10231 - Special Veterinary Pathology II

Course Unit Page


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

Quality education

Academic Year 2022/2023

Learning outcomes

At the end of the course students will know the aetiopathogenesis and macro and microscopic morphological features of the main diseases affecting the respiratory, cardiocirculatory, haemopoietic and urinary systems, skin and the mammary gland.

Knowledge and understanding. Knowledge of the macro and microscopic morphological features of the main lesions to organs and systems, their aetiology and pathogenesis. Knowledge of the terminology used to describe the macroscopic features of a lesion.

Applying knowledge and understanding. How to apply traditional morphological parameters (shape, size, colour, consistency, distribution) to identify and describe organ lesions.

Making judgements. The ability to recognize a lesion, describe it using the appropriate terminology and make a differential diagnosis.

Communication skills. The ability to explain his/her reasoning.

Learning skills. The ability to utilize complementary resources (Veterinary Teaching Portal, other veterinary pathology websites) to integrate, complete and add to his/her training.


Students enrolling in this course have to be familiar with the morphophysiological aspects acquired during the study of Veterinary Anatomy and Physiology and with the bases of pathological processes acquired during the study of General Pathology.

Students must have a good written and spoken knowledge of English to be able to read slides (that may be used in lessons) and extracts from publications, scientific texts and manuals.

Course contents

This teaching is part of the I.C. Veterinary Pathological Anatomy for which the person responsible to record the mark is Prof. Giuseppe Sarli.

For the pathologies listed below the student must be able to propose a macroscopic description and set up morphological and differential diagnoses.

Respiratory system

  • Nasal cavity: haemorrhages. Phlogosis: aetiology, pathogenesis and morphological types. Infectious bovine rhinotracheitis (IBR), equine adenitis, glanders. Inflammation of the guttural pouch. Swine atrophic rhinitis. Parasitic diseases and enzootic and sporadic tumours of nasal cavities.
  • Larynx and trachea: haemorrhages, oedema, phlogosis: aetiology, pathogenesis and morphological types.
  • Airways: stenosis, bronchiectasia (aetiopathogenesis and morphological macroscopic patterns); bronchitis and bronchiolitis (classification and pulmonary consequences).
  • Lung
  1. variation of pulmonary air content: classification, pathogenesis, gross examination and histological aspects of atelectasis (congenital and acquired) and of emphysema (parenchymatous and interstitial, acute and chronic).
  2. Lung abnormalities of blood flow: gross examination and pathogenesis of hyperaemia, hischemia, pulmonary embolism and thrombosis. Pulmonary oedema: aetiopathogenesis, macroscopic and microscopic features
  3. Aetiopathogenesis and gross examination of bronchopneumonia, fibrinous, interstitial, purulent and gangrenous pneumonias. Granulomatous pneumonia:  pathogenesis of tuberculosis in domestic mammals. Bovine, equine, swine, canine and feline pulmonary tuberculosis.
  4. Bovine pneumonias: enzootic pneumonia, shipping fever, ARDS-BRSV, fog fever, extrinsic allergic alveolitis. Swine pneumonias: enzootic pneumonia, pleuropneumonia, interstitial pneumonia. Canine and feline pneumonias: CDV, FHV and FCV.
  5. Pulmonary parasitic diseases of the airways (Strongyloidosis), of the pulmonary circulation (Filariasis, Angiostrongylosis) and lung pathologies caused by parasites migration (Ascarioidea) or erratic localization (Distomatosis).
  6. Primary and secondary lung cancer. Primary: anaplastic carcinoma and lung adenocarcinoma. Ovine pulmonary carcinoma: etiology, macroscopic and microscopic features. Pleural neoplasms: mesothelioma.

Pleural cavity

  • Pneumothorax. Hydrothorax, haemothorax, Chylothorax,
  • Pleuritis (classification, pathogenesis). Tuberculous pleuritis. Canine pleural actinomycosis.

Urinary system

  • Kidney
  1. Congenital and acquired renal cysts: macroscopic aspects and pathogenesis. Perirenal pseudocysts.
  2. hyperaemia, haemorrhages, hischemia, renal papillary necrosis, infarct.
  3. Nephrosis. Glomerulonephrosis (pathogenesis of glomerular damage, amyloid glomerulonephrosis); hischemic and toxic tubulonephrosis (hischemia, mycotoxins, heavy metals, pulpy kidney), hemo-myoglobinuric and colemic tubulonephrosis, mineral deposits (nephrocalcinosis, oxalates, "uric acid infarcts").
  4. Classification of nephritis. Glomerulonephritis (gross examination and pathogenesis); histological aspects of acute and chronic types, aetiology of swine, equine, feline and canine glomerulonephritis. Tubulointerstitial nephritis (gross examination, pathogenesis, aetiology). Bovine tubulointerstitial nephritis (focal, diffuse, maculosa alba, calcinosis). Swine, canine, feline tubulointerstitial nephritis. Purulent nephritis: classification, apostematous nephritis and disseminate purulent nephritis (gross examination, pathogenesis, aetiology). Pyelonephritis. Granulomatous nephritis.
  5. Renal parasitosis: Klossiellosis, Lehismaniasis, Encephalitozoonosis, Microascaridiosis, halicephalobiasis. 
  6. Primitive renal epithelial (adenoma, carcinoma) and mesenchymal neoplasms and nephroblastoma; secondary renal neoplasms.
  7. Hydronephrosis.
  • Urinary tract:
  1. ureters: ectasia, occlusions, urolithiasis (classification, pathogenesis, consequences of bovine, canine and feline urolithiasis);
  2. cystitis (classification, pathogenesis),
  3. neoplasms of urinary tract, bovine enzootic hematuria.

Hemolymphopoietic organs

  • Bone marrow: involution, hyperplasia, aplasia, gelatinous atrophy, haemosiderosis, necrosis.
  • Lymph-nodes:
  1. hypoplasia, atrophy, pathological pigmentations, necrosis, abnormalities of blood flow and pneumatosis.
  2. Macroscopic and microscopic features of simple (acute and chronic), purulent, hemorrhagic and necrotizing, granulomatous and piogranulomatous  lymphadenitis.
  • Pathology of hemolymphnodes.
  • Spleen
  1. Abnormalities of blood flow (passive hyperaemia, haematomas, infarcts),
  2. Degenerations (atrophy, hyalinosis, amyloidosis, haemosiderosis, necrosis),
  3. Splenitis (hyperemic-haemorrhagic, hyperplastic, purulent-gangrenous, necrotizing, fibrous, granulomatous).
  • Lymphoma
  1. Lymphatic leukaemia-lymphoma complex (histologic classification systems). Assessment of the immunophenotype of a lymphoma.
  2. Anatomic classification and macroscopic feature of bovine, equine, swine, canine and feline lymphoma.

Cardiovascular system

  • Heart
  1. Malformations
  2. hydropericardium, hemopericardium,
  3. pericarditis (classification and aetiology);
  4. myocardiosis, myocardial necrosis (causes and effects), myocardial hypertrophy,
  5. myocarditis with particular reference to purulent, lymphocytic and granulomatous myocarditis.
  6. Endocardium: calcification, endocardiosis, fibroelastosis; endocarditis (pathogenesis, aetiology, classification).
  7. Heart parasitic diseases
  8. Heart neoplasms
  • Blood vessels
  1. Arteries: aneurysm, thrombosis, regressive arteropathies (calcifications, hyalinosis, fibrinoidosis, amyloidosis, arterosclerosis), arteritis (acute and chronic, pathogenesis).
  2. Veins: thrombosis, phlebitis.
  3. Lymphatics: lymphangectasia, lymphangitis. Parasites of vessels. Neoplasms of vessels.

Mammary gland  

  • Mastitis: aetiology, pathogenesis and classification of the main types of bovine mastitis (fibrinopurulent or gangrenous mastitis, hemorrhagic-necrotizing mastitis, interstitial mastitis, granulomatous and piogranulomatous mastitis; mentions about ovine-caprine mastitis.
  • Epidemiology of mammary tumours, hormone-dependency, dysplastic lesions, concept of simple, complex and mixed tumours, histological grading (histological grade and stage) and TNM system.


  • Macroscopic and microscopic elementary lesions in dermopathology (spots, papule, pompho, nodule, vesicle, exocytosis, pustula, ortho- and para-keratosic hyperkeratosis, acanthosis, spongiosis, hydropic degeneration, acantolisis, dermic oedema, dermic fibrosis, pigmentary incontinence).
  • Dermatosis with endocrine (hypothyroidism, hypercorticism, hyperestrogenism).
  • Patterns of dermatitides (perivascular, dermovasculitis, interfacial, nodular-diffuse, vesicular-pustolosa, folliculitis-forunculosis, panniculitis) and associated diseases.
  • Benign and malignant epithelial skin tumours of epidermic or adnexal (hair follicles, sudoriparous and sebaceous glands) origin; mesenchymal tumours (fibroma, fibromatosis, sarcoma, schwannoma, hemangiopericytoma) and round cells tumours (mast-cell tumour, melanoma, histiocytoma, plasmacytoma).

During the course practical activities are planned which aim to make the student apply the knowledge acquired in itinere and develop deductive skills in line with the objectives of the course.

There are no additions for non-attending students who can use the contents of this web guide and the teaching material available on the DOL platform as a guide to identify the topics on the suggested textbook.



  1. Marcato P. S .: Systematic veterinary pathology. Il Sole 24 Ore-Edagricole, II Edition, 2015.


  • download the power point files (available in DOL) and attend the theoretical lessons using them as a printed track to personalize with the exposed contents
  • attend theoretical lessons for:
  1. being able to use interactive sessions as a self-assessment test for acquired skills
  2. be able to view examples of the questions of the written test that are projected generally at the end of the lesson

Teaching methods

The course involves 45 hours of frontal lessons and 15 hours of practical sessions.

Class attendance is mandatory.

a)       Academic (frontal)

Frontal lessons cover the theoretical part of the course and require the attendance of all students and the course teacher who plays an active role in presenting the course programme. Lessons may be integrated by seminars on special topics and by external teaching staff for specific teaching projects. Theoretical lessons are designed to give a systematic presentation of the programme.

a1) during frontal lessons interactive sessions are planned to evaluate the knowledge and skills acquired.

a2) during frontal lessons, after having acquired specific skills, the presentation of a group of students is planned to show species peculiarities for the treated pathologies.

b)      Practical

Due to the types of activities and teaching methods adopted, toattend this training activity requires:

1. as a general activity that the student has followed and passed the courses of modules 1 and 2 in e-learning
2. as a specific activity that the student read the short note or follow the videosop (see Virtuale) for access to the anatomical room. The student can download from this link the management procedure "Biosafety in the anatomical rooms" in which the necessary personal protective equipment are listed.

Practical lessons are carried out on material from slaughtered animals specially obtained from slaughterhouses and on cases selected from routine diagnostic practice at the pathological anatomy service. In addition, necroscopy examinations are scheduled with the active participation of students. Practical lessons are carried out dividing students into four groups.

Practical sessions have a twofold aim:

1) to allow students to acquire the manual skills required to perform a necroscopy mainly addressed to the examination of an isolated organ or to perform a  macroscopic description of the lesions detected on cases directly visible in the anatomy room - acquisition of professional skills;

2) to develop students' ability to recognize an organ disease both in cases present in the anatomy room and in photographs available on the Veterinary Teaching Portal or veterinary pathology websites - acquisition of processing and synthesis skills; acquisition of communication skills and team work;

Two types of practical lessons will be undertaken

o    sessions on organs from slaughtered animals or necroscopy examination to acquire manual skills and apply the concepts of macroscopic description.

o    Interactive sessions on cases in the anatomy room and on slide images to acquire diagnostic skills and on which the course teachers will raise questions that students must solve using the information provided in theoretical lessons.

Assessment methods

  • The evaluation is expressed with a mark out of thirty.
  • The final grade assigned is the average of the marks obtained in pathological anatomy 1 and pathological anatomy 2.
  • The test is passed with a score of at least 18/30 in each part of the IC.
  • In the event of maximum marks (30/30), honors can be attributed.
  • The student has the right to refuse the verbalization of the proposed positive grade at least once.
  • In case of failure of the exam, there are no limits to register for the next session.
  • Students with disability must contact by email the teacher and the staff in charge for disabilities in order to have adaptations during lessons or evaluation phase.

Procedures concerning the evaluation of the students

The final examination is designed to assess the achievement of the main learning outcomes of the course: (1) To know the aetiopathogenesis and macroscopic and microscopic morphological features of the main diseases affecting the organs and systems addressed in the course; (2) to know how to recognize an organ lesion and describe it using the appropriate terminology; (3) to be able to formulate and discuss a list of possible differential diagnoses starting from a macroscopic lesion and suggest how to establish a final diagnosis.

The examination consists of a written test, a practical test and an oral test. The three tests are taken usually in 2 days (on the first day the written test and on the second day the practical part and the oral tests). Given the close integration of all three tests they cannot be taken separately.

a)       Written test. The aim of the written test is to ascertain that the student has an adequate body of knowledge relating to the course contents. Students who fail the written test are not eligible to sit the subsequent parts of the examination.

The written test includes 20 questions (multiple choice questions, short open questions, answers to be completed). Maximum score 10 points.

1) Each multiple choice question has four alternatives and only one correct answer. The possible scores are  0 (incorrect) or 0.5 (correct). Failure to answer is deemed incorrect.

2) In open-ended questions the answer must fit in the space allotted. The score ranges from 0  to 0,5  depending on the accuracy of the answer and adherence to the question. Failure to answer is scored zero.

3) The time allotted for the written test is 50 minutes. During the test students are not allowed to use support material like textbooks, notes or computers.

4) A total score of at least 6 points is required to pass the test and sit the subsequent parts of the examination.

b)       Practical test. The aim of the practical test is to ascertain that the student is able to recognize an organ lesion and knows how to describe it using the appropriate terminology. The student is shown a pathological organ or photograph reproducing an organ lesion. The student must recognize the organ and species to which it belongs, identify the lesion and describe it using the standard international descriptive method presented during the course. The practical test score ranges from 0 (zero) to 10 (ten). A total score of at least 6 points is required to pass the test. Students who fail to obtain 6 points are required to resit the entire examination.

c)       Oral test. The aim of the oral test is to ascertain the student's ability to apply his/her body of knowledge with the necessary logico-deductive skills. The oral exam covers the entire program. The student should provide a complete description of the lesion starting from the gross morphology followed by pathogenesis and etiology. The student is asked to formulate a list of differential diagnoses fitting the lesion morphology and to discuss the elements for and against the various hypotheses advanced, suggesting how the final diagnosis could be reached. Test questions are designed to elicit in-depth information on the diseases called into play. Special attention is paid to the student's ability to undertake transverse reasoning and to link the course information with the information acquired from courses attended in previous years. The oral test score ranges from 0 (zero) to 10 (ten). A total score of at least 6 points is required to pass the test. Students who fail to obtain 6 points are required to resit the entire examination.

For both the practical and the oral test, knowledge of only the macroscopic part allows the assignment of a maximum score not exceeding 6. From 6.1 to 10 the score is assigned based on further knowledge on pathogenesis and etiology and on the abilities to formulate differential diagnosis and diagnosis.

The final score expressed in marks out of thirty is sum of the oral test score and the written test score and shall be recorded immediately. Students awarded full marks in all parts of the examination shall be awarded the top mark of 30 cum laude.

Procedures concerning the booking and dates of the exam sessions

Students can only book their oral test following the instructions available on the Alma Esami online system: (https://almaesami.unibo.it/almaesami/welcome.htm). 

Examination dates appear in special windows for course students and are scheduled throughout the year for out-of-course students.

Course students are not entitled to sit examinations outside the specified dates.

Examinations cannot be taken without fulfilling the propedeutic requirements specified by the degree course committee.

If all candidates cannot be examined on the scheduled day, depending on the time available the examiner is entitled to shift the examination date of unexamined candidates drawing up an examination schedule on the first examination day.

Students failing to pass the oral test are entitled to resit the entire examination after a minimum period of three weeks.

Teaching tools

Slide projector for theoretical lessons, autopsy room for practice, smartphone for interactive lessons.

Office hours

See the website of Giuseppe Sarli

See the website of Giancarlo Avallone