Science: Veterinary Technology - Diploma

Apply Now

Program Overview

Location(s):
  • SIAST Kelsey Campus, Saskatoon
Length: 73 weeks: 

Year 1 - 36 weeks; Year 2 - 37 weeks

Our Program

Veterinary technology is a rewarding career choice for people who want to make a positive difference in animals' lives, whether pets, livestock or wild animals.

SIAST offers a two-year diploma program in Veterinary Technology, with an emphasis on learning by doing. You will get a solid background in animal care and management, and diagnostic laboratory procedures; including hands-on training in nursing skills, hematology, microbiology, clinical chemistry and parasitology lab techniques, and diagnostic imaging and aesthesiology.

Note
International applicants are not currently considered for admission to this program.

The program includes two practicums: one in a small-animal veterinary practice and the other in a mixed or large-animal practice or research facility. This provides valuable practical training in two very different working environments.

You'll develop the skills you need to:

  • assist the veterinarian in surgery
  • provide medical , surgical and emergency nursing care
  • monitor animal health in a variety of settings
  • perform laboratory procedures
  • perform radiologic and anesthetic procedures
  • assist in client education

The Veterinary Technology program is accredited by the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association. Graduates are eligible to write the Veterinary Technician National Examination to become Registered Veterinary Technologists, which qualifies you to work anywhere in Canada and parts of the United States. Graduates also have the option of transferring to the two-year post-diploma bachelor's degree in Agricultural Studies at the University of Lethbridge.

Did you know?

One of the program's strengths is that you complete your final semester of courses at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine located at the University of Saskatchewan. It's a unique opportunity for you to work side-by-side with experienced veterinary technologists and some of the industry's leading veterinary specialists.

How does it fit?

A love of animals often inspires people to become veterinary technologists, but it takes more than that to succeed. Vet techs need to cultivate a wide variety of skills, from a solid understanding of math and science to computer and communication skills. You will also need to be a team player who is dedicated to the care of animals and is comfortable interacting with their owners and farm managers.

For more information about this program refer to Frequently Asked Questions.

Your Career

If you thought veterinary technologists work only in veterinary clinics - think again. Your career options range from working in private veterinary practices to diagnostic labs, zoos, teaching hospitals, livestock operations, animal shelters, and research. You might work for a government agency to monitor livestock production or join the herd health team at a game farm, dairy farm, swine barn or feedlot. You can build a sales career in the pet industry, or put your skills to use as the owner/operator of your own kennel, training facility or pet supply company.

For more information about career opportunities related to this program, contact Student Employment Services at the campus nearest you.

Program Details

Start Date(s): September

Tuition and Fees

    Estimates are based on current rates and are subject to change. Amounts for a program may vary by campus. Totals shown here include all mandatory fees as well as books and supplies. For a complete breakdown of tuition and fees for this program, click here to access the SIAST campus Tuition and Fee Schedules.
Year 1 - $7,079
Year 2 - $6,784

Admission Information

Admission Requirements

  • Grade 12 with a minimum of 70% in each of the following subjects: Biology 30, Chemistry 30, and Foundations of Math 30 or Pre-Calculus 30*
  • A combined average of 70% in English Language Arts A30 and English Language Arts B30
  • 60 hours documented veterinarian-supervised volunteer or work experience
  • Completion of mandatory orientation
  • English Language Requirement

Note

To comply with safety regulations, students who wear contact lenses must have a pair of prescription glasses to wear in the labs.

 

*Previous Saskatchewan mathematics requirement also accepted:

  • Minimum of 70% in a 30 level math

Special Admission

Applicants who do not possess the academic qualifications for a program may be admitted if evidence of probable success can be established through a special admission assessment. Interested individuals should still apply. Applicants are automatically considered for special admission. However, some specific admission requirements may still need to be met. Refer to the ACCUPLACER© cut scores and Post Secondary Success Requirements for this program below, and review additional details concerning Special Admission.

ACCUPLACER©

  • 80 Arithmetic
  • 70 Elementary Algebra
  • 85 Reading
  • 85 Sentence
  • 4 WritePlacer

Post-Secondary Success

One year post-secondary studies including a post-secondary level English and math (or a minimum of 70% in the mathematics requirement), plus a minimum of 70% in Biology 30 and Chemistry 30

Admission Method

First Qualified/First Admitted

The First Qualified/First Admitted (FQFA) process is used for the majority of SIAST programs. When we determine that you meet the program's admission requirements, you will be offered admission based on the date you fully qualify for the program. The earlier you provide the appropriate documents and information that qualify you for admission to the next intake, the earlier you might begin your studies. Your application, once qualified, is always considered for the next intake. 

Applicants to programs with multiple intakes in an academic year remain in the application pool until the last intake for that academic year has begun. Programs using the FQFA process receive applications year round and maintain an application pool for each academic year. Qualified applicants who are not offered a seat must reapply for the next academic year. 

Sponsored programs or programs targeted to specific groups do not accept applications year round or maintain an application pool.

Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition

SIAST recognizes that adults learn in many different ways and through many different means. This includes acquiring knowledge and skills through life and work experience or non-formal training.


Transfer Credit

Many SIAST students benefit from transferring credit. You may be eligible to transfer credit from or to another college or university. To learn more, visit our transfer credit web page.

 


Transfer credit options vary over time; this information is subject to change. Transfer credit options for this program include:

  • admission eligibility to a two-year post-diploma Bachelor's degree in Agricultural Studies at the University of Lethbridge (contact the Dean's office, Faculty of Arts and Science, University of Lethbridge at 403-380-1813)

Courses

Year 1 - Semester 1

CodeCourse Name/DescriptionCredits
ANIM 182

Care and Management of Laboratory Animals

You will study the lecture information online. The course content includes animal production, care and management. Laboratory experiences will allow you to practice handling and restraint in small laboratory animal species.


Credit Units: 2

Course Hours: 32.0

Learning Methods: Lecture/Lab

2
APHY 190

Anatomy and Physiology 1

You will learn basic applied comparative anatomy and physiology of domestic animals. You will study the relationship between structure and function beginning at the cellular level through to organ systems. Organ systems include the skeletal, muscular, digestive, respiratory and cardiovascular systems. The lab will provide hands-on study of important physiological principles and anatomical structures through models and the dissection of preserved specimens.


Credit Units: 6

Course Hours: 90.0

Corequisites: VETR 182, VETR 183

Learning Methods: Lecture/Lab

6
CHEM 185

General Chemistry

You will be introduced to the fundamentals of chemical theory needed for health professionals. You will develop basic laboratory skills and learn how to work safely in laboratory settings.


Credit Units: 5

Course Hours: 75.0

Learning Methods: Lecture/Lab

5
COMP 172

Introduction to Microsoft Word and Excel

Your studies will introduce you to the purpose and uses of a word processor and electronic spreadsheet. You will develop the basic skills of creating, editing and formatting documents and spreadsheets.


Credit Units: 1

Course Hours: 15.0

Equivalent Courses: COAP 120, COAP 172, COAP 381, COMP 120

Learning Methods: Prior Learning, Lecture/Lab, Print Distance Group, Web CT/Blackboard

1
GENE 182

Veterinary Genetics

Your studies will include lectures and laboratory exercises on transmission genetics, inheritance, pedigree, cell division, breed identification and the nature of genetic information.


Credit Units: 2

Course Hours: 32.0

Equivalent Courses: GENE 181

Learning Methods: Lecture/Lab

2
MATH 280

Mathematics for Veterinary Technology

You will review basic mathematical concepts such as ratio, proportion, fractions, decimals, percents and equations. You will also receive an introduction to logarithmic and exponential functions and graphing. Your studies will focus on units of measurement and dilution and solution calculations.


Credit Units: 3

Course Hours: 48.0

Learning Methods: Lecture/Theory

3
VETR 182

Veterinary Nursing Skills

You will practice common nursing skills used in veterinary clinics. These skills will be utilized during vaccination clinics and first and second year clinical rotations.


Credit Units: 2

Course Hours: 27.0

Corequisites: APHY 190, VETR 183

Learning Methods: Lab/Practical

2
VETR 183

Introduction to Veterinary Technology

You will be exposed to the operation of veterinary practices through assigned rotations at local veterinary clinics during the week and at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine on Saturdays.


Credit Units: 3

Course Hours: 50.0

Corequisites: APHY 190, VETR 182

Learning Methods: Clinical/Practicum

3
VETR 184

Veterinary Tours 1

You will tour various animal production and research facilities. You will report on variations in housing, health management, feeding and breeding options.


Credit Units: 1

Course Hours: 15.0

Learning Methods: Clinical/Practicum

1
VETR 186

Human Animal Bond, Ethics and the Law

You will be introduced to aspects of the human-animal bond (such as grief counselling) and the legislation that applies to veterinary technology. You will learn how to apply ethics in your relationships with co-workers and clients. You will also learn the importance of medical records, record keeping and legislation.


Credit Units: 2

Course Hours: 24.0

Learning Methods: Lecture/Theory

2
VETR 187

Animal Behaviour

You will be introduced to the study of domesticated animal behaviour and behaviour modifications.


Credit Units: 2

Course Hours: 24.0

Learning Methods: Lecture/Theory

2
VETR 188

Veterinary Medical Terminology

You will learn to use the prefixes, suffixes, and combining forms from which veterinary medical terms are derived, as well as the correct way to use medical abbreviations. You will also learn how to translate veterinary medical terminology for use with clients.


Credit Units: 1

Course Hours: 17.0

Learning Methods: Lecture/Theory, Print Distance Group

1

Year 1 - Semester 2

CodeCourse Name/DescriptionCredits
ANIM 282

Care and Management of Domestic Animals

You will focus on basic information on nutrition, housing, behaviour, breed characteristics and diseases common to large domestic animal and poultry species. You will also receive hands-on experience with handling, restraining, hoof care and trimming, grooming, injection sites and venipuncture, aging, care of the newborn and artificial insemination techniques.


Credit Units: 2

Course Hours: 36.0

Prerequisites: ANIM 182

Equivalent Courses: ANIM 181

Learning Methods: Lecture/Lab

2
APHY 280

Anatomy and Physiology 2

Your studies will focus on the structure and function of the endocrine, urinary and reproductive systems. The lab will provide hands-on learning of important physiological principles and anatomical structures through models and the dissection of preserved specimens.


Credit Units: 4

Course Hours: 54.0

Prerequisites: APHY 190, VETR 182

Corequisites: VETR 279

Learning Methods: Lecture/Lab

4
APHY 281

Anatomy and Physiology 3

Your studies will focus on the structure and function of blood and the lymphatic system, the nervous system and sensory organs, as well as the integument of domestic animals. You will also receive a brief introduction to avian, amphibian and reptilian anatomy and physiology. The lab will provide hands-on study of important physiological principles and anatomical structures through models and dissection of preserved specimens.


Credit Units: 4

Course Hours: 58.0

Prerequisites: APHY 280

Corequisites: VETR 279

Learning Methods: Lecture/Lab

4
CHEM 190

Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry

The course provides an introduction to organic compounds and biochemical pathways important in understanding the physiology of health, nutrition and chemical reactions that occur in the body processes.


Credit Units: 3

Course Hours: 48.0

Prerequisites: CHEM 185

Learning Methods: Lecture/Theory

3
MICR 186

Clinical Microbiology

You will receive an introduction to the clinical aspects of microbiology as it pertains to animal health. You will study laboratory methods of cultivation and characteristics of bacteria, control of microorganisms, commonly-encountered bacterial pathogens of animals and their differentiation from normal flora. You will receive an introduction to microbial taxonomy and nomenclature, mycology and other miscellaneous pathogens. You will also learn how to safely collect, store and ship samples. The laboratory section will introduce you to basic procedures performed in clinical settings.


Credit Units: 6

Course Hours: 90.0

Learning Methods: Lecture/Lab

6
RDGR 183

Radiography

The course focuses on information pertinent to veterinary radiography. You will receive instruction and experience in radiation safety, positioning patients, radiographic techniques, film identification, darkroom procedures, developing and loading film, and evaluating radiographs for diagnostic acceptability and troubleshooting techniques. You will learn reasons for the uses and types of film, cassettes and intensifying screens, and mandatory use of film monitoring service (safety). You will be expected to keep the equipment operable and clean, and recognize malfunctions.


Credit Units: 4

Course Hours: 64.0

Prerequisites: APHY 190, VETR 182

Learning Methods: Lecture/Lab

4
STAT 285

Introductory Statistics

You will be introduced to basic statistical methods and the use of calculators and computers in solving statistical problems. Statistical applications relevant to the Veterinary Technology Program will be emphasized.


Credit Units: 2

Course Hours: 32.0

Prerequisites: COMP 172, MATH 280

Learning Methods: Lecture/Lab

2
VETR 279

Animal Diseases

You will study the major animal diseases that involve various body systems of domestic animals and selected exotic species. The course content includes infectious and non-infectious diseases, aspects of diagnosis, prevention and treatment, zoonotic potential and nursing care.


Credit Units: 5

Course Hours: 76.0

Prerequisites: APHY 190, VETR 182

Corequisites: APHY 280, APHY 281

Equivalent Courses: VETR 181

Learning Methods: Lecture/Theory

5
VETR 286

Veterinary Technology Dentistry

This course is a comprehensive study of the components of dental care in small animals and horses. You will develop skills in oral examination, disease recognition, care and use of dental equipment and home dental care. You will also perform routine dental prophylaxis and dental radiography on models and cadavers.


Credit Units: 2

Course Hours: 30.0

Prerequisites: APHY 190, VETR 182

Corequisites: RDGR 183, VETR 279

Learning Methods: Lecture/Lab

2
VETR 287

Applied Veterinary Technology

Building on the knowledge acquired in Introduction to Veterinary Technology, VETR 183, you will develop your skills by participating in assigned duties at local veterinary practices during the week and at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine on Saturdays.


Credit Units: 3

Course Hours: 44.0

Prerequisites: VETR 182, VETR 183, APHY 190

Corequisites: APHY 280, APHY 281, VETR 279

Learning Methods: Clinical/Practicum

3
VETR 288

Veterinary Tours 2

Building on the skills you developed in Veterinary Tours 1, VETR 184, you will participate in tours associated with the animal industry.


Credit Units: 1

Course Hours: 15.0

Prerequisites: VETR 184

Learning Methods: Clinical/Practicum

1
VETR 291

Veterinary Information Systems

You will be introduced to a veterinary software package. You will learn how to input and manage clients and patients in a veterinary database package.


Credit Units: 1

Course Hours: 16.0

Prerequisites: VETR 183

Corequisites: VETR 287

Learning Methods: Lecture/Lab

1

Year 2 - Semester 3

CodeCourse Name/DescriptionCredits
ANES 279

Principles of Anesthesia

You will be introduced to common anesthetic drug classes, analgesics and equipment used in veterinary practice. You will learn how to monitor animals during anesthesia and evaluate and manage their pain.


Credit Units: 2

Course Hours: 24.0

Prerequisites: APHY 281, CHEM 190, MATH 280, VETR 279, VETR 287

Corequisites: CHEM 280, HEMA 281, HEMA 282, PRST 280, SEM 281, VETR 290

Learning Methods: Lecture/Theory

2
BKPG 280

Bookkeeping

You will learn the fundamental concepts of accounting and the skills to track inventory, cash flow, and customer accounts in a veterinary practice. The latter half of the course will concentrate on electronic accounting using an accounting software package.


Credit Units: 2

Course Hours: 30.0

Prerequisites: STAT 285

Learning Methods: Prior Learning, Lecture/Lab

2
CHEM 280

Clinical Chemistry

Your studies will focus on the chemical components of blood plasma in selected domestic animals. You will learn the normal parameters for health and changes that occur in disease states. Your lab work will include use of a spectrophotometer, reflectance photometry, immunological testing & blood typing. You will also practice the techniques of urinalysis.


Credit Units: 5

Course Hours: 69.0

Prerequisites: APHY 281, CHEM 190, STAT 285, VETR 279, VETR 287

Corequisites: ANES 279, HEMA 281, HEMA 282, PRST 280, SEM 281, VETR 290

Learning Methods: Lecture/Lab

5
COMM 287

Communications

You will learn the basic skills of oral and interpersonal communication, emphasizing the role of the veterinary technologist. Positive interpersonal interactions, customer service and teamwork will be stressed. Students also learn about the job search process, which includes developing a resume and letter of application.


Credit Units: 3

Course Hours: 48.0

Learning Methods: Prior Learning, Lecture/Theory

3
HEMA 281

Animal Hematology 1

You will become familiar with the composition, structure and function of blood as it relates to domestic animals, avian and selected exotic species. You will study erythrocytes, leukocytes and platelets in health. Your laboratory work will focus on diagnostic procedures commonly done in veterinary practice.


Credit Units: 4

Course Hours: 60.0

Prerequisites: APHY 281, VETR 279, VETR 287

Corequisites: ANES 279, CHEM 280, HEMA 282, PRST 280, SEM 281, VETR 290

Learning Methods: Lecture/Lab

4
HEMA 282

Animal Hematology 2

Building on what you learned in Animal Hematololgy 1, HEMA 281, you will review the changes in parameters of erythrocytes, leukocytes and platelets of domestic animals in disease states. Your laboratory work will focus on manual and semi-automated diagnostic procedures commonly done in veterinary practice.


Credit Units: 3

Course Hours: 50.0

Corequisites: ANES 279, CHEM 280, HEMA 281, PRST 280, SEM 281, VETR 290

Learning Methods: Lecture/Lab

3
IMMU 281

Immunology

Your studies will focus on the various aspects of the immune system along with clinical tests and their interpretations. You will explore methods of stimulating the immune response and some of the common immune-mediated diseases.


Credit Units: 2

Course Hours: 28.0

Prerequisites: APHY 281, VETR 279

Learning Methods: Lecture/Theory

2
PRST 280

Animal Parasitology

You will study the helminth, protozoan, and arthropod parasites that affect animals and learn which parasites are important in North America. Your studies will focus on diagnostic features, life cycles, pathogenesis, control and zoonotic potential. You will learn to perform fecal exams and to identify various parasite life cycle stages during laboratory exercises.


Credit Units: 6

Course Hours: 90.0

Prerequisites: MICR 186, VETR 279

Corequisites: ANES 279, CHEM 280, HEMA 281, HEMA 282, SEM 281, VETR 290

Learning Methods: Lecture/Lab

6
SEM 281

Animal Health and Nutrition

You will attend seminars on a wide range of animal health topics including parasitology, nutrition, husbandry, management practices, veterinary legislation and employment opportunities. You will practice dental scaling in preparation for the fourth semester dental lab. You will also learn about current industry trends and non-traditional employment fields. Attendance at all sessions is required to pass this course.


Credit Units: 3

Course Hours: 39.0

Prerequisites: APHY 281, VETR 279, VETR 287

Corequisites: ANES 279, CHEM 280, HEMA 281, HEMA 282, PRST 280, VETR 290

Learning Methods: Lecture/Lab

3
VETR 290

Veterinary Pharmacology

You will discuss the requirements of dispensing and record keeping in a veterinary clinical practice. You will be introduced to common medications used in veterinary medicine.


Credit Units: 2

Course Hours: 30.0

Prerequisites: APHY 281, CHEM 190, MATH 280, MICR 186, VETR 279, VETR 287

Corequisites: ANES 279, CHEM 280, HEMA 281, HEMA 282, PRST 280, SEM 281

Learning Methods: Lecture/Theory

2

Year 2 - Semester 4

CodeCourse Name/DescriptionCredits
ANES 281

Introduction to Anesthetic Practices

You will be introduced to the principles of anesthetic management. You will discuss parameters of pre-anesthetic management and post-operative care. You will also practice the care, maintenance and operation of a variety of anesthetic equipment.


Credit Units: 3

Course Hours: 46.0

Prerequisites: ANES 279, BKPG 280, CHEM 280, COMM 287, HEMA 282, IMMU 281, PRST 280, SEM 281, VETR 290

Corequisites: ANES 282, PHAR 281, PRAC 284, RDGR 282, VETR 282, VETR 289

Learning Methods: Lecture/Lab

3
ANES 282

Applied Anesthesia

Building on the principles learned in Introduction to Anesthetic Practices, ANES 281, you will develop anesthetic protocols for small and large animal species undergoing various surgical procedures. You will apply modifications of protocol based on patient condition and health status. You will be responsible for the care, preparation and post surgical care of cases assigned to you. You will also learn procedures, and protocols in critical care in order to participate in the intensive care unit and perform emergency triage.


Credit Units: 6

Course Hours: 90.0

Prerequisites: ANES 279, BKPG 280, CHEM 280, COMM 287, HEMA 282, IMMU 281, PRST 280, SEM 281, VETR 290

Corequisites: ANES 281, PHAR 281, PRAC 284, RDGR 282, VETR 282, VETR 289

Learning Methods: Lecture/Lab

6
PHAR 281

Materials Management

You will receive exposure to the proper handling of drugs in a veterinary practice. You will learn how to effectively assist veterinarians with pharmacy-related functions and become familiar with the legal implications and requirements of drug regulations. Your study in central supply will focus on the importance of sterilization standards and procedures, and safe practices with respect to infection control.


Credit Units: 2

Course Hours: 33.0

Prerequisites: ANES 279, BKPG 280, CHEM 280, COMM 287, HEMA 282, IMMU 281, PRST 280, SEM 281, VETR 290

Corequisites: ANES 281, ANES 282, PRAC 284, RDGR 282, VETR 282, VETR 289

Learning Methods: Lecture/Lab

2
PRAC 284

Veterinary Practicum

You will spend 5 weeks in each of two different approved veterinary practices of associated fields (i.e. research facilities). You will have the opportunity to apply the knowledge and skills gained from the program in a real work setting.


Credit Units: 20

Course Hours: 300.0

Prerequisites: ANES 279, BKPG 280, CHEM 280, COMM 287, HEMA 282, IMMU 281, PRST 280, SEM 281, VETR 290

Corequisites: ANES 281, ANES 282, PHAR 281, RDGR 282, VETR 282, VETR 289

Learning Methods: Clinical/Practicum

20
RDGR 282

Diagnostic Imaging

You will become proficient at taking diagnostic-quality radiographs. You will be exposed to the use of digital, ultrasound and computerized tomography. Your studies will focus on common radiological disorders affecting domestic animals.


Credit Units: 2

Course Hours: 35.0

Prerequisites: ANES 279, BKPG 280, CHEM 280, COMM 287, HEMA 282, IMMU 281, PRST 280, SEM 281, VETR 290

Corequisites: ANES 281, ANES 282, PHAR 281, PRAC 284, VETR 282, VETR 289

Learning Methods: Lab/Practical

2
VETR 282

Large Animal Services

You will learn how to handle, restrain and perform specified procedures on food animals and equine species. Safety requirements involved in dealing with large animals will be emphasized. You will assist in receiving outpatient cases, help manage and treat hospitalized cases, and prepare patients for hospital discharge.


Credit Units: 6

Course Hours: 90.0

Prerequisites: ANES 279, BKPG 280, CHEM 280, COMM 287, HEMA 282, IMMU 281, PRST 280, SEM 281, VETR 290

Corequisites: ANES 281, ANES 282, PHAR 281, PRAC 284, RDGR 282, VETR 289

Learning Methods: Lecture/Lab

6
VETR 289

Veterinary Surgical Nursing

You will learn and practice operating room techniques and sterility concepts. You will demonstrate your ability to work in large and small animal operating rooms according to "human hospital standards".


Credit Units: 6

Course Hours: 85.0

Prerequisites: ANES 279, BKPG 280, CHEM 280, COMM 287, HEMA 282, IMMU 281, PRST 280, SEM 281, VETR 290

Corequisites: ANES 281, ANES 282, PHAR 281, PRAC 284, RDGR 282, VETR 282

Learning Methods: Lecture/Lab

6

  • The Vaccination Clinics are held on Saturdays.
  • Year 2 - Semester 4 - You will take these courses at the University of Saskatchewan's Western College of Veterinary Medicine. You must successfully complete all courses in Semesters 1 to 3 before enrolling in Semester 4. Semester 4 courses cannot be taken on a partial load basis.

Facebook Twitter Youtube SIAST News RSS Feed

SIAST is Saskatchewan's primary public institution for post-secondary technical education and skills training. A member of Polytechnics Canada, SIAST's programs range from certificates to degrees. The institution serves 26,000 distinct students through campuses in Moose Jaw, Prince Albert, Regina and Saskatoon, and through extensive distance education opportunities.

©