118.755 Clinical Pathology in Small Animal Practice (15 credit)

Lecturer: Mary Anna Thrall BA DVM MS DipACVP

Join Mary Anna Thrall, an internationally-experienced and highly-qualified lecturer, for an in-depth study of clinical pathology in small animal practice a course offered in Massey University’s Master of Veterinary Medicine Programme (MVM).

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

What will you learn?

  • To confidently assess in house samples; know what you are looking at and whether it should be there.
  • Integrate findings with patient presentation progression of clinical disease and response to therapy.
  • To maximise the quality and reliability of information obtained on submitted samples - by developing your professional dialogue with commercial facilities.

The course will systematically approach the selection, collection, preparation and interpretation of haematological, cytopathological and clinical biochemistry samples in small animal practice.

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 an international expert in the field.

The course uses:

  • A full-colour comprehensive textbook authored by your course lecturer
  • Online presentations by your lecturer explaining key points
  • Discussion forums to debate issues and clarify concepts in a learning community

Study each area in turn and then apply and integrate your knowledge to case-based materials.

Your lecturer

Mary Anna received her DVM from Purdue University, MS and residency certificate from Colorado State University. After 32 years teaching clinical pathology at Colorado State University she is now teaching at Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine in St. Kitts, West Indies.

Course features

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

Learning materials and facilities

  • Lecturer-authored course notes
  • 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
  • Case report assignment
  • Online final examination (remote proctoring)

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: Veterinary Haematology and Clinical Chemistry (2012) second edition. Edited by MA Thrall, G Weiser, R Allison, and T Campbell. Veterinary Medicine Wiley-Blackwell, Iowa. ISBN: 9780813810270

Mary Anna Thrall

"I thought the course was fantastic, and everything that I have learnt is being put into practice at work. I am now the 'go-to' girl for cytology and blood results."

Mega 2 2020

The contact workshop for Clinical Pathology will run alongside those for the Diagnostic Imaging, 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.

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.

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.