VSC420 Clinical Practice 2 (8)

Clinical Practice 2 extends the development of practical clinical skills and clinical reasoning skills for the fourth year veterinary student. Students will further develop knowledge and skills in surgical, diagnostic and therapeutic procedures with small animals, horses, cattle and sheep, and reproduction and obstetric procedures of the bovine and equine. Students will commence their intramural clinical rotations through the University's veterinary clinics and through visits to local sheep, beef and dairy farms.

Students will complete a project based on the study of a managed animal population. The production system will be described and a major problem which is limiting the health, welfare or productivity of animals in the population will be identified.  Recommendations for improvement will be made in relation to welfare, productivity and financial performance.

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 2 (60)
On Campus
Wagga Wagga Campus

Continuing students should consult the SAL for current offering details: VSC420. 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

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 demonstrate beginner to novice level competence in an abdominal surgical operation on a small animal using aseptic techniques including gloving, gowning, and being able to prepare an animal for a surgical procedure.
  • be able to desex a dog or a cat (Male and/or female)
  • be able to induce and maintain anaesthesia in a small animal, including geriatric and neonate patients.
  • be able to competently use common anaesthetic drugs and monitoring equipment.
  • be able to design and implement a pain relief regiment for small animals.
  • be able to examine and monitor the health of an animal pre-surgery and post-surgery and maintain adequate medical records.
  • be able to formulate a problem list and develop a diagnostic hypothesis, and a diagnostic or therapeutic plan, based on the history, clinical examination and medical records of an animal.
  • be able to conduct a low level medical consultation, such as for flea allergy dermatitis, in a mock situation and choose appropriate preventative medications for the given scenario.
  • be familiar with the legal and ethical aspects, and animal welfare issues, of veterinary practice and record keeping.
  • be able to demonstrate developing skills in a range of diagnostic and therapeutic procedures including a complete physical examination in horses, small animals, sheep and cattle.
  • be able to recognise the radiographic and sonographic appearance of the normal structure and function of the various organ systems commonly investigated in small animal, production animal, and equine practice.
  • be able to recognise, describe and list differential diagnoses for the radiographic and sonographic changes in structure and function of the various body systems as related to common diseases investigated in small animal, production animal and equine practice.
  • be able to investigate and report on a problem of animal health, welfare or productivity in an animal population and present the findings.
  • be able to interview a client, collect, record and analyse a history and other relevant data (including financial information) relating to individual and/or groups of animals.
  • be able to communicate effectively with clients and colleagues through the use of written and spoken media.
  • be able to examine and assess the reproductive status, by commonly applied methods, of male and female domestic animals and recognise, diagnose, treat and manage abnormalities.
  • be able to describe and engage in breeding management techniques for male and female domestic animals associated with natural service and artificial breeding techniques.
  • be able to use diagnostic ultrasound at a basic level.


This subject will cover the following topics:
  • Record keeping as related to legal aspects of veterinary practice.
  • Surgery and anaesthesia of small animals
  • Small animal clinical practice
  • Reproduction and obstetrics
  • Equine clinical practice
  • Farm animal clinical practice, including flock and herd health management
  • Dairy clinical practice
  • Diagnostic Imaging 
  • Completion of a Farm Consultancy Project

Workplace Learning

This subject contains a 4 days Compulsory Workplace Learning component.

The only component of this subject classified as WPL (as in working in a clinic with patients) are:

The Equine Internal Rotation where all students cycle through the Veterinary Clinical Centre for four mornings during the session; the Farm Animal Internal Rotation, where students may go onto a farm, and the Dairy Internal Rotation, where students may visit dairies. These mornings are variable and depend on the availability of farms at the scheduled time of the visit.


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.