VSC417 Companion Animal Medicine and Surgery 1 (8)

The diagnosis of clinical disease in companion animal species is based on patient history, signalment, and the results of physical examination and ancillary diagnostic tests. This information is analysed and underpins diagnostic and therapeutic decisions. Making a Decision is the theme for this subject which will explore the complexity of this process in companion animal practice.

Like other Companion Animal subjects, VSC417 will be presented in a Problem-Based Learning format over a four week period.

Subject Outlines
Current CSU students can view Subject Outlines for recent sessions. Please note that Subject Outlines and assessment tasks are updated each session.


Session 1 (30)
On Campus
Wagga Wagga Campus

Continuing students should consult the SAL for current offering details: VSC417. Where differences exist between the Handbook and the SAL, the SAL should be taken as containing the correct subject offering details.

Subject Information

Grading System



One session


School of Animal and Veterinary Sciences

Enrolment Restrictions

Restricted to students enrolled in:
Bachelor of Veterinary Biology/Bachelor of Veterinary Science
Bachelor of Veterinary Biology/Bachelor of Veterinary Science (Honours)
Bachelor of Veterinary Science



Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this subject, students should:
  • be able to identify factors which contribute to clinical decision making in companion animal practice.
  • be able to gather and interpret clinically relevant information relating to the history, signalment, clinical exam findings and/or results of diagnostic tests, apply this information to material provided, and use an appropriate knowledge of underlying sciences to rationally progress case management, as relevant to Package Learning Objectives.
  • be able to demonstrate satisfactory knowledge of basic and applied sciences relating to packages in this subject, as defined in Package Learning Objectives.
  • be able to identify and critically evaluate sources of information available and relevant to material covered in PBL packages in this subject.
  • be able to demonstrate appropriate time management skills to ensure completion of all assessment, self-directed and peer learning task related to packages in this subject within the specified time frames.
  • be able to demonstrate numeracy skills related to professional activities such as the interpretation of the results of diagnostic tests and/or the implementation appropriate therapeutic / management interventions.


This subject will cover the following topics:

- Small Animal Medicine
- Small Animal Surgery
- Equine Medicine and Surgery
- Avian Medicine and Surgery
- Medicine and Surgery of Wildlife and Exotic Species
- Anaesthesia
- Animal Welfare
- Case Management
- Clinical Pathology
- Communication
- Diagnostic Imaging
- Economics and Business Management
- Epidemiology
- Ethics
- Immunology
- Jurisprudence
- Microbiology
- Nutrition
- Obstetrics and Reproduction
- Parasitology
- Pathology
- Pharmacology and Therapeutics
- Physiology
- Preventive medicine
- Public Health and Biosecurity
- Toxicology

Content covered by each case will be rigorously mapped against CSU Veterinary Graduate Attributes and traditional clinical curricula followed at other Veterinary Schools. In addition, preclinical subject material relevant to the cases presented (for example pathology, microbiology, etc) will be reinforced (if previously covered) or extended, as appropriate for the cases presented.


Current Students

For any enquiries about subject selection or course structure please contact Student Central or ask@csu.edu.au or phone on 1800 275 278.

Prospective Students

For further information about Charles Sturt University, or this course offering, please contact info.csu on 1800 275 278 (free call within Australia) or enquire online.

The information contained in the 2018 CSU Handbook was accurate at the date of publication: August 2018. The University reserves the right to vary the information at any time without notice.