Course code Vete2022

Credit points 2

Animal Physiology

Total Hours in Course80

Number of hours for lectures16

Number of hours for laboratory classes16

Independent study hours48

Date of course confirmation19.06.2018

Responsible UnitPreclinical Institute

Course developers

author prof.

Aija Ilgaža

Dr. med. vet.


Gita Ozola

Professional programme(līm.)


Silva Grīnblate

Professional programme(līm.)

Course abstract

Animal physiology is the science of Biology, which researches the principles of physiological processes of the organism – vital functional of the cells, organs and systems, its relationships and mechanisms of regulation. Students gain knowledge of processes, which take place within the organism, when respecting and when violating animal welfare rules and how these processes affect animal behaviour and productivity.

Learning outcomes and their assessment

Learning Outcomes:
After passing the course, the students will have:
• Knowledge about animal’s organism ongoing physiological processes and its control mechanisms; Assessment: 5 written tests.
• Skills to use the acquired knowledge in the assessment of animals keeping and exploitation
• Competence in questions about organ work mechanisms, metabolic processes, how the sensor system works and how previously mentioned impacts the animal’s behaviour and productivity as a whole

Course Content(Calendar)

1. Introduction to physiology. History. Use of animals in research. A living, healthy organism.
2. The constancy of the internal environment- homeostasis.
3. Differentiation: cells, tissues, organs. The role of biological membranes.
4. Physiology of excitable tissues. Principles of muscle activity.
5. Basic principles of nerve and brain activity.
6. Regulatory mechanisms in the body, types, basic principles of operation. Factors affecting the environment and the body's response.
7. Blood, its composition and functions. Basic principles of vaccination. Blood groups.
8. Basics of blood circulation physiology.
9. Basics of the physiology of respiration.
10. Basics of digestive physiology for different species of animals.
11. Excretory processes in the body and factors affecting them.
12. Basic principles of metabolism. The effect of physiological factors on metabolic intensity.
13. Physiology of external sensor systems.
14. Physiology of internal sensor systems.
15. Factors influencing animal behaviour (stress, oestrus, physical activity, etc.).

16. Animal behavior patterns, types. Animal

Requirements for awarding credit points

To receive a credit point, the student must :
1. Visit at least 85% of lectures. This means that no more than 3 lectures can be missed.
2. Participate in group work and laboratory works, as evidenced by completed and defended protocols. All delayed sessions must be done.
3. Successfully completed 5 tests. At the end of the semester, the average grade of the tests is calculated.
If all three of the above conditions are met at the end of the semester, the student automatically passes test with a grade. The final grade of this test is calculated as the average grade of the five tests.
If a student fails to comply with any of the three conditions, automatic "test with a grade" is not possible.
After the debt is settled, the student must successfully pass the so-called Final Test, which summarizes all the topics covered in the training course. After receiving a positive assessment, the final assessment of the test is the assessment “Test with grade”.

Description of the organization and tasks of students’ independent work

At LLU library and FVM information center students get acquainted with special literature. Using the indicated literature sources and handouts, the student independently acquires separate study unit chapters: Types of Tissues and Cells, their functions; Animal behavior patterns; Environmental impact on animal behavior and health status. The student defends one of the topics by presenting the group members and lecturers.
The student independently processes the results of laboratory works, draws up protocols (defense at the end of the semester), and prepares for the tests.

Criteria for Evaluating Learning Outcomes

Testing is designed as both tests and written tests, so before each test students are informed about the requirements for successful assessment.

Compulsory reading

1. VALTNERIS A. Cilvēka fizioloģija. Rokasgrāmata. Otrais izdevums. Rīga, Zvaigzne ABC, 2009., 252 lpp..
2. GARANČS A. Cilvēka un dzīvnieku fizioloģija jautājumos un atbildēs. Rīga, 2006., 340 lpp.
3. CUNNINGHAM J. (ed) Textbook of veterinary physiology. USA, Philadelphia: W.B.Saunders company, 2006., pp. 621.
4. WILLIAM O.REECE (ed) Duke’s Physiology of Domestic Animals, USA, Wiley Blackwol, 2015,
pp 760.

Further reading

1. MELFI V., Hosey G., Pankhurst S. Zoo Animals: Behaviour, Management and Welfare. ISBN-13: 9780199233069, ISBN-10: 0199233063; Oxford University Press. 2009, pp. 661.
2. DENBOW M. D., Akers R. M. Anatomy and Physiology of Domestic Animals illustrated edition. ISBN-13: 9780813803296, ISBN-10: 0813803292; Iowa State University Press, 2009, pp. 654.
3. СМИРНОВ В.М., Будылина С.М. Физиология сенсорных систем и высшая нервная деятельность. Москва. 2004. - 303 стр.
4. LEJNIECE S. Klīniskā hematoloģija.- Rīga, Nacionālais apgāds, 2005.- 324 lpp.
5. DANILĀNS A. Gastroenteroloģija.- Rīga, Nacionālais apgāds, 2005.- 126 lpp.

Periodicals and other sources

“Agro Tops”, „Latvijas Lopkopis”, “Lauku avīze”


Basic study course of academic study program “Sustainable agriculture”, 1st year 2nd semester full-time and part-time studies in compulsory part.