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If you have questions about this program, email the program leader listed below.

Central Europe: Exotic Pet Medicine & Surgery

The arrangements for the travel, housing, meals, excursions and course content of this program have been made by the leader. Questions about this program can only be answered by the program leader listed below.

Program Type Departmental
Program Location Vienna, Austria and Brno, Czech Republic
Course # SA 80000
Duration Summer
Upcoming Program Dates
To Be Announced
Past Dates
Summer 2019 05/08/19 to 05/29/19

Program Leader

Name Steven Thompson

Program Description

 Course No. VM 89000       Course Name Semester Year  Conservation Medicine and Exotic Pet Medicine and Surgery in the Czech Republic and Austria         Maymester 2013

Course Credit is:  Other 3       Course Meets: Other 129 contact hours 

Instructor-of-Record for this Course: Dr. Steve Thompson   Formal Laboratories:  None

Objectives:        For the veterinary student to become familiar with exotic pet, zoo animal and conservation medicine and welfare in the Czech Republic and Austria  as it pertains to the following subject areas –

·        Population medicine in zoo species, various exotic pet colonies and flocks;

·        Exposure to primary care and referral care of exotic pets: small mammals, birds and reptiles

·        Clinical exposure to husbandry and clinical care of large metropolitan zoo collection at Zoo  Brno

·        Tours of Prague  and Vienna Zoos and their population and conservation focus

·        The veterinarian’s role in conservation medicine.   

Grade in Course is Based on (% for each): 

50% Attendance           30% Attitude & Motivation          20% Other Case Discussions 

Distribution Points for Letter Grades (if Pass-Not Pass Define "C" Level): Letter grading is based on attendance in clinics, emphasis on attitude and motivation and respect for our hosts. Case presentations each week to faculty advisor and fellow classmates.

A = 90+, B = 80-89, C = 70-79, D = 65-69, Failing <65 

Policy on Academic Dishonesty:  Academic dishonesty is defined as: Dishonesty in connection with any University activity.  Cheating, plagiarism, or knowingly furnishing false information to the University are examples of dishonesty.  The commitment of the acts of cheating, lying, stealing, and deceit in any of their diverse forms (such as the use of ghost-written papers, the use of substitutes for taking examinations, the use of illegal cribs, plagiarism, and copying during examinations) is dishonest and must not be tolerated.  Moreover, knowingly to aid and abet, directly or indirectly, other parties in committing dishonest acts is in itself dishonest.  (after University Regulations, 2003-2004, Part V, Section III-B-2-a, page 52) Students found guilty of cheating or academic dishonesty in any form will receive a grade of F for the course. 

Also define expected student behavior on 1) writing assignments, 2) laboratory projects, and 3) take-home examinations if utilized in this course.  Students will have at least one day of case presentations each week with summary to the entire group during the final days of the program.

Policy on Make-up Examinations:  No examination in this course.  

Current Course Description:  This 3 credit, three week study abroad program is designed for veterinary students who in the first two years of their program. The program would occur on site at the Veterinary and Pharmaceutical University (VFU) Brno with an off site opportunity nearby at the Brno Zoo. The clinical avian and exotic pet program at the Veterinary Teaching Hospital includes 7 focused clinical exotic pet faculty members and three poultry veterinarians with an exotic pet caseload exceeding 4000 visits a year (in contrast to Purdue’s 280 exotic pet visits/year). Zoo Brno is a large metropolitan zoo with 2 part-time staff veterinarians and hospital. These experiences would be coordinated by Dr. Steve Thompson and Prof Zdenek Knotek, Professor and Head of the Avian and Exotic Animal Clinic. He has a joint appointment at Vetmeduni in Vienna, Austria and see patients twice a week there. Students will participate in reptile, avian, wildlife avian and aquaculture care in clinics at Vetmeduni at the University of Vienna. Dr. Knotek has already hosted several international one week summer schools for English speaking Exotic Pet Veterinarians and has also spoken widely at international meetings and courses in Europe and the US. Dr. Knotek is very supportive of the proposed Purdue University study abroad program and is fluent in English. Veterinarians and staff at both sites have reasonably good conversational English and VFU Brno has an international office with administrative support in English. Students will be exposed to primary and referral exotic pet care daily as well as conservation and clinical medicine in three large metropolitan zoos.  The course will be 8 students pending logistics of  transportation, faculty/student ratio in the clinics, and housing.

Adaptive Programs: Students with disabilities must be registered with Adaptive Programs in the Office of the Dean of Students before clinic accommodations can be provided. If you are eligible for academic accommodations because you have a documented disability that will impact your work in clinics, please schedule an appointment with Dr. Thompson as soon as possible to discuss your needs.  

Risk of Animal Contact: You will be working with animals in this course and there are risks inherent in working with animals.  Diseases may be transmitted from animals to humans (zoonotic diseases).  To reduce this risk, practice good hygiene and wash your hands frequently.  Do not recap needles and discard them in containers designated for disposal of contaminated “sharps.”  Wear gloves or other protective gear when appropriate.  Animals may be the source of allergens that trigger allergies.  You are at risk for bites, scratches, kicks, etc.  For more specific information about the health risks associated with working with animals, see the web site: 

If you have concerns about this, please talk with the professor of record for the course. 

Class Attendance Policy:       Students are expected to attend all scheduled class meetings during their veterinary education. Absences for funerals, court appearances, family emergencies, personal illness, and religious observances should be excused by the instructor of record.  Valuable extracurricular educational opportunities occur during the academic year, however, students’ first priority should be their courses. Students requesting an excused absence to attend an educational experience must obtain consent for the absence.   

Conservation Medicine and exotic pet medicine and surgery in the Czech Republic and Austria
VM 89000 
Class Schedule:

This program is planned for May/June each spring. The group would arrive in Prague  on Wed, May 22 and program ends in Prague on Tuesday, June 11, three weeks later.

Day 1: Wednesday arrival in Prague

Day 2: Bus travel from Prague to Brno arriving Thursday around noon. Check in to student dorms. Paperwork for university as well as VFU clinic tour.

Day 3. All students in VTH clinics at Brno VFU and Evening Night of the Churches.

Days 4-5, 11-12, 18-19 The weekend and evenings will permit students to explore the local culture in Brno. May is a great time for student cultural exposure in Brno. Ignis Brunensis is a fireworks festival two weeks long at the end of May including a Friday night Masquerade Street party. Outdoor events are free. There are 16 museums in Brno including the Gregor Mendel university site with history of animal and plant genetics. Spilberk Castle, with a Baroque pharmacy, and Town Hall are 13th century architectural wonders. Square of Freedom and Cathedral of Sts Peter and Paul are other local sites of national pride. During this time, there is an open free Night of the Churches with participating concerts and ceremonies open to the public.

Days 6-10 – Groups A and B in clinics at both sites

Day 11. Group would travel to Vienna. Schonbrunn Tiergarten Zoo tour.

Day 12. Sightseeing and Touring in Vienna. 

Day 13-17: Groups A and B in clinics at switched sites.

Day 18-19 – Return to Prague and Sightseeing

Day 20 All students would be at the Prague Zoo  Afternoon case presentations 

Day 21: The group could leave Prague airport morning and return to US same day. 

Dr. Necas is the Rector (Dean) and former Vice Rector for Research and International Programs with an office staff to assist with planning, housing and transportation, as well as planning of CE meeting. He is also supportive of this continued cooperative. Purdue faculty mentor would participate in case rounds with students in Brno at least twice a week with entire group and daily with at least one of the groups from either Vetmeduni or Brno VTH. Case summary presentations by each student would be expected.

Instructors:  Dr. Steve Thompson, DVM, DABVP

Cooperatives with Brno VFU prof. MVDr Zdenek Knotek CSc, prof. MVDr. Alois Necas PhD, MBA, MVDr Viktor Tukac CSc, MVDr Vladimír Jekl PhD, MVDr Karel Hauptman PhD, MVDr Zora Knotková Csc (all of the above have presented CE seminars in English to veterinary practictioners dating back to at least 2006), MVDr Libuse Kulíková PhD, MVDr Ladislav Taras PhD and MVDr Ru┼żena Juranová CSc.

Cooperatives with the Brno Zoo MVDr Stanislav Mazánek, PhD, MVDr Martin Hovorka PhD, Zvi Friedman DVM, MVDr Jakub Pfeifr

Cooperatives with the Prague Zoo MVDr Roman Vodicka, PhD

Cooperatives with the Vienna Zoo / Tiergarten Schönbrunn MVDr Thomas Voracek, MVDr Hanna Vielgrader

Cooperatives with Vetmeduni Vienna, prof. MVDr Zdenek Knotek CSc, MVDr Annette Häbich  

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