35 Practice


Predict clinical signs and related pathology (fluid and electrolyte loss, damage to other structures) that will happen if :

    1. the cricopharyngeal sphincter doesn’t open?
    2. the epiglottis doesn’t close?
    3. the upper esophageal sphincter doesn’t open?
    4. the lower esophageal sphincter doesn’t open? stays open?
    5. the gastroduodenal sphincter doesn’t open? stays open?


  • How is Parkinson’s related to your gut bacteria?
  • Do prebiotics and/or probiotics work? Are some better than others? What is the difference?
  • What is a fecal transplant? Do we do those in vet med?


  • Compare canine gastric bloat and torsion to abomasal displacements and volvulus- clinical signs, pathology, treatment, risk factors
  • Some of the more common flatulence remedies include chicory, Fortiflora and emollients. How do these work?


  • Why do people feed horses B vitamins even if they have healthy gut biomes?
  • Compare large colon volvulus with abomasal displacements -clinical signs, pathology, treatment, risk factors


  • Compare canine gastric bloat and torsion to abomasal displacements and volvulus- clinical signs, pathology, treatment, risk factors
  • Why are cattle the most susceptible to nitrate containing plants?

Challenge exercises –┬áresearch and explain a few of these to a friend or relation to boost your understanding and retention


  • What sort of meals make you feel full?
  • What are the current recommendations for endurance runner diets?
  • Who tends to have lactose intolerance, what are the signs and treatments?
  • Where do vitamins get absorbed?
  • How would dysfunction in each of these areas affect weight gain/nutrition?
    • duodenum
    • jejunum
    • ileum
    • lack of absorption of carbohydrates
    • lack of absorption of protein
    • lack of absorption of fats
  • What vitamins and minerals are required for your species of choice? how does this compare across species?
  • How do Zn and Cu help the digestive health of young animals?
  • If the secretory line in the villi is disturbed (no stem cells), what happens re: other cell types and function?


  • Explain copraphagy – what is it and why is it beneficial?
  • Explain cecotrophy
  • How do other fermenters compare to cattle or horses? Eg sloths, marsupials, reptiles, lagomorphs, etc


  • How do you diagnose and treat rumen acidosis?
  • When and why do cows get ketotic? How is it treated?
  • Explain pregnancy toxemia in sheep
  • Why do we perform rumen transfaunation in cattle? Would it work in other species?
  • How does a transition ration work in cattle (from pregnancy to lactation)?
  • Explain “if we can feed the bugs, we can feed the cow”
  • Why is feeding a total mixed ration (TMR) considered better than component feeding in dairy cattle?
  • Explain subacute rumen acidosis and weight loss


  • What are the side effects of grain overload in horses?
  • If a colon resection is performed, how does the horse manage hay?
  • Horses don’t have a gall bladder. How is bile managed?

Small animal

  • If too much small intestine is removed, dogs and cats can suffer from short bowel syndrome. What are the therapies needed?
  • What happens if cats are fed a vegetarian diet?
  • What happens if we feed dogs raw meat?
  • Can a dog or cat eat a paleo diet?
  • Can cats get ketosis? How do they use ketone bodies?


  • What does it mean if pigs don’t have paneth cells?
  • How does Lawsonia affect the viili?


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Vet Med: Applied GI Physiology- Supplemental Notes Copyright © by Erin Malone DVM PhD is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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