Academic Catalog


Foothill College Course Outline of Record

Foothill College Course Outline of Record
Heading Value
Units: 2
Hours: 2 lecture per week (24 total per quarter)
Prerequisite: V T 75A.
Advisory: Not open to students with credit in APAV 75B (completed prior to the 2020-21 catalog year).
Degree & Credit Status: Degree-Applicable Credit Course
Foothill GE: Non-GE
Transferable: CSU
Grade Type: Letter Grade Only
Repeatability: Not Repeatable

Student Learning Outcomes

  • Perform thorough physical examinations on all program animals.
  • Use correct medical terminology and applied anatomy and physiology terms in working with program animals.
  • Demonstrate entry level competency in performing common diagnostic skills (ophthalmic and dermatologic) in a small animal hospital.


Second in a series of animal care skills topics. Practical application of animal care skills and principles of animal care and management using techniques and knowledge learned in the veterinary technology courses. Students apply knowledge of medical terminology, anatomy and physiology to animal care duties. Students will create nutrition and preventive health care plans for program animals and learn how to assess pain in domestic animals. Intended for students in the Veterinary Technology Program; enrollment is limited to students accepted in the program.

Course Objectives

The student will be able to:
A. Perform physical assessment of teaching animals during animal care shifts
B. Implement the Problem Oriented Veterinary Medical Record keeping system
C. Discuss the role of pain in companion animal health and disease
D. Explain a preventive health plan for the dog and the cat, through all life stages
E. Demonstrate skill in creating nutritional plans for dogs and cats at different stages of their lives

Course Content

A. Physical assessment
1. Normal values for TPR
a. Dogs
b. Cats
2. 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. Following directions
5. Rounds and "rounding"
C. Pain in companion animal health and disease
1. Role of veterinary technician in advocating for patient pain control
2. Pain pathways
a. Deleterious effects of pain
b. Physiology of pain
c. Types of pain
d. Windup
3. Multimodal approach to pain control
4. Pain score
5. Technician interventions in pain control
D. Preventive health care for the companion dog and cat
1. Principles of vaccination
a. Physiology of vaccination
b. Core and non-core vaccines
c. Vaccines for dogs
d. Vaccines for cats
e. Talking to clients about vaccination
2. Deworming
a. Common nematodes
b. Tapeworms
3. External parasite control
4. Heartworm prevention
5. Medical communication
a. Doctor's orders
b. Explaining preventive care to clients
E. Demonstrate skill in creating nutritional plans for dogs and cats at different stages of their lives
1. Principles of nutrition
a. Six nutrients
b. Calculating feeding requirements for life stages
2. Reading food labels
3. Nutrition in health and disease
4. Talking to clients about nutrition
5. Role of veterinary technician in advocating for patient

Lab Content

Not applicable.

Special Facilities and/or Equipment

A. Live companion and laboratory animal species and livestock.
B. Housing and restraint facilities.
C. Laboratory equipped with examination tables and diagnostic and therapeutic equipment and supplies, as needed.

Method(s) of Evaluation

Methods of Evaluation may include but are not limited to the following:

The student will demonstrate proficiency by:
A. Evidence of responsibility in carrying out duties, technical competency, accuracy and thoroughness
B. Instructor observation, peer evaluations, and possible conference with the student
C. Midterm and final
D. Nutrition project or assignment
E. Pain project or assignment

Method(s) of Instruction

Methods of Instruction may include but are not limited to the following:

A. Lectures
B. Workshops
C. Discussions
D. Demonstrations
E. Field work
F. Canvas is used for homework and communication purposes

Representative Text(s) and Other Materials

Bassert, Joanna M., Angela Beal, and Oreta Samples. Clinical Textbook For Veterinary Technicians. 9th ed. W. B. Saunders Co., 2018.
Rockett, Lattanzio, and Christensen. The Veterinary Technician's Guide to Writing SOAPS. Rockett House Publishing, 2013.
Although one (or more) of the above 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

Assignments may include but are not limited to:
A. Weekly reading assignments from text, class handouts, and outside sources, including Canvas
B. Medical record keeping for program teaching animals
C. Completing physical assessments on program animals, and interpreting findings
D. Nutrition project
E. Pain project
F. Animal care is a key part of this course, and students are expected to work independently and cooperatively with other students
G. Perform rounds with senior students


Registered Veterinary Technician