Veterinary Care I

Science & Technology
Animal Health Technology
Course Code
AHTT 1103
Semester Length
15 weeks
Max Class Size
Method(s) Of Instruction
Typically Offered
To be determined


Course Description
In this course the components of the physical exam are introduced. Students will learn how to ascertain the basic medical history and vital signs of a patient, and how to record this data in veterinary records. Aspects of animal behaviour, pain assessment, safe restraint, care and husbandry of patients and hospitalized animals, and euthanasia are covered. The principles of basic pharmacology will be introduced.

Enrolment is limited to students of the Animal Health Technology Program
Course Content


  • Staying safe with dogs; dog communication
  • Defining behaviour  (normal, abnormal, species differences)
  • Canine & feline:  housetraining
  • Problem prevention – including discussions/demonstrations on socialization
  • Destructive behaviours – prevention
  • Aggressive behaviours – prevention

Handling and Restraint:

  • Connection between understanding behaviour & safe handling
  • Safe handling of each species
  • Restraint devices used in hospital and farm settings

Physical Exam and Record Keeping:

  • Methods for record keeping in veterinary medicine – charting
  • Components of the physical exam, including TPRs and other normal values
  • Age equivalencies in dogs and cats

Pharmacology of Veterinary Care (introduction):

  • Introduction of definitions required
  • Common drug names, dosage forms available
  • Mathematics required for drug dosages and conversions
  • Routes of drug administration
  • Prescription labels

General Nursing Requirements:

  • Grooming (nails, ear care, anal glands)
  • Attending to physical and psychological needs (including species differences)
  • Monitoring vital signs and elimination
  • Assessing pain and attitude

Kennel Management:

  • Factors in choosing kennels/arrangements to decrease stress, viral transmission, and increase safety and well being.
  • Review of sanitation – cleansers used in wards & kennels
  • Isolation procedures

Learning Activities

This course involves two hours of classroom instruction per week and two hours of laboratory activity per week.  Off campus field trips for large animal practical skill instruction are also required.

Means of Assessment

Quiz #1


Quiz #2


Group Assignments & Projects


Final exam


Participation (self-evaluation) including ward duties/ Professionalism





A+ 95-100

A 90-94

A- 85-89

B+ 80-84

B 75-79

B- 70-74


C+ 65-69

C 60-64

C- 55-59

P 50-54

F 0-49


Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of Veterinary Care I (AHTT 1103), the student will be able to:

  1. Describe the physical appearance of the healthy dog and cat and recognize signs of illness in each.
  2. Properly handle and restrain dogs, and cats for physical exams and clinical procedures.
  3. Understand the safe handling of large animal species.
  4. Use proper instruments and techniques to ascertain vital signs (TPR and blood pressure) for each species.
  5. Observe and describe several normal behaviour signs and signs of pain in companion and domestic animals.
  6. Demonstrate the ability to ascertain medical history and record both history and physical exam data professionally.
  7. Demonstrate proper handling and nursing care of hospitalized patients, and explain homecare instructions.
  8. Demonstrate knowledge of basic care of skin, anal sacs, nails and teeth of dogs and cats and understand how to safely and effectively administer an appropriate enema in both species.
  9. Demonstrate the techniques for examining, cleaning and medicating cats’ and dogs’ ears.
  10. Understand basic pharmacology principles, and be familiar with drug dosage calculations, some common drug names, dosage forms and routes of administration.
  11. Be familiar with kennel management, including basic sanitation and isolation procedures.
  12. Become familiar with veterinary hospital and occupational safety procedures.
Textbook Materials

Textbooks and Materials to be Purchased by Students:

  1. McCurnin, Dennis & Bassert, J.M. Clinical Textbook for Veterinary Technicians.  Elsevier. Current edition (required)
  2. Crowe, Steven E. Manual of Clinical Procedures in the Dog, Cat & Rabbit.  Blackwell Publishing. 3rd edition, 2009 (required)
  3. Sirois, Margi. Principles and Practice of Veterinary Technology. Mosby Inc. 2004 (recommended)
  4. Clean lab coat, scrubs and clinic shoes.



No prerequisite courses.


No corequisite courses.


No equivalent courses.

Course Guidelines

Course Guidelines for previous years are viewable by selecting the version desired. If you took this course and do not see a listing for the starting semester / year of the course, consider the previous version as the applicable version.

Course Transfers

These are for current course guidelines only. For a full list of archived courses please see

Institution Transfer Details for AHTT 1103
There are no applicable transfer credits for this course.

Course Offerings

Summer 2023