Diagnosing Animal Diseases Online Course

Full Fee $595.00 incl GST - Best Value!
Payment Plan $800.00 incl GST
Duration 100 hrs (12 months)
Exam Optional
Tutor Support Yes unlimited by email
Qualification Certificate

Study this course with a foundation in the systematic investigation and diagnosis of health disorders in animals.  This course is suitable for:

  • Farmers
  • Wildlife Carers
  • Veterinary Nurses
  • Animal carers

Routine disease investigations are based on clinical, pathological and epidemiological evidence. If there is a need for conclusive identification of a disease or condition, an accurate laboratory diagnosis should be obtained. It is particularly important, especially in the case of infectious diseases that the final diagnosis rests on adequate aetiological evidence. In most cases, disease investigations are carried out by qualified government stock inspectors and/or veterinarians. It helps for animal owners to understand and be able to recognise disease conditions that may affect their animals, so that timely intervention can occur.


  • Discuss conducting examinations
  • Determine information to collect for analysis of an animal’s condition.
  • Describe how to collect samples
  • Identify information required for diagnostic testing
  • Describe different diagnostic tests that may be performed
  • Explain common characteristics of animal viral diseases
  • Discuss significance a range of viral diseases that affect animals
  • Determine characteristics of bacterial and fungal animal diseases
  • Differentiate the characteristics of a range of common bacterial and fungal diseases
  • Discuss and differentiate a range of parasitological conditions that affect animals
  • Discuss and differentiate a range of metabolic and nutritional diseases that affect animals
  • Discuss and differentiate some common disorders that result from poisoning or toxins
  • Discuss and differentiate a range of genetic disorders that affect animals
  • Identify and discuss miscellaneous non-pathological factors that affect animal health, including allergies, dehydration and age
  • Undertake a holistic evaluation of indicators of illness in sick animals


Detailed Course Outline

This course is made up a number of lessons or units. Each having self assessment questions, set tasks (practical homework), and an assignment which you can upload online.  Click below to read about each of the lessons and what you will learn.

There are 10 Lessons in this course:

How Animal Diseases are Diagnosed

  • Conducting clinical examinations
  • Gross and clinical pathology
  • Information to collect and how to collect it (live animal and necropsy samples)
  • Specialist support services to assist in diagnosis (i.e. types of laboratories, specialist vets, etc.)

Diagnostic Testing

  • Pathways followed to detect and diagnose different types of diseases
  • Information to be supplied with samples
  • Diagnostic testing and diagnostic techniques

Viral Diseases

  • Characteristics of viruses
  • The significance of a range of viral diseases that affect animals
  • Viral taxonomy
  • Types and structure of viruses
  • Virus replication cycle, transmission
  • Common viral conditions

Bacteria and Fungal Diseases

  • Characteristics of bacterial and fungal organisms
  • Laboratory identification
  • Controlling infections
  • Specimen collection
  • Important disease conditions

Parasitological Conditions

  • Terminology and classification
  • Life cycles
  • Protozoa
  • Helminthes
  • Arthropods

Metabolic and Nutritional Conditions

  • Common metabolic conditions
  • Cattle, horses, pigs, sheep/goats, cats and dogs


  • Common disorders that result from poisoning or toxins
  • Cardio-respiratory
  • Central Nervous System (CNS)
  • Dermatological
  • Gastrointestinal
  • Hepatological
  • Hematological disorders

Inherited Conditions (Genetic Disorders)

  • Types of genetic inheritance
  • Examples of genetic diseases affecting horses, dogs, and cats

Other Conditions and Disorders

  • Identify miscellaneous conditions such as allergies
  • Dehydration
  • Age-related conditions

Research Project

  • Evaluate symptoms of ill-health or disease displayed by a set of animals, and go through the process of identifying the problem and deciding on a course of treatment

When you have completed the lessons of your Certificate course, you will be given the option of taking the optional exam. It's okay if you don't want the exam, we still issue your Careerline Certificate. For Advanced Certificates however, the exam is compulsory (per module) and are included in the course fee.


Course Tutors

Dr Karen Catchpole  B.VSc. (Hons)

Karen brings to Careerline great experience and expertise in animal Science. Karen is a practicing veterinarian, now in her own small animal hospital, after working in varied roles over 17 years since graduation from Sydney University with first class honours.  Karen continues to maintain active involvement in education in both professional development and in tutoring both vocational and university students.  Karen's field of expertise is in internal animal medicine & surgery of cats & dogs.

Dr. Karin Dreyer-Haasbroek  B.V.S.   M.Sc.  (Parasitology)

Karin’s love and passion for animals stem from growing up on a farm in South Africa. After gaining her Veterinary Science degree she worked in mixed general practice while completing a master’s degree in Veterinary Parasitology. Living and working in South Africa exposed Karin to a vast range of experiences in the clinical veterinary field: treating patients ranging from marmoset monkeys to lions to the everyday cat, dog or horse. Two years as a Laboratory Vet resulted in helping farmers tackling livestock health problems in a variety of farm production systems. Since her move to Western Australia with her family, Karin has been working in a small animal practice.  During her 20 years as a vet, she has been involved in several research projects and the tutoring of students in various fields of animal science. She enjoys mentoring students and sharing her knowledge and she loves helping students flourish and realise their full potential.

How It Works

1. Learn Online

Get access to your course content anywhere, anytime and study at your own pace.

2. Get Help & Support

Connect with other like-minded students and get help from the teacher whenever you have a question.

3. Receive Certificate

Graduate from your course knowing that you have what it takes to reach your next step.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I pay in installments?

Yes! We offer great payment plans, however full payment up front is the cheapest. You can choose the best payment plan for you from the course page, or call us on 07 55368782 to talk to one of our course consultants for a custom plan.

Can I study from anywhere in the world?

We have many international students. Careerline's range of courses are suitable for any one, anywhere in the world.

Do I get a discount if I enroll in a second course?

Yes. You may claim a 5% fee discount when you enroll in a second course, and a further 10% off a three-course package.


Do I have to sit an Exam?

No. If you are enrolled in a Certificate course (100hrs), the exam is optional. You will be issued with a certificate which proves that you are competent in all units, if you choose not to sit the exam.

Do you have set start dates?

There are no set start dates, you may start at any time. Our courses are all self-paced. As our home page says, ‘Courses for Anyone, Anywhere, Anytime’. ‘Anytime’ includes the start time of your choice. However, we do encourage our students to submit assignments on a regular basis. Wherever possible, we suggest developing a study routine.