cod. 1006603

Academic year 2023/24
4° year of course - Second semester
Academic discipline
Farmacologia e tossicologia veterinaria (VET/07)
A scelta dello studente
Type of training activity
Student's choice
32 hours
of face-to-face activities
4 credits
hub: PARMA
course unit

Learning objectives

At the end of the course the student should have acquired knowledge regarding general and special neuropharmacology. In detail, the student should be able to:
1. know the mechanisms of action of drugs and the drug-receptor and drug-drug interactions. Know the most important classes of drugs used in clinical neuropharmacology in dogs and cats. Be able to employ the appropriate scientific language and terminology. (knowledge and understanding)
2. understand the therapeutic properties of the different drugs and their adverse effects/interactions. (applying knowledge and understanding)
3. explain the results of the studies and drug properties also to an audience of non-experts. (communication skills)
4. choose the right drug belonging to a specific class on the basis of the acquired knowledge and clinical needs. (making judgements)
5. link the different topics treated in the course among themselves and to other disciplines of the academic degree course. (learning skills)


As per Degree Course. Please refer to

Course unit content

The course provides the students with essential concepts about SNC pharmacology and pharmacological treatment of the main behavioural disorders in dogs and cat. In particular, the student will have to know the most important classes of drugs used in behavioural pharmacology: antidepressant drugs (TCA, MAOI, SSRI, etc), phenothiazine tranquilizers, benzodiazepines, azapirones, and other agents. The student will be also provided with knowledge regarding non-pharmacological approach to the patient with behaviour disorders, contention techniques for aggressive animals, drug interactions and treatment of pediatric patient.

Full programme

SNC pharmacology
Drug used in behavioral disorders:
Sedatives and tranquilizers; antidepressant (TCA, SSRI, IMAO, etc.). Other drugs.
Non-pharmacological approach to main behavioral disorders in dog and cat. Therapeutic choice. Restraint methods for aggressive or wild animals. Interactions between drugs. Treating the pediatric patient.


Colangeli - Fassola Giussani - Merola – Possenti- Medicina Comportamentale del cane e del gatto e di nuovi animali da Compagnia, 2015; Poletto Editore
Sharon Crowell-Davis, Thomas Murray - Veterinary Psychopharmacology, 2006; Blackwell Publishing
The students are however reminded that the textbook has to be integrated with the teacher's lessons.

Students can download pdf files of the lessons from Elly Platform (

Teaching methods

The course includes frontal lessons which provide knowledge about general pharmacology and the most relevant groups of drugs employed for behavioral disorders; moreover teachers and students will discuss clinical cases and the best therapeutic choice for the animals. Furthermore, the course will provide also knowledge about drug interactions and the specific treatment of pediatric patients.
During the course, some lessons may be made by practitioneers expert in the field.

The activities will take place in presence unless otherwise provided due to the Covid-19, where the Teams and Elly platforms will be used. In particular, the course slides and parts of teaching material will in any case be loaded on the Elly page of the course. During the lessons, mainly frontal moments will alternate with interactive moments with the students. To promote active participation in the course, various individual and small group activities will be proposed, through the use of the resources available in Elly, such as discussion forums and logbooks. The lectures will be carried out with the support of slides: if possible, the exercises will be carried out in the laboratory in small groups and in full compliance with the regulations in force for the prevention of contagion from Covid-19.

Assessment methods and criteria

The evaluation of the knowledge acquired by the student in the course of Clinical Neuropharmacology and behavioural pharmacology is made by means of a written test. The student, therefore, after online registration to the official exam calendar published on the Department of Veterinary Science website, will have to perform a written exam, 1-hour duration, consisting of answering to fifteen multiple-response questions regarding topics of the course. For every question of the test the following score will be attributed: +2.5 points for each correct answer; 0 points for each not given answer; -0.5 for each wrong answer. The results will be published on Esse3 portal within 1 week from the date of the exam. The students can ask to view their tests following an agreement with the teacher.

Specific support methods are provided for students with SLD, SEN or disabilities. They must send requests to be able to take advantage of compensatory and / or dispensatory measures during the examination at least 10 working days before the date scheduled for the examination by e-mail addressed to the teacher in charge of the course and in cc to the Department Coordinator ( list of contact persons and related email addresses available here and at the Reception and Inclusion Center (

The exam is carried out online via the TEAMS platform in the event of a recurrence of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Other information

9 examination sessions are scheduled throughout the academic year, as reported on ESSE3 platform website. 5 more sessions are scheduled for so called "fuori corso e ripetenti" students. A minimun of 14 days is required between two subsequent examination sessions. The examining board consists of at least two teachers.