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Veterinary Anesthesia

Course Code: AHTT 2108
Faculty: Science & Technology
Credits: 3.0
Semester: 15 weeks
Learning Format: Lecture, Lab
Typically Offered: TBD. Contact Department Chair for more info.
course overview

This course combines both theory and practical aspects of veterinary anesthesia for both small and large animals. Topics include the calculation of drug doses, pre-anesthetic patient preparation, administration of local anesthetics, sedatives, induction drugs and inhalant anesthetics, monitoring patients under general anesthesia, detection and management of anesthetic complications, as well as post-operative patient care and pain prevention. Knowledge and understanding of inhalant anesthetic machines and monitoring equipment will also be covered. Enrollment is limited to students in the Animal Health Technology Program.

Course Content

The major topics in the course include:

1.     The anesthesia machine and its component parts:

  • Compressed gas systems
  • Scavenging/waste gas evacuation
  • Breathing circuits
  • Circle breathing system
  • Reservoir bags
  • Carbon dioxide absorbent granules
  • Endotracheal tubes

2.          Patient assessment in preparation for anesthesia:

  • Physical and temperament evaluation
  • Pre-anesthesia tests

3.          Anesthesia premedication:

  • Sedatives
  • Tranquilizers
  • Analgesic drugs
  • Sedative reversal agents
  • Anticholinergic agents

4.          Anesthesia induction:

  • Induction techniques- mask induction
  • Induction techniques-tank induction
  • Induction techniques- injectable
  • Injectable anesthetic induction drugs
  • Endotracheal intubation

5.        Anesthesia Maintenance:

  • Inhalant anesthesia maintenance
  • Injectable anesthesia maintenance

6.          Anesthesia Support:

  • The concept of controlled poisoning
  • Fluid therapy
  • Heat supplementation
  • Ocular protection
  • Assisted breathing

7.        Anesthesia Monitoring Techniques:

  • Cardiovascular monitoring
  • Respiratory monitoring
  • Species specific monitoring priorities

Methods of Instruction

This course includes 3 hours of classroom instruction as well as 2 hours of laboratory activity per week.

Means of Assessment

Quizzes                                    20-30%

Assignments                             15-35

Attendance & Participation             10

Final Exam                                20-35__


Grades:      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 this course students will be able to:

  1. understand the function of both large and small animal inhalant anesthetic machines.
  2. operate an inhalant anesthetic machine for the delivery of general anesthesia to companion and food animals.
  3. understand the basic pharmacology of drugs used in implementation of local anesthesia, sedation and inhalant anesthesia.
  4. calculate sedative and anesthetic drug dosages for an individual animal.
  5. have a working knowledge of the routes of anesthesia drug administration used in veterinary medicine.
  6. monitor the depth of anesthesia.
  7. use the following anesthetic monitoring devices to detect anesthesia related problems: 
  • Esophageal stethoscope
  • Doppler blood pressure monitor
  • Oscillometric blood pressure monitor
  1. intubate companion and food animal species.
  2. understand the function of compressed gas delivery systems associated with the inhalant anesthesia machine.
  3. understand the occupational hazards associated with workplace exposure to anesthetic drugs.
  4. intervene during anesthesia emergency situations.
  5. exhibit a working knowledge of anesthesia emergency drugs.

course prerequisites

AHTT 1203 Veterinary Care 2

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.