The Purpose of Veterinary Pathology Education


The main purpose of veterinary pathology education is to train undergraduate students to work in the field of veterinary medicine, provide graduate students with in-depth knowledge in their fields of study and develop their researching skills by using modern and up-to-date teaching and training techniques. Students who successfully complete the program or course should be able to describe the pathogenesis of diseases and apply important diagnostic techniques in terms of disease control, preventive medicine, and public health.

Learning Objectives

  1. To provide in-depth knowledge to veterinarian candidates and veterinarians in the diagnosis of diseases.
  2. To study important epidemiological disease pathogens using immunology and molecular pathology techniques.
  3. Using animal models to study diseases based on comparative pathology, immunopathology, and oncology.
  4. Studying on wild animal diseases,
  5. To provide diagnostic services to clinicians in the field of surgical pathology.
  6. To study the reproductive pathologies of farm animals.
  7. To support toxicology research to protect natural resources and minimize environmental degradation.

Basic Core Curriculum


In addition to basic pathology education, students should have in-depth knowledge including diagnostic pathology, comparative pathology, immunopathology, molecular pathology, histopathology, oncology, experimental animal pathology, poultry pathology, marine and freshwater animal pathology, wildlife animal pathology, reproductive pathology, nutritional pathology, and imaging pathology. It is necessary to provide graduate students with features such as seminar presentation, communication, review writing, and basic knowledge and skills that can direct independent research, planning a study, collecting and evaluating study data, and giving lectures and practices that can help research or thesis to publication stage.

Other Relevant Parts of Curriculum


Courses on biochemistry, molecular immunology, molecular biology – genetics, biostatistics and biotechnology, cellular immunochemistry, advanced microbiology, and special topics in large and small animal diseases will enrich the curriculum, especially for postgraduate students. This additional curriculum plays an important role in helping students to refresh and develop their knowledge of veterinary anatomy, as well as to participate in discussions, meetings, presentations, and studies on some special topics including diagnostic pathology, histopathology, surgical pathology, clinical pathology, and case studies, and to gain sufficient knowledge and skills in clinical field applications of veterinary pathology.

Basic Education, Clinical and Research Equipments


The unit must be located in a place between the faculty and the teaching hospital. There should be classrooms, seminar rooms, a free study room, a computer room, specialization and practical laboratories, laboratory and experimental animal units, small and large animal necropsy rooms, fully equipped with educational materials for small-group education.

Basic Materials :

  • Fluorometer
  • Flow cytometer
  • Electron microscope (transmission and scanning)
  • Tissue processing machine
  • Microtome
  • Automatic staining machine
  • Cryostat
  • Thermocycler
  • Image analysis system
  • Light microscope
  • Fluorescent microscope
  • Inverted reflected fluorescence microscope
  • Spectrophotometer
  • A computer-equipped unit library that can communicate with national and international reference libraries with the help of electronic networks and has rich international scientific journals and theses.
  • Special halls where video, CD, and multimedia systems can be used for educational purposes
  • Museums and archives

Working Areas for Veterinary Pathologists

  • Research Institutes and Universities
  • Veterinary Diagnostic Centers
  • Biopharmaceutical and Biotechnology İndustries
  • National Institutes of Veterinary Disease Prevention
  • Public Health and Animal Products Inspectorate
  • Wildlife Animal Diseases Institutes
  • Official or Private Marine and Freshwater Products Research and Application Institutes
  • National and İnternational Veterinary Pharmaceutical and Vaccine Production Institutes
  • Private, Official or Faculty Clinics and Hospitals and Diagnostic Laboratories

Türkiye - Ankara Veterinary Faculty


Pathology I English and Turkish lectures start in the Spring Term of the second year (1 hour theoretical/2 hours practical) in Ankara University Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, which has a 5 year course of education. The student takes the mentioned class along with Biochemistry II, Physiology II, Animal Behaviour, Animal Welfare, Microbiology I, Parasitology, and Virology I

In the Fall Term of the 3rd year, Turkish and English courses of Pathology II lecture 1 hour theoretical/2 hours practical) and Pathological Diagnosis Techniques (Turkish and English, 1 hour theoretical) lecture is given as an elective course. These lectures are taken along with Helminthology, Microbiology II, Virology II, Animal Science I, Pharmacology I and Prescription Knowledge, and Feedstuffs, Feed Hygiene and Technology lectures.

In the Spring Term of the 3rd year, Turkish and English courses of Pathology III lecture (1 hour theoretical/2 hours practical) and Wild Animal Disease Pathology (Turkish and English, 1 hour theoretical) lecture is given as an elective course. Students take these courses along with the following: Epidemiology, Pharmacology II, Physiopathology, Clinical Biochemistry, Food Hygiene and Control, Animal Nutrition and Nutritional Diseases, Animal Breeding, Protozoology, Animal Science II, and Clinical Examination Methods.

In the Fall Term of the 4th year, Turkish and English courses of Necrosy lecture (1 hour theoretical/2 hours practical) and Fish Disease Pathology (Turkish and English, 1 hour theoretical) lecture is given as an elective course. These lectures are taken along with Meat Hygiene, Inspection, and Technology, Livestock Economics, Poultry Diseases, Public Health in Veterinary Medicine, Veterinary Medicine Legislation and Ethics, Milk Hygiene and Technology, Toxicology and Environmental Protection, Internal Medicine I, Mastitis Control Programs for Dairy Cows, and Honeybee Diseases and Pests lectures.

Pathology I :


(3 hours per week)

  • Inflammation
  • Degenerations and Metabolic Disorders
  • Blood Circulation Disorders
  • Tumors

Pathology II :


(3 hours per week)

  • Alimentary System Diseases
  • Respiratory System Diseases
  • Liver and Biliary System Diseases
  • Cardiovascular System Diseases

Pathology III :


(3 hours per week)

  • Skin Diseases
  • Urinary System Diseases
  • Male Genital System Diseases
  • Female Genital System Diseases
  • Mammary Gland Diseases
  • Bone – Muscle – Joint Diseases
  • Hemopoietic System Diseases
  • Nervous System Diseases

Necropsy :


(3 hours per week)

  • General Rules in Necropsy
  • Death Certificates
  • General Necropsy Methods
  • Necropsy Methods According to Animal Species
  • Macroscopic Definition and Diagnosis on Cadaver and Organ
  • Sample Collection and Delivery Methods
  • General Features Required in the Necropsy Report

French Nantes Veterinary Faculty


In the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine of Nantes, France, pathology is included in the “Department of Pathology, Infectious and Parasitic Diseases”. The department is divided into 4 subunits.

  • Unit of Histology and Pathology
  • Unit of Infectious Diseases
  • Unit of Parasitology
  • Unit of Microbiology and Immunology

General Pathology


(34 hours of theory / 2 hours of group work)​

Contents :
  • Medical terminology
  • Cell pathology
    • Cell injury and cell death: necrosis and apoptosis
    • Cell development and differentiation (excluding tumors) disorders: atrophy, hypertrophy, aplasia, hypoplasia, hyperplasia, metaplasia
    • Intracellular accumulations (lipids, glycogen, pigments)
  • Pathology of the extracellular matrix: fibrosis, calcification, urea deposition, amyloidosis

Metabolic disorders of hemoglobin-icterus Hemodynamic disorders :

  • Congestion and stasis
    • Hemorrhage
    • Thrombosis and its consequences (embolism, infarction)
    • Edema
    • Shock
  • Inflammation
  • Mechanism: Chemical mediators of inflammatory mediators, vascular and cellular changes; acute and chronic inflammations
    • Different types of inflammatory lesions
    • Tissue repair and wound healing
  • Fever
  • Stress

Group Study (2 hours): Pathophysiology of cardiogenic shock and therapeutic approaches



(26 hours)

General Oncology

  • Description of the tumor
  • Classification of benign and malignant tumors
  • Tumor terminology and classification
  • Important carcinogenic agents, epidemiology of spontaneous tumors
  • Carcinogenesis: molecular explanation of cancer
  • Biology of tumor development

Clinical Oncology

  • Epidemiology of animal tumors
  • Clinical approach to tumors
  • Basic principles in tumor treatment
  • Malignant blood disorders (lymphomas)
  • Mammary gland tumors
  • Gonad tumors
  • Skeletal system tumors
  • Oropharyngeal and digestive system tumors
  • Nasal tumors
  • Thorax and abdominal cavity tumors
  • Endocrine gland tumors
  • Central nervous system tumors

Special Pathology


(30 hours)

  • Significant lesions are explained on a system basis.
  • Self-study: slides, video cassettes, and photo CDs are available in the multimedia center.



(4 weeks)

Each student:

  • Must attend 64 necropsy cases
  • Applied 16 necropsy cases alone
  • Must write at least 4 necropsy reports.

Berlin Faculty of Veterinary Medicine


Functional Pathology


(1 Hour Per Week)

  • Health / Disease: Development, Progress Solution
  • Pathophysiology Of Fluid And Electrolyte Regulation
  • Pathophysiology Of Energy Metabolism
  • Clinical Aspects And Pathophysiology Of Acid-Base Balance
  • Clinical Aspects And Pathophysiology Of Respiratory Dysfunction
  • Clinical Aspects And Pathophysiology Of Renal Dysfunction
  • Pathophysiology Of Liver Diseases
  • Possibilities For Hematological Diagnosis

General Pathology I – II


(2 Hours Per Week)

  • General Etiology
  • Birth Defects
  • Circulatory Disorders
  • Regressive And Progressive Changes
  • Inflammation
  • Immunopathology
  • Oncology
  • Death

Anatomical Pathology I-II


(2 Hours Per Week)

  • Heart And Blood Vessels
  • The Respiratory System
  • Hemopoietic System
  • Digestive System
  • Liver And Pancreas
  • Urinary System
  • Reproductive System
  • Breast
  • Locomotor System
  • Central Nervous System
  • Tumors
  • Endocrine System

Histological Pathology I


(2 Hours Per Week – Application)

  • Heart And Blood Vessels
  • The Respiratory System
  • Hemopoietic System
  • Digestive System
  • Liver And Pancreas

Histological Pathology II


(2 Hours Per Week – Practice)

  • Urinary System
  • Reproductive System
  • Breast
  • Locomotor System
  • Central Nervous System
  • Tumors
  • Endocrine System

Demonstration In Anatomical Pathology - I


(2 Hours Per Week – Practice)

  • Investigation and Interpretation of Organ Pathology

Postmortal Examination I - II

  • Performing all pet necropsies under necropsy techniques and descriptions and writing the necropsy report

Demonstration - II In Anatomical Pathology


(2 Hours Per Week – Practice)

  • Epicrisis And Diagnosis Of Organ Changes

Austrian Veterinary University


Education at the Austrian Veterinary University is carried out in 3 terms. In the first term, which covers the first 2 semesters, education is given mainly on botany, zoology, physics, chemistry, biometry and epidemiology, immunology. Pathology education starts in the 2nd term, the 6th semester, and mainly takes place in the 7th and 8th semesters of the 3rd term. Pathology topics are also observed in the species-specific specialties included in the 10th and 11th semesters.

Subject Titles:

Basic Pathology (6. semester/67 hours): Part of the block education that includes immunology and genetics topics.

Histopathological applications (7-8th semester / 22 hours)

Patho-anatomical applications (7-8th semester / 23 hours)

Advanced Pathology (7-8th semester/ 33 hours): It is involved in organ, metabolic and infectious diseases.

Pathology (7-8th semester/ 25 hours): It takes place in parasitology, bacteriology, virology, and epidemiology medicine.

Specialization Education (10-11 th semester)

Pathology of selected diseases in small animal veterinary medicine (15 hours)

Pathology of selected diseases in equine medicine (7 hours)

Pathology of selected diseases in swine medicine (15 hours)

Pathology of diseases in wild animal medicine (52 hours)

Pathology of selected diseases in poultry, cage birds and reptilian medicine (22 hours)


Elective courses:
  • Immunopathology and clinical immunology (small animal-15 hours)
  • Neuropathology (horse and small animal-15 hours)
  • Pathology of the endocrine system (15 hours)
  • Selected topics in ruminant and porcine pathology (15 hours)
  • Immunopathology (in ruminants and horses-15 hours)

Bologna Veterinary Faculty


Pathology education starts as “General pathology and pathophysiology” in the second year, together with the subjects of physiology, microbiology-immunology, toxicology-pharmacology, general zootechnics-genetics, and topographic anatomy.

In the third year, pathological anatomy-I (4 hours/week) and necropsy (2 hours/week) under the title “Pathological Anatomy- I” and pathological anatomy-II (4 hours/week) and pathological histology (3 hours/week) under the title “Pathological Anatomy-II” is taught. These courses are taught with food hygiene, animal nutrition, infectious disease, parasitology, special zootechnics, and semiology courses.

In the fourth year, “Poultry Diseases Pathology” (3 hours /week). Students take these courses together with infectious diseases and public health, private zootechnics, radiology, reproductive pathology, surgical pathology, veterinary medical pathology, and food control.

The University of Thessaloniki, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine


General Pathology


(4 hours of theory / 2 hours of practice per week)

Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Thessaloniki has 5 year education period. General pathology courses start in the fall semester of the 3rd year and students get this course together with Pharmacology, Clinical Diagnosis and Clinical Pathology, Animal Science-III, Milk Hygiene and Technology, and Ichthyology courses. Basic science courses and Microbiology courses (virology, parasitology, bacteriology: general and special) are completed in the 1st and 2nd years.

Prerequisite: Successful in Histology – I and Histology – II courses.


  • Cytopathology
  • Cardiovascular system pathology
  • Defense mechanism of the organism (immunopathology, inflammation)
  • Developmental pathologies of tissues and organs
  • Neoplasias.

Special Pathology I


(4 hours of theory / 2 hours of practice per week)

Students take Special Pathology – I course together with “Clinical Diagnosis and Clinical Pathology”, “Infectious Diseases – I Epizootology -Public Health-Preventive Medicine”, “General and special technology of foods of animal origin”, “Toxicology” in the spring semester of the 3rd year.

Prerequisite: To be successful in Histology – II and Histology – II courses and to have continued the General Pathology course.

Content: Microscopic and macroscopic lesions associated with diseases in cardiovascular, hematopoietic, respiratory, digestive, locomotor, endocrine, urinary, and genital system organs.

Special Pathology II


(1 hour theory / 1 hour practice per week)

In the spring term of the 4th year, Students take the Special Pathology – II together with, “Farm Animal Diseases – II”, “Household and Ornamental Animal Diseases”, “Surgery – II”, “Reproductive Diseases”, “Hygiene in Animal Origin Foods – I”, “Radiology” and “Poultry Diseases”.

Prerequisite: Must have passed the General Pathology and Special Pathology-I courses.

Content: Macroscopic and microscopic lesions observed in the nervous system, eye, ear, skin in special diseases, their causes, pathogenesis, forensic medicine

Special Pathology III


(2 hours of practice per week)

Students take Special Pathology – III course together with, “Farm Animal Diseases – III”, “House and Ornamental Animal Diseases – III”, “Surgery – III”, “Reproductive Diseases – II”, “Hygiene in Animal Origin Foods – I ” and “Poultry Diseases – II” in the spring term of the 5th year.

Prerequisite: To have completed the Special Pathology – II course.

Content: Necropsy and writing necropsy reports.

The structure of the Pathology department in France, which is one of the European Union countries, shows a structure similar to that in the United States. In the countries where the German school is experienced, a similar structure to our country is observed. Although pathology is a separate department (Institute of Pathology) in the German school, pathology courses take place in parallel and harmony with microbiology, public health and food hygiene, toxicology, and species-specific veterinary diseases in the general curriculum of the faculty.

Note: Since the veterinary education in America is different (2 years of biochemistry-biology-based associate degree education, 4 years of undergraduate education), it is not explained here.

References :

  1. Ankara University, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine : Citing Electronic Resources
  2. Veterinary Pathology Training
  3. Veterinary and Comparative Pathology Training Programs
  4. The Helsinki University Faculty of Veterinary Medicine: Citing Electronic Resources
  5. University of Veterinary Medicine Viena: Citing Electronic Resource
  6. Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Berlin: Citing Electronic
  7. Ecole Nationale Veterinaire de Nantes
  8. Alma Mester Studiorum Universita di Bologna