In this course students are introduced to 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.
Enrolment is limited to students in the Veterinary Technology Program.
The major topics in this course include the following:
- 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
- History, physical exam and record keeping:
- accurate history taking
- medical records including problem oriented medical record (POMR) and subjective, objective, assessment and plan (SOAP) formats
- physical exam, including TPRs and normal values
- dog and cat breeds
- age equivalencies in dogs and cats
- wellness examination including vaccine protocols
- General nursing:
- grooming (nails, ear care, anal glands)
- physical and psychological needs including assessing pain and attitude
- monitoring vital signs and elimination
- administration of medications: topical, PO, per rectum (enemas), SQ, IM and IV injections
- care of pediatric and geriatric patients
- blood collection and sample handling
- radiography introduction and safety
- Kennel management:
- strategies to decrease stress and increase safety and well-being of patients
- sanitation – cleaning and disinfection
- isolation procedures
Methods of Instruction
This course involves two hours per week of classroom instruction and two hours per week of laboratory activity on-campus and off-campus. Off-campus duties for large animal practical skills are also required.
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.
Upon completion of this course, the student will be able to:
- Describe the physical appearance of the healthy dog and cat and recognize signs of illness in each.
- Safely handle and restrain dogs, cats and other species for physical exams and clinical procedures.
- Obtain vital signs, including temperature, pulse, respiration (TPR) and blood pressure, for each species.
- Observe and describe normal behaviour signs including warning signs of aggression in dogs and cats.
- Obtain and record history and physical exam data.
- Provide basic grooming care for dogs and cats.
- Discuss the special nursing needs of pediatric and senior patients.
- Examine, clean and medicate eyes and ears.
- Administer many forms of medication to dogs and cats, including per os/oral (PO), subcutaneous (SQ), intramuscular (IM) and intravenous (IV) injections.
- Perform venipuncture, blood collection and sample handling.
- Institute kennel management procedures, including cleaning and disinfection and isolation.
- Perform wellness examinations including vaccines.
- Recognize common dog and cat breeds.
- Discuss end of life supportive care and euthanasia.
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.
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.