Vanier College, Animal Health Techonology DEC – 2010
See below for course details:
Providing quality health care for animals is complex. In addition to mastering technology and procedures, animal health technicians must be adept in the management and care of animals, laboratory facilities and be able to take on an administrative role in the office. The ability to communicate and interact with clients is vital.
In this dynamic program, the teaching of theory is accompanied by hands-on experience such as reading X-Rays, and using animal skeletons to locate appropriate puncture sites and demonstrate correct techniques, learn minor surgery procedures and understand animal biology, physiology and anatomy. There are mandatory clinical and research fieldwork/internship placements as part of the program.
By the time they graduate, Vanier Animal Health Technicians are team players who are flexible, mature, motivated and highly competent. This program is accredited by the Canadian Veterinary Medical
Association (CVMA) and the Canadian Council on Animal Care (CCAC). As well, the Animal Health Technology Department works closely with the ATSAQ (Association des Techniciennes et Techniciens en Santé Animale du Québec) and graduating students are strongly urged to eventually join this association.
Animal Health Technicians (Technologists) have been recently recognized by the authorities to perform specific procedures that were historically exclusively the domain of veterinarians. Only persons having a recognized AHT degree are allowed to perform these new tasks.
Successful students are:
- enthusiastic about working with animals and people
- demonstrate physical dexterity
- comfortable in a very hands-on environment
- Cell Biology - Course Content Includes: Organic biomolecules. Enzymes; regulation of cellular activity. Basic structure and organization of cells. Organelles and their specific functions. Diffusion and osmosis. Cellular respiration (aerobic and anaerobic), protein synthesis and cellular metabolism. Mitosis, meiosis and gametogenesis. Introduction to Mendelian genetics.
- Basic Animal Care - This course covers the basics of care for pets, research and farm animals. Topics include the care and grooming of companion animals, breeds of domestic animals, animal housing, handling and housing requirements, and animal facility design. It also initiates the student in dealing with commonly asked questions by animal owners.
- Professional Information
- Veterinary Medical Terminology & Calculations
- General & Solution Chemistry - This course is designed to provide a broad background in general chemistry and the chemistry of aqueous solutions to students in the Animal Health Technology Program. Solution topics include: a review of basic principles and unit conversions; the structure of matter; the Periodic table and the periodic properties of elements; inorganic nomenclature; chemical bonding; electrolytes; solubility; concentration units; chemical equilibrium, acids and bases; oxidation and reduction; liquids and solids; diffusion; osmosis; chemical kinetics.
- Animal Anatomy & Physiology 1 - This course will establish links between animal anatomy and physiology and related biological functions. Emphasis will be placed on the nervous, muscular, endocrine, skeletal and respiratory systems.
- Basic Animal Care - Basic behavior of domestic animals and factors that influence behavior. Learned and innate behavior, inter and intra-specific interactions. Animal-human bond. An emphasis on behavioral problems of canines and felines, avoiding problems, training and problem solving. Practical applications of animal training.
- Applied Veterinary Genetics - This course will provide insight into the basic elements of mendelian genetics, selection of breeding stock, and practical application and knowledge of genetic defects as it pertains to small and large veterinary practice and research projects.
- Bio-Organic Chemistry - This course is designed to provide Animal Health Technology students with the sound background in biochemistry and organic chemistry which is needed for their field of study. Topics include: basic biochemistry of the living cell; carbohydrates and natural polymers; lipids, amino acids, peptides and proteins and their biological activity; enzymology, metabolic pathways and energy transfer; organic chemistry, including the role of functional groups in biological and environmental processes.
- Animal Anatomy & Physiology 2 - This course will establish links between animal anatomy and physiology and their related biological functions. Emphasis will be placed on the digestive, cardiovascular, lymphatic, urinary, and reproductive systems, as well as embryological development.
- Microbiology & Immunology – Content includes: Morphology, physiology and identification of microorganisms. Bacteriological staining techniques. Establishment of bacterial cultures. Aseptic technique. Cleaning and disinfection of work areas. Factors affecting bacterial growth. Control of microorganisms by heat, radiation and chemicals. Pathogenesis and epidemiology. Non-specific defense mechanisms. Isolation and identification of bacteria from respiratory, digestive and urinary systems. Determination of antibiotic susceptibility.
- Animal Nutrition - Course content includes sources and medical relevance of the major food products. Anatomy and functioning of the digestive systems of representative domestic animals. Principles of nutrition, nutritional requirements of common domestic animals. Food additives and supplements. Choice of diet as determined by production goals.
- Practice Management - Course content includes: client relations and communication, legal and ethical issues in the field of private veterinary practice, hospital structure and management, veterinary staff policies, applicable fees and marketing techniques, special considerations on client and patient care, file and drug management, hospital safety, and the use of veterinary hospital software.
- A.H. Instrumentation Techniques - Use and maintenance of instruments and equipment used in animal health such as X-ray and anesthesia machines; equipment for general examination, anesthetic monitoring, and clinical pathology.
- Microbiology Techniques
- Mammalian Parasitology - Morphology and biology of parasitic protozoans, worms and arthropods. Incidence, habitat, life cycle, mode of transmission, symptoms and treatment in domestic, laboratory and farm animals. To accomplish parasitological diagnostic and treatment procedures. To select and use means of prevention, understanding the role of immunity.
- Nursing & Radiology - Receiving and conducting an initial examination of a client’s animal, preparation of consultation room, file completion and organization, dealing with clients. Routine medical care and administration of medications through various means. Taking radiographs, interpretation of radiographs, and radiation safety. Animal restraint and behavior with hands on experience is reviewed and emphasized.
- Pharmacology & Toxicology - The main objective of this course is to give the student a sound basic knowledge of the variety of veterinary drugs available to treat and alleviate animal disease such as: sedatives, anesthetics, antibiotics, antiparasitics, analgesics, cardiac drugs, dermatologic agents. Course content will include drug pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics, the pharmacological activity, effects and toxicity of drugs, drug dosage calculations.
- Breeding & Reproduction - Course content includes: anatomy, physiology and endocrinology of the normal reproductive systems ( gestation, birth and lactation). Fertility, breeding behavior, artificial insemination and embryo transplants in domestic animals. Commercial breeding and production of livestock is also covered, with an introduction to genetic engineering.
- Experimental Animal Research Techniques - Ethical and regulatory concerns regarding the use of animals in research. Transgenics. Alternatives to the use of animals in research. Surgical procedures, techniques and instrumentation commonly used in animal research.
- Hematology & Clinical Chemistry - Course content emphasizes blood and urine analysis techniques executed in the veterinary laboratory setting. Concepts necessary to the understanding of the nature and role of blood and urine are covered. Topics will focus on the qualitative analysis of blood and urine forming elements and on the alterations seen as a result of disease. Blood and urine collection will be performed by students.
- Laboratory Animals - Course content include: anatomical, physiological and behavioral characteristics of the rat, mouse, rabbit, guinea pig, hamster, dog, cat, cows, pigs, sheep, goats, non human primates and other less usual species in their capacity as lab animals.
- Nursing & Surgical Techniques - Course content includes: theory and techniques of anesthesiology. Surgical techniques: preparation of the operational room and surgical instruments. Sterile technique. Preparation of the animal for surgery, assisting during surgery. Post-operative care and client instructions.
- Research Methods & Experimental Design - This course will examine and implement the experimental design concepts necessary for valid research protocols. Students will design, organize, and execute a research project based on ‘Good Laboratory practice’ and animal use guidelines. The project will be in conjunction with Laboratory Animals, Experimental Animal Research Techniques and/or hematology & Biochemical Techniques.
- Clinic Internship – (Done at The Animal Health Clinic) Students will be placed in a veterinary practice setting for a period of five weeks and will be expected to actively participate in the daily activities and specific techniques attributed to animal health technicians.
- Elements of Pathology - External and internal causes of disease. Degeneration of cells, and tissue, necrosis, tumours, inflammation, and body responses. Abnormalities of the circulatory, excretory, nervous, digestive, musculoskeletal, and cutaneous systems. Emphasis on domestic animals.
- Exotic Animal Care - Anatomy, biology, behavior, nutrition, housing requirements and research of less common pets and zoo animals, such as birds, fish, reptiles and amphibians.
- Histological Techniques & Cytology - Fixing, embedding, sectioning, mounting and staining of tissues for the purpose of microscopic examination. Study of the microscopic structure of normal tissue is compared with clinically useful cytological techniques. Introduction to cytology by skin scraping, ear swabbing, bone marrow preparation and fine needle technique is also reviewed.
- Research Internship – (Done at Parc Safari) The student will work full-time as a technologist in an institution specializing in animal research. His/her work is evaluated by both the institution staff and the Animal Health Technology faculty.
- Veterinary Dentistry - Introduction to dental anatomy and dental health maintenance. A complete dental prophylactics will be taught on anesthetized animals, with emphasis on home-care and early detection of disease states. This course will also cover nursing and surgical skills as developed in earlier courses.