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Undergraduate Teching Info

BSc/DVM Degree - Wildlife, Exotic Pet and Conservation Medicine

The BSc/DVM veterinary science degree at the College of Veterinary Medicine at Murdoch University is a five year degree. Undergraduate veterinary students receive training in wildlife, exotic pet and conservation medicine during their fourth and fifth year of study.

Veterinary students require undergraduate training in wildlife and exotic pet medicine to enable them to effectively deal with the sick and injured wildlife and exotic companion animal cases that they will inevitably encounter when working in either urban or rural private practice.

Fourth year students study the unit Avian, Wildlife and Exotic Pet Medicine. The course covers appropriate methods of physical and chemical restraint; diagnosis and treatment of common diseases and injuries; and aspects of nutrition and husbandry associated with maintaining these types of animals in captivity.

Fifth year students are taught in the College of Veterinary Medicine’s Teaching Facility at Perth Zoo, which is located adjacent to the Zoo’s Veterinary Department. The establishment of this teaching facility by Murdoch University and Perth Zoo, and the involvement of the Veterinary Department staff in final year training, represents an innovative collaborative educational venture, which is unique world-wide.

Fifth year students undertake the Wildlife and Exotic Pet Clinical Rotation (a subcomponent of the Small Animal Practice Clinical Rotation), which builds on the fourth year unit described above. This clinical rotation aims to provide students with the basic skills required to competently examine, triage, diagnostically work-up and treat avian and reptilian patients, which could be brought to them by clients.

Fifth year students are also able to apply to study VET645 Advanced Topics in Wildlife, Zoological and Conservation Medicine, one of six Streams of study available to final year students. This 12 week unit allows students to undertake focused study in veterinary aspects of wildlife, zoological or conservation medicine. Students have the opportunity to extend their theoretical knowledge and develop practical skills and professional competence beyond the minimum standards required for graduation and registration. As part of this unit students undertake learning activities via clinical placements at collaborating partner institutions throughout Australia and overseas.

Undergraduate students are able to apply to participate on conservation medicine field trips to South Africa and New Zealand which are organised by staff in the Conservation Medicine Program. These field trips provide students with an immersion experience in the fields of wildlife and conservation medicine.

Perth Zoo