Institute for Poultry, Birds, Small Mammals and Reptiles


Cesta v Mestni log 47, 1000 Ljubljana (srednja stavba, drugo nadstropje)

fax.: +386 1 4779 339


  • Employees

    Prof. Dr. Olga Zorman Rojs, Dipl. ECPVS, Specialist for poultry, Head of the Institute olga.zorman-rojs@vf.uni-lj.si tel.: +386 1 4779 242, gsm: +386 40 398 302
    Assist. Dr. Uroš Krapež, Head deputy, person in charge of  Laboratory for infectious diseases of poultry and birds, person in charge of National Reference Laboratory  for Newcastle disease uros.krapez@vf.uni-lj.si tel.: +386 1 4779 247
    Prof. Dr. Alenka Dovč, Specialist for medicine of birds, small mammals and reptiles alenka.dovc@vf.uni-lj.si  tel.: +386 1 4779 251
    Dr. Renata Lindtner Knific, Specialist for poultry renata.lindtner@vf.uni-lj.si tel.: +386 1 4779 241
    Assist. Dr. Jožko Račnik, Dipl. ECZM (WPH), person in charge for Clinic for birds, small mammals and reptiles josko.racnik@vf.uni-lj.si tel.: +386 1 4779 247, 251
    Assist. Dr. Brigita Slavec, Specialist for poultry, person in charge of National reference laboratory for avian influenza, person in charge of Diagnostics laboratory brigita.slavec@vf.uni-lj.si tel.: +386 1 4779 240, 251
    Assist. Dr. Marko Zadravec marko.zadravec@vf.uni-lj.si tel.:  +386 1 4779 240, 251
    Assist. Dr. Nina Mlakar Hrženjak nina.mlakar-hrzenjak@vf.uni-lj.si  tel.:  +386 1 4779 240, 251
       
    asist dr. Nina Mlakar nina.mlakar@vf.uni-lj.si  tel.:  +386 1 4779 240, 251
    Marko Bogataj marko.bogataj@vf.uni-lj.si tel.: +386 1 4779 244
    Marjeta Dremelj marjeta.dremelj@vf.uni-lj.si tel.: +386 1 4779 243
    Boštjan Flajnik bostjan.flajnik@vf.uni-lj.si tel.:  +386 1 4779 244
    Vladimir Jakovac vlado.jakovac@vf.uni-lj.si tel.: +386 1 4779 331
    Darja Krelj darja.krelj@vf.uni-lj.si> tel.: +386 1 4779 244
    Irena Bahč irena.bahc@vf.uni-lj.si, tel: +386 1 4779 251
    Tjaša Sernel, B.Sc. Food. Technol. tjasa.sernel@vf.uni-lj.si, tel: + 386 1 4779 244
    Lidija Dežman lidija.dezman@vf.uni-lj.si tel.: +386 1 4779 230

  • Unit Activity

    In Slovenia the rearing of poultry is one of the major livestock industries. Knowledge of the causes of zoonotic diseases, the way in which they are spread, as well as knowledge of the requirements of poultry farming are the basics for maintaining animal health. The healthcare of poultry is largely based on preventive vaccination and therefore effective immunoprophylactic programmes are particularly important. Diagnosis of diseases and solving health problems that predominantly occur in farmed poultry and birds, as potential carriers of highly contagious diseases and zoonosis, is the main thread of the Institute’s educational, scientific and professional work.

    Veterinary medicine of birds, small mammals and reptiles is one of the most intensively developing branches of veterinary medicine in the world. In this field, Slovenia is not exempt. The number and abundance of different types of pets in the country is increasing year-on-year. The origins of the Institute’s activities date back over thirty years, whilst in recent years its knowledge has been expanded and upgraded.

     

  • Education

    Intensive research and professional work is a good starting point for the quality transfer of actual knowledge to the younger generation and for enhancing the knowledge of graduates.

     

    Undergraduate Studies

    In the context of the Unified Master’s Degree Programme 2nd Stage Veterinary Medicine, students are educated in four mandatory subjects. Among the abundance of elective courses that are offered to students of the Veterinary faculty, the Institute for poultry, birds, small mammals and reptiles offers two additional subjects listed below.

     

    Mandatory Subjects

    Diseases and Health Care of Poultry (Subject Head: Prof. Dr. Olga Zorman Rojs)

    The subject theoretically and practically educates students about diseases and the ways of dealing with overall health of poultry. Students are familiarized with the intensive rearing of economically important species of poultry, the principles and technology of breeding, and primarily with special pathology of poultry and the treatment and prevention of infectious diseases as well as diseases of affected metabolism.

     

    Diseases and Health Care of Small Animals (Subject Heads: Prof. Dr. Alenka Dovč and Assist. Dr. Joško Račnik)

    This subject theoretically and practically educates students about the most common diseases – clinical presentation, pathogenesis, pathology, diagnostic methods, therapies, prevention of disease in breeding pigeons and caged birds, rodents, rabbits and other species of small animals or pets. It also teaches students about the conditions of a healthy environment and mode of nutrition, minimal farming conditions and the possibilities of protection against mechanical damages and zoonosis. Graduates are also acquainted with the threat to individual non-harmonized animal species.

     

    Clinical Practice 1 (Subject Co-ordinator: Assoc. Prof. Dr. Modest Vengušt)

    In the context of this subject students carry out practical work in the Clinic for birds, small mammals and reptiles.

     

    Professional Practice (Subject Co-ordinator: Assoc. Prof. Dr. Modest Vengušt)

    In the context of this subject students carry out practical work in the Clinic for birds, small mammals and reptiles and in laboratories within the Institute.

     

    Basic Clinical Science (Subject Head: Assoc. Prof. Dr. Modest Vengušt)

    Within the subject lecturers and practical training on basic techniques of examination of birds, small mammals and reptiles are accomplished.

     

    Elective Subject

    Husbandry Conditions and Health Care of Rabbits (Subject Head: Prof. Dr. Olga Zorman Rojs)

    This subject acquaints students with the basic technological conditions of breeding rabbits, medical disorders that are linked to technology, nutrition and reproduction of rabbits, and the most common viral, bacterial and parasitic diseases and their prevention.

     

    Breeding Conditions and Health Care of Reptiles and Other Exotic Species of Animals (Subject Head: Prof. Dr. Alenka Dovč)

    This subject acquaints students with the basics of breeding conditions and diseases of exotic species of animals, especially reptiles. Special emphasis is placed on species that are strictly protected, their marketing and selling are controlled under the CITES Convention (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora). A large part of lectures is dedicated to knowledge-based health care of exotic animals (infectious, organic and metabolic diseases), while students acquire basic knowledge about how to deal with such animals, the conditions and diet they require, and how to protect oneself from bites, and the potential transfer of infectious diseases to domestic animals or humans in the natural environment (potential danger of zoonosis).

     

    Postgraduate Studies

    In the doctoral study programme of Biomedicine, the Institute carries out two individual research projects ‘Health Care of Poultry’ and ‘Health Care of Small Animals’ and acts as a mentor to students of the third stage of Biomedicine.

     

    Additional Training Programmes

    These days, additional specialized knowledge in different areas of the veterinary profession is essential. The Institute provides additional training programmes in the areas of “Health Care and Systems of Poultry Farming” and “Diseases and Health Care of Birds, Small Mammals and Reptiles.” Educational programmes are designed for veterinarians who wish to upgrade their skills and be successful in their work.

     

    Life-Long Learning Programmes

    Within the framework of the Centre for Life-Long Learning of the Veterinary Faculty, the Institute annually prepares a number of topical professional seminars. In collaboration with external professionals, education is also provided for poultry farmers, breeders of thoroughbreds and other animals, and employees working in zoo shops and others.

     

    Projects in the Context of Educational Activities

    TEMPUS PROJECT EDUVET JPCR 544270 SERBIA: Striving Towards Excellence in Veterinary Education (EDUVET); Co-ordinator of the Slovene Partner in the Project: Prof. Dr. Olga Zorman Rojs

     

  • Research

    The guiding role of our research is to preserve the health of animals and humans. The Institute focuses on the study of diseases which are transmitted from animals to humans, and diseases that in the past were not known or their importance was negligible. An important part of the research is focused on economically important poultry diseases, their epidemiology and options for prevention. The programme of the Institute’s research is highly interdisciplinary, therefore it also liaises with colleagues from other research institutions in Slovenia and abroad.

    The Institute is currently involved in the following programmes and projects:

    1. Programme Group P4-0092: The Health of Animals, Environment and Safe Food (Leader: Senior Research Fellow Dr. Matjaž Ocepek, 1.1.2009 – 31.12.2014)

    2. Project CRP V4―1401 Managing infections with E. coli in poultry- Determining Critical Points of Entry of the E.coli bacteria, including with E. coli with ESBL in Poultry Farming, and the study of preventative measures for reducing the use of antimicrobials (Project Manager: Olga Zorman Rojs, Project Duration 1.7.2014 – 30.6.2016)

    3. COST Action FA1207> “Towards Control of Avian Coronaviruses: Strategies for Diagnosis, Surveillance and Vaccination” (Slovene Project Co-ordinator: Uroš Krapež)

    4. COST Action FA1404 Improving current understanding and research for sustainable control of the poultry red mite Dermanyssus gallinae (COREMI) (Slovene project Co-ordinator Alenka Dovč)

    Information about completed research projects which have taken place under the auspices of the research group 0406-012 (Institute of Diseases and Health Care of Poultry VF), are available on the SICRIS website.

    The bibliography of individual articles of the research group is available on the COBISS website. The bibliography of the entire research group is available on the SICRIS website.

     

  • Professional Work

    Clinical Activity

     

     

    Poultry (chickens, turkeys, ducks, geese, quails, pheasants, ostriches)

    The rapid development and the extent of poultry farming in Slovenia and in the world require specialized knowledge about animal health, breeding technology and ecology. The Institute’s work is focused on ensuring the health of animals and, indirectly, the provision of safe food. The Institute’s customers are mainly veterinary clinics, pharmaceutical houses, and others.

    The Institute carries out:

        • expert advice,
        • clinical examinations of flocks,
        • preparation of vaccination programmes and other preventative programmes for various categories of poultry and birds,
        • field testing of medical products.

     

    Birds, small mammals and reptiles

    Veterinary medicine of birds, small mammals and reptiles is an important branch of veterinary medicine in Slovenia. Patients attending the Institute’s clinic are:

        • birds: caged birds (parrots, song birds), wild captive birds (birds of prey in captivity, birds in zoos), wild birds,
        • small mammals: ferrets, rabbits, small rodents (guinea pigs, chinchillas, hamsters, degus, rats, gerbils and others).
        • reptiles: tortoises, snakes, lizards.

    The following services are carried out in the Clinic for birds, small mammals and reptiles:

    • giving advice about the health of birds, small mammals and reptiles,
    • clinical inspections of birds, small mammals and reptiles,
    • modern detection of diseases in birds, small mammals and reptiles (hematological and biochemical blood tests, imaging diagnostics, endoscopies in diagnostic   surgical interventions)
    • modern anesthesia and surgery of birds, small mammals and reptiles,
    • out-patient and in-patient treatment of birds, small mammals and reptiles.

     

    Laboratory Activities

    The purpose of the investigations, which are carried out in the laboratory, is ensuring the health of animals and humans. The Institute provides technical, scientific and professional support (UVHVVR) to veterinarians and animal owners. In addition, new diagnostic methods are developed and introduced, education is provided in the field of diagnostic methods, and research is conducted in the diagnosis of infectious diseases.

    The methods used are of the highest standard. The laboratory operates in accordance with the ISO/IEC 17025 standard. Diagnostic methods are accredited or properly validated and regularly reviewed by external audits and quality assurance systems in the laboratory.

    The laboratory also carries out the activities of the National Reference Laboratory for Avian Influenza and the National Reference Laboratory for Newcastle disease (Link Nacionalnega referenčnega laboratorija za aviarno influenco in Nacionalnega referenčnega laboratorija za atipično kokošjo kugo).

     

    1. Investigations of samples with molecular methods:
      using a wide range of molecular methods for determining viruses and some bacterial pathogens in poultry, birds, small mammals and reptiles,

    2. Serological tests:
      using various serological methods to determine antibodies to viruses and bacteria. Antibodies are determined mainly in the sera of poultry and birds with the aim of determining the causes of diseases as well as verifying the success of protective vaccinations. Serological diagnostics of leptospirosis infections are carried out for all animal species,

    3. Virological tests:
      isolation and identification of the viruses, isolation in chicken embryos.

    4. Bacteriological tests:
      isolation and identification of Leptospira sp in all animal species, and Chlamydia in poultry and birds.

    5. Epidemiological monitoring:
      exercising control of pathogens of infection diseases in poultry and birds.

    6. Pathomorphological investigations:
      carrying out pathomorphological diagnostics of poultry, birds, small mammals and reptiles.