118.754 Diagnostic Imaging for Small Animal Veterinarians (15 credit)

Lecturer: Donald E. Thrall DVM PhD DACVR

Massey University’s Master of Veterinary Medicine (MVM) Diagnostic imaging course offers a practical approach to obtaining top quality images and their interpretation

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

What will you learn?

  • to use your equipment to its best advantage
  • to confidently and systematically approach radiographic interpretation in the dog and cat
  • familiarity with special radiographic procedures and an introduction to the integration of other imaging modalities into patient care.

Anyone wishing to sit examinations for Australian College of Veterinary Scientists in radiology will gain useful training in the principles of radiography, small animal radiological interpretation and understanding of the application of CT, MRI and nuclear medicine, but note that this course does not cover equine and large animal radiology.

How the course works

Diagnostic imaging is one of the MVM courses  for postgraduate veterinarians which is taught online via distance learning and led by a recognised international expert in the field.

The course is supported by the latest research, reviews and case material to challenge veterinarians with in-depth, relevant continuing education. Course materials include a printed guide to your reading and assessment which integrates online learning activities such as discussions, quizzes, lessons, library searches, critical evaluation and exercises for self-assessment with reading materials and personal study tasks.

Highlights of the diagnostic imaging course include: Online tutorials to work through at your own pace, case material provided for interpretation and class discussion. Meeting Don at the contact course.

Your lecturer

Dr. Thrall graduated from the School of Veterinary Medicine at Purdue University and completed a radiology residency and Master of Science and Doctor of Philosophy degrees at Colorado State University.  He has held faculty positions at the University of Georgia, the University of Pennsylvania, Ross University and North Carolina State University.  He is currently a Professor Emeritus at North Carolina State University and also a radiologist and Quality Control Officer in teleimaging with IDEXX Telemedicine, Inc.  Dr. Thrall is board certified by the American College of Veterinary Radiology in both diagnostic radiology and radiation oncology, and has served as President of the College in both capacities.  Dr. Thrall's primary imaging interests are CT and MRI, particularly of tumours.  He has authored or co-authored over 200 publications, and served as Editor of the journal Veterinary Radiology & Ultrasound for over 30 years.  He is currently the Editor of the Textbook of Veterinary Diagnostic Radiology, 6th Edition, and Co-Author, with Dr. Ian Robertson, of the Atlas of Normal Radiographic Anatomy and Anatomic Variants in the Dog and Cat, 2nd Edition, both published by Elsevier.

 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 (contact course): face to face or an online option for some sessions

Learning community

  • MVM Commons community site
  • Online case discussion facilitated
  • Social forum


  • 2 online tests
  • Online final examination online (remote proctoring)

Course requirements

  • Internet access
  • Radiographic equipment (digital or film)
  • Compulsory textbook: Donald E Thrall (Ed.), (2017)
    Textbook of Veterinary Diagnostic Radiology, 7th edition Saunders, Elsevier, St. Louis Mo.
    ISBN-13: 978-0323482479
    ISBN-10: 0323482473
  • Recommended text: Donald E Thrall, Ian D. Robertson, (2015) Atlas of Normal Radiographic Anatomy and Anatomic Variants in the Dog and Cat Saunders, 2nd Edition, Elsevier, St. Louis Mo.
    ISBN-13: 978-0323312257
    ISBN-10: 032331225X


Don Thrall

"Diagnostic imaging has been a very enjoyable and informative course. The work requirement, if not at times a little overwhelming, has been greater than with any other course I have done, but the rewards equally have been more as well."

"Thanks for your time over the last 9 months. I have certainly appreciated it and enjoy looking at radiographs with a more critical eye, though it hasn't been easy seeing all those lovely digital images pass across my screen!"

"I enjoyed the contact course and gained a lot of practical experience, which only immersion in 'reading rads' with a good teacher and willing classmates can do."

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 Diagnostic Imaging will run alongside those for the Clinical Pathology, Gastroenterology 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.

Sponsored by

SonicDICOM PACS combines the capabilities of a DICOM Server with a web-based DICOM Viewer. This allows students to study diagnostic images in a real DICOM viewer and learn to use features necessary in veterinary practice.

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.


You will find more detailed information on the 118.786 Course Page. Enrolments open October 1st in the year prior to study.

For more information on delivery and course content please contact the MVM team.