5 weeks including organised teaching and own work

Teaching and exam period:This course starts in 7th semester and finishes in 8th semester.

About this course

  • Pathology
  • Autopsy

Aim and learning outcomes

Pathology will provide students with sufficient knowledge of disease development (pathogenesis) and morphological changes of the most common diseases, and of important infectious diseases (Group A and B diseases) that are most likely to occur in production animals, horses and companion animals in Norway.

Learning outcome

After completing the course in pathology, the student should have obtained:

Theoretical knowledge:

  • Ability to understand and explain the basis for disease development (pathogenesis) and explain the macroscopical and microscopical changes in common (infectious and non-infectious), as well as important infectious diseases (Group A and B diseases) of relevance for production animals, horses and companion animals in Norway. This applies to:
    • Nutritional disorders
    • Production diseases
    • Intoxications
    • Neoplasia
    • The most common congenital disorders
    • Viral infections
    • Bacterial infections
    • Fungal infections
    • Parasitic diseases
    • Prion diseases  
  • Ability to make morphological diagnoses based on macroscopical and microscopical changes.

Practical skills:

  • Ability to maintain high hygiene standards during autopsy of potentially infectious material. 
  • Ability to conduct autopsies of domestic animals and describe and interpet the autopsy findings for the groups of diseases mentioned above.
  • Ability to recognize changes in organs and tissues in production animals of relevance for food hygiene (meat inspection).
  • Ability to assess the pathoanatomical diagnoses in relation to the clinical diagnoses and specify possible cause of death/etiology.
  • Ability to retrieve samples for histological and microbiological examinations, and know how to handle and ship this material.

General aquired competence:

  • Know when to inform and get advice from the diagnostic laboratory before submitting samples.
  • Know their own limitations and when it is appropriate to bring in expertise, advices from laboratories or authorities.
  • In pathology the individual organ systems' disease processes, their causes, development and appearance are emphasized. 

    Teaching is given in the form of approx 60 lectures during the 7th and 8th semesters. A demonstration of autopsy material is given daily when available. In addition, pathology specimen from sloughterhouse is demonstrated once a week the second half of the 8th semester. Each student participate in an obligatory group-based practical autopsy course, all together 19 days (before lunch) during the 7th and 8th semesters. A journal must be delivered for each autopsy case. The students have access to a rich and searchable archive with images via the website Noahs Arkive Online.

    There are no organized practical teaching in histopathology, but it is arranged for group- or selfstudy in a room equipped with microscopes (one discussion microscope for 16 viewers, and single microscopes) and 2 boxes with selected histological slides are available. Histological sections from one of these boxes has been taught in the general pathology course in the 4th term (Vet306). Digitalised sections from both boxes are available and can be accessed on the students´ private computers.

  • Recommended literature and detailed description of the course are found at the block's home area on Canvas. Teachers are available by e-mail or one can make an appointment to discuss subjects in the course.
  • VET301+VET302+VET303+VET304+VEt305+VET306+VET307+VET308+VET309
  • Examination

    Permitted aids: None

    The exam in pathology is held as an oral examination. This will be completed within 3-4 days (depending on the number of candidates) in the middle of May. A list presenting the time of examination for each candidate will be announced around 4 weeks ahead of the eaxm.

    The examination will be performed like this:

    • The candidate is assigned a task at the beginning of the exam.
    • The task will consist of:
      • Theoretical questions
      • Qestions related to images of macroscopical or microscopical changes 
    • The candidate gets 30 minutes to study the task by him-/herself and prepare for the exam.
    • After the preparation the candidate will be examined, mainly focusing on the assigned task. However, supplementary questions from other areas of pathology may be asked. The examination will last for 45 minutes. 
    • The results will be announced after all the candidates have been examinated.

    An information meeting with more details will be held for the class in reasonable time before the exam. 

  • Alle exam questions are approved by the external examiner before they are used.

    The external examiner is present during the examination.

  • All autopsy work and work with journals is obligatory. A test regarding HMS rules and autopsy technique must be passed before Thursday in the first autopsy week in order for the student to be allowed to continue the practical autopsy training. Absence from the autopsy work for up to 2 days during the 7th and 8th semesters is allowed. In the case of additional absence, students must contact the person responsible for the block and arrange when the work can be carried out later in the semester or in the following year. Students will normally be allowed to take the exam even if they have not completed the course work. However, grades will be held back until the course work has been completed.
  • Requirements for personal equipment



    There are separate infection locks by the entrance to the autopsy facilities. Coates, aprons, gloves and boots are available by the infection locks. At the section hall, HMS training is divided in 2 parts. First a briefing with HMS rules that the students must read and sign. This is supplemented with information and pictures illustrating the procedures. There is also a quiz put on Canvas that has to be completed to be allowed to participate in obligatory teaching in the autopsy hall. The second part consists of information given in the post mortem room on how to implement infection control practices.

    • Approx 60 lectures
    • Approx 57 hours of obligatory autopsy work with some additional work on journals
    • Approx 50 hours of daily demonstrations of autopsy material (will vary depending on access to material)
  • VET


  • Admitted to the Veterinary Medicine Program and completed minimum 166,5 ECTS after third year at the program