Academic Catalog


Foothill College Course Outline of Record

Foothill College Course Outline of Record
Heading Value
Units: 1
Hours: 36 laboratory per quarter (36 total per quarter)
Prerequisite: Per California Code of Regulations, this course is limited to students admitted to the Advanced Veterinary Assisting Apprenticeship Program.
Advisory: Not open to students with credit in V T 75A.
Degree & Credit Status: Degree-Applicable Credit Course
Foothill GE: Non-GE
Transferable: CSU
Grade Type: Letter Grade Only
Repeatability: Not Repeatable


Practical application of animal care skills and principles of animal care and management. Opportunity to participate in the health care team involved in the husbandry and management of companion animals in a hospital and shelter environment. Emphasis will be on the basic principles and application of clinical facility management, care and behavior of hospitalized patients, routine maintenance duties, and euthanasia, grief and pet loss support.

Course Objectives

The student will be able to:
A. Describe and perform proper husbandry of dogs and cats
B. Describe and perform standard operating procedures for facilities care
C. Exhibit professionalism and perform responsibly in providing for the needs of patients and in working collaboratively with coworkers
D. Describe basic principles of dog and cat behavior
E. Demonstrate low stress handling techniques for dogs and cats
F. Perform basic steps in physical examination of dogs and cats
G. Interpret findings discovered during physical examination of dogs and cats
H. Discuss pet euthanasia: the role of the AVMA, veterinarian, technician, and the pet owner in all aspects of euthanasia and pet loss

Course Content

A. Dog and cat husbandry protocols
1. Orientation to facility(ies)
2. Observation of normal patients in confinement
3. Routine animal husbandry requirements
a. Dogs
b. Cats
B. Standard operating procedures for facility maintenance
1. Principles of disinfection
a. Routine cleaning and sanitation
2. Inventory
3. Record keeping
4. Care and safe use of cleaning equipment
C. Working as a professional
1. Definition of a professional person
2. Interpersonal communication
3. Performance of animal care according to hospital protocols
4. Medical record keeping
5. Medical communication with peers and superiors
a. Doctor's orders
b. Rounds
6. Teamwork
a. Assuming personal responsibility
b. Communications
D. Dog and cat behavior
1. Role of veterinary technician in animal behavior
2. Canine behavior and development
a. Canine sensory perception
b. Canine communication
3. Canine social structure
4. Canine behavior at different stages of development
a. Sensitive periods of development
5. Problem prevention in the canine
6. Feline behavior and development
a. Feline sensory perception
b. Feline communication
7. Feline social structure
8. Feline behavior at different stages of development
a. Sensitive periods of development
9. Problem prevention in the feline
E. Low stress handling techniques for dogs and cats
1. Human animal bond
2. Learning and behavior modification
3. Handling techniques in the veterinary clinic
4. Low stress veterinary clinic tips
F. Introduction to physical examination of dogs and cats
1. History
2. TPR
3. Systems approach
4. Nose to tail approach
5. Medical record keeping: using SOAP
G. Interpretation of physical examination findings of dogs and cats
1. Needs pyramid
2. Nursing assessments
3. Normal findings
H. Pet euthanasia
1. Decision process
2. Role of each member of staff
3. Process of euthanasia
4. Disposal of remains
5. Grief as a process
6. Talking to clients

Lab Content

A. Daily, routine care of feline and canine patients
B. Basic principles and application of clinical facility management, routine maintenance duties
C. Application of dog and cat low stress handing
D. Case studies to illustrate and practice skills
E. Collaborative projects

Special Facilities and/or Equipment

Dogs and cats. Housing and restraint facilities. Laboratory equipped with examination tables and diagnostic and therapeutic equipment and supplies.

Method(s) of Evaluation

The student will demonstrate proficiency by some or all of the following:
A. Written evaluations
1. Tests
2. Reflection assignments
3. Peer evaluations
B. Skills evaluations
1. Technical competency
2. Conference with instructor
C. Group projects

Method(s) of Instruction

Discussions, demonstrations, laboratory practice

Representative Text(s) and Other Materials

Bassert, Joanna M. Clinical Textbook For Veterinary Technicians. 9th ed. W. B. Saunders Co., 2017.


Types and/or Examples of Required Reading, Writing, and Outside of Class Assignments

A. Reading assignments: Weekly reading assignments from text, class handouts, and online or outside sources.

B. Medical record keeping for program teaching animals.



Registered Veterinary Technician