University Teaching Program

The Mark Morris Institute University Teaching Program in companion animal clinical nutrition offers current, non-commercial nutrition learning activities at no cost to the hosting school. Mark Morris Institute offers a series of lectures, case-based discussion, labs and video presentations which can be combined to create a customized clinical nutrition course for your institution. Please feel free to browse our offerings and select materials you feel would provide the most benefit to your students.

The Mark Morris Institute Faculty consists of experienced, clinically proficient experts in clinical nutrition, internal medicine and surgery with years of academic teaching experience. Many of our MMI Fellows have won teaching awards and are comfortable in a range of teaching environments.

In addition to course-oriented learning activities, MMI university visits may include attending clinical rounds, individual clinical case consultations, consultation on the design/evaluation of the nutritional components of research protocols, and suggestions for the nutritional components of veterinary curricula.

The Mark Morris Institute is pleased to offer these courses and services free of charge to Colleges and Schools of Veterinary Medicine, subject to certain requirements.

Program Requirements

The Mark Morris Institute is pleased to offer our services free of charge to Colleges and Schools of Veterinary Medicine, subject to certain requirements. To make our collaboration with your school as productive and positive as possible, we require that:

  • The learning activities be part of the formal curriculum in a College or School of Veterinary Medicine. This requirement applies to electives if course credit is offered to elective courses within that university.
  • Each visit includes a minimum of three contact hours.
  • An elective course enrolls a minimum of 10 students.
  • Students be examined or otherwise evaluated. MMI can provide problem sets, homework, questions, and examination materials for use by course coordinators.
  • The school appoints a contact person to work with MMI on schedule development. We appreciate assistance with compression of our learning activities into relatively short time spans whenever possible. Please plan learning activities as far in advance as possible.


If you'd like to design a course tailor made for you, please contact us.

We look forward to working with you!

Course Catalog


Nutritional Physiology and Biochemistry

Contact Mark Morris Institute for additional details about our ability to custom build presentations in this area to fit your curricular needs


General Clinical Nutrition Topics

  • Evidence Based Clinical Nutrition (1 hour)
  • Application of Evidence Based Medicine to the Nutritional Management of Dogs and Cats

  • Clinical Nutrition – the Iterative Process (1-2 hours)
  • The art and science of clinical nutrition including determining nutritional requirements, body condition scoring, food dosage calculations, how to choose and select a food

  • Body Condition Scoring – video (30 minutes)
  • Body Condition Scoring and Determination of Ideal Body Weight – laboratory (1-2 hours)

Homemade and Commercial Pet Foods

  • Introduction to Homemade and Commercial Pet Foods (1 hour)
  • Overview of the petfood industry, home prepared diets and commercial foods including calculation of dry matter and nutritional comparisons

  • Reading and Interpreting Pet Food Labels (1 hour)
  • Regulatory, nutritional and labeling requirements for petfood

  • Pet Nutrition Laboratory (1.5-4 hours)
  • Self-guided, self-directed laboratory experience which provides an opportunity for examination of examination of petfoods, food dosage calculations and label comparisons.  This lab consists of 13 stations covering basic as well as advanced clinical nutrition exercises.

  • Alternative Diets (1-2 hours)
  • Discussion of homemade cooked and raw pet foods


Feeding Healthy Pets

  • Feeding Normal Dogs and Cats (2-3 hours)
  • Feeding dogs and cats for health maintenance and peak performance. Feeding recommendations for growth, gestation, lactation, adult maintenance, old age and physical exertion (sprint and endurance). Incorporation of nutrition within a preventative health program. Petfood dosage calculations for nutritional counseling.

  • Canine Exercise Nutrition (1-2 hours)
  • Influence of nutrition on peak performance

  • Case Studies
  • A number of case-based discussions are available for these topics. Each case typically takes 1 hour of class time to complete and discuss. Cases may be completed in groups or individually.

    • Moochie - Gestation/Lactation (dog)
    • Colossus - Growth (puppy)
    • Scamper - Growth (kitten)
    • Winky - Geriatric (dog)
    • Daisy Mae -  Gestation/Lactation (dog)
    • Spots - Growth (puppy)
  • Pet Nutrition Laboratory (1.5-4 hours)
  • Self-guided, self-directed laboratory experience which provides an opportunity for examination of examination of feedstaffs, complete foods, nutritional supplements, food dosage calculations and label comparisons.


Feeding Healthy Horses

  • Mini-Review of Nutrients/Feeds for Horses (1 hour)
  • Nutritional requirements of the horse. Feed stuffs and feed analysis.

  • Practical Guidelines for Feeding Horses (1-2 hours)
  • Feeding normal horses for health maintenance and performance. Feeding recommendations for growth, gestation, lactation, adult maintenance, old age and performance and performance. Feeding growing horses to avoid developmental orthopedic disease.

  • Equine Clinical Nutrition Elective Course

Nutritional Management of Disease (for Veterinary Students)

Each of the presentations below addresses a particular class of nutrients and their influence in health and disease

  • Dietary Antioxidants: Role in Health and Disease (1-1.5 hours)
  • Dietary Fatty Acids: Facts and Fallacies (1-2 hours)

Each of the presentations below addresses the pathophysiology, dietary management as adjunctive or primary therapy and key nutritional factors for each disease state.

  • Dietary Management of Canine Urolithiasis (1-2 hours)
  • Nutritional Influences on Oral Health
  • Enteral Critical Care Nutrition (1-2 hours)
  • Dietary Management of the Obese Pet (2 hours)
  • Chronic Progressive Kidney Disease (1-2 hours)
  • Nutritional Management of Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease
  • Dietary Management of Gastrointestinal Disease
  • Nutrition in Cardiac Disease
  • Geriatric Nutrition
  • Developmental Orthopedic Disorders in Dogs
  • Nutrition and the Skin
  • Fiber Responsive Disorders
  • Nutritional Management of Liver Disease in Dogs and Cats
  • Feeding the Cancer Patient
  • Adverse Reactions to Food: Clinical Nutritionist’s Perspective

We also offer a selection of video presentations to enhance the discussions above.

  • Canine Urolithiasis (1 hour)
  • Body Condition Scoring (30 minutes)
  • Percutaneous Endoscopic Tube Placement (30 minutes)
  • Feeding Tube Management (30 minutes)
  • Placement of a Nasoesophageal Catheter (15 minutes)
  • Placement of an Esophagostomy Tube (20 minutes)
  • Parenteral Nutritional Support ( 1 hour)

In addition, case based learning activities are available for many of the above topics.

  • Charlie - Urolithiasis (dog)
  • Watson - Gastric dilatation volvulus (dog)
  • Chester  Urolithiasis (dog)
  • Cally - Hepatic lipidosis (cat)
  • Morgan - Congestive heart failure (dog)
  • Emma - Cancer (dog)
  • Horatio - Enteral nutritional support (dog)
  • Rascal - Dental disease (dog)
  • Pooter - Idiopathic colitis (dog)
  • Penny - Chronic cough (dog)
  • Desperado -  Exercise and weight loss (dog)
  • Annie - Diabetes mellitus (cat)
  • Freddy - FLUTD (cat)
  • Mimi - Obesity (dog)
  • Sissy - Cancer (dog)
  • Chastity - Obesity (dog)
  • Duke - Weight loss (dog)
  • Skipper - Weight loss/back pain (dog)
  • Cindy - Diarrhea (dog)
  • Rusty - Diarrhea (cat)
  • Gretchen - Hyperlipidemia (dog)
  • C.J. - Kidney disease (cat)


Clinical Nutrition Elective Courses

Mark Morris Institute offers a 1-2 credit-hour elective course in small animal and/or equine clinical nutrition for a minimum of 10 junior or senior veterinary students. Such courses need to be compressed into a one-to-two week window and typically include 20-80 contact hours consisting of:

  • Lectures
  • Laboratory sessions
  • Field trips
  • Case discussions

Our clinical nutrition elective courses are suitable for house officers as well as general practitioners and we can offer RACE certified CE-credit if desired. Face-to-face interactions can be combined with web-based instruction if preferred.

Please contact us to discuss elective courses in more detail.

Web-Based Clinical Nutrition Courses

Mark Morris Institute now offers live, interactive (synchronous) 1-2 credit courses in basic and clinical nutrition for veterinary students. The courses are taught via the internet using Citrix® GoToMeeting® web-conferencing site. The host school needs to provide a classroom with internet and phone access and IT Support. Please contact us for further details.


Faculty and House Officer Programs

More comprehensive treatment of the topics below is available for faculty presentations, resident seminars and house-office presentations. These presentations can be scheduled in conjuction with veterinary student course offerings or as stand-alone activities.

Board preparation sessions for residents sitting for ACVIM qualifying or certification exams can be arranged.

  • Parenteral nutritional support
  • Conditionally essential nutrients
  • Taurine metabolism in the cat
  • Antioxidant Nutrition
  • Canine exercise nutrition
  • Developmental orthopedics in dogs
  • Nutrigenomics: the influence of nutrients on gene expression
  • Alternative diets: what you need to know
  • Nutraceuticals: fact or fantasy
  • Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth
  • Dietary fatty acids — use and misuse
  • Oxidative stress and antioxidants in clinical behavioral medicine