118.751 Canine and Feline Gastroenterology (15 credit)

Lecturer: Craig Ruaux, BVSc (Hons), MANZCVS, 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. This course is highly discussion-based and requires regular use of the Massey University Library databases. We recommend that you have completed another MVM course prior to gastroenterology to ensure you are familiar with the distance learning environment.

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
  • Electronic library access
  • 3 day workshop (contact course): face to face or an online option for some sessions

Learning community

  • MVM Commons community site
  • Online case discussion main focus
  • Social forum


  • Portfolio of coursework (2 submissions)
  • Final 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.
  • Textbooks:
    • Washabau, R. & Day, M. (Eds) (2013). Canine and Feline Gastroenterology. USA: Elsevier Inc. ISBN: 978-1-4160-3661-6
    • Steiner, J.M. (Ed.) (2008). Small Animal Gastroenterology. Germany: Schlutersche Verlagsgesellschaft mbH & Co.KG. ISBN: 978-3-89993-027-6

Craig Ruaux

"Thanks very much for the case compilations, they're awesome! I was struggling to find something the other day (I knew we'd discussed it!) so it's making life much easier. Thanks also for your tutoring on the course, I've really enjoyed the cases and the discussion from everyone."

"I feel a lot more confident about approaching cases at work, which of course was the plan."

"It was a great course, I learnt heaps. It also really helped the critical thinking bit."

Contact/virtual workshop Information

*Due to COVID-19, contact workshops may have to be virtual. Please check your Stream site once enrolled for the current information or contact mvm@massey.ac.nz for the current information before you enrol.

The workshop is an opportunity for real-time interaction 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. 

For the best workshop experience, we recommend that you attend in real-time. While attendance is highly-recommended it is not compulsory in order to pass the course.

MEGA 2 2020

The contact workshop for Gastroenterology will run alongside those for the Diagnostic Imaging, Clinical Pathology, and Cardiorespiratory Medicine courses. This format provides a great opportunity for you to meet students and staff from other courses within the MVM programme and to combine with them for some sessions.

Dates and Timings*

Enrolments open October 2019
Course start July 2020
Contact Workshop Check dates here
Exam period February 2021
Course end February 2021

 *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.