Physiology and Ethology of Domstic Animals

A.Y. 2019/2020
Overall hours
Learning objectives
The course is divided in two parts: the first (6 CFU) provides students with an overview of the physiology of the cellular function, the
nervous system and sensory organs, the blood and cardio-circulatory system, the skeletal and smooth muscle cells; the second (4
CFU) provides students with fundamental information about general ethology of domestic animals and its application in Veterinary
Expected learning outcomes
Goals to achieve:
1) knowledge and understanding: the student must demonstrate knowledge of the basic physiological functions related to the nervous
system, the cardiovascular system and skeletal muscle, as well as the knowledge of the physiological bases of domestic animal
2) Applied knowledge and understanding skills: the student must demonstrate to possess the indispensable concepts to establish links
between the various topics covered, and in particular between physiology and animal behavior, in order to adequately deal with the
studies of pathology and veterinary clinic.
3) Communication skills: the student must demonstrate to be able to use an appropriate terminology, which allows him / her to express
the acquired knowledge in an appropriate manner.
4) Ability to learn: the student must demonstrate to be able, in total autonomy, to increase the knowledge of topics related to the
physiology and ethology of small and large animals.
Course syllabus and organization

Unique edition

Lesson period
First semester
Prerequisites for admission
The prerequisites required to pass the exam are the knowledge of the anatomy of the nervous, cardiocirculatory and skeletal muscular systems, as well as the basics of biochemistry.
Assessment methods and Criteria
As for physiology, the exam consists of a written test, composed of 30 multiple choice questions with 4 possible answers, which may be either wrong or correct. As for ethology, there is a written test composed of 15 questions with 4 answers, and only one correct. The two tests take place at the same time. The exam is considered to have been passed if the student correctly answers at least 50% of the physiology test questions and 60% of the ethology test questions, thus proving adequate knowledge and understanding of all topics under study. Otherwise, both tests must be repeated. The final vote results from the weighted average of the vote reported in each module.
Fisiologia veterinaria 1
Course syllabus
CELL PHYSIOLOGY: plasmatic membrane and membrane transports: 2 hours

Neurons: resting and action membrane potential, impulse conduction: 2 hours
Synapses and neurotransmitters: 1 hour
Receptor classification; tactile, pain and temperature receptors: 2 hours
Spinal cord structure and function: spinal reflexes: 1 hour
Cranial nerve functions: 1 hour
Brainstem: functions and autonomic centers: 2 hours
Muscle tone control: 2 hours
Labirintic reflexes: 1 hour
Cerebellum: 1 hour
Thalamus and hypothalamus: 2 hours
Cortical areas of the brain and EEG: 1 hour
Autonomic nervous system: 2 hours
Sensory organs: gustatory, olfactory, auditory and vision: 3 hours

Skeletal muscle: structure, excitation-contraction coupling: 2 hours
Neuromuscular transmission: 1 hour
Smooth muscle: 1 hour

Blood function and composition: 1 hour
Red blood cell parameters: 1 hour
Haematopoiesis and haemostasis: 1 hour

Cardiac cell physiology: cardiac myocytes and conduction system: 1 hour
Electrocardiography: cardiac axis and ECG: 2 hours
Cardiac cycle, cardiac output and heart sounds: 2 hours
Nervous control of heart function: 1 hour
Circulation mechanics: 1 hour
Venous and arterial systems; blood pressure: 1 hour
Microcirculation and capillary pressure: Starling hypothesis: 1 hour
Central and peripheral regulation of blood circulation: 1 hour.
Teaching methods
3) Visits to pets farm, to assess the correct animal approach and the main basic physiological parameters: cardiac auscultation, with recognition of cardiac tones and stimulation of the main nerve reflexes (eg patellar and miotic). 4 hours, in 4 groups of 20 students each.
Teaching Resources
Avallone, Caola, Clement et al., Fisiologia Veterinaria. Point Veterinaire Italie, 2010.
Sjaastad, Sand e Hove, Fisiologia degli animali domestici. Casa Editrice Ambrosiana, 2013.
The slides of the course are available on the Ariel site, physiology and ethology of domestic animals:….
Etologia veterinaria e benessere animale
Course syllabus
Ethology: introduction, history and role in Veterinary Medicine: 2 hours
Tinbergen's four questions: causation, innate behaviours and animal mind: 5 hours
Onthogenesis and imprinting: 4 hours
Learning and memory: 4 hours
Communication systems in Domestic Animals: 4 hours
Animal behaviour observation, registration and analysis: 2 hours
Social systems in Companion Animals: 4 hours
Social systems in Farm Animals: 3 hours
Reproductive and maternal behaviour: 4 ore
Teaching methods
Frontal lessons.
Seminars, with expert teachers invited.
Teaching Resources
M. Albertini, E. Canali, S. Cannas, V. Ferrante, S. Mattiello, M. Panzera, M. Verga, Etologia applicata e benessere animale, Vol. 1 e 2. Point Veterinaire Italie, 2008.
J. Bradshaw, La Naturale Superiorità del Cane sull'Uomo. Rizzoli, 2011
J. Bradshaw, L'incredibile intelligenza del gatto, Newton Compton Editori s.r.l., 2015
Slides available on Ariel:…
Etologia veterinaria e benessere animale
VET/02 - VETERINARY PHYSIOLOGY - University credits: 4
Lessons: 32 hours
Professor: Pirrone Federica
Fisiologia veterinaria 1
VET/02 - VETERINARY PHYSIOLOGY - University credits: 6
Practicals: 16 hours
Lessons: 40 hours
Turno 1 per un gruppo di studenti
Professor: Albertini Mariangela
Turno 2 per un gruppo di studenti
Professor: Albertini Mariangela
Turno 3 per un gruppo di studenti
Professor: Albertini Mariangela
Turno 4 per un gruppo di studenti
Professor: Albertini Mariangela
Turno per tutti gli studenti
Professor: Albertini Mariangela
Tuesday 2:00-3:00 P.M.