Canine and Feline Oncology

The principles of oncology of dogs and cats for veterinary graduates. Pathophysiology, diagnosis and management of neoplastic disease.

Course code

Qualifications are made up of courses. Some universities call these papers. Each course is numbered using six digits.



The fourth number of the course code shows the level of the course. For example, in course 219206, the fourth number is a 2, so it is a 200-level course (usually studied in the second year of full-time study).



Each course is worth a number of credits. You combine courses (credits) to meet the total number of credits needed for your qualification.



Veterinary Science

Course planning information

Course notes

Oncology is a rapidly growing area in small animal practice, with more and more treatment options available. Outcome can be markedly altered by the initial approach and guiding clients through the decisions involved can be a challenge. This course aims to strengthen your ability to manage difficult cases, even within the constraints of general veterinary practice.

For detailed information about this and other distance courses in this programme see http://mvm.massey.ac.nz This course is available for practicing veterinarians throughout the world to study extramurally (by distance) as a single course or as component of a part-time Master of Veterinary Medicine or Postgraduate Diploma in Veterinary Science.

All assessments are compulsory and to pass the course students must achieve at least 50% in the final exam.


Choose just one

The courses listed above have similar content to this one meaning you can only enrol in this course or one of the listed courses. Only one of the courses can be credited towards your qualification.

General progression requirements

You may enrol in a postgraduate course (that is a 700-, 800- or 900-level course) if you meet the prerequisites for that course and have been admitted to a qualification which lists the course in its schedule.

Learning outcomes

What you will learn. Knowledge, skills and attitudes you’ll be able to show as a result of successfully finishing this course.

  • 1 Apply their knowledge of tumour biology to explain clinical behaviour of tumours and use this to inform diagnostic planning and treatment decisions.
  • 2 Utilise common diagnostic techniques to effectively confirm a diagnosis of neoplasia in a dog or cat, and determine the presence of complicating factors and stage of disease.
  • 3 Use knowledge of the common concurrent illnesses seen in patients with cancer and the direct and indirect effects of neoplasia and its treatment to holistically manage a patient, including referral if indicated. Discuss with owners in a sensitive and professional manner the prognosis for the various presentations of neoplasia in dogs and cats.
  • 4 Use knowledge of surgical oncology to evaluate a patient for surgery and care for a patient post-operatively.
  • 5 Apply their systematic knowledge of chemotherapy drugs, their interactions, toxicities and mechanisms of resistance to formulate a safe and effective chemotherapy plan for a particular patient, monitor its effects and revise the treatment protocol when necessary. Develop protocols that represent best practice for safe use of chemotherapeutic agents. Demonstrate and justify safe use practices to other veterinary and lay staff and to owners of pets undergoing treatments.
  • 6 Describe the utility and toxicity of radiation therapy for treatment of neoplasia and the use of newer therapies including anti-angiogenic therapy, photodynamic therapy, gene therapy, immunotherapy, differentiating agents, cytokines, matrix metalloproteinase inhibitors and cancer prevention.
  • 7 Collate and present clinical information to a standard suitable for scientific publication, and develop and justify clinical approaches to neoplastic diseases in dogs and cats with reference to the scientific literature.
  • 8 Effectively incorporate peer feedback and reflection to improve clinical practice.

Learning outcomes can change before the start of the semester you are studying the course in.


Assessment Learning outcomes assessed Weighting
Portfolio 1 2 3 4 5 6 8 20%
Written Assignment 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 40%
Exam College/GRS-based (not centrally scheduled) 1 2 3 4 5 6 40%

Assessment weightings can change up to the start of the semester the course is delivered in.

You may need to take more assessments depending on where, how, and when you choose to take this course.

Explanation of assessment types

Computer programmes
Computer animation and screening, design, programming, models and other computer work.
Creative compositions
Animations, films, models, textiles, websites, and other compositions.
Exam College or GRS-based (not centrally scheduled)
An exam scheduled by a college or the Graduate Research School (GRS). The exam could be online, oral, field, practical skills, written exams or another format.
Exam (centrally scheduled)
An exam scheduled by Assessment Services (centrally) – you’ll usually be told when and where the exam is through the student portal.
Oral or performance or presentation
Debates, demonstrations, exhibitions, interviews, oral proposals, role play, speech and other performances or presentations.
You may be assessed on your participation in activities such as online fora, laboratories, debates, tutorials, exercises, seminars, and so on.
Creative, learning, online, narrative, photographic, written, and other portfolios.
Practical or placement
Field trips, field work, placements, seminars, workshops, voluntary work, and other activities.
Technology-based or experience-based simulations.
Laboratory, online, multi-choice, short answer, spoken, and other tests – arranged by the school.
Written assignment
Essays, group or individual projects, proposals, reports, reviews, writing exercises, and other written assignments.