Virginia Tech®home

DVM Course Tables: Fall

First-Year Course Table: Fall

VM Title of Course Credits
8164 The Normal Animal 10
8174 Dealing with Threats 10
8665 Becoming a Veterinary Professional I 2

Course descriptions

The Becoming a Veterinary Professional stream will be comprised of three semesters of coursework, which aims to assist students in their personal and professional development throughout the year 1-2 curriculum. The stream comprises a wide range of professional competencies that are not addressed specifically in the scientific curriculum, including animal welfare, clinical communication skills, career opportunities within veterinary medicine, history of the profession, legislation, personal finance, personal skills, practice management, professional behavior, a reflective approach to personal and professional development, thinking skills, and other veterinary issues. Each of these topics will be revisited over the next two years with more complex material introduced each semester.

This course will study normal individual behavior, social behavior, and management of domestic species in addition to normal domestic animal body structure and function, including skeletal and neuromuscular organization, along with body cavities and gross and radiographic anatomy of structures within those cavities. Additionally, foundational knowledge of cell structure, differentiation, and physiology, as well as pharmaceuticals that influence cellular physiology, will be highlighted. Clinical skills required for veterinarians will be included.

This course will study bacterial, viral, parasitological, and toxicological agents of disease in domestic animals, as well as mechanisms of disease production. Also covered are immunological responses to infectious agents and immune-mediated diseases, in addition to pathological and clinic-pathological responses of domestic species to insult. Principles of epidemiological evaluation, diagnosis, treatment, control, and prevention of common threats to domestic species are also highlighted.

Second-Year Course Table: Fall

VM Title of Course Credits
8564 Breathing and Circulating 10
8584 Eating and Eliminating 10

Course descriptions

This course is designed to study structure, function, and dysfunction of the cardiovascular, hemo-lymphatic, and respiratory systems, including gross, radiographic, and microscopic anatomy; pathogenesis, pathophysiology, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of common diseases; and general anesthesia of veterinary patients. Pass/Fail only. Prerequisites: VM8164, VM 8174, VM 8824

In this course, students learn the physiologic processes involved in the consumption, digestion, metabolism, and excretion of nutrients, drugs, and toxins. These studies will include clinical signs and pathophysiology of disorders of consumptive, digestive, absorptive, metabolic, endocrine, and excretory processes. This course also teaches the adequacy of common diets to meet nutrient needs of animals in various stages of life.

Third-Year Course Table: Fall

VM Title of Course Credits
8294 Small Animal Surgical Diseases 2
8894 Small Animal Ophthalmology and Neurology 1
8914 Small Animal Dentistry 2
9254 Small Animal Theriogenology 1
8615 Food Animal Medicine and Surgery 3
8574 Food Animal Theriogenology 1
8384 Food Animal Nutrition 1
8360 Food Animal Techniques 1
8484 Food Animal Clinical Pharmacology 1
9074 Goat and Sheep Medicine 1
8680 Equine Clinical Practice: Breathing, Circulating, and Moving 2
8690 Equine Clinical Practice: Breathing, Circulating, and Moving Lab 1
8524 Equine Clinical Problem Solving 2
8794 Equine Podiatry 3
8724 Equine Diagnostic Techniques for the Musculoskeletal and Respiratory Systems 1
8664 Beyond Private Practice: Veterinary Careers and Pathways 1
8504 Developing the Public Veterinary Practitioner 2
8364 Veterinarians in Public Policy 2
8060 Compassionate End-of-Life Care 2
9085 Emerging Infectious Diseases 1
8874 Ferret Medicine 1
8154 Food Animal Product Safety 2
8254 Functional Morphology of Birds 1
8070 Fundamentals of Veterinary Diagnostics 2
9324 Infection Control and Prevention 3
8534 Introduction to Statistics in Biomedical Research 2
9344 Neglected and Emerging Diseases 3
8804 Small Animal Physical Rehabilitation and Complementary Medicine 1
9334 Principles of Infectious Diseases 3
8984 Topics in Animal-Human Relationships 2
8984 Veterinary Practice Business Management 1
8244 Zoo Mammal Comparative Physiology 1
7014 Environmental Health 3
8834 Food Animal Productive Techniques 1

Course descriptions


In this course, students will explore career opportunities in veterinary medicine outside of private clinical practice with a focus on pathways toward determining and pursuing a successful and personally fulfilling career choice. Recent data about the motivations for veterinarians to change career paths will be presented and growth as a professional will be explored.

In this course, students will gain knowledge, skills, and abilities essential for the diverse field of veterinary public practice. These competencies will be developed by discussion and investigation within public practice topic areas such as disease surveillance, prevention, and control; preparedness and response for infectious disease outbreaks and natural disasters; animal welfare; risk analysis; and international veterinary capacity building. Topics will be discussed within the context of state and federal government agencies, industry, and clinical institutions (e.g., zoos, animal laboratory facilities, animal shelters). The course material is delivered through lectures and in-class group activities and presentations. Activities and presentations are designed to help students develop their skills and abilities in critical thinking, collaboration, verbal and written communication, and leadership. Additionally, students will participate in field labs that will allow them to apply their knowledge, skills, and abilities in a field setting.

This course presents current and in-depth information about diseases that affect horses of all ages, excluding the neonatal foal. Focuses on diseases of the musculoskeletal, respiratory and cardiac systems.

This course is aligned with EQCPBCM lecture course and focuses on development of clinical techniques associated with diseases that affect the equine musculoskeletal, respiratory, and cardiovascular systems.

This three-credit course provides advanced training in equine podiatry for veterinary students intending to see horses as a significant part of their veterinary practice. Students will learn anatomy, physiology, distal limb biomechanics, and farriery as they relate to preventative foot healthcare and management of lameness conditions.

This course will cover many of the common diseases and issues seen by practicing equine veterinarians.

This laboratory-centered course will provide advanced training and experience in performing and interpreting techniques commonly used in equine practice. Specifically, the techniques learned and practiced in the course complement the material taught in Equine Medicine and Surgery I, which focuses on the musculoskeletal and respiratory systems.

This course will examine in detail the unique aspects of the use of drugs in food animals. Through the use of case discussions, students will gain a better understanding of the Animal Medicinal Drug Use Clarification Act (AMDUCA), Veterinary Feed Directive (VFD), and treatment protocols.

This course is intended to provide practical information that a first-year graduate would need in order to be proficient in diagnosing, medically and surgically treating, and preventing the common conditions observed in an ambulatory-type food animal practice. This course will focus on individual animal medicine and surgery, rather than production medicine. With these goals in mind, this course is designed for students who want to practice food animal medicine either in a food animal or mixed animal practice.

In this course, students will learn to diagnose, treat, and prevent common metabolic diseases of food animals, in addition to evaluating and designing feed programs for all life stages of food animals, including maintenance, growth, production, and reproduction.

This course will give students the opportunity to attain the basic clinical skills needed for food animal practice. The course will consist of five lectures and nine laboratories. The lectures will provide a general overview, as well as the knowledge to understand and perform and/or explain the clinical techniques in the laboratory sessions. Some of the knowledge and skills will include cattle-handling, restraint techniques, beef quality assurance, physical examination, injections, castration, dehorning, diagnostic sampling, field necropsy, nerve blocks, tagging/implanting, and basic techniques for sheep and swine.

With emphasis on clinical aspects of reproductive management, this course presents the practice of theriogenology in a food animal or mixed animal practice. The course will include reproductive management for herds of food animal species, including cattle, sheep, goats, and swine.

This course is an in-depth treatment of the health and management as well as the diseases of goats and sheep. In addition, production cycles, management concerns, routine preventative care, and management of traumatic, infectious, and toxic disease problems are covered.

Together with expanding on basic concepts of small animal dentistry introduced in the core curriculum, this course will introduce more advanced concepts applicable to the small animal general practitioner. It will prepare the student for common types of cases seen in a practice setting and introduce the surgical and other skills necessary for proper treatment of dental disorders.

This course will recognize or describe the clinical features associated with common problems affecting the ophthalmic and neurological systems of dogs and cats.

Focusing on clinical presentations of common small animal surgical diseases, this course teaches normal anatomy and physiology to clinical disorders, principles of surgery, and complications of surgical procedures. It includes selecting the most appropriate diagnostic testing to confirm or rule out surgical diseases and interpret test results. It also contains guidance on how to choose the most appropriate level of surgery for tumor excision or biopsy.

This course deals with the normal reproductive function and management in dogs and cats. Diagnosis and management of reproductive diseases are considered. Recent literature and advances in theriogenology and genetics will be included. Neonatology will be covered in depth.

This course provides an overview of the formulation and implementation of public policy at the international, national, state, professional association (AVMA), and consumer level through legislation, regulation, guidance, and resolutions. In this course, students will examine the roles of science, law, politics, economics, societal values, and stakeholder influence in forging public policy. Students will also explore the moral and ethical dimensions of public policy making and participate in a role-playing exercise in situational ethics. This course utilizes case studies relevant to veterinary medicine to illustrate various aspects of policy making.


The purpose of this course is to provide a cohesive body of work to support students interested in understanding as much as they can about euthanasia. Upon completion the student will have completed the Companion Animal Euthanasia Training Academy (CAETA) and receive that distinction. Coursework topics include the history and societal impact of euthanasia, drug pharmacology, caregiver considerations, pre-euthanasia sedation protocols, euthanasia techniques, case reviews, and more.

This course will apply fundamental terminology appropriately and explain concepts in emerging infectious diseases (detailing natural and human-origin reasons in the process), in addition to explaining basic concepts for the principles of transmission, pathogenesis, and clinical features of emerging bacterial, viral, parasitic, and zoonotic animal and human diseases, in addition to factors contributing to their emergence.

This course seeks to provide veterinary students with the opportunity to become familiar with the veterinary care of companion-animal ferrets (pets only). Students are expected to have a basic understanding of medical concepts and skills for traditional small-animal species, which then can apply to ferrets. This course will allow students the opportunity to become familiar with common concepts of ferrets, including husbandry and preventative medicine, to gain knowledge in common disorders and diseases of this species, as well as diagnostic techniques of value and strategies for interpreting them. The course provides students the opportunity to attain entry to mid-level skills necessary to care for companion animal ferrets, common anesthetic protocols, and surgical techniques. A cadaver lab will be offered to practice common venipuncture techniques, catheter and endotracheal tube placement, and necropsy.

With emphasis on clinical aspects of reproductive management, this course presents the practice of theriogenology in a food animal or mixed animal practice. The course will include reproductive management for herd of food animal species, including cattle, sheep, goats, and swine.

This course will provide the history, development, and enforcement of laws and regulations that affect the food animal processing industry and consumers, in addition to a comprehensive approach to microbiological and physical foodborne hazard identification, testing, and sampling. Moreover, the course will highlight foodborne hazard prevention and control, including Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points systems. Prerequisite: third year standing in DVM curriculum. (2H, 2C)

This course will identify birds as relatively close phylogenetic relatives of reptiles, as well as list structural features of modern birds that are both shared with and distinct from reptiles.

In this course students will learn to compare the use and usefulness of current and emerging diagnostic tests. Describe the difference between point-of-care (bedside) testing and send-out-testing and identify scenarios in which each would be the diagnostic test of choice. Differentiate between analytic and diagnostic test validation. Differentiate between accredited and non-accredited laboratories, describe the importance of accreditation to clinicians, and evaluate the accredited veterinary diagnostic laboratories. Select appropriate diagnostic tests for a given clinical scenario or gross lesion, justify your choice of diagnostic test and correctly submit samples to either in-hospital or external laboratories. Interpret diagnostic test results for a given clinical scenario or gross lesion.

The course will provide assessment, policies, and procedures for control and prevention of infectious diseases in communities and populations. Topics covered will include source, transmission mode, and local community to international dissemination of infectious disease agents; antimicrobial and chemical resistance; vaccine development, safety, and coverage; community- and hospital-based needs and interventions; and regulatory frameworks. Prerequisite: Graduate standing. (3H, 3C)

This course will cover design of studies in veterinary-related clinical and epidemiologic research, planning, and implementation of experimental and survey data collection, management and analysis of data, and interpretation and presentation of results.

This course promotes an understanding of the concept of neglected diseases and their association with poverty and health inequities, the critical factors for emergence/re-emergence of infectious diseases, and the challenges and implications for disease control, eradication, and response.

This course surveys the basic principles of infectious diseases important in local, national, and global public health. This course covers parasitic, fungal, bacterial and viral pathogens and the mechanisms by which they cause disease, as well as the host’s immune response to those pathogens.

The aim of this course is to provide a solid foundation in reptile husbandry, medicine, and surgery. There will be emphasis on anatomical differences between the four main groups of reptiles: chelonians, lizards, crocodilians, and snakes. In this course students will compare and contrast reptiles with other more common species from a biological, anatomical, and husbandry perspective. Diagnostic tests, hospital care, anesthesia, analgesia, and critical care will be covered along with surgery and treatment of commonly occurring diseases and injuries. The emphasis of this course will be on captive reptile species.

This special topics course will cover the basic concepts of physical rehabilitation, conditioning, and complementary therapy in small animals. Students will be introduced to various therapeutic options to include (but not limited to) therapeutic and conditioning exercises, acupuncture, photobiomodulation, electrical stimulation, therapeutic ultrasound, and nutrition/nutraceuticals.

The goal of this course is to provide a broad view of the current, evidence-based information about how animals and humans share the living world.

Business management, marketing, and entrepreneurship concepts will be covered in detail in this course. It will provide students with an understanding of the requirements, risks, and rewards of veterinary practice ownership and enable students to assess and analyze business problems, as well as develop creative solutions.

This course is designed for students who have a foundation in anatomy and physiology to use their knowledge and skills to apply to non-domestic species of mammals. It will provide a foundational knowledge of the life histories and associated functional morphological adaptations of various taxonomic groups within the Class Mammalia.