Tufts OpenCourseware
Molly, the baby giraffe's visit from the Southwick Zoo to the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University. (Image courtesy of Southwick Zoo and A. Cunningham, TUSVM, 2009.)
Highlights of this Course

This course is an updated version of Zoological Medicine (2005), currently on the  Tufts OCW website. This course, which combines Introduction to Zoological Medicine and Zoological Medicine, is exceptionally content rich. Lectures range from Waterfowl and Raptor Medicine to Avian Clinical Practice to Carnivore Medicine to Ferret Medicine. The References and Resources document contains a listing of invaluable resources from a variety of formats including websites, journals, articles, books, papers, and multimedia. The course also includes extensive vivid images within the lectures which visually reinforce the text.

Course Description

The core curriculum in Zoological Medicine at Tufts is presented in two separate, but continuous courses: Introduction to Zoological Medicine and Zoological Medicine. Zoological medicine has recently been adopted as a universal term to be applied to all non-traditional species, including wildlife, zoo species, companion exotic animals, pet birds, marine mammals, and fish.

As stated in the "American College of Zoological Medicine recommendations on veterinary curricula" article (Stoskopf, MK, Paul-Murphy, J, Kennedy-Stoskopf, S, and Kaufman, G., JAVMA December 1, 2001 (Volume 219, No. 11)):

"Zoological Medicine integrates veterinary medicine and the principles of ecology and conservation as applied in both natural and artificial environments."

In these two courses we will also include domestic poultry (technically a domestic food animal) as part of our avian section. The introductory course (Spring 2nd year) develops the topic of conservation medicine and introduces the career options involved with this diverse group of animals in a variety of settings. General concerns with diagnosis, treatment and animal restraint are also discussed in preparation for the clinical material.

A detailed taxonomic review of health issues in non traditional species and poultry is presented in Zoological Medicine (3rd year).

Students should take away from these courses an appreciation for the value of understanding the health of a diverse group of animals in the context of general veterinary medicine. We intend that this understanding, along with a greater appreciation of the interconnectedness of all living things, will empower students to become effective animal advocates regardless of the student's particular interest or chosen specialty.

The introductory course is organized into three main sections. The first section "Conservation Medicine" introduces fundamental principles in conservation biology, ecology and environmental health assessment as a foundation for understanding wild animals and their diseases in a wider framework. The second section "Diagnostic and Therapeutic Challenges" introduces topics common to many of the taxonomic groups including wildlife immobilization and restraint, basic diagnostic sampling and finding creative solutions to therapeutic challenges. The third and final section "Career Tracks in Zoological Medicine" deals with the main career paths currently defined to deal with the majority of these species.

The main course (Zoological Medicine) is organized into three main parts based on taxonomic groupings. The first part "Invertebrate, Amphibian, Fish, and Reptile Medicine" presents the basic health issues of these four groups. Part 2 includes a detailed presentation of basic avian health issues. Part 3 deals with the health of selected mammals in both free-ranging and captive settings.

Please note that the course as presented here does not contain the full content of the course as taught at Tufts. The included content is based on material the Tufts faculty and instructors choose to include, as well as factors such as content preparation, software compatibility, and intellectual property and copyright restrictions.
Course Faculty
Gretchen Kaufman
Robyn Gwen Alders
Eric Baitchman
Wendy Emerson
Colin M. Gillin
Charles Innis
Richard Jakowski
Keith Mansfield
Janet C. Martin
Joerg Mayer
Maureen Murray
Mark Pokras
J. Michael Reed
Roxanna Smolowitz
Florina S. Tseng
Lara A. Weaver
Hayley Weston-Murphy
Course Length
60 Hours
2nd year and 3rd year