Print Version

Effective: Summer 2017

Prerequisites: Prerequisite: BIOL 41.
Grade Type: Letter Grade Only
Not Repeatable.
FHGE: Non-GE Transferable: CSU
4 hours lecture, 3 hours laboratory. (84 hours total per quarter)

Student Learning Outcomes -
  • Outline and explain the steps and rational for performing the Complete Blood Count (CBC). Assemble all required equipment and materials and perform a Complete Blood Count (CBC) on a animal blood sample.
  • Assemble all required equipment and materials and perform a Complete Urinalysis (UA) on a animal urine sample.
Description -
Fundamental studies of laboratory techniques and procedures involved in evaluating veterinary clinical samples. Areas of study include hematology, urinalysis, coagulation assessment, blood biochemistry and immunological testing, serology, clinical parasitology, and cytology. The veterinary technician's role in sample collection, sample storage and handling, and performance of analytic procedures will be emphasized. Skills are developed in the use of laboratory equipment, laboratory safety and management, and quality control and quality assurance. 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:
  1. recognize and discuss the responsibilities of the veterinary technician in a clinical laboratory setting as it relates to the veterinarian, other veterinary health care team members, and the patient.
  2. discuss and demonstrate the safe and proper collections, handling and storage of clinical samples.
  3. demonstrate skill in the proper use of various types of clinical laboratory equipment.
  4. discuss, evaluate and perform basic procedures in veterinary hematology, including preparation and staining of blood smears; blood cell identification and enumeration; and determination of blood parameters and indices.
  5. discuss, evaluate and perform basic procedures in veterinary urinalysis, including sample preparation; determination of physical and biochemical properties; and microscopic sediment examination.
  6. discuss, evaluate, and perform basic procedures in veterinary coagulation assessment, including sample handling and common coagulation tests.
  7. discuss, evaluate, and perform basic procedures in veterinary serum biochemistry including organ function tests and health profiles utilizing automated blood analyzers.
  8. discuss, evaluate, and perform basic procedures in veterinary serology, including comparing and contrasting the methodologies employed in serological and immunologic testing.
  9. discuss, evaluate, and perform basic procedures in veterinary cytology, including sample collection and preparation, and cell identification.
  10. discuss, evaluate, and perform basic procedures in veterinary clinical parasitology including identification of hemoparasites, and common internal and external parasites.
  11. Know normal laboratory values and recognize the significance of abnormal values as it relates to clinical nursing practice.
  12. describe, discuss, and outline a simple clinical laboratory quality control and quality assurance program.
Special Facilities and/or Equipment -
Laboratory equipped with biological laboratory equipment such as microscopes, centrifuges, and glassware. Clinical laboratory equipment: manual and automated cell counters, biochemistry analyzers, incubator, reagents and accessories. Live animal sources for clinical samples.

Course Content (Body of knowledge) -
  1. The role of the veterinary technician in the clinical laboratory
    1. Definition of clinical pathology
    2. Roles of veterinary technicians in the clinical pathology laboratory
    3. Responsibility of the veterinary technician to the veterinarian, other members of the health care teams and patient
    4. Quality Control and Quality Assurance
    5. Laboratory Safety and Management
    6. Introduction to manual and automated laboratory equipment
  2. Veterinary Hematology
    1. Characteristics of blood and formation of blood elements
    2. Sample collection, storage, and preparation
    3. The complete blood count
      1. Preparation and staining of the blood smear and buffy coat smear
      2. Hematocrit: packed cell volume and total protein
      3. The differential white blood cell count including white blood cell morphology
      4. Red blood cell morphology and indices
      5. Reticulocyte count
      6. platelet morphology, estimate and count
    4. Classification of anemia
    5. White blood cell responses in disease
  3. Veterinary Urinalysis
    1. Review of renal function and formation of urine
    2. Sample collection, storage, and preparation
    3. The value of urinalysis in patient assessment
    4. Examination of urine
      1. Physical examination
      2. Chemical examination
      3. Microscopic examination of urine sediment: identification and enumeration of formed elements
    5. Clinical significance of urinalysis findings
  4. Veterinary Coagulation Assessment
    1. Platelets and primary hemostasis; clotting factors and secondary hemostasis
    2. Sample collection, storage, and preparation
    3. Bleeding time test
    4. Whole blood clotting time test
    5. Coagulation screening including assessment of the intrinsic and extrinsic clotting systems
    6. Common veterinary hemostatic disorders
  5. Veterinary Biochemistry
    1. Applications of biochemistry profiles and individual organ function tests
    2. Sample collection, storage, and preparation
    3. Principles of enzyme assay and biochemical reaction testing
      1. Discussion of dry chemistry methodologies
    4. Importance of quality control and reference ranges
    5. Specific biochemistry tests for evaluation of organ function
  6. Veterinary Serology
    1. Review of basic immunologic responses
    2. Applications of serology and immunodiagnostics to veterinary clinical diagnosis
    3. Sample collection, storage, and preparation
    4. Methodologies used in immunodiagnostic testing
    5. ELISA technology: principles, reactants, kits
    6. Fluorescent antibody testing
    7. Basic interpretation of the results of immunodiagnostic tests
  7. Veterinary Cytology
    1. Common clinical samples and their diagnostic value
    2. Sample collection, storage, and preparation
      1. Fine needle aspirates and impression smears
      2. Swabs and scrapings
      3. Fluid analysis
    3. Vaginal cytology
Methods of Evaluation -
Written examinations. Practical examinations. Written Case Study. Completion of an Essential Skills Competency Checklist using Standard Criteria.
Representative Text(s) -
Hendrix, Charles M. and Sirois, Margi. Laboratory Procedures for Veterinary Technicians, 5th ed., Mosby, 2007.
Reagan, et. al., Veterinary Hematology: Atlas of Common Domestic Species, Wiley-Blackwell, 2008.

Disciplines -
Veterinary Technology
Method of Instruction -
Lecture, Discussion, Laboratory, Demonstration.
Lab Content -
TBA HRS: Students will compile clinical information on a current medical/surgical nursing case they have been primarily responsible for and write a five-page case study discussing the relevant clinical aspects of the case.
LAB: Practical training in the American Veterinary Medical Association Committee on Veterinary Technician Education and Activities List of Essential Skills Expected of Graduate Veterinary Technicians using a set of Standard criteria as a guideline for the accomplishment of performance objectives. Emphasis is on skill development and hands-on experience in all required areas.
Types and/or Examples of Required Reading, Writing and Outside of Class Assignments -
Reading Assignments: Weekly reading assignments from text, class handouts, and outside sources ranging from 50 to 100 pages per week.
Written short answer essay questions and one written case study.