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Veterinary Care I

Course Code: AHTT 1103
Faculty: Science & Technology
Credits: 3.0
Semester: 15 weeks
Learning Format: Lecture, Lab
Typically Offered: TBD. Contact Department Chair for more info.
course overview

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

Methods of Instruction

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.

curriculum 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 schedule and availability
course transferability

Below shows how this course and its credits transfer within the BC transfer system. 

A course is considered university-transferable (UT) if it transfers to at least one of the five research universities in British Columbia: University of British Columbia; University of British Columbia-Okanagan; Simon Fraser University; University of Victoria; and the University of Northern British Columbia.

For more information on transfer visit the BC Transfer Guide and BCCAT websites.


If your course prerequisites indicate that you need an assessment, please see our Assessment page for more information.