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Veterinary Anatomy and Physiology I

Course Code: VTEC 1101
Faculty: Science & Technology
Department: Veterinary Technology
Credits: 3.0
Semester: 15
Learning Format: Lecture, Lab
Typically Offered: Fall
course overview

This course is designed to provide a foundation for veterinary medical language and basic anatomy and physiology. Positional, directional and planes of body and body cavity terminology are also discussed. From the cellular to the tissue level to the gross anatomical level, the integumentary, skeletal, muscular, and nervous systems of both small (canine, feline), avian and large (bovine, equine, ovine, caprine, porcine) animals are covered. Enrolment is limited to students in the Veterinary Technology Program.

Course Content

The major topics in this course include the following:

  1. Veterinary Medical Terminology:
    • vocabulary, root words, suffixes, prefixes, abbreviations and pronunciation of terms
    • component parts and their use to make words; pronunciation of medical words
    • basic combining forms, prefixes and suffixes
  2. The structure and function of cells:
    • structure and function of cell membranes and various cytoplasmic and nuclear components
    • major cellular processes and their significance to the cell
    • differentiate between cellular organelles and inclusion bodies microscopically
    • preparation of histological sections, including techniques for fixation and sample submission
  3. Comparative anatomy and physiology beyond the cellular level:
    • structure and function of the four tissue types
    • major body systems, their major organs, and the general function of each organ
    • directional terms as they relate to various species
    • dental anatomy and physiology
  4. The integumentary system:
    • the epidermis and the dermis
    • composition of hair follicles, muscles, specialized glands and cells
    • functions of the skin and terminology for skin conditions.
  5. The skeletal system:
    • the structure, physiology, and function of bone
    • changes in skeletal structure during growth and development (ossification)
    • detailed comparative anatomy of the skeletal and accessory structures
    • axial and appendicular  skeleton and joints of various species
  6. The muscular system:
    • gross anatomy of muscles and microscopic anatomy of muscle tissue
    • skeletal, cardiac and smooth muscles and their anatomical locations
    • principal muscles and muscle groups and their attachments
    • physiology of muscle contraction
  7. The digestive system:
    • major structures and functions of the alimentary canal of various species
    • monogastric and ruminant digestive systems
    • digestion, absorption and metabolism
  8. The nervous system:
    • structure and function of the central, peripheral and autonomic nervous systems
    • anatomy of a neuron and the mechanism of a nerve impulse
      major nerves of the peripheral nervous system

Methods of Instruction

This course involves two hours per week of classroom instruction and two hours per week of laboratory activity.


Means of Assessment

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 pass this course. Evaluation will be based on quizzes and assignments, practical evaluations including a final practical examination, at least one midterm and a final written examination.

Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of this course, the student will be able to:

  1. Define veterinary medical terminology using word analysis.
  2. Describe anatomical structures, using appropriate terminology, and specify the locations of various organs and systems.
  3. Use a compound microscope, and describe and identify cell and tissue types in the body.
  4. Define the principles of histology.
  5. Identify and recognize common terms used for various species and their anatomical parts.
  6. Describe the components and functions of the integumentary system.
  7. Explain comparative anatomy and physiology of the integument and related structures.
  8. Identify the components of the skeleton, and describe the structure and growth of long bones.
  9. Describe the types and range of movements of skeletal articulations (joints).
  10. Describe the location, structure, and functions of the major muscles. 
  11. Describe the gross and microanatomy of muscle tissue, and the physiology of muscle contraction.
  12. Describe the components and functions of the nervous system.
  13. Describe the anatomy of a neuron and the mechanism of a nerve impulse.
  14. Describe the components and functions of the digestive system, distinguishing between the monogastric and ruminant alimentary canals.
  15. Describe the processes of digestion, absorption and metabolism

course prerequisites




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.