Department of Pathology
Veterinary pathology covers a vast array of species, but with a significantly smaller number of practitioners, so understanding of disease in non-human animals, especially as regards veterinary practice, varies considerably by species. Nonetheless, significant amounts of pathology research are conducted on animals, for two primary reasons: 1) The origins of diseases are typically zoonotic in nature, and many infectious pathogens have animal vectors and, as such, understanding the mechanisms of action for these pathogens in non-human hosts is essential to the understanding and application of epidemiology and 2) those animals that share physiological and genetic traits with humans can be used as surrogates for the study of the disease and potential treatments as well as the effects of various synthetic products. For this reason, as well as their roles as livestock and companion animals, mammals generally have the largest body of research in veterinary pathology. Animal testing remains a controversial practice, even in cases where it is used to research treatment for human disease. As in human medical pathology, the practice of veterinary pathology is customarily divided into the two main fields of anatomical and clinical pathology.