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Veterinary Anesthesia

Course Code: VTEC 2108
Faculty: Science & Technology
Department: Veterinary Technology
Credits: 3.0
Semester: 15
Learning Format: Lecture, Lab
Typically Offered: Fall
course overview

This course combines both the theoretical 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. Inhalant anesthetic machines and monitoring equipment will also be covered. Enrolment is limited to students in the Veterinary Technology Program.

Course Content

The major topics in this course include the following:

  1. The anesthesia machine and its component parts.
  2. Patient assessment in preparation for anesthesia.
  3. Anesthesia protocols, including pre-medication, induction, maintenance and recovery.
  4. Anesthetic support:
        -fluid therapy
        -heat supplementation
        -assisted breathing
  5. Anesthetic monitoring :
        - Cardiovascular, respiratory and species specific monitoring

Methods of Instruction

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

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

  1. Demonstrate the proper use and function of inhalant anesthetic machines for the delivery of general anesthesia.
  2. Discuss the pharmacology and routes of administration of drugs used for local anesthesia, sedation and inhalant anesthesia.
  3. Calculate sedative, anesthetic and analgesic drug dosages.
  4. Monitor, record and intervene as necessary to ensure safe anesthesia in dogs and cats.
  5. Set up, use and maintain inhalant anesthetic machines and anesthetic monitoring equipment.
  6. Perform and/or describe intubation of companion and food animal species.
  7. Describe the function of compressed gas delivery systems associated with the inhalant anesthetic machine.
  8. Describe the occupational hazards associated with workplace exposure to anesthetic drugs, inhalant anesthetics and waste gases.
  9. Set up and maintain a crash kit.
  10. Identify anesthetic emergencies and discuss the use of emergency drugs and equipment.

course prerequisites

Successful completion of Year 1 of the Veterinary/Animal Health Technology Program



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.