Sicilian excellence certified at the highest level in the European context: Degree Course in Veterinary Medicine of the University of Messina

Sicilian excellence certified at the highest level in the European context:  Degree Course in Veterinary Medicine of the University of Messina

At the University of Veterinarian of Messina, the visit and examination of the EAEVE (European Association of Establishments for Veterinary Education) Commission to assess the level of its degree programme in veterinary medicine according to European standards. The final result was that the University of Messina hadreached a level that is not equal throughout Italy and that only a few other excellences have achieved in Europe! Therefore the EAEVE will propose to the ECOVE (European Committee of Veterinary Education) the full approval of the Messina degree course according to European standards.
This is due to numerous decision-making, organisational factors and the important investments that the University has implemented in recent years for the Department of Veterinary Sciences, such as the construction of new premises, energy efficiency, the purchase of new, state-of-the-art and high-level equipment, the global restructuring of infrastructure to implement the activities of the Department and the Veterinary Hospital, the use of highly qualified operators and teachers.

The University Teaching Veterinary Hospital (OVUD) has invested heavily in equipment and for the treatment of animals to ensure services as complete and cutting-edge as possible. Recently, it has implemented its own “diagnostic park” equipped with two scans (one for small and one for large animals), two digital radiological machines (one dental), three ultrasound scans, an MRI for equines, and two electroscopes. OVUD is also equipped for micro-chipped identification of dogs, cats, horses and unconventional animals. It has also established stable relationships with several primary laboratories of analysis and, by the relationship of collaboration with the Department of Veterinary Sciences, ensures parasitological, microbiological, biomolecular, histological, cytological, for the detection of pathogens and possible antibiograms, necroscopy and cadaveric diagnostics service, carcass disposal service.
In the last period, the number of horse boxes has also increased, and the areas dedicated to hospitalisation have been extended, up to 67 places available. The assistance is provided continuously, thanks to 4 operators for every 10 animals admitted, for a total hourly commitment of about 144 hours per week. In the structure – explains Prof. Cato, Health Director of OVUD – there is an almost constant presence of students who participate for training purposes in the activities provided both during the day and night shifts. In particular, Sicilian equines, as well as all other small and large animals, wild and domestic, can count on truly avant-garde facilities, such as diagnostic equipment suitable for their size and the “educational farm” with donkeys and horses, with an attached equestrian centre, which will be further renovated and equipped for specific educational purposes, including ethology. Prof Cantone continues: “Our OVUD has become a regional and interregional point of reference for all interventions on horses, as well as being an artificial fertilisationcentre for small and large animals. A highlight, in particular, is the technical instrumentation that has been equipped with the structure, such as magnetic resonance imaging for horses, which allows today to offer a highly specialised and comprehensive service.

Obviously, behind the machines, there is the human capital: a medical and paramedical staff constantly dedicated to the care and sanitation of animals in Day-hospital and hospital, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. The organic plant includes eight veterinary doctors, experts in clinical, surgical and scientific, whose skills range from soft tissue surgery to clinical pathology through parasitology, infectious diseases, Anesthesia and the clinic and surgery of large animals. Last year, the OVUD hosted 274 Sicilian horses for various diseases. A real, great, good example!

Text by Franco Barbagallo


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