118.751 Canine and Feline Gastroenterology (15 credit)

Lecturer: Craig Ruaux, BVSc (Hons), MAZNCVS, PhD, DACVIM (SAIM)

Massey University’s Master of Veterinary Medicine (MVM) gastroenterology course is one of the most in-depth in the world specifically looking at diseases of the canine and feline gut, liver and pancreas.

A practical, constructive course, it is led by Craig Ruaux, an internationally-experienced and highly-qualified lecturer.

Please note: Courses are revised following each offering. Details of content and assessment are subject to change between offerings.

What will you learn?

To understand disease processes relating to stomach and intestines it is vital to have a practical understanding of non-digestive functions such as the gut immune system, hepatic metabolism and the operation of the liver and pancreas.

After you’ve completed this course, you’ll be able to confidently investigate, diagnose and treat dogs and cats presenting with a disease of gastrointestinal, hepatic or pancreatic origin. You’ll also be able to effectively communicate issues in these areas to clients and colleagues.

We are excited that the delivery of this course will hinge around clinical case material, handpicked and assembled by Craig to cover key aspects of gastroenterology. He will outline the pitfalls, pickups and prognostic indicators in these cases, to help you approach even the most complex presentations with confidence.

The online delivery of material for discussion allows the inclusion of the latest in the published literature or current case material to contribute to the learning experience.

How the course works

This course is taught via distance learning (you may know it as continuing education, distance education or continuing professional development) by recognised international experts in their field.

Canine and Feline Gastroenterology takes an innovative case-based learning approach, and is highly interactive.

  • Presentations and data from actual patients alongside assigned readings are used to generate subject material and medical questions for analysis.
  • Interactive online grand rounds will be held for in-depth coverage of the gastrointestinal medicine illustrated by each case
  • There will be a forum to debate the medical issues.

Your lecturer

Following a spell in mixed and then small animal clinical practice Craig transitioned to a PhD and undertook gastrointestinal research at Texas A&M University. Craig went onto complete a residency in small animal internal medicine at Oregon State University and joined the Small Animal Medicine faculty before moving to New Zealand and Massey University in 2017. His research interests lie in minimally invasive testing for gastrointestinal and pancreatic diseases, vitamin and mineral deficiency states in these diseases, and the role of the neuroendocrine system of the GI tract in gastrointestinal disease. Craig is a  past-President of the Comparative Gastroenterology Society, a group that aims to promote evidence-based approaches to veterinary gastroenterology. He is well published and has considerable teaching experience.  

Course features

In-depth part-time study 24 teaching weeks spread over a 7-8 month period

Learning materials and facilities

  • Study guide
  • Tutorial case material online
  • Electronic library access
  • 3 day workshop: face to face as well as streamed online

Learning community

  • Online case discussion main focus
  • Social forum


  • Portfolio of coursework
  • Case-based essay assignment

Course requirements

  • Internet access: you need regular access to a computer and the internet so you can participate in class discussions and assessments online. A high speed internet connection is desirable but not essential.
  • Textbook: Jorg M Steiner, Small Animal Gastroenterology, 2008
    ISBN: 978-3-89993-027-6

Cost for international students

The fees for each 15-credit course in 2019 are NZ$6746.  Note: fees are revised annually.

*Please note, all prices are approximate based on recent exchange rates and are quoted excluding Goods and Services Tax. Additional non-tuition fees also apply which vary from approx NZD$195-400.

DOMESTIC students:

Fees for domestic students are subsidised by the NZ government. See fees information for domestic students.


contact WoRKSHOP (CONTACT Course)

The contact workshop for Canine and Feline Gastroenterology will run alongside those for the Clinical PathologyDiagnostic Imaging and Cardiorespiratory Medicine courses.

The contact workshop is an opportunity for face-to-face time with your class and lecturer. Together you can build on the knowledge you’ve gained on the course through small group teaching, practical sessions and discussions of experiences in your own practice. The new format also provides a great opportunity for you to meet students and staff from other courses within the MVM programme by combining with them for some sessions.

For the best contact workshop experience we recommend that you attend in person. While attendance is highly-recommended it is not compulsory in order to pass the course. If you can’t make it in person you will be able to join some (non-practical) sessions live via the internet (we endeavour to record these sessions for review, but are unable to guarantee the quality of the recording).



Dates and timings*

Enrolments open 1 October 2017
Course start July 2018
Exam period February 2019
Course end February 2019

 *Please note: You can still apply for enrolment after the due dates above.
Places cannot be assured after these due dates; but late applications will be considered as long as remaining places are available.
If you have any questions please check with the MVM office to see if you can still enrol.

You may also be interested in online oiled wildlife response training.  This course is available for both veterinarians and non-veterinarians

Massey University

In 2018 Massey University celebrated 55 years of veterinary education.

Read more about the qualifications and courses in the MVM programme, how to enrol and fees, our supportive distance learning community and key dates and timing.


Massey Contact Centre Mon - Fri 8:30am to 4:30pm 0800 MASSEY (+64 6 350 5701) TXT 5222 contact@massey.ac.nz Web chat Staff Alumni News Māori @ Massey