VSC451 Companion Animal Medicine and Surgery 4 (8)

Like the other companion animal subjects, VSC451 will foster in students the development of knowledge, skills and attitudes to professionally and competently investigate, diagnose and treat or prevent diseases in companion animal species. Many animals encountered in companion animal practice will have a job to do- racehorses, working and racing dogs and breeding animals; each bring a unique set of circumstances, and often particular medical problems, to companion animal practice. Performance Animals and Professional Pets is the theme for VSC451 whereas sentiment and emotion may be the biggest factor influencing the care of 'pet' animals, decisions on veterinary care for performing animals may be based on a cost-benefit analysis and the prognosis for a satisfactory return to previous or desired performance capacity. Cases presented in this subject will challenge not only the students' increasing technical competence, but will also stimulate consideration of the role of the vet and the nature of the client-vet relationship because such cases often raise important legal and ethical issues.

The justification criteria for prerequisites is when the Professional accrediting/registering authorities require accredited CSU courses to impose subject prerequisites.

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: VSC451. 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 Science
Bachelor of Veterinary Biology /Bachelor of Veterinary Science.
Bachelor of Veterinary Biology/Bachelor of Veterinary Science (Honours)Students only



Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this subject, students should:
  • be able to demonstrate appropriate critical thinking and reasoning with reference to foundation and clinical sciences;
  • be able to support outcomes and decisions with suitable literature and the use of evidence based medicine, and utilise case reflection to aid continuing professional development;
  • be able to communicate effectively and ethically with owners of companion animals, and with colleagues;
  • be able to advise clients about options for referral to a specialist practice when appropriate;
  • be able to describe and perform complete clinical examinations of the small companion animals likely to be encountered in Australian small animal veterinary practice;
  • be able to describe common diagnostic procedures and interpret the findings; and
  • be able to demonstrate appropriate time management and organisational skills to permit completion of learning and assessment responsibilities;


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
Diagnostic Imaging
Economics and Business Manage met
Obstetrics and Reproduction
Pharmacology and Therapeutics
Preventive Medicine
Public Health and Biosecurity


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.