Physiology and Ethology of Domestic Animals

A.Y. 2021/2022
12
Max ECTS
128
Overall hours
SSD
VET/02 VET/08
Language
Italian
Learning objectives
The course is divided in three 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 knowledge of general ethology of domestic animals and with proper application of such knowledge in Veterinary Medicine for animal welfare; the third part (2 CFU) aims to provide students with the basics of national and European law, which will be useful to get to know, understand and apply, the existing body of Veterinary legislation regarding exercise of the Veterinary profession.
Expected learning outcomes
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 animalbehaviour and welfare; the student must also acquire the basics of law, notions on the veterinarian's relationship with the judicial authority, and the knowledge of the laws relating to the prevention of cruelty to animals and to the protection of animal welfare.
2) Appling knowledge and understanding: the student must demonstrate to possess the indispensable concepts to establish links between the various topics covered, and in particular between physiology and animal behaviour, in order to adequately deal with thestudies of pathology and veterinary clinic; the student must also acquire the ability to critically analyze the regulations of interest and the relevant case law, and to be able to relate with the judicial authority, in order to be able to deal with the study and understanding of Veterinary legal medicine and legislation.
3) Making judgments: the student must be able to deal critically with the study of the subject, demonstrating that he / she can integrate the information on the material provided by the teachers with the recommended texts, through the preparation of written reports or analysis of behavioural videos, presented orally during the exercise activities. The student must also be able to orient himself/herself in identifying the regulations relating to professional practice, in the various sectors of interest, as well as in weighing them and applying them correctly, also identifying the resulting responsibilities; these skills will be fostered through the examination and discussion of legislative and jurisprudential texts, group comparison and analysis of case studies.
4) Communication: 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. The demonstration will take place through the exposure to the class of the reports prepared during the course, which will be subject to evaluation by the teachers, as well as through active participation in classroom discussions, by arguing the cases proposed by the teacher.
5) Life-long learning skills: the student must demonstrate to be able, in total autonomy, to increase the knowledge of topics related to the physiology, ethology and welfare of small and large domestic animals, and Veterinary law, through the research of laws and case law, thanks to the implementation of what has been learned during the exercises performed within the course, in order to develop application abilities, as well as effective problem solving skills.
Course syllabus and organization

Single session

Responsible
Lesson period
First semester
More specific information on the delivery modes of training activities for a.y. 2021-22 will be provided over the coming months, based on the evolution of the public health situation.
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. It is also necessary to have passed the preliminary examinations of:
1) Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and 2) Systematic and Comparative Veterinary Anatomy.
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. As for veterinary law, there is a written test composed of 8 questions with 4 answers, only one of which is correct. The three tests take place at the same time. The exam is considered to have been passed if the student correctly answers at least 60% of the physiology test questions and 60% of the ethology test questions, and five out of eight test answers for the Veterinary law exam, thus proving adequate knowledge and understanding of all topics under study. Otherwise, all the tests must be repeated. The final vote results from the weighted average of the vote reported in each module, also taking into account the opinion obtained in the discussion of the reports presented during the exercises. The time available for the examination is 2 hours and 30 minutes.
Phisiology of the nervous, cardiovascular and muscolar system
Course syllabus
CELL PHYSIOLOGY: plasmatic membrane and membrane transports: 2 hours

CENTRAL AND PERIPHERAL NERVOUS SYSTEM PHYSIOLOGY
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

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

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

CARDIOCIRCULATORY PHYSIOLOGY
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
Frontal lessons through projection of slides with diagrams, figures, text and explanatory videos. At the end of each lesson, IT tools (Sli-do) are used to verify the understanding of the topics covered, also allowing students to formulate questions anonymously.

The exercises take place partly in the classroom and partly in the field.
1) Classroom exercises:
3 hours to 4 groups of 20 students each: illustration on how to carry out a bibliographic research using the main databases available and how to correctly set up a scientific work. Afterwards, 8 hours in the presence of all the students: presentation and analysis of a scientific work by the students divided into groups of 3/4 each, inherent in the physiology of domestic or unconventional animals.
2) Exercises at the Veterinary Hospital:
ECG execution on the horse: 1 hour, 4 groups of 20 students each.
3) Visits to pets' breeding facilities:
4 hours, in 4 groups of 20 students each: assessment of the correct animal approach and of the main basic physiological parameters: cardiac auscultation, with recognition of cardiac tones, ECG execution and stimulation of the main nerve reflexes (eg patellar and miotic).
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:
https://malbertinifead.ariel.ctu.unimi.it/v5/frm3/ThreadList.aspx?fc=dn
Veterinary ethology and animal welfare
Course syllabus
Ethology: introduction, history and role in Veterinary Medicine: 1 hours
Causation, innate and intelligent behaviours, animal mind: 3 hours
Learning and memory: 4 hours
Onthogenesis: 1 hour
Social systems in Companion Animals: 3 hours
Social systems in Farm Animals: 3 hours
Reproductive and maternal behaviour in domestic species: 3 ore
Teaching methods
Teaching methods
Frontal lessons through projection of slides with diagrams, figures, text and explanatory videos. At the end of each lesson, IT tools (Sli-do) are used to verify the understanding of the topics covered, also allowing students to formulate questions anonymously.
The exercises take place partly in the classroom and partly in the field.
1) Classroom practice
N. 5 hours to 4 groups of 20 students each: learning how to conduct an ethological study, from proper bibliographic search to coding and quantitative analysis of behaviour using a specific software. Afterwards, n. 7 hours in the presence of the entire class: presentation of their own ethological study by each group of 4 students.
N. 16 hours with the whole class present, divided into 5-student groups: reading feline, equine, bovine and swine behaviour.
2) Visits to canine breeding facilities
N. 4 hours, in 4 groups of 20 students each: development of behaviour, reading of dogs' behaviour.
Seminars, with invited experts.
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: https://malbertinifead.ariel.ctu.unimi.it/v5/frm3/ThreadList.aspx?fc=%2
Veterinary legislation
Course syllabus
Theoretical lessons
The sources of law and notions on the European and national legal system (2 hours)
Elements of administrative law for the veterinary profession (2 hours)
Elements of criminal law and criminal procedure for the veterinary profession (2 hours)
Elements of civil law and civil procedure for the veterinary profession (2 hours)

Exercises
Case studies on:
- mistreatment of animals and other crimes against animals (4 hours)
- animal protection and welfare of farmed animals (2 hours)
- animal protection and welfare during transport (2 hours)
- animal protection and welfare at the slaughterhouse (1 hour)
- protection of animals used for scientific and educational purposes; conscientious objection (2 hours)
- protection of companion animals and urban hygiene issues (2 hours)
- wildlife protection and hunting rules (1 hour)
- animal protection in zoos and wildlife parks, circuses and traveling shows with animals (1 hour)
- legal research and case law (1 hour)
Teaching methods
Frontal lessons (8h) + exercises (16h). The exercises will be carried out with the whole class. Group exercises (max 6 students per group) may also be organized on case studies subject of recent judgments, relating to the topics covered in the course.
Teaching Resources
Slides provided by the teacher
Institutional websites
AA vari "Etica e Allevamento Animale" (a cura di G. Bertoni), Ed Franco Angeli, 2016
Bonafos L, Simonin D, Gavinelli A. Animal welfare: European legislation and future perspectives. J Vet Med Educ. 2010 Spring;37(1):26-9.
Diane Sullivan & Holly Vietzke, An Animal is Not an Ipod, 4 Journal of Animal Law 41 (2008)
Greg Miller, The rise of animal law, Science 01 Apr 2011:Vol. 332, Issue 6025, pp. 28-31
Jerrold Tannenbaum, What is Animal Law?, 61 Clev. St. L. Rev. 891 (2013)
Olsson IAS, Silva SPD, Townend D, Sandøe P. Protecting Animals and Enabling Research in the European Union: An Overview of Development and Implementation of Directive 2010/63/EU. ILAR J. 2016 May 1;57(3):347-357.
Pejman, N., Kallas, Z., Dalmau, A., & Velarde, A. (2019). Should Animal Welfare Regulations Be More Restrictive? A Case Study in Eight European Union Countries. Animals : an open access journal from MDPI, 9(4), 195. https://doi.org/10.3390/ani9040195
Phisiology of the nervous, cardiovascular and muscolar system
VET/02 - VETERINARY PHYSIOLOGY - University credits: 6
Practicals: 16 hours
Lessons: 40 hours
Shifts:
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 unico per tutti gli studenti
Professor: Albertini Mariangela
Veterinary ethology and animal welfare
VET/02 - VETERINARY PHYSIOLOGY - University credits: 4
Practicals: 32 hours
Lessons: 16 hours
Professor: Pirrone Federica
Shifts:
Professor: Pirrone Federica
Turno 1 unico per tutti gli studenti
Professor: Pirrone Federica
Turno 2 per un gruppo di studenti
Professor: Pirrone Federica
Turno 3 per un gruppo di studenti
Professor: Pirrone Federica
Turno 4 per un gruppo di studenti
Professor: Pirrone Federica
Turno 5 per un gruppo di studenti
Professor: Pirrone Federica
Turno unico per tutti gli studenti
Professor: Pirrone Federica
Veterinary legislation
VET/08 - VETERINARY CLINICAL MEDICINE - University credits: 2
Practicals: 16 hours
Lessons: 8 hours
Professor: Fossati Paola
Professor(s)
Reception:
Tuesday 2:00-3:00 P.M.