Teaching

The Department of Production Animal Medicine and the Production Animal Hospital provide teaching in production animal medicine in the Saari village in the Mäntsälä municipality.

The Department and the Hospital are responsible for teaching and research in the disciplines of the reproduction of domestic animals and production animal medicine. The former discipline teaches and investigates the reproduction of the most important domestic animals in Finland, while the latter focuses mainly on ruminants and pigs.

This site offers more information on the disciplines as well as on teaching and studying production animal medicine. Information on all courses offered by the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine can be found on the course search site. You can browse the information without logging in. Students can access their course pages through the My Studies site.

The discipline of animal management and welfare provides prospective veterinarians with a crucial overview of the factors affecting Finnish domestic animal production and animal welfare. Teaching focuses on the feeding and production environment of domestic animals, animal welfare, ethology and animal protection. Students learn about Finnish agriculture, the methods of domestic animal production, the production environment, feeding and feeds as well as related topics of animal health and diseases, the ethology of domestic animals, and the interaction between animal behaviour and health. Studies include training at both a dairy farm and a pig farm.

Research

Most of the research in the discipline focuses on animal welfare. The discipline also administers the Research Centre for Animal Welfare, which is a cooperative network for researchers in the field at the University of Helsinki, and participates in the network of the Finnish Centre for Animal Welfare.

Research on veterinary ethology and animal welfare 

Studies begin with a review of the basics of endocrinology, physiology and anatomy, after which more in-depth and extensive perspectives are introduced. Basic knowledge of reproductive biology provides a solid foundation for studies in reproductive biotechnologies and the emergence, diagnostics, treatment and prevention of reproductive disorders. The latter topics are discussed with reference to specific animal species, but a comparative approach is also used to promote learning. Teaching covers the following areas relating to the most important domestic animals (ruminants, pigs, horses, dogs and cats): andrology, reproductive biotechnology, gynaecology, obstetrics, udder and teat diseases, and neonatal diseases.

Practical exercises in reproduction include cattle instruction and related obstetrics training using boxes, palpation training using organs purchased from abattoirs, gynaecological training on cows owned by the Keuda Vocational College and fertility studies on large cattle herds. Teaching on pigs includes a practical training period focusing on gynaecological or other reproductive problems or fertility check-ups. Practical training in equine reproduction takes place in Ypäjä at the facilities of MTT Agrifood Research Finland and employs its horses as research subjects. Andrology instruction includes the examination of a dog, a boar and a stallion as well as the collection and analysis of the animal’s semen.

Research

Teaching in production animal medicine and abattoir hygiene aims to provide students with basic knowledge of the aetiology, pathogenesis, treatment and prevention of the most important production animal diseases as well as of production animal health care and abattoir hygiene. Another aim is to help students understand the ethical and animal welfare issues related to animal production as well as financial considerations.  Teaching focuses on ruminants and pigs, but also includes basic information on other production animals (poultry, fish, fur animals, bees) and game animals.

Clinical teaching consists of patient visits, the treatment of patients at the Production Animal Hospital, practical exercises and demonstrations. Key topics include how to record a patient history, perform a clinical examination of an animal, diagnose a patient, and plan treatment and procedures. Students can also enhance their customer communication skills in practice.

Research

General research themes include bovine mastitis, other ruminant diseases (particularly inflammatory diseases), pig diseases and healthcare as well as cattle healthcare.

Specialist training in production animal medicine

A veterinary surgeon can register for specialist training one year after graduation. Each year, two or three new veterinary specialists graduate in production animal medicine.

The training aims to provide veterinary surgeons with in-depth scholarly knowledge and practical skills in the specialist field. The objective of this training in the specialist field of production animal medicine is to offer comprehensive knowledge and skills concerning the methods of animal production, preventive healthcare in production units, the production environment, feeding, the prevention of diseases, and individual medical treatment. Veterinary specialists in training must also be able to maintain their professional skills and to further develop their specialist field. Training can focus on the cattle, pig or poultry industry. The training lasts approximately four years.

 

More information on specialist training:

  • Specialist degree in veterinary medicine
  • Instructions for students completing a specialist degree

The Department of Production Animal Medicine also provides continuing education to veterinarians. Course information and registration for continuing education (in Finnish)

The Faculty of Veterinary Medicine offers postgraduate research education leading to the completion of a doctorate in veterinary medicine. The various research groups of the Department of Production Animal Medicine currently include both Finnish and international veterinary researchers pursuing a postgraduate research degree. As a rule, the Department’s doctoral students belong to the Doctoral Programme in Clinical Veterinary Medicine, DPCVM.

More information on the Faculty’s doctoral education