vet1ehs equine health systems




Credit points: 15

Subject outline

This subject aims to develop the knowledge and skills required for successful and economically-rational equine health management. The ability to recognise and evaluate problems early and determine the need for veterinary attention versus treatment by non-veterinary personnel is fundamental to such management. This subject is not designed to develop expert diagnostic skills and does not equip students to prescribe treatments. Upon successful completion of this subject, students will be able to recognise the clinical signs of an ill horse, triage the significance of the presenting clinical problem, seek veterinary assistance when required, and appropriately manage the recovery of the horse. This subject develops the knowledge required for graduates to form a productive working partnership with an attending veterinarian in the health management of the horses under their care.

SchoolSchool of Life Sciences

Credit points15

Subject Co-ordinatorDilhani Premaratna

Available to Study Abroad StudentsNo

Subject year levelYear Level 1 - UG

Exchange StudentsNo

Subject particulars

Subject rules

Prerequisites Must be admitted into one of the following courses: Bachelor of Veterinary Nursing (SBVN) or Bachelor of Agriculture and Technology (SBATE).


Incompatible subjectsN/A

Equivalent subjectsN/A

Special conditionsN/A

Learning resources


Resource TypeTitleResource RequirementAuthor and YearPublisher
ReadingsEquine medicine, surgery and reproduction, 2nd ednPrescribedMair, T, Love, S, Schumacher, J, Smith, R & Frazer, G (eds) (2013)Saunders/Elsevier
ReadingsEquine veterinary nursingRecommendedCoumbe, K (ed), 2012Wiley-Blackwell
ReadingsBlackwell's five-minute veterinary consult: equine, 2nd ednRecommendedLavoie, J, Hinchcliff, KW & Brown, CM (eds), 2008Wiley-Blackwell
ReadingsEquine emergencies: treatment and procedures, 4th ednRecommendedOrsini, J & Divers, T, 2014Elsevier
ReadingsDiagnosis and management of lameness in the horse, 2nd ednRecommendedRoss, M & Dyson, S, 2011Elsevier
ReadingsEquine wound management, 3rd ednRecommendedTheoret, C & Schumacher, J, 2017Wiley-Blackwell

Graduate capabilities & intended learning outcomes

01. Evaluate the health of a horse

Students will learn how and then regularly practice under supervision the standard basic daily health evaluation of a horse (e.g. alertness, TPR (temperature, pulse, and respiration), mucous membrane colour and capillary refill time, gut sounds). They will record these findings in their weekly practical journal.

02. Explain the differences between passive and active immunity, and how this knowledge is applied when managing a horse's health

Student teams will read about how maternal antibodies will initially give foals short term passive immunity, with the foal's own immune system only later developing specific active immunity post vaccination. They will then discuss how knowledge of the different types of immunity, can be used to help plan a vaccination program for pregnant mares, and for their offspring once born.

03. Identify common equine diseases and explain their normal prevention and management procedures.

Student teams will be given images and information of a variety of common disease case studies, and will work together to identify the equine diseases involved. The tutor will then review the case studies with the class as a whole.

04. Reflect upon one's own performance of procedures undertaken in the management of common equine health problems.

Students will undertake pre-workshop readings and watch videos of a range of common equine health management procedures. These will then be demonstrated during the workshop, and students will practice these techniques initially on models, and then on live horses during these workshops.

05. Discuss legal and ethical responsibilities associated with equine health care

Students will be given links to a range of legislation relevant to equine health care to read prior to a workshop. During the workshop, students will discuss, under the tutor's guidance, how these apply in a range of case studies, together, with a discussion on their ethical responsibilities

Subject options

Select to view your study options…

Start date between: and    Key dates

Epping, 2019, Semester 2, Blended


Online enrolmentYes

Maximum enrolment sizeN/A

Enrolment information

Subject Instance Co-ordinatorDilhani Premaratna

Class requirements

LectureWeek: 31 - 43
One 3.0 hours lecture per week on weekdays during the day from week 31 to week 43 and delivered via blended.
"Delivered as either face-to-face or as a prerecorded lecture"

PracticalWeek: 31 - 43
Twelve 3.0 hours practical per study period on weekdays during the day from week 31 to week 43 and delivered via blended.
"Practical at Melbourne Polytechnic's Equine Facilities"

Unscheduled Online ClassWeek: 31 - 43
One 1.0 hours unscheduled online class per week on any day including weekend during the day from week 31 to week 43 and delivered via online.
"Delivered as reading material, quizzes, video clips."


Assessment elementComments%ILO*
6 x 10 min online tutorial questions (1000 word equivalent) Fortnightly 5% each 3001, 02, 03, 04
Literature Review (1200 words)Review of scholarly publications on a common equine disease2503, 04
Reflective Practical Class Journal (600 words equivalent)Journal records of horse health and procedures performed in practical classes to be documented. Students reflect upon their performance of skills, and consider how they could be further improved in the future (1500 unstructured journal words equivalent to approx. 600 essay words)1501, 04, 05
1.5-hour written examination (1500 words equivalent)Written assessment of all theoretical content covered in the subject (1500 word equivalent)3001, 02, 03, 04