First cycle
degree courses
Second cycle
degree courses
Single cycle
degree courses
School of Agricultural Sciences and Veterinary Medicine
Course unit
AG08103213, A.A. 2017/18

Information concerning the students who enrolled in A.Y. 2016/17

Information on the course unit
Degree course First cycle degree in
IF0325, Degree course structure A.Y. 2013/14, A.Y. 2017/18
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Number of ECTS credits allocated 8.0
Type of assessment Mark
Course unit English denomination PHYSIOLOGY OF FARM ANIMALS
Website of the academic structure
Department of reference Department of Agronomy, Food, Natural Resources, Animals and the Environment
Mandatory attendance No
Language of instruction Italian
Single Course unit The Course unit can be attended under the option Single Course unit attendance
Optional Course unit The Course unit can be chosen as Optional Course unit

Teacher in charge GIANFRANCO GABAI VET/02

ECTS: details
Type Scientific-Disciplinary Sector Credits allocated
Core courses VET/02 Veterinary Physiology 8.0

Mode of delivery (when and how)
Period First semester
Year 2nd Year
Teaching method frontal

Organisation of didactics
Type of hours Credits Hours of
Hours of
Individual study
Practice 1.0 8 17.0 No turn
Lecture 7.0 56 119.0 No turn

Start of activities 02/10/2017
End of activities 19/01/2018

Examination board
Board From To Members of the board
8 Commissione a.a. 2017/18 01/12/2017 30/11/2018 GABAI GIANFRANCO (Presidente)
BERTOTTO DANIELA (Membro Effettivo)
7 Commissione a.a. 2016/17 01/12/2016 30/11/2017 GABAI GIANFRANCO (Presidente)
BERTOTTO DANIELA (Membro Effettivo)

Prerequisites: Students must know the basic notions of the physic of fluids, gas laws and electrophysisc. Moreover, they must know the basis of inorganic chemistry, in particular those concerning the equilibrium reactions and acid/base balance. It is necessary a deep knowledge of the organic compounds involved in the animal metabolism, the metabolic pathways and cellular physiology. Finally, they must know the macroscopic and microscopic anatomy of the animal body systems. Students are suggested to pass the examination of Mathematics, Chemistry and Biochemistry, Anatomy of farm animals.
Target skills and knowledge: The students will learn about the principles of cellular physiology and integration systems with particular attention to the control of vegetative life; they will learn the basis of the reproductive function, and the circulatory, renal and respiratory systems. They are expected to learn deeply the digestive function and the control of intermediate metabolism. Finally, the students should be able the knowledge to explain simple phenomena of animal adaptation to the husbandry environment.
Examination methods: Oral examination at the end of the course
Assessment criteria: The oral examination will take into consideration the following criteria:
1) The precision of information;
2) The comprehension of the integration between the physiological systems;
3) The ability to explain simple phenomena of animal adaptation to the husbandry environment;
4) The ability to communicate with the appropriate terminology;
5) The ability to organise the speech.
Course unit contents: 1st credit: Neuron and muscle physiology. Flux of substances across the cell membrane. Electrical properties of cell membrane, neuron and muscle excitability. Skeletal, smooth and cardiac muscles. Muscle contraction.

2nd credit: Cellular communication and principles of physiology of the nervous system. Hormones, growth factors and neurotransmitters: chemistry, synthesis and release. Transport and catabolism of chemical messengers. Target organs and receptors. Hormone mechanisms of actions and biological response.

3rd credit: Nerves and synapsis. Functional organization of the central and peripheral nervous system. Nervous receptors and the basis of estesiology. Spinal medulla. Reflex. Regulation of vegetative life. Brain stem. Autonomic nervous system. Adrenal medulla.

4th credit: Hypothalamus and the hypothalamic-pituitary system, hypothalamic and neurohypophyseal hormones. Anterior pituitary hormones. Endocrine organs and systems. The regulation of growth and the somatotropic axis.

5th credit: Gonadotropins and sex steroids. Oestrous cycle and ovulation. Fertilization, pregnancy and parturition. Lactation phases, lactation curves, milk ejection.

6th credit: Digestive system. Comparative analysis of the digestive function. The enteric nervous system and gut hormones. Mouth, saliva and ingestion. Gastric digestion, gastric emptying. Motility and fermentation in the ruminant fore-stomachs. Intestinal luminal and mucosal digestion, nutrient absorption. Liver functions. Gross intestine. Appetite regulation.

7th credit: Basic principle of the physiology of the Circulatory, Respiratory and Renal systems. Blood. Heart electrical and mechanical activities. Characteristics of blood vessels. Arterial pressure and vascular resistance. Capillary exchange. Regulation of blood pressure.
Alveolar ventilation. Respiratory gas exchange and transportation.O2/Hb dissociation curve. Regulation of the respiratory activity.
Glomerular filtration. Secretion and reabsorption of solutes and water in the proximal tubule. Henleā€™s loop and urine concentration. Regulation of the extracellular fluid volume and osmolarity.

8th credit:
Endocrine regulation metabolism. Thyroid hormones. Calcium metabolism. The endocrine pancreas. Stress response and hormones of the adrenal cortex. Regulation of body temperature. Regulation of the acid-base balance.
Planned learning activities and teaching methods: Lessons, simulations, discussions.
Additional notes about suggested reading: The course topics are deeply dealt with in the suggested textbook. However, some information related the digestive and reproductive physiology should be integrated and the attendance of the theoretical lessons is strongly suggested.

Consulting hours: appointments with the teacher can be taken by e-mail at any time.
Textbooks (and optional supplementary readings)
  • Sherwood L., Klandorf H., Yancey P., Fisiologia degli animali. Bologna: Zanichelli, 2006. Testo di riferimento Cerca nel catalogo
  • Senger P.L., Pathways to pregnancy and parturition. Washington, USA: Current Conceptions, Inc, 2003. Se ne suggerisce la consultazione per quanto riguarda la fisiologia dell'apparato riproduttore. Cerca nel catalogo