VSC226 Veterinary Physiology (8)

Physiology is the study of the normal function, control and integration of body systems. It is how animals live their daily lives. Its scope ranges from molecular, cellular, tissue and organ to whole body function and is the basis for recognition of abnormal function, which will be covered in subsequent pathology and clinical subjects. Foundations of veterinary physiology are explored by evaluation of homeostatic and control mechanisms. The workings of nerve and muscle cells, respiratory, cardiovascular, renal and endocrine systems and the ways that these systems interact to maintain homeostasis will be studied in domestic species. Practical exercises will utilise computer simulations and clinical techniques on human and animal subjects to illustrate and extend information presented in lectures. Veterinary physiology runs concurrently with Veterinary Anatomy during first session of Second Year to provide parallel teaching of related content and to ensure that the interrelationships between form and function are apparent to students. Physiological processes in the different body systems, drawn from normal animal activities, will be presented to reinforce the content of all concurrently taught subjects and to increase understanding of integrated body functions.

This is a Key subject in the Bachelor of Veterinary Biology, Bachelor of Veterinary Biology/Bachelor of Veterinary Science and Bachelor of Veterinary Biology/Bachelor of Veterinary Science (Honours) Degree


Session 1 (30)
On Campus
Wagga Wagga Campus

Continuing students should consult the SAL for current offering details: VSC226. 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 enrolment in the

Bachelor of Veterinary Science, Bachelor of Veterinary Biology,
Bachelor of Veterinary Biology/Bachelor of Veterinary Science
Bachelor of Veterinary Biology/Bachelor of Veterinary Science (Honours)


VSC113 and VSC224 and ( CHM102 or CHM104 )

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this subject, students should:
  • be able to explain the relationship between form (structure) and function of different body organs and systems.
  • be able to define homeostasis and identify regulatory mechanisms by which the body seeks to maintain its internal environment.
  • be able to outline mechanisms for the control and integration of different body systems.
  • be able to utilise their understanding of normal function to explain the basis for abnormal function of organ systems covered.
  • be able to integrate information from concurrent subjects and apply this information to material covered in Veterinary Physiology.
  • be able to use information presented on domestic species to understand and explain modifications to basic mammalian physiology adopted by different animal species.


This subject will cover the following topics:
  • Homeostasis and Control Systems
  • Electrical Activity of the Cell Membrane
  • Skeletal Muscles: contraction and control
  • Cardiac and Smooth Muscle
  • Breathing and Gas Exchange
  • Heart and Blood Flow
  • Renal system
  • Endocrine system


For further information about courses and subjects outlined in the CSU handbook please contact:

Current students

Future students

The information contained in the CSU Handbook was accurate at the date of publication: May 2019. The University reserves the right to vary the information at any time without notice.