Veterinary Assistant Program

Veterinary Assistant graduates are qualified to provide an extensive range of animal care services for both the office and the clinical settings of Veterinary Hospitals. This program emphasizes animal restraint, nutrition, pharmacology, clinical nursing, human relations, administration, diseases and prevention. Veterinary Assistant students are involved in hands-on training within veterinary hospitals.

This program includes a practicum placement. This experience within a workplace enables Instructional staff to observe the student in a practice situation while providing the student with the opportunity to gain direct exposure to the chosen career field.

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of the program, students will be able to:

  • Schedule appointments
  • Perform receptionist and bookkeeping duties
  • Identify common small animal breeds
  • Handle and restrain animals safely
  • Promote good health by performing basic grooming skills
  • Demonstrate knowledge of parasite control
  • Understand basic veterinary terminology with applications to anatomy, physiology and diseases
  • Demonstrate familiarity with common surgical procedures
  • Discuss important homecare instructions
  • Assist veterinary technologist during the following: taking Xrays, administering anesthesia and during dental and surgical procedures

Diploma Program

Total Program Hours:
815 Hours
Full-Time Program Length:
33 Weeks
(Includes holidays and professional days)
Program content is subject to change.

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Career Opportunities

Animal Hospitals
Animal Shelters
Boarding Kennels
SPCA
Veterinary Clinics
Veterinary Supply Company
Admission Requirements:
  • Grade 12 / GED or mature student status (all transcripts must be “true certified copies” or originals)
  • Applicants must successfully complete the admissions interview and may be required to do an entrance assessment (with a minimum composite score of 42)

Note: English level assessment will be required for international students (with a minimum score of 20/40 in language).

Diploma Requirements:
  • 60% average upon successful completion of all courses, including courses given a complete
* Veterinary Assistant Program was reviewed and approved by the registrar of the Private Training Institutions Branch (PTIB) of the Ministry of Advanced Education, Skills & Training.

Students can expect to complete one to three hours of homework per day.

Courses List

This 33 week Diploma program requires the student to complete the following courses.

  • Computer basics/file management
  • Goal setting, note-taking, problem-solving, teamwork
  • Overview of policies & procedures
  • Demonstrate the ability to use MS Word and MS PowerPoint

  • Interview techniques
  • Create a Career Development Marketing Plan
  • Apply aspects of professionalism
  • Identify target markets and employment resources
  • Specialty program coverage in this shortened version

  • Administrative functions for dispensing medication
  • Weights and measures
  • Drug administration theory
  • Reviewing common prescription instructions with clients

  • Communicating basic nutritional information to clients
  • Nutritional labels
  • Regulation, energy requirements, and caloric values of pet foods
  • Purina Nutrition Course

  • Recognize and identify common parasites
  • Parasite testing, diagnosis, and treatments

  • Concerns, principles, and categories of animal restraint
  • Handling techniques
  • Restraint for various procedures and types of animals

  • Animal breeds
  • Anatomy and physiology
  • Grooming, travelling, exercise, and training
  • Adolescence, reproduction, senior pets, and euthanasia

  • Basic anatomy, physiology, and terminology of the major body systems

  • Symptoms, diagnostic tests, and treatments of medical conditions
  • Responding to common client questions

  • Surgery and anesthesia procedures
  • Dental procedures
  • Hospitalized patient care
  • Exam room assistance
  • Laboratory, endoscopy, and radiology processes

  • Infectious diseases
  • Zoonotic diseases
  • Aseptic technique

  • Professional and business aspects of an animal clinic
  • Communications
  • Public relations
  • Record keeping
  • Security and safety

• Integrate theory from the classroom into practice by working in a veterinary environment
• Four-week practicum (minimum of 25 hours per week)

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