Swine Program

DVM Students

The University of Minnesota provides a world-class education in swine health & production to its veterinary students.

From the overview of global pork production to applied disease control strategies, the information is scaffolded throughout the program four years so that even without prior experience, a student can become a competitive swine veterinarian after graduation.

CVM 6531: Biosecurity and biocontainment for food animals

CVM 6531: Biosecurity and biocontainment for food animals

Maximum enrollment: 15
Type of class: Rotation
Year: 4th

Description

This rotation aims at deepening the understanding of biocontainment and biosecurity measures and strategies that are being used in the food animal industry (swine, poultry and dairy) to prevent the spread of disease. It will allow for hands on experience for students interested in developing biosecurity plans for farms. The rotation also expands on the concepts of pathogen transmission within and between populations and the routes of pathogen dissemination. The students will have the opportunity to conduct hands on biosecurity audits and develop recommendations for system improvement.

Objectives

By the end of the class, a student will be able to:

  • Become proficient with biosecurity and biocontainment practices important to prevent and reduce risk of disease introduction and disease dissemination to food animal farms.
  • Engage students in assessing and developing biosecurity plans for food animal operations.
  • Reinforce concepts of disease transmission and disease prevention.
  • Visit food animal operations with different biosecurity programs relevant to food production.
  • Reinforce the use of the scientific method in the evaluation of biosecurity programs.
  • Engage with student colleagues in a cooperative learning exercise.

CVM 6813: Miracle of birth

CVM 6813: Miracle of birth

Maximum enrollment: 10
Type of class: Rotation
Year: 4th

Description

This rotation is associated with the Minnesota Veterinary Medical Association's large animal demonstration booth “The Miracle of Birth Center” at the Minnesota State Fair. Students will participate in the delivery of calves, lambs and piglets at the State Fair and will assist in public education about the processes related to large animal veterinary medicine. Not only will students learn about the birthing process and veterinary assistance of the birthing process, but they will also learn about media relations and take part in media interviews. Students will work with a number of Minnesota's large animal veterinarians in this rotation, as well as FFA students and instructors.

Objectives

By the time of the end of the rotation, a student will be able to:

  • observe the normal birthing process in cattle, sheep and swine.
  • practice vaginal examination during the birthing process on as-needed basis.
  • assist in the birthing process on as-needed basis.
  • interact with the public and educate them about livestock industries, food production and the birthing process.

CVM 6842: Swine disease diagnostics, therapeutic and prevention

CVM 6842: Swine disease diagnostics, therapeutic and prevention

Maximum enrollment: 12
Type of class: Rotation
Year: 4th

Description

This rotation is designed for students with some swine in mixed animal practice or with swine concentration.  The intent of the rotation is to provide the students with most recent and in-depth knowledge on swine diseases and diagnostic techniques along with advanced therapeutic methods. The student will use the knowledge to apply on different clinical problems in swine farms. The major emphasis for this rotation is problem solving and discussion of on-farm disease cases.

Objectives

By the end of the rotation, a student will be able to:

  • Compare and contrast the major diseases prevalent in the swine production today
  • Create a differential diagnostics based on clinical observation and production record
  • Select the appropriate diagnostic test based on the clinical picture  of a farm
  • Create a therapeutic plan based on observation and laboratory results
  • Interpret laboratory results

CVM 6856: Advanced swine health and production

CVM 6856: Advanced swine health and production

Maximum enrollment: 15
Type of class: Rotation
Year: 4th

Description

This course is the capstone swine health & production rotation and will combine material from rotations I and II.  Upon completion of the rotation, the student will be able to understand productivity and cost of production of swine farms and be able to use records systems to analyze production data.

Objectives

By the end of the rotation, a student will be able to:

  • Analyze production impact of a disease (PRRS)
  • Estimate the cost and compare control strategies
  • Understand selling strategy and factors driving optimum weight
  • Become familiar with risk management (hedging) strategies available to pork producers
  • Compare financial statements used to report farm financial performance.

CVM 6854: Swine health and production

CVM 6854: Swine health and production

Maximum capacity: 15
Type of class: Rotation
Year: 4th

Description

The intent of this rotation is to familiarize students with the entire US pork production chain from feed manufacturing to slaughter and processing of pork productions, and the various roles of veterinarians in the industry.  

Objectives

By the end of the class, a student will be able to:

  • Understand scope and trends in global and US swine production
  • Observe and understand basic feed mill operations and quality control
  • Basic understanding of swine production system design and operations from replacement gilts through finishing operations
  • Practical experience in piglet processing procedures
  • Gain familiarity with the roles of veterinarians in modern swine  production
  • Observe and understand basic slaughter plant operations
  • Understanding of societal issues in pork production including animal welfare, food safety and environmental impact

CVM 6865: Introduction to swine production medicine

CVM 6865: Introduction to swine production medicine

Maximum enrollment: 50
Type of class: Elective
Year: 1st

Description

This is an introductory course for first year veterinary students who elect to learn more about pigs and the global pork production industry.  This course will cover basic aspects of pig production and pig medicine but it will also provide some advanced knowledge to students that already have a background on the subject. In addition, this course will expose students to veterinarians working with pigs as traditional independent practitioners or working as part of large entrepreneur production companies.

Objectives

By the end of the course the students will be able to:

  • relate how we raise pigs in the US for food consumption and what practices take place at the farms.
  • know the basics of swine production and medicine in relation to which diseases are most important and the economics of pig production.
  • recognize some of the big challenges facing the swine industry.
  • interact with swine practicing veterinarians and swine faculty in order to expand their networking possibilities.

CVM 6945: Large animal medicine III

CVM 6945: Large animal medicine III

Maximum enrollment: 100
Type of class: Common core
Year: 3rd

Description

This course will address common medical disorders of the large animal neurological, muscular, respiratory, and cardiovascular systems, as well as common medical problems of swine at the core level. It will provide part of the large animal clinical content needed to pass the National Board Examination, as well as foundation knowledge for subsequent large animal elective courses.  

Objectives

Upon completion of this course students should be able to:

  • Understand and explain the pathophysiology and key clinical signs of common neurological, muscular, respiratory, and cardiovascular disorders of horses and ruminants; as well as common disorders affecting all body systems of swine.
  • Identify the most likely differential diagnoses for core disorders based on clinical signs.
  • Choose appropriate diagnostic tests for distinguishing between related differential diagnoses.
  • Recognize clinical and diagnostic signs that may indicate a need for emergency therapy.
  • Understand and explain effective treatment, and herd management strategies where relevant, once a diagnosis has been made.

CVM 6963: Food and fiber selective I

CVM 6963: Food and fiber selective I

Maximum enrollment: 30
Type of class: Selective
Year: 3rd

Description

This course will provide a platform for integrated teaching by faculty with expertise in different food/fiber producing species (including poultry). The focus of the course will be subjects that are common across multiple livestock species, including therapeutic principles and vaccinology; animal housing and welfare, diagnostic approaches for populations; and biosecurity. Generic information on these subjects will be supplemented by contrasting of species specific approaches.

Objectives

Upon completion of this course students should be able to:

  • Understand the legal framework for antibiotic use in food animals and approaches to therapeutic decision making in food animal medicine.
  • Be familiar with societal concerns about antimicrobial use in food animals.
  • Understand the principles of population immunity and strategies used to vaccinate major food/fiber producing species.
  • Understand the role of biosecurity in maintaining herd/flock health.
  • Understand the principles of selecting and interpreting diagnostic tests for populations.
  • Understand the application of epidemiological principles for outbreak investigation, field research, and disease control programs in food/fiber producing species.
  • Be conversant with societal issues related to use of animals for food and fiber production.
  • Understand regulatory oversight of food animal production and marketing claims.

CVM 6965: Food and fiber selective II, production medicine

CVM 6965: Food and fiber selective II, production medicine

Maximum enrollment: 35
Type of class: Selective
Year: 3rd

Description

This course will build on general knowledge obtained in Food Animal Selective I to provide swine and bovine specific skills and knowledge on priority topics that are essential to providing veterinary services to contemporary swine and bovine producers. The course will provide a detailed understanding of general principles of swine and bovine health and production, analytical skills applied to production records and economics, and therapeutic and preventative decision-making for prevalent clinical diseases and syndromes in US swine and bovine herds. Students taking this elective will be better prepared to participate and learn in food animal rotations in the senior year.

Objectives

By the end of the course, the student will be able to:

  • Explain approaches used in the design and management of swine and bovine populations and systems to optimize health and production
  • Understand the major performance and economic indices used to assess herd productivity in swine and bovine production systems.
  • Identify the key components that need to be considered when evaluating a decision from an economic perspective
  • List the components and evaluate treatment and prevention protocols for the major clinical diseases in bovine and swine production systems
  • Describe welfare challenges in the swine and bovine industries and discuss alternative approaches to achieve welfare.

Swine Certificate

This program is offered to DVM students at the University of Minnesota, and students at other accredited colleges of veterinary medicine in the US. It consists of a minimum of 10 semester credits, two 12-week internships, and a formal seminar presentation.

Download the brochure

For more information, please contact Dr. Perle Zhitnitskiy at 612-625-6083 or pboyer@umn.edu.