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 75B.
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 using techniques and knowledge learned in the veterinary technology classes. Students expand their animal care knowledge, skills, and abilities to include skills needed to be successful applying clinical diagnostics in the workplace. Students are expected to apply knowledge of medical terminology, anatomy and physiology to animal care duties. There is an emphasis on professional behavior, medical record keeping, and clinical procedures with dogs and cats.

Course Objectives

The student will be able to:
A. Perform physical examination and patient assessment of dogs and cats
B. Implement the problem oriented veterinary medical record keeping system
C. Explain a preventive health plan for the dog and the cat
D. Demonstrate technical competency in basic diagnostic skills
E. Demonstrate technical competency in basic therapeutic skills

Course Content

A. Physical examination and patient assessment
1. History taking
a. Dogs
b. Cats
2. Physical examination
a. Dogs
b. Cats
3. Nursing assessments
a. Differentiation between DVM and RVT assessment
b. Examples
c. Priority pyramid
B. Problem oriented veterinary medical record keeping system
1. Reading medical records
2. Entering data into medical records
3. SOAP system
4. Common abbreviations
5. Following directions
C. Preventive health care plans for the dog and the cat
1. Principles of vaccination
a. Core vaccines for dogs
b. Core vaccines for cats
2. Deworming
a. Common nematodes
b. Tapeworms
3. External parasite control
4. Heartworm testing and prevention
5. FeLV/FIV testing and prevention
6. Medical communication
a. Doctor's orders
b. Explaining preventive care to clients
D. Basic diagnostic skills
1. Dermatologic skills
a. Skin scraping
b. Ectoparasite exam
c. Dermatophyte test
d. Skin cytology
e. Ear cytology
2. Ophthalmic skills
a. Schirmer tear test
b. Fluorescein stain
c. Tonopen
E. Basic therapeutic skills
1. Ear exam and ear cleaning
2. Nail trim: dog and cat
4. Grooming dogs
5. Grooming cats
6. Anal sac expression

Lab Content

A. Repetition of physical examination skills until proficient
B. Practical application of animal care skills and preventive care as discussed in class
C. Practice the following dermatologic and ophthalmic essential skills under trained instructors as required by the AVMA:
1. Trim toenails in a dog or cat
2. Express anal sacs - canine
3. Perform a skin scraping
4. Dermatophyte testing
5. Application of topical medication
6. Ear swab collection and preparation (dog or cat)
7. Cleaning ears prior to medication (dog or cat)
8. Administer ear medication
9. Administer eye drops or ointment to a dog or cat
10. Perform a Schirmer Tear Test
11. Perform a Fluorescein Stain Test
12. Tonometry

Special Facilities and/or Equipment

Dogs and cats. Housing and restraint facilities. Laboratory equipped with examination tables and diagnostic and therapeutic equipment and supplies, such as: centrifuge, ophthalmic diagnostic supplies (Tonopen, Schirmer tear tests, Fluorescein ophthalmic dye, ultraviolet light), otoscopes and variety of ear cones, ophthalmoscopes, dog and cat grooming supplies, microscopes, slides, stains and mineral oil, and other veterinary clinic supplies.

Method(s) of Evaluation

The student will demonstrate proficiency by some or all of the following:
A. Written evaluations
1. Tests: midterm and final examinations
2. Reflection assignments
3. Peer evaluations
4. Short research paper
B. Skills evaluations
1. Technical competency of essential skills
2. Conference with instructor
3. Group projects

Method(s) of Instruction

During periods of instruction the student will be:
A. Observing demonstrations and lectures
B. Practicing on models and patients if indicated
C. Participating in collaborative exercises and lab activities

Representative Text(s) and Other Materials

Bassert, Joanna M., and Dennis M. McCurnin. Clinical Textbook For Veterinary Technicians. 9th ed. W. B. Saunders Co., 2014.

Rockett, Lattanzio, Christensen. The Veterinary Technician's Guide to Writing SOAPS. Rockett House Publishing, 2013.

Although one or more texts is older than the suggested "5 years or newer" standard, it remains a seminal text in this area of study.


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

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



Registered Veterinary Technician