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Small animal clinical science

During the small animal course, you will have further training in the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of the most important and common canine and feline diseases, injuries and disorders. You will examine healthy dogs and cats as well as those with illness and/or injuries both during the day and at night. After the course you should be able to explain the handling, work-up, treatment and follow-up of a dog or cat in both outpatient and inpatient veterinary care settings.

You will perform common diagnostic examinations and treatments, attend common surgical procedures, and, if possible, you will yourself, perform common surgical procedures under supervision and some postoperative care.

During the course, the writing of clinical journal, referral letters and certificates according to current regulations, will be emphasized, as will correct working procedures regarding hygiene, prevention of the spread of disease, work safety and animal welfare.

The course evaluation is now closed

VM0103-30111 - Course evaluation report

Once the evaluation is closed, the course coordinator and student representative have 1 month to draft their comments. The comments will be published in the evaluation report.

Additional course evaluations for VM0103

Academic year 2019/2020

Small animal clinical science (VM0103-30263) 2020-02-20 - 2020-06-07

Academic year 2018/2019

Small animal clinical science (VM0103-30130) 2019-02-21 - 2019-06-09

Academic year 2017/2018

Small animal clinical science (VM0103-30192) 2018-02-15 - 2018-06-03

Academic year 2016/2017

Small animal clinical science (VM0103-30213) 2017-02-16 - 2017-06-04

VM0103 Small animal clinical science, 17.0 Credits


Syllabus approved



Veterinary Medicine

Education cycle

Master’s level


Title Credits Code
Animal welfare and legislation 1.00 1002
Profession preparatory activities 1.00 1003
Production animal clinical science inc food safety 4.00 1004
Species deepened knowledge 2.00 1005
Equine clinical science including food safety 4.00 1006
Small animal clinical science 5.00 1007

Advanced study in the main field

Second cycle, other second-cycle courses as entry requirements(A1F)

Grading scale

Pass / Failed The requirements for attaining different grades are described in the course assessment criteria which are contained in a supplement to the course syllabus. Current information on assessment criteria shall be made available at the start of the course.



Prior knowledge

Pass in courses of year 1–3 on the Veterinary Medicine programme, pass in the course "Introduction to Clinical Studies" and at least 20 additional credits at Master’s level within the Veterinary Medicine programme as well as full participation in the course "Small animal medicine and surgery".


The course should provide advanced knowledge and practical skills needed to diagnose, treat and prevent common and important injuries, disturbances and diseases in the animal species dog, cat, horse and production animals for work in basic veterinary nursing specialising small animals.

On completion of the course, the student should be able to
- on a scientific basis discuss and synthesize veterinary science issues, review critically and analyze, assess and use relevant information concerning small animals
- describe and justify the handling investigation of common and important injuries disturbances and diseases for the in the course included animal species including assessment of prognosis,
- carrying out commonly occurring diagnostic investigations and treatments and independently interpret results of diagnostics,
- independently make an assessment of health state and fertility in ruminants and pig farms based on results of studies and herd data,
- evaluate different animal husbandry and production forms concerning impact on the animals’ helath and fertility,
- discuss and carry out adequate pre-medication, anaesthesia and pre- and postoperative pain analgesia
- explain and be familiar with common surgical procedures, including aftercare, and be able to carry out certain basic surgical procedures and take into consideration appropriate aseptic techniques,
- discuss and assess different management routines including vaccinations, deworming and feeding within preventive animal healthcare both on individual and breeding kennel/cattery level,
- evaluate different measures on individual and kennel/cattery level based on an economic, clinical and pharmacological (including drug resistance) perspective, and considering animal welfare,
- analyze and discuss food safety and ethical aspects around slaugheter,
- analyze and apply hygiene procedures for maintaining disease control, animal welfare and worker safety in work with in the course included animal species,
- independent and in an adequate way account for measures, treatment plans and treatment results and document these according to current regulatory framework,
- identify and take position in ethical issues and in an objective way assess animal welfare and animal welfare in real situations and account for in the context relevant animal welfare legislation,
- supervise students in earlier school years and give personal feedback to fellow students in the same school year during clinical tasks and in groups discuss leadership and how the cooperation in the group has functioned.


The course consists of lectures, exercises, seminars, demonstrations, farm visits, clinical proficiency training and observing clinical activities. The teaching is mainly given during daytime but certain participation in 24-hour duty is included. Seminar assignments, exercises, herd assignment, clinical teaching and participation in 24-hour duty are compulsory components.
The student does a compulsory advanced in-depth assignment on small animals.
The student practises describing, explaining and reflecting on, at an advanced level, problem identification, clinical findings, relevant diagnostic evaluation method, differential diagnosis, treatment strategy and prognosis for important and common injuries, diseases and disturbances in dogs, cats, horses and production animals. The student discusses and assesses different management routines within preventive animal healthcare. The student obtains training in documenting clinical work in a medically correct way, and to communicate with authorities, colleagues and animal owners. The student practises arguing for and against different treatment strategies based on ethical considerations and the situation of the animal and the animal owner. The course also includes practice in describing and reflecting on different anaesthesia forms in relation to the animal’s clinical status and to carry out certain surgical procedures under supervision. The student also obtains training in applying post-operative care and describing and analysing the reasons for complications in connection with surgical procedures. The student will also analyse findings and farm statistics (concerning health and finances) and to make a synthesis of common problems. The student draws conclusions about and assesses group cooperation, and identifies and explains factors that have influenced the work of the group positively or created impediments to achieving the intended learning outcomes.
The course also teaches food safety, applied nutrition and applied animal welfare and legislation. The course also includes implementation and follow-up of professional or vocational components (feedback, supervision etc).

Formats and requirements for examination

Passed written and practical examinations and approved participation in compulsory course components.
  • If the student fails a test, the examiner may give the student a supplementary assignment, provided this is possible and there is reason to do so.
  • If the student has been granted special educational support because of a disability, the examiner has the right to offer the student an adapted test, or provide an alternative assessment.
  • If changes are made to this course syllabus, or if the course is closed, SLU shall decide on transitional rules for examination of students admitted under this syllabus but who have not yet passed the course.
  • For the examination of a degree project (independent project), the examiner may also allow the student to add supplemental information after the deadline. For more information on this, please refer to the regulations for education at Bachelor's and Master's level.

Other information

  • The right to take part in teaching and/or supervision only applies to the course date to which the student has been admitted and registered on.
  • If there are special reasons, the student may take part in course components that require compulsory attendance at a later date. For more information on this, please refer to the regulations for education at Bachelor's and Master's level.

Additional information

The course is elective within The Veterinary Medicine Programme.

Interrupted practice
A student may be suspended from clinical practice with living animals if there is a significant risk of the student, through incompetence, injuring animals, other persons, themselves or valuable property if s/he continues to participate. Such a suspension may result in the student failing the course. An individual study plan will be set up and communicated to the student in writing. The plan will be established by the department responsible for the course after consultation with the study advisor and the student concerned. This plan, which is decided by the programme director of studies, shall state the nature of the shortcomings in knowledge and skills, what support the student can expect from the department as well as how and when checks can take place whether the student has acquired the required knowledge and skills. The plan will specify how these checks will be carried out. Each student has the right to a maximum of two checks. The student may not take part in clinical training on live animals until the programme director of studies has checked and confirmed that the student has the knowledge and skills required.

Responsible department

Department of Clinical Sciences
Cooperating departments:
Department of Biomedical Sciences and Veterinary Public Health
Department of Animal Environment and Health

Further information

Determined by: Programnämnden för utbildning inom veterinärmedicin och husdjur (PN - VH)
Replaces: VM0095

Betygskriterier (klicka på länken):

Betygskriterier VM0103

Course facts

The course is offered as an independent course: No The course is offered as a programme course: Veterinary Medicine Programme Veterinary Medicine Programme (admission before 1 July 2007) Tuition fee: Tuition fee only for non-EU/EEA/Switzerland citizens: 55293 SEK Cycle: Master’s level
Subject: Veterinary Medicine
Course code: VM0103 Application code: SLU-30111 Location: Uppsala Distance course: No Language: Swedish Responsible department: Department of Clinical Sciences Pace: 75%