35301 - Veterinary Physiology Part 2

Course Unit Page


This teaching activity contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN 2030 Agenda.

Good health and well-being Quality education Life on land

Academic Year 2021/2022

Learning outcomes

At the end of this course the student will acquire knowledge of the cardiovascular, endocrine, respiratory, renal, and reproductive systems of domestic animals with emphasis on physiologic control mechanisms and interrelationships of body systems.

Course contents

Frontal classes - Module 1

Skeletal muscle. Muscle contraction. Mechanical properties of skeletal muscle. Mechanisms of muscular contraction. The cardiovascular system and blood flow. The heart: gross structure and myocardial cells. Electrophysiology of the heart. Mechanical activity and regulation of the heart. Control mechanisms of the circulatory systems. Regional and foetal circulations. Mechanics of respiration. Pulmonary ventilation. Oxygen and carbon dioxide transport. Regulation of respiration. Respiratory clearance. Anatomy of the kidney. Glomerular filtration. Tubular transport. Renal clearance. Concentration of urine. Acid-base regulation and the excretion of bicarbonate, hydrogen ion and ammonia. Micturition.


Practice - Module 2

  • Through the help of a digital support (Virtual Physiology - SimMuscle), students will have the opportunity to perform interactive exercises on some aspects of skeletal muscle physiology such as excitation-contraction coupling, single shock and tetanic contraction, muscle fatigue and isometric-isotonic contraction.
  • Auscultation of heart tones with the stethoscope. Evaluation of heart rate, ventilation rate and arterial pulse on small species.
  • Acquisition of a 3-lead electrocardiographic trace with verification of the correct positioning of the electrodes, analysis of the heart rate, and bases for the analysis of the P-QRS-T wave.
  • Evaluation of maximum and minimum arterial pressure using a manual aneroid sphygmomanometer. Discussion on the problems in measuring blood pressure in pets and instruments to use.
  • Evaluation of some chemical-physical characteristics of simulated urine samples: pH, specific weight, glycosuria and proteinuria. Discussion on the physiological significance of the different measurements found.

At the end of each activity multiple choice tests will be proposed to verify learning / self-assessment. During the test, students will have free access to teaching material and will be encouraged to interact with each other and with the teacher.


Klein G. B. Cunningham's Textbook of Veterinary Physiology, Elsevier ed. (2019).

Aguggini G., Beghelli V., Giulio L.F Fisiologia degli animali domestici con elementi di etologia,UTET, (1998).

Dukes', Fisiologia degli animali domestici Ed. IDELSON GNOCCHI (2002)

Sjaastad, Sand, Hove. Fisiologia degli Animali Domestici. Ed. It. a cura di C. Tamanini. CEA (2013)

Teaching methods

The course will be organized in frontal lessons, both in presence and online, and practices in groups in laboratory and online 

Assessment methods

According to the actual regulations, the student is required to attend both lessons and practices. The final exam will beheld in presence in  written form and it will be composed of multiple choice and open questions. Due to pandemic situation,  the student could require to sustain an online oral exam in which she/he should demonstrate to know all the items present in the program and should  to be able to link the different arguments, to have a deep knowledge of the topics and to speech properly.

Teaching tools

For the lessons slides will be used together with videos; for practices lab and ambulatory equipment will be used.

Office hours

See the website of Diego Bucci

See the website of Nadia Govoni