Anatomy of companion animals

A.Y. 2021/2022
Overall hours
Learning objectives
The course in Companion Animals Anatomy I aims at introducing the Students to the study of mophology and structure of cells, tissues, and organs of domestic animals, mainly referred to dogs, cats, rabbits, and horses. The Students will acquire basic and advanced knowledge in histology, general anatomy, macroscopic and microscopic anatomy of the Musculoskeletal, Respiratory, Digestive, Cardio-circulatory and Uro-genital Systems. They will also acquire general notions on the Neuro-endocrine system of mammals and embryo-fetal development of birds and mammals. Overall this course will contribute to the development of the appropriate terminology to efficiently communicate with medical and technical staff, of the intellectual skills needed to autonomously study new topics related to histology and anatomy, and to engage with the study of physiology, pathology, reproduction, ethology and welfare, and breeding.
Expected learning outcomes
At the end of this course, Students will have sufficient knowledge and competence to:
list and describe the main tissue types (epithelial, connective, muscular, nervous) and the features of the tissue-specific cell types;
use the appropriate anatomical terminology to describe organs, their position and relationship between the different anatomical structures;
list the body cavities and visceral spaces and illustrate the main structural features;
describe the typical tissue organization of luminal and parenchymal organs;
describe the morphology, architecture and structure of the main anatomical structures of the Musculo-skeletal, Cardio-circulatory (comprising Lymphatic) and Neuro-endocrine Systems, mainly referred to dogs, cats, rabbits, and horses;
describe the shape, position, relationship and structure of the organs of the Digestive, Respiratory and Uro-genital Systems, mainly referred to dogs, cats, rabbits, and horses;
illustrate the main stages of gametogenesis and embryo development (fertilization, segmentation, gastrulation) in birds and mammals, comprising the formation of embryonic annexes in mammals;
classify placentas according to the development of annexes, as well as histological and topographical criteria, mainly referred to dogs, cats, rabbits, and horses;
apply the acquired knowledge to identify cells/tissues/organ parts in histological samples;
relate morphological features of the different anatomical structures with their function(s).
Course syllabus and organization

Single session

Lesson period
First semester
Teaching methods: If all the lessons could not be held in person, they will be held in a "mixed form", that is, partly in the classroom and partly remotely through the Microsoft Teams or Zoom platform. In particular, for the Anatomy course, the students of ABA will attend lessons in the classrooms two days a week, in groups. These days will be mainly dedicated to classroom and/or laboratory exercises and in-depth activities and will be organized in repeated groups depending on the capacity of the classroom. In particular, it is expected that lectures and hands-on training will be organized as follows:

Lectures: Most of the lectures will be delivered remotely through the Microsoft Teams or Zoom platform and can be followed both synchronously according to the scheduled time and asynchronously because they will be recorded through the same and made available by the teacher through the Ariel platform. In the case of seminars or lectures delivered in the classroom, the lessons could still be followed synchronously or asynchronously by those who will not attend the lesson in class through the same platforms. Where possible, the lessons will be videotaped and made available through the Ariel platform.
The teacher will constantly update the students through the Ariel platform on the methods of teaching delivery.

Program and reference material: The program and the reference material of the lectures will not change. All educational support material will always be made available through the Ariel platform.

Learning assessment procedures and assessment criteria: If the situation allows it, the exam will take place in writing and presence, according to the procedures described in the section "Exam procedures". Alternatively, the exam will take place in remote using a combination of the platforms "eXam Manager" and Microsoft Teams, followed by the oral part using the Microsoft Teams platform or similar. In this case, the test duration will be about 20 minutes and will mainly focus on assessing the student's ability to apply the knowledge acquired to analytical problems.
Course syllabus
Lectures (6 credits)

Histology (14 hours)
Epithelial tissues: lining and glandular epithelial tissues, exocrine glands, endocrine glands, and endocrine system (5 hours).
Connective tissues: ordinary connective tissues, adipose tissue, special connective tissues: (cartilage tissue, bone tissue), blood (5 hours).
Muscular tissues. Nervous tissue and nervous system (4 hours).

Anatomy (34 hours)
Anatomical terminology, planes, and axes of reference, regions, and cavities of the body, tissue organization of luminal and parenchymal organs (2 hours).
Musculoskeletal system: general organization, architecture, and structure of bones and muscles (5 hours).
Cardiovascular system: heart and general organization of circulatory and lymphatic system (4 hours)
Digestive system (11 hours).
Respiratory System (4 hours)
Urinary system, Reproductive system, early embryogenesis and placentation (8 hours).

Practical sessions (16 hours)
Seminars on the fields related to anatomy, histology, and embryology (8 hrs)
Laboratory: observation of histological samples with the optical microscope (8 hrs). The practical part takes place in Microscopy Classroom with micro-and macroscopic anatomy exercises.
Prerequisites for admission
Prerequisites for understanding the course content and the achievement of learning objectives are the knowledge of the basic concepts of animal biology and cell biology.
Teaching methods
Lectures, classroom seminars, and microscopy laboratory sessions. Practical sessions of macroscopic anatomy on plastic models of domestic animals.
Teaching Resources
Junqueira. Istologia, testo e atlante, Piccin, Padova.
Konig-Lliebich. Anatomia dei mammiferi domestici Volume unico. 2016 Piccin, Padova.
(Further resources and materials are made available on the teacher's website).
[Web site]:
Assessment methods and Criteria
The exam consists of a written test, administered in 66 multiple choice questions, which regulates access to the oral examination, aimed at ascertaining the acquisition, correct understanding, and ability to rework the course content. The test will be assessed out of thirty, and the final score will take into account both the accuracy of the answers of the written test and the communicative ability and the ability to adequately motivate statements, analyses, and judgments during the oral examination.
VET/01 - VETERINARY ANATOMY - University credits: 7
Practicals: 16 hours
Lessons: 48 hours
Educational website(s)
Monday to Friday, by appointment (email or phone)
Lot 2, Department building - Lodi