First cycle
degree courses
Second cycle
degree courses
Single cycle
degree courses
School of Agricultural Sciences and Veterinary Medicine
Course unit
AVP7079878, A.A. 2018/19

Information concerning the students who enrolled in A.Y. 2017/18

Information on the course unit
Degree course 5 years single cycle degree in
MV0991, Degree course structure A.Y. 2017/18, A.Y. 2018/19
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Number of ECTS credits allocated 12.0
Type of assessment Mark
Course unit English denomination VETERINARY PHYSIOLOGY 2
Department of reference Department of Animal Medicine, Production and Health
Mandatory attendance
Language of instruction Italian
Single Course unit The Course unit CANNOT be attended under the option Single Course unit attendance
Optional Course unit The Course unit is available ONLY for students enrolled in VETERINARY MEDICINE (Ord. 2017)

Teacher in charge GIANFRANCO GABAI VET/02

ECTS: details
Type Scientific-Disciplinary Sector Credits allocated
Basic courses FIS/07 Applied Physics (Cultural Heritage, Environment, Biology and Medicine) 3.0
Basic courses VET/02 Veterinary Physiology 9.0

Course unit organization
Period Second semester
Year 2nd Year
Teaching method frontal

Type of hours Credits Teaching
Hours of
Individual study
Practice 2.0 20 30.0 No turn
Lecture 10.0 100 150.0 No turn

Start of activities 25/02/2019
End of activities 14/06/2019
Show course schedule 2019/20 Reg.2017 course timetable

Examination board
Board From To Members of the board
2 Commissione a.a. 2018/19 01/12/2018 30/11/2019 GABAI GIANFRANCO (Presidente)
1 Commissione a.a. 2017/18 01/12/2017 30/11/2018 GABAI GIANFRANCO (Presidente)

Prerequisites: Students should possess the basic knowledge of physics and mathematical tools normally learnt in the secondary school.In addition, they should know the basis of inorganic chemistry, and in particular equilibrium reactions, acid/base balance and the concepts of pK and pH. It is necessary a deep knowledge of organic compounds related to the animal metabolism, the main metabolic pathways and the functioning of animal cells. Finally, it is necessary the knowledge of micro and macroscopic structure of the animal body.
It is mandatory to pass the examination in "Veterinary physiology I and ethology".
Target skills and knowledge: Students should acquire those elements of physics forming a necessary base to understand a wide variety of biological processes.

Students should apprehend the fundamental knowledge of the body systems and the mechanisms of regulation and integration of system and apparatus, paying particular attention to comparative aspects.
Examination methods: PROPEDEUTIC PHYSISCS: the students have to solve (numerically) simple exercises on topics covered in the course and be able to correctly answer some conceptual questions.

VETERINARY PHYSIOLOGY II: Oral examination and evaluation of the laboratory reports at the end of the course.
Assessment criteria: PROPEDEUTIC PHYSICS: the student must demonstrate to know some basic items to solve simple exercises, how to apply the scientific method, the critical use of formulas and to answer conceptual questions.

Evaluation criteria for Veterinary physiology II:
1) Degree of knowledge of acquired information;
2) Understanding of the relationship/integration between different body systems;
3) Ability to explain the physiological mechanisms underlying common situations related to adaptation to the environment;
4) Use of appropriate technical language;
5) Communication skills.
Course unit contents: PROPEDEUTIC PHYSICS: In the course the bases of the scientific method are explained. Elements of classical mechanics, from static to the laws of motion and the principle of energy conservation are treated. Particular attention is paid to the static and fluid dynamics. Elements of electromagnetism and thermodynamics are introduced. The discussed topics are accompanied by examples and applications of the animal and biological world.

Endocrinology. Hormones and growth factors. Mechanisms of action. The thyroid hormones. Somatotropic axis. Pancreatic hormones. Adrenal hormones and stress physiology. Regulation of the calcium homeostasis.
Heart. Excitatory properties of the cardiac muscle. Transmission of the cardiac impulse: pacemaker and dominance, effect of the autonomous nervous system (ANS). The cardiac cycle, heart sounds. Normal electrocardiogram. Regulation of the cardiac output: Frank-Starling mechanism, extrinsic regulation and the ANS.
Blood circulation. Vascular compliance. Blood flow, vascular resistance, arterial pressure, pulse pressure. Veins and vein pressure. Microcirculation and lymphatic system. Control of blood flow and arterial pressure. Local control: humoral regulation, myogenic mechanism. Short-term control of arterial pressure, baroreceptor reflex. Long-term regulation of arterial pressure, kidney and body fluid volume, renin-angiotensin system. Coronary circulation.
Respiratory physiology. Non-respiratory functions of the respiratory system. Pulmonary ventilation, pleural function. Lung compliance, surface tension, surfactant. Pulmonary volumes and capacities. Dead space. Gas exchange, atmospheric and alveolar air, partial pressures, and mechanisms of gas exchange at alveolar and tissue levels. Transport of oxygen and carbon dioxide in blood, hemoglobin/oxygen dissociation curve, carbon dioxide dissociation curve. Pulmonary circulation, ventilation/perfusion ratio. Regulation of respiration: respiratory centers, lung receptors and Hering-Breuer reflex. Chemical control of respiration, central and peripheral chemoreceptors.
Renal physiology. Renal blood flow. Filtration, reabsorption, secretion; renal clearance. Glomerular filtration. Reabsorption and secretion of solutes by the renal tubule. Henleā€™s loop and urine concentration, urea cycle. Micturition reflex. Regulation of extracellular fluid osmolarity and volume. ADH, osmoreceptors and voloreceptors. Thirst. Sodium concentration and excretion. Angiotensin, atrial natriuretic factor and aldosterone. Potassium and calcium excretion.
Regulation of acid-base balance. Hydrogen ion concentration in body fluids and pH. Body buffer systems. Respiratory regulation of acid-base balance. Renal regulation of acid-base balance. Phosphate and ammonia buffer in the renal tubule, generation of bicarbonate. Acidosis and alkalosis (metabolic and respiratory).
Regulation of body temperature. Thermal exchange mechanisms, adaptation to cold and hot environment. Fever.
Physiology of reproduction. The hypothalamus-pituitary-gonad axis. Reproductive cycles. Puberty, seasonality. Anestrus.
Male reproductive physiology. Androgens, spermatogenesis and spermiogenesis, erection and ejaculation.
Female reproductive physiology. Estrous cycle. Ovulation. Corpus luteum development and life.
Gamete transportation and fertilization. Maternal recognition of pregnancy. Stages of pregnancy and functional adaptations. The placenta and placental Hormones. Parturition. Placenta expulsion. Puerperium.
Lactation. Mammogenesis, lactogenesis and galactopoiesis. Lactation curves. Mammary involution. Colostrum and milk composition.
Planned learning activities and teaching methods: PROPEDEUTIC PHYSICS: lectures with examples and simple experimental demonstrations of the treated physical principles.

VETERINARY PHYSIOLOGY II: 1) Teoretical lectures; 2) Practicals; 3) Problem solving; 4) Seminars.
Additional notes about suggested reading: PROPEDEUTIC PHYSICS: teaching material used for lectures of physics is available (powerpoint presentations) to students on web site
Additionally, students are provided with exercises and detailed material. The texts of the physical tests of previous years are also available.
Physics teacher receives by appointment.

The Veterinary Physiology II topics are deeply dealt with in the suggested textbook. Slides used for lessons will be delivered by the teacher by email. Consulting hours: appointments with the teacher can be taken by e-mail at any time.

Students may use additional textbooks:

- Sjaastad O.V., Sand O., Hove K., Fisiologia degli animali domestici - Edizione italiana a cura di C. Tamanini. Milano: Casa Editrice Ambrosiana, 2013. Versione italiana del testo di riferimento
- Senger P.L., Pathways to pregnancy and parturition, 2nd revised edition. Pullman, WA, USA: Current conceptions Inc., 2005. Testo per l'approfondimento degli argomenti di fisiologia della riproduzione
- Swenson M.J., Reece W.O., Dukes' - Fisiologia degli animali domestici - Edizione italiana a cura di F. Chiesa. Napoli: Gruppo editoriale Idelson-Gnocchi., 2002. Testo da consultare per approfondimenti.
Textbooks (and optional supplementary readings)
  • Sjaastad O.V., Sand O., Hove K., Physiology of domestic animals.. Oslo, N: Scandinavian Veterinary Press., 2010. Testo di riferimento Cerca nel catalogo
  • Cromer, A. H., Fisica per medicina-farmacia e scienze biologiche. Padova: Piccin - Nuova Libraria, 1980. Cerca nel catalogo
  • Burns, D.M., MacDonald, S.G.G., Fisica per gli studenti di biologia e medicina. Bologna: Zanichelli, 1983. Cerca nel catalogo