Profound knowledge of anatomy and physiology is essential for a career in animal healthcare.  To understand how an animal moves, digests food, gets ill, and recovers from an injury, one must first understand how healthy organs function together to sustain life. You will examine equine locomotive systems and discuss their significance to an animal’s overall health. The courses provide an in-depth review of all body systems and introduce the pathophysiology of common diseases encountered through injury or aging.

The course examines anatomy and biomechanics with regard to movement and function. You will study the ‘normal’ organization and structure of the musculoskeletal system that underpins function,  especially while in motion. Muscles and muscle groups are described in terms of their functional anatomy: origin, insertion, innervation, vascular supply, and the actions the muscle group is responsible for. At the end of the course, students will know how to analyze the biomechanics of movement on a structural level and recognize compensations due to physical restrictions.

This research-style study offers a comprehensive overview of the most common pathologies and pathophysiologies you will encounter in osteopathic practice. Pathology describes abnormal or undesired conditions, whereas pathophysiology explains functional changes associated with a disease or injury. The course is broken down into a system-by-system approach focusing on orthopedic conditions and their considerations.

Neuroscience is the study of the brain, a complex organ that controls thinking, learning, voluntary movement, and posture coordination. Much like in humans, the animal brain is also responsible for interpreting and integrating information received by the body. This course examines the equine nervous system and the complex circuits through which the animal experiences and responds to a stimulus. You will learn the anatomy and physiology of a single neuron, the neural junction, the main nerves, and their function.

Working with an animal patient implies having a good understanding of their behavior and body language. This dynamic and engaging study explains instinctual and learned behaviors in horses and examines internal and external factors that may lead to abnormalities. In addition, you will learn how to prevent and manage aggression in healthcare practice and communicate with equines of different breeds and temperaments.

Here, you will learn the fundamental steps of an osteopathic clinical assessment. You will become familiar with taking a case history and physical examination procedures, including palpation, gait analysis, and evaluation for signs of lameness. Significant time will be spent on gait analysis. You will also learn how to assess the equine hoof, a crucial weight-bearing structure pivotal to equine health. At the end of the study, you will understand the importance of thinking critically and will be able to recognize contraindications to osteopathic treatment.