First cycle
degree courses
Second cycle
degree courses
Single cycle
degree courses
School of Agricultural Sciences and Veterinary Medicine
Course unit
AVP7080704, A.A. 2019/20

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. 2019/20
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Number of ECTS credits allocated 7.0
Type of assessment Mark
Course unit English denomination COMPANION ANIMALS 1
Website of the academic structure
Department of reference Department of Animal Medicine, Production and Health
E-Learning website
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 REBECCA RICCI AGR/19

ECTS: details
Type Scientific-Disciplinary Sector Credits allocated
Educational activities in elective or integrative disciplines AGR/18 Animal Nutrition and Feeding 1.0
Educational activities in elective or integrative disciplines AGR/19 Special Techniques for Zoology 2.0
Educational activities in elective or integrative disciplines VET/05 Infectious Diseases of Domestic Animals 2.0
Educational activities in elective or integrative disciplines VET/06 Parasitology and Parasitic Animal Diseases 1.0
Educational activities in elective or integrative disciplines VET/07 Veterinary Pharmacology and Toxicology 1.0

Course unit organization
Period Second semester
Year 4th Year
Teaching method frontal

Type of hours Credits Teaching
Hours of
Individual study
Practice 3.0 45 30.0 2
Lecture 4.0 60 40.0 No turn

Start of activities 02/03/2020
End of activities 12/06/2020
Show course schedule 2019/20 Reg.2017 course timetable

Examination board
Board From To Members of the board
2 Commissione a.a. 2019/20 01/12/2019 30/11/2020 RICCI REBECCA (Presidente)
1 Commissione a.a. 2018/19 01/12/2018 30/11/2019 RICCI REBECCA (Presidente)

Prerequisites: The course "Companion Animals 1" expects students to have knowledge on the biochemical processes that regulate metabolism, the physiology and the pathology of companion animals. It is important that students have already acquired the basis of animal nutrition as well as aetiology, epidemiology, clinical signs and control measures of the main infectious pathogens in companion animals; furthermore, they should have knowledge on the general parasitology and pet animals’ parasitic diseases as well as the main techniques that can be applied for the diagnosis.
Target skills and knowledge: Students will acquire knowledge on:
- how to manage a shelter for dogs and cats and principles of nutrition and feeding of dogs and cats in different life stages and in some diseases
- the main environmental or domestic poisoning cases in companion animals
- the management of the main infectious diseases of pets, both at individual level and at population one, in different epidemiological scenarios
- the management of patients with parasitic diseases and the organization of control and prophylaxis programs in various epidemiological contexts.
Examination methods: The exam will consist on one written text held at the end of the course, providing multiple choice questions, open questions and exercises.
Assessment criteria: The evaluation criteria will include:
- the ability to evaluate the management of a canine or feline shelter and the nutritional adequacy of a diet for a dog or a cat in different life stages and diseases;
- the ability to diagnose and manage a case of intoxication;
- the ability to manage different cases associated with the spread of infectious diseases in canine or feline populations;
- the ability to appropriately manage a clinical case of parasitic disease and to design a good control program against the spread of parasitic diseases.
methods for the quantification of energy content in pet food; energy and nutritional requirements for dogs and cats at maintenance; Body Condition Scoring; evaluation of the pet food label; feeding regimes; energy and nutritional requirements for dogs and cats at different life stages: pre-weaning, post-weaning growing, pregnancy, lactation. Alternatives diets (home-cooked diets, BARF, grain free, vegetarian). Feeding management of dogs and cats with adverse food reactions and in overweight condition. Characteristics of kennels and catteries and regulations to guarantee the animals' welfare.

Classes of toxicants that will be considered: Drugs (Analgesics: AINS and paracetamol, Methylxantines, Antiparasiticals); Household and Industrial products (detergents, acids, alkali, ethylene glycol, phenols); Rodenticides (anticoagulant rodenticides, bromethalin, cholecalciferol, sodium fluoroacetate, strychnine, Zinc phosphide); Organochlorine Insecticides, Pyrethrines and Pyrethroids Anticholinesterase Insecticides, Molluschicides, Dipyridil Herbicides, Plants.
Each topic will be organized as it follows: Sources, Toxicokinetic, Mechanism of action, Toxicity and risk factor, Clinical Signs, Clinical Pathology, Lesions, Diagnostic testing, Treatment, Prognosis.

Definition of vaccination protocols in the canine and feline species, with respect to the current territorial epidemiological situation;
Issues related to human-animal relationships in the urban environment;
Overview of the most important infectious problems in "new pets";
Use of diagnostics in the care of the infectious patient;
Healthcare operation and management of a modern private veterinary hospital.
During the visit at kennels and/or catteries, students will be asked to write a report on the aspects related to: biosecurity measures, routine treatments, general health status of the canine/feline population, emergencies management.
Journal Club. Students will be asked to evaluate the content of some scientific papers in order to develop collaborative relationships, critical sense and problem solving skills.

Diagnosis, control and prophylaxis of ecto- and endo-parasitoses of pet animals. The students will face the clinical patient according to a “problem-oriented approach” based on critical reasoning and on the use of available scientific sources; thus, they should manage parasitic diseases in pets, identifying correctly the clinical signs, choosing the more appropriate diagnostic techniques, administering the more adequate therapy protocol and organizing a suitable post-therapeutic control program. In the end, they have to design adequate prophylaxis programs according to different epidemiological situations.
Planned learning activities and teaching methods: NUTRITION AND COMPANION ANIMAL HUSBANDRY
The course will be developed mainly as teaching activity during which students will be interactively involved with cases of nutritional interest and seminars.

Lecturing with interactive parts between teacher and students

The course will be carried out through classroom lectures, seminars and autonomous problem solving activities by group and through guided tours. Students will be asked for active participation and analysis and elaboration skills on the proposed health issues.

The course will be developed in 15 hours of practical activities using Padlet (on-line app for interactive teaching in cooperative learning) and Top Hat (on-line app for “students response system”). The students will be involved in solving clinical cases of parasitic diseases and in managing various epidemiological contexts, evaluating suitable protocols for control and prophylaxis of the main parasitic diseases in pet animals.
Additional notes about suggested reading: For each course, teaching material will be available on Moodle platform (

For Parasitic Diseases:
Teaching material is always available on-line, logging into padlet (account Single Sign On).

European Scientific Counsel Companion Animal Parasites (ESCCAP), Guidelines, available at

Companion Animal Parasite Council (CAPC), Guidelines, available at

European Society for Dirofilariosis and Angiostrongylosis (ESDA), Guidelines and tutorials, available at

American Heartworm Society, Guidelines, available at
Textbooks (and optional supplementary readings)
  • Case, L.P., Carey, D.P., Hirakawa, D.A., Daristotle, L., Canine and Feline Nutrition. --: --, --. Cerca nel catalogo
  • Hand, Thatcher, Remillard, Roudebush, Novotny, Small Animal Clinical Nutrition. --: --, --. Cerca nel catalogo
  • M.E. Peterson, P.A. Talcott, Small animal toxicology. --: --, --. Cerca nel catalogo
  • K. H. Plumlee, Clinical veterinary toxicology. --: --, --. Cerca nel catalogo
  • C.E. Greene, Infectious diseases of the dog and cat. --: --, --. Cerca nel catalogo
  • MA Taylor, RL Coop, RL Wall, Parassitologia e Malattie Parassitarie degli Animali. --: --, --. Cerca nel catalogo
  • MJ Day, Arthropod-borne infectious diseases of the dog and cat, second edition.. --: CRC Press, Boca Raton Florida, USA., 2016. Cerca nel catalogo
  • MW Sloss, Parassiti in medicina veterinaria metodi di identificazione ed indagine microscopica.. --: --, --. Cerca nel catalogo
  • M Genchi, G Traldi, C Genchi, Manuale di parassitologia veterinaria. --: --, --. Cerca nel catalogo
  • G Cancrini, Parassitologia medica illustrata. --: --, --. Cerca nel catalogo
  • D Traversa, L Venco, Parassitologia clinica del cane e del gatto. Point Veterinaire Italie, Milano.. --: --, 2018.