Special Offer Diagnosing Animal Disease Course
Understand more about the development and progress of animal disease.
A useful course for anyone working with animals or interested to learn more.
The Animal Diseases course has ten lessons -
Lesson 1. How Animal Diseases are Diagnosed
Conducting clinical examinations, gross and clinical pathology,
information to collect and how to collect it (live animal and necropsy
samples), specialist support services to assist in diagnosis (i.e. types
of laboratories, specialist vets etc.).
Lesson 2. Diagnostic Testing
Pathways followed to detect and diagnose different types of diseases,
information to be supplied with samples for diagnostic testing, and
Lesson 3. Viral Diseases
Characteristics of viruses and the significance of a range of viral
diseases that affect animals. You will study viral taxonomy, types and
structure of viruses, virus replication cycle, transmission, and some
common viral conditions.
Lesson 4. Bacteria and Fungal Diseases
This lesson looks at the characteristics of bacterial and fungal
organisms. Topics include: laboratory identification, controlling
infections, specimen collection, and important disease conditions.
Lesson 5. Parasitological Conditions
Discuss and differentiate a range of conditions that are caused by
parasites. Topics include: Terminology and classification, life cycles,
protozoa, helminths, and arthropods.
Lesson 6. Metabolic and Nutritional Conditions
Lesson covers a range of common metabolic conditions affecting cattle, horses, pigs, sheep/goats, cats and dogs
Lesson 7. Poisoning
Discuss and differentiate some common disorders that result from
poisoning or toxins. These include: Cardio-respiratory, Central Nervous
System (CNS), dermatological, gastrointestinal, hepatological, and
Lesson 8. Inherited Conditions (Genetic Disorders)
Discuss types of genetic inheritance, and give examples of genetic diseases affecting horses, dogs, and cats.
Lesson 9. Other Conditions and Disorders
Identify and discuss miscellaneous conditions such as allergies,dehydration, and age related conditions.
Lesson 10. Research Project
In this project you will evaluate symptoms of ill-health or disease
displayed by a set of animals, and go through the process of identifying
the problem and deciding on a course of treatment.
Common signs of an ill or injured animal
is impossible for even the best educated animal health expert to
monitor every aspect of an animal's health all the time. On a farm, the
farmer can have hundreds of animals to deal with; and in a zoo, the zoo
keeper may be dealing with even more. Routine and regular blood tests
and medical scans are expensive, invasive, and can be distressing to the
There are however, simple indicators of ill health, which a well
trained animal expert should be able to detect with little more than a
glance at the animal. Learning to manage animal health involves learning
to notice things such as the following; knowing what these indicators
mean, and knowing how to respond to them.
- The animal not eating as much as usual – this is usually the first sign you will notice
- It may also drink more or less water than normal, depending on the illness.
- An animal standing by itself away from the herd
- Animal limping or dragging a leg
- Discharge from eyes, nose, or vaginal area
- There may be abnormal lumps
- The eyes may be dull and the mucous membranes may have changed
colour. Deep red membranes indicate fever; pale membranes show anaemia;
yellow membranes indicate a liver disorder, while blue-red membranes
show heart and circulatory problems, or pneumonia.
- Animal making unusual noise (bellowing, grunting)
- Animal acting uncomfortable, getting up and down
- The animal might be sweating. A cold sweat indicates pain while a hot sweat indicates fever.
- If the animal is in pain it will probably be restless (getting up and down and pacing about), and it may even be groaning
- Diarrhoea or straining to defecate
- Animal not defecating or with very little stool
- Animal urinating a lot, or not as much as usual
- Marked weight loss or gain
- The coat will look dull and dry, and the hairs may stand up.
- There may the presence of open sores, dandruff, or the loss of hair or fur from the body
- Behavioural signs - Recognise any significant differences in the
behaviour of an animal such as increases in viciousness, lethargy or
any other abnormal signs such as excessive head shaking, scratching,
licking or biting of certain parts of the body
- The vital signs of a sick animal will change. The temperature
may go up or down. A rise in temperature of one or two degrees usually
indicates pain, while a rise of more usually indicates infection.
- The rate of respiration, and the way the animal breathes could
also slow changes. With pain or infection, breathing becomes more rapid.
In a very sick animal, breathing can be laboured and shallow.
- A slightly increased pulse rate suggests pain, while a rapid
pulse suggests fever. An irregular pulse can indicate heart trouble. In a
very sick animal, the pulse is weak and feeble.
- A sick animal may also possess foul breath or excessive tarter deposits on the teeth.
If you have any questions at all, click here to contact us.