35482 - Methods for Veterinary Clinical Biochemistry

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 Life on land

Academic Year 2021/2022

Learning outcomes

At the end of the course the student knows the most important laboratory tests and biochemical techniques applied in the veterinary medicine.

Course contents

The student already has notions of general pathology and is able to apply to the clinical practice the acquired knowledge concerning the biochemistry and clinical molecular biology, the normal morphology and the physiological functioning of different organs (Didactic regulation: Art. 4 - Attendance and preparatory courses https://corsi.unibo.it/magistralecu/MedicinaVeterinaria/propedeuticita). The course "Methods of clinical veterinary biochemistry" aims to provide students with theoretical knowledge to prescribe and interpret laboratory diagnostic tests and practical skills to perform the main diagnostic tests of clinical biochemistry in different animal species. The course program (syllabus https://corsi.unibo.it/magistralecu/MedicinaVeterinaria/syllabi-terzo-anno/35482-metodologie-di-biochimica-clinica-andreani-1.pdf) will touch the following contents:

General laboratory concepts: analitycal variability, reference values and quality control. Autoanalyzer in veterinary clinical biochemistry: calibration, sensibility and sensitivity of a method;Ultraviolet-Visible and Visible Spectrophotometry.

Sampling techniques: anticoagulants, preanalytical errors, centrifugation; artifacts in biochemical determinations: hemolysis, causes of color interference, lipemia.

Urinalysis: color and turbidity, chimical analysis, measurement of specific gravity, microscopic analysis of the sediment (possible laboratory activity in small groups of 2-3 students). Proteinuria: urine-creatinine ratio, urine electrophoresis. Urinary disorders.

Complete blood count: hemocitometer, automated hematology cell counters, hemoglobin concentration, erythrocyte indices. Blood smear analysis: leukocyte estimation, platelet estimation.

Enzymes in veterinary medicine: enzymatic assays for hepatic disorders (possible laboratory activity in small groups of 2-3 students), muscolar enzymatic biomarkers.

Non enzymatic assays for monitoring hepatic (bilirubin) and renal function (urea and creatinine tests).

Glucidic metabolism: esokinse assay for glicaemia determination (possible laboratory activity in small groups of 2-3 students); follow up with laboratory test of the diabetic patient.

Serum total protein analysis: serum total protein quantification by colorimetric assays; protein electrophoresis (possible laboratory activity in small groups of 2-3 students), causes of altered electrophoretic patterns.


The teaching material used during the lessons can be found on the website: https://iol.unibo.it [https://iol.unibo.it/].

Consultation of the following texts is recommended for the study of topics of particular interest. Morover, students could consider to buy the suggested textbooks, useful also per other clinical courses. Specifically. the suggested textbooks are: :

Schalm's Veterinary Hematology, 6th Edition, Douglas J. Weiss (Editor), K. Jane Wardrop (Editor) Jul 2010, Wiley-Blackwell.

MG Kerr Veterinary Laboratory Medicine, 2nd Edition, Blackwell Science Ed.

Villiers E. Ristic J. Gli esami di laboratorio. Indicazioni, esecuzione, interpretazione. Cane e gatto. A cura di S. Paltrinieri , A. Giordano, F. Dondi BSAVA Ed.

J.J. Kaneko, J.W. Harvey, M.L. Bruss - Clinical biochemistry of domestic animals. AP Press, sixth edition, 2008.

Teaching methods

Usually, the course is held in presence in part ex cathedra (16 hours) and in part as practical work (6x4 hours).

In case of impossibility to perform lessons in presence, due to the persistence of the threat of COVID-19, academic and practical lessons could be held, partially or totally,by remoto.

The signature of the frequency is collected by the teacher only for practical lessons

The lectures will take place with the help of power point presentations and the contents of each topic will be completed with presentation of clinical cases, discussions of papers and game based learning in order to encourage interaction between teacher and students.

The practical lessons in the laboratory will be carried out by dividing the students into groups, to each of whom the same hours of activity will be dedicated. The objective of the practical lessons is to provide students with the skills necessary to independently perform a laboratory diagnostic protocol; for this reason, the single student can apply 3 different protocols of biochemical tests, chosen from 6 proposed by the teacher. To facilitate the learning process, each student will be provided with a small lecture note with protocols, which will be briefly explained in frontal mode and which must subsequently be applied in practical activities; the lecture notes will also contain worksheets, which each student will have to complete, collecting the instrumental results obtained from their experimental test; at the end of the practical activity, students must be able to process the data collected and to discuss the final results in group work. Students attending on line, will still be able to learn the methods with the help of videos specially prepared or available online through links that will be made available from time to time.

To be able to attend the practical activities carried out in the educational laboratory it is mandatory to wear a lab coat. When necessary, PPE will also be provided for the performance of specific activities, such as for example disposable gloves and safety glasses.

Assessment methods

The final mark of the integrated teaching course Metodologia, Patologia Clinica e Medicina Legale results from the mean of the marks obtained in the final evaluations of the single different parts that comprise the teaching course. Since the course is an integrated Course, teh teacher responsible for the verbalization of the marks is prof. Gualtiero Gandini.

The exam for the module "Methods of clinical veterinary biochemistry" provides a final oral exam. The exam is passed when the candidate is able to correctly answer a maximum of three main questions concerning the topics discussed during the course.

The exam aims to assess the achievement of the main didactic objective of the course, that is the ability to perform and report the results of the main laboratory diagnostic tests in veterinary clinical practice. The use of supporting material such as textbooks, notes or computer media is not allowed during the test.

The evaluation of the oral exam will be based on the following subdivision of the scores: - preparation on a limited number of topics and ability to analyze that emerge only with the help of the teacher,  overall correct language: 18-19; - preparation on the main topics covered in the course and ability to autonomously analyze the main biomarkers of pathologies, correct language: 20-24; - preparation on a large number of topics, ability to make autonomous choices of critical analysis, mastery of specific terminology: 25-29; - exhaustive preparation on all the topics covered in the course, ability to make autonomous choices of critical analysis and connection, full mastery of specific terminology: 30-30L.

Ongoing assessments or self-assessment tests (optional) may be carried out during the course, upon agreement with the students

Students can book for the exam exclusively using the methods provided by the AlmaEsami online system. For any information on how to book, connect to the site: (https://almaesami.unibo.it/almaesami/welcome.htm).

The dates of the appeals are fixed inside the examination windows and also outside, generally every month.

Teaching tools

Academic lessons use powerpoint presentations and the pratical lesson in laboratory use excel worksheets, which, in the PDF version are downloadable by students through EOL. Moreover for practical lessons, educational laboratory equipped with suitable instruments (spectrophotometers, microscopes, power supplies, centrifuges, electrophoretic cells) with individual workstations.

During lectures, to develop the involvement of hte students, the software Kahoot could be used. Kahoot permits to answer in anonymous way and provide a self-assessment of one's preparation.

Office hours

See the website of Giulia Andreani