Veterinary Nursing 1

Curriculum Guideline

Effective Date:
Course Code
VTEC 1103
Veterinary Nursing 1
Veterinary Technology
Science & Technology
Start Date
End Term
Not Specified
Semester Length
15 weeks
Max Class Size
Course Designation
Industry Designation
Contact Hours

Lecture: 2 hours/week

Lab: 3 hours/week

Method(s) Of Instruction
Learning Activities

The laboratory activities in this course take place both on-campus and off-campus and may include work experience, live animals, models and cadavers, pre-lab videos and video assessments, essential skills practice labs and hands-on instructor evaluations. Off-campus duties for large animal practical skills are also required. Classroom instructional activities may include on-line open book quizzes, assignments, group work, online webinars and a discussion board.

Course Description
This course introduces safe animal handling and restraint and the components of the physical exam. Students will learn how to obtain the basic medical history and vital signs of a patient and how to record these data in veterinary medical records. Aspects of breed recognition, animal behaviour, safe restraint, nursing care and husbandry of healthy, sick and hospitalized patients are covered. Basic technical skills including grooming, medication administration, injections and blood collection are included.

Course Content
  1. Handling, restraint and behaviour:

    - defining behaviour (normal, abnormal, species differences)

    - relationship between patient behaviour and safe handling of each species

    - use of restraint devices in hospital and farm settings

    - canine and feline basic training (counter-conditioning, positive and negative reinforcement/ punishment)

  2. History, physical exam and record keeping:

    - accurate history taking

    - medical records including problem oriented medical record and subjective, objective, assessment and plan formats

    - normal and abnormal vital signs 

    - Fluorescein dye test, Schirmer tear test and tonometry

    - dog and cat breeds

    - age equivalencies in dogs and cats

    - wellness examination including vaccine protocols

  3. General nursing:

    - grooming (bathing, nails, ear care, anal glands)

    - physical and psychological needs including assessing pain and attitude

    - monitoring vital signs and elimination

    - administration of medications: topical, oral, per rectum (enemas), parenteral injections

    - care of pediatric and geriatric patients

    - blood collection and sample handling

  4. Kennel management:

    - Fear-Free strategies to decrease stress and increase safety and well-being of patients

    - sanitation – cleaning and disinfection

    - isolation procedures

Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of this course, successful students will be able to:

  1. Describe the physical appearance of the healthy dog and cat and recognize signs of illness in each.
  2. Safely handle and restrain dogs, cats and other species for physical exams and clinical procedures.
  3. Obtain vital signs, including temperature, pulse, respiration and blood pressure, for each species.
  4. Observe and describe normal behaviour signs including warning signs of aggression in dogs and cats.
  5. Obtain and record history and physical exam data.
  6. Provide basic grooming care for dogs and cats.
  7. Discuss the special nursing needs of pediatric and senior patients.
  8. Examine, clean and medicate eyes and ears.
  9. Administer many forms of medication to dogs and cats, including per os/oral administration and parenteral injections.
  10. Perform venipuncture, blood collection and sample handling.
  11. Institute kennel management procedures, including cleaning and disinfection and isolation.
  12. Perform wellness examinations including vaccines.
  13. Recognize common dog and cat breeds.
Means of Assessment

Evaluations will be carried out in accordance with Douglas College Evaluation Policy. The instructor will present a written course outline with specific evaluation criteria at the beginning of the semester. A final minimum cumulative grade of “C” or 60% is required, in both lecture and lab components, in order to progress in the Veterinary Technology program. Evaluation will be based on:

Assignments                    15-40%

Term Tests                      10-20%

Practical Evaluations         15-40%

Final Lecture Exam            10-25%

Final Laboratory Exam       10-25%      

Textbook Materials

Consult the Douglas College Bookstore for the latest required textbooks and materials.


Which Prerequisite