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Associate Diploma in Veterinary Technology

Program Overview

As the companion and large animal industries continue to grow, the importance of animal care and wellness grows too. If you have an interest in the field of animal health, then training at Ridgetown Campus to become a Veterinary Technician is the right career path for you!

Two Delivery Method Options

We are pleased to offer two delivery methods of the Associate Diploma in Veterinary Technology. Both delivery methods cover the same course content and offer practical training, but they vary in length and how the program is delivered.

  1. Conventional Delivery

    • 2-year program, full-time at Ridgetown Campus (Ridgetown, ON) in the Fall and Winter Semesters
    • 4 semesters total, 6 courses per semester
    • 6-week Industry Work Placement at the end of semester 4
  2. Alternative Delivery

    • 3-year program, 9-semesters in length
    • Semesters run consecutively each year of the program - Fall, Winter, Summer
    • 3 Fall and 3 Winter Semesters: Part-time Distance Education (study from home)
    • 3 Summer Semesters: Full-time On-Campus (in-person)
    • 6-week Industry Work Placement at the end of semester 9
    • Offered every 2 out of 3 years - Next intake is Fall 2022

Program Features

  • Practical, applied training with companion, large, and laboratory animals in a clinical setting
  • Learn with the on-campus colony of cats, dogs, birds and 2 horses. Labs are also completed with the dairy and beef cattle, sheep, and pigs
  • Graduates achieve top scores on the Veterinary Technician National Exam (VTNE) to become Registered Veterinary Technicians (RVTs)
  • Accredited by the Ontario Association of Veterinary Technicians (OAVT), Canadian Veterinary Medical Association (CVMA), and the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA)

Program Notes

  • It is a mandatory requirement that students are vaccinated against rabies and hold a valid titre. It is recommended that students have their booster series completed (and titre checked) before starting the program. If this is not possible, an opportunity to be immunized on campus will be provided during the first week of classes (fall semester for conventional students, summer semester for alternative students)

Innovative Teaching Team

  • A diversified team of instructors with industry experience
  • Made of Registered Veterinary Technicians (RVTs), 2 Veterinarians, and instructors with business/office administration expertise

Pathways

  • Complement your applied education with a strong theoretical base and earn an undergraduate degree at the University of Guelph
  • Diploma graduates can receive transfer credits towards a degree. In many cases, this will eliminate 1 to 2 years of your degree completion time

Learn More About

3
ON-CAMPUS SMALL ANIMAL COLONIES
5
ON-CAMPUS LARGE ANIMAL SPECIES
6 Week
INDUSTRY WORK PLACEMENT
3
VETERINARY INDUSTRY ACCREDITATIONS
1
PREPARATION TO WRITE VETERINARY TECHNICIAN NATIONAL EXAM
2 - 3 years
LENGTH OF PROGRAM

Required Courses

DVT*1010 This course encompasses the gross anatomy and physiology of domestic animals with special emphasis on the cat as a pet animal species. The course covers select major body systems, with emphasis on those of veterinary clinical significance.
DVT*3070 This course introduces the fundamentals of small animal oral health, including the anatomy and physiology of the tooth and surrounding structures, and the disease processes which can occur. The emphasis is on the prevention of oral disease. Students are introduced to the proper techniques involved in performing a complete dental prophylaxis, and given the information needed to enable them to counsel clients on appropriate preventative home care.
DVT*4070 This course builds on the fundamentals of small animal oral health with emphasis on the prevention of oral disease. Using models and live patients, students continue to utilize and develop the proper techniques involved in performing a complete dental prophylaxis.
DVT*3010 This course is concerned with practical animal nursing relative to the basic needs of the animal. Students learn about general patient management, including the importance of history taking, medical records, the physical exam, patient handling, fluid therapy and hospital care/safety. Common diseases and conditions are also discussed. Students are required to care for healthy large and small animals, and maintain a hospital area. Students may also visit small, large, equine and referral practices to observe and participate in the practical aspects of veterinary technology.
DVT*4010 Students learn about general patient management, including the importance of history-taking, medical records, the physical exam, patient handling, fluid therapy, and hospital care. Common diseases and conditions are also discussed. Students are required to care for healthy large and small animals and maintain a hospital area. Students visit small, large, equine, and referral practices to observe and participate in the practical aspects of veterinary technology.
DVT*2330 This course emphasizes and familiarizes students with practical laboratory techniques utilized routinely in veterinary practice. The course will cover topics ranging from proper sample collecting to organ function. We will include chemistry, haemotology and cytology in the discussion and during laboratory sessions.
DVT*2060 Issues dealing with communication between the veterinary technician and clients, co-workers and the employer/ veterinarian are explored using communication theory and skills. Application of theories are demonstrated through discussions and class exercises. Hands-on labs introduce the use of computers in the veterinary clinic using current veterinary clinic software programs.
DVT*2000 This course offers the veterinary technician student the information required to understand small animal husbandry. Students gain practical information about the nutritional needs, behaviour patterns and preventative health care of companion animals. Students learn what is normal and abnormal behaviour and how to advise clients on applying proper training techniques. The emphasis in this course is the prevention of health problems in companion animals.
DVT*1160 This course introduces the students to fundamental concepts and skills used within veterinary medicine that will be integrated into current and future courses. Students will study medical terminology, concepts in genetics as they relate to veterinary medicine, applied scientific mathematics, and proper animal housing sanitation, including quarantine protocols.
DVT*2150 Students will strengthen their understanding of theoretical and practical aspects of canine and feline blood evaluation. Students will be introduced to the hematology of other species, including equine, bovine, avian and exotics. Blood cell precursors and common disease processes affecting the blood will be studied. The performance, assessment and evaluation of common veterinary clinical procedures will be emphasized. Hematological mathematical calculations will also be practiced.
DVT*4040 This course is designed to familiarize students with the basic skills and procedures used in the management of animal hospitals, with emphasis on small animal facilities. Topics included within this course are personnel management, client relations, marketing strategies, inventory control, public health issues, and financial management.
DVT*1110 This online course will introduce the student to fundamental concepts and skills used within veterinary medicine that will be integrated into current and future courses. Students will study medical terminology, and concepts in genetics as they relate to veterinary medicine, as well as sanitation within an animal housing environment.
DVT*2210 This course introduces the practical and theoretical aspects of anesthetic techniques in animals. Emphasis is on the principles of general anesthesia using gas anesthetic machines. Also discussed are sedation, general anesthesia using injectable agents, and local analgesia. Students will utilize this knowledge during the laboratory sessions of Surgical Exercises.
DVT*2200 This course covers the structure and function of the lymphatic system and its importance in preventing and/or overcoming disease. Disease transmission, development, and serological diagnosis will be discussed.
DVT*2220 This course introduces practical and theoretical aspects of radiography in veterinary medicine. Topics include radiation safety, radiographic equipment (analog versus digital), production of radiation, intensifying screens, films, grids, and manual and automatic processing. The course introduces a variety of special imaging techniques utilized in veterinary medicine.
DVT*4090 This course familiarizes students with the husbandry, handling and veterinary care of common nondomestic species in the research laboratory, veterinary clinic and natural environments. Regulations, ethics and protocols surrounding the use of animals within scientific research will be discussed.
DVT*1100 This course introduces the students to sheep, poultry and horses, with an emphasis on terminology, nutrition, behaviour and housing. This course also includes common breeds, marketing, and breeding practices of various species. The equine portion of the course emphasizes the techniques, terminology and common diseases that the veterinary technician working in an equine practice would be exposed to.
DVT*1300 This course introduces the students to food animals such as beef, dairy and swine, with an emphasis on terminology, nutrition, behaviour and housing. The food animal portion also includes common breeds, marketing, and breeding practices of various species.
DVT*1000 This course introduces the students to food animals and horses, with an emphasis on terminology, nutrition, behaviour and housing. The food animal portion also includes common breeds, marketing, and breeding practices of various species, including sheep, poultry, dairy cattle, beef cattle and swine. The equine portion of the course emphasizes the techniques, terminology and common diseases that the veterinary technician working in an equine practice would be exposed to, through the use of lectures, slides, videos and handouts. The colony horses provide hands-on experience in behaviour, handling, and restraint, as well as stable management.
DVT*1040 This is a practical introductory course with an emphasis on working with dogs, cats, birds, horses, and other livestock. Animal husbandry and bathing duties are assigned to students on a rotating basis. Basic restraint, physical examination, and medicating skills are taught and practiced.
DVT*2040 This course provides practical knowledge on bandaging, splints, venipuncture, IV catheterization and various types of injections used for different animals. The students will participate in large animal procedures; perform fluid therapy with drug dose calculations; and be introduced to anesthesia. Animal husbandry and bathing duties are assigned to students on a rotating basis
DVT*1150 This course consists of theoretical and practical modules in hematology, microbiology, and cytology. The hematology module will introduce students to the basic aspects of animal blood evaluation. Practical sampling techniques, handling and processing of samples, and cell identification will be introduced. Hematology mathematical calculations will also be covered. The microbiology module includes the study of microorganisms with emphasis on their morphology, physiology, biochemistry, culture, and identification. Operations of the light microscopes and laboratory safety will be discussed. The cytology module will introduce students to aspects of cellular and tissue sample collection, preparation, and microscopic evaluation of normal and abnormal samples from the body.
DVT*3020 This course emphasizes practical laboratory techniques utilized routinely in veterinary practice. The clinical chemistry module is an introduction to basic clinical chemistry principles. Topics of discussion will include: common laboratory safety and equipment; quality controls; mathematical calculations and proper analytical techniques. The parasitology module familiarizes the student with the host-parasite relationship for the common parasites of veterinary significance in Canada. Topics of discussion for the various parasites will include: parasite location in the host, methods of infection, development and behaviour, clinical signs of disease, diagnoses and potential human health hazards. Various laboratory tests used in the diagnosis of animal parasites are studied/performed in the laboratory periods.
DVT*2070 This course introduces pharmacological theory and the mathematics applied to utilize pharmaceutical agents in a veterinary clinical setting. The mode of action, mechanisms of absorption, distribution, metabolism and excretion of drug classes commonly used in veterinary medicine will be discussed. Students will learn to accurately perform drug dose and fluid therapy calculations, and analyze statistical data.
DVT*1350 This course introduces pharmacological theory and the mathematics applied to utilize pharmaceutical agents in a veterinary clinical setting. The mode of action, mechanisms of absorption, distribution, metabolism and excretion of drug classes commonly used in veterinary medicine will be discussed. Students will learn applied clinical calculations, accurately perform drug dose and fluid therapy calculations, and analyze statistical data.
DVT*3200 This course is designed to introduce the veterinary technology student to the interrelation of animal and human health. Meat inspection programs are discussed with emphasis on humane slaughter, environmental sanitation,ante mortem and post mortem examination, condemned meats, animal by-products and meat labeling. As well, epidemiology, zoonoses, water sanitation, microbiology of food and meat hygiene are addressed. Simple statistics that measure health and disease are also considered.
DVT*3030 This course deals with practical and theoretical aspects of radiography in veterinary medicine. Lectures cover radiation safety, positioning, analog and digital radiographic equipment, production of radiation, intensifying screens, films, grids, and manual and automatic processing. During the laboratory sessions, students work in small groups to learn and practice proper positioning techniques, and troubleshooting to produce diagnostic images of small and large animals.
DVT*4030 This course covers practical applications of all aspects of radiography in veterinary medicine. Emphasis of this course is on proper positioning, using mechanical restraints, trouble-shooting, use of contrast media, and creating a technique chart.
DVT*3050 This course deals with the practical and theoretical aspects of anaesthetic and surgical techniques in animals. The lecture portion of the course introduces the students to various anaesthetic agents and techniques, as well as the principles of asepsis, the importance of monitoring and the correct response to anaesthetic emergencies. Each laboratory session is also preceded by a lecture in which the students learn about the rationale behind and possible complications with each surgery, thus enabling them to be involved in client education. During the laboratory sessions, students work in small groups, becoming proficient in anaesthesia, surgical assistance, instrumental handling, surgical nursing and post-operative care.
DVT*4050 Lectures provide background information on the anatomy, patient complications for each surgery, as well as the requirements for client education. Supplementary surgical lectures provide information about other small and large animal surgeries commonly performed in clinical practice.
DVT*2320 This course deals with the practical and theoretical aspects of anaesthetic and surgical techniques in animals. Each laboratory session is also preceded by a lecture in which the students learn about the rationale behind and possible complications with each surgery, thus enabling them to be involved in client education. During the laboratory sessions, students work in small groups becoming proficient in anaesthesia, surgical assistance, instrument handling, surgical nursing, and post-operative care.
DVT*2050 This is a theoretical and practical course which emphasizes the macroscopic, chemical and microscopic characteristics of urine, along with the concepts of urinary diagnostic testing. The prevention and dietary treatment of urolithiasis is explored.
DVT*4080 This course is a comprehensive overview of applied, practical skills to enhance the ability of students to work in the veterinary industry. Students will be provided with the opportunity to integrate and apply knowledge and technical skills through case studies, independent study units and laboratory exercises.
DVT*1170 This course encompasses the gross anatomy and physiology of domestic animals with special emphasis on the cat as a pet animal species. The course covers select major body systems, with emphasis on those of veterinary clinical significance. There will be an independent study Immunobiology unit with focus on the lymphatic system and its importance in preventing and/or overcoming disease. Disease transmission, development, and serological diagnosis will be discussed.
DVT*2300 A continuation of anatomy and physiology studies, the course encompasses the structure and functions of selected major body systems of domestic animals, with emphasis on the cat. This course covers the major body systems of significance in veterinary clinical medicine not addressed in previous courses.
DVT*3330 This course is designed to familiarize students with the basic skills and procedures used in the management of veterinary hospitals, with emphasis on small animal facilities. The lecture portion of the course delves into the role of the practice manager regarding: hospital safety, personnel & client management, basic bookkeeping, and marketing strategies. The laboratory portion provides the student with practical experience in inventory control, purchasing and receiving of drugs, supplies and equipment pertinent to the sound financial operation of a modern veterinary practice.
DVT*2100 This course is concerned with practical animal nursing relative to the basic needs of the animal. Students learn about general patient management, including the importance of history taking, medical records, the physical exam, patient handling, hospital safety, and fluid therapy. Students learn how to care for healthy large and small animals, maintain a hospital area, and nurse sick and injured animals.
DVT*2310 This experiential learning course incorporates kennel and barn duties and general care and feeding of the colony animals including cats, dogs, birds, and horses. It introduces students to the running of a veterinary clinic. Students are supervised and evaluated on all aspects of animal care which fall under this broad topic, including collecting samples, treating sick and injured animals as required. Specific nursing techniques are introduced in a more formal way. (Not offered through distance education format.)
DVT*3210 This course is concerned with practical animal nursing relative to the basic needs of the animal. Students learn about general patient management, including the importance of history taking, medical records, the physical exam, patient handling, hospital safety, and fluid therapy. Students learn how to care for healthy large and small animals, maintain a hospital area, and nurse sick and injured animals.
DVT*3320 This course emphasizes practical laboratory techniques utilized routinely in veterinary practice. The course familiarizes students with common internal and external parasites of veterinary significance in Canada. Topics of discussion will include: location, methods of infection, development and behaviour, clinical signs of disease, prevention, diagnosis and potential human health hazards.
DVT*4060 The Externship is a six week, 240 hour training and evaluation period in which senior students in their last semester enter veterinary practices away from the Ridgetown Campus. The location should be one in which they have not worked or volunteered previously. Students are required to perform many of the duties that are commonly performed by graduate veterinary technicians, and are assessed by veterinarians or graduate veterinary technicians in the work setting. Students will be assessed by the course instructor with input from the practice supervisor and various members of the veterinary practice team. Students will also have the opportunity to assess their externship practice. If the externship is not completed satisfactorily, it will have to be successfully repeated before the student can graduate. A pass/fail grade will be assigned upon completion of the course.

Notes

  • All subjects are covered in each program but may appear with a different course title
  • Conventional delivery requires the completion of 24 courses (12.00 credits) total
  • Alternative delivery requires the completion of 32 courses (12.00 credits) total
  • Progression into subsequent semesters is dependent on the successful completion of each course in the previous semester
  • Successful completion of a 6-week Industry Work Placement is also required
  • For a list of all courses and the curriculum layout, please refer to the Associate Diploma Calendar
  • This is a physically demanding program
  • There are no electives in this program

Careers

  • Artificial Insemination Technician
  • Equine Facilities Supervisor
  • Livestock Manager
  • Pet Care Supply Representative
  • Pharmaceutical Technical Representative
  • Research Technician
  • Specialty or Referral Hospital Technician
  • Swine or Dairy Herdsperson
  • Veterinary Technician (Companion, Mixed, or Large Animal Practice)

There are currently 9 careers posted on the job posting page

Admissions

  • The Conventional delivery method of this program is oversubscribed (more applications received than spots available)
  • Applications to the program, for both delivery methods, are assessed on an applicant's academic grades only; no other factors are considered

Current Ontario Secondary School Curriculum Minimum Course Requirements

  • English: Grade 12 C or U English
  • Math: Grade 12 C Math or any Grade 12 U Math
  • Biology: Grade 11 C or U Biology
  • Chemistry: Grade 12 C or Grade 11 U Chemistry

Each of the courses listed above must have:

  • A minimum final grade of 75% at the ‘C’ level
  • A minimum final grade of 65% at the ‘U’ level

* For students that completed their Ontario secondary schooling under the previous curriculum, please see Admission & Applying for the minimum course requirements

 

  • The official secondary school (high school) graduation certificate/diploma that would admit you to an internationally recognized university in your home country is normally acceptable for applications to our programs
  • For further details on out-of-country admission requirements, including the General Certificate of Education (GCE), please refer to the University of Guelph's website at admission.uoguelph.ca/international
  • Official documents should come directly from the issuing institution or accreditation body in their official, sealed envelope. Where English translations are needed, please have the documents verified and sent by the issuing academic institution
  • Post-secondary transcripts must be assessed by World Education Services (WES). Both a Credentialed assessment and a course-by-course assessment is required. Supporting documentation should be uploaded to your Ontario Colleges Application Account

English Proficiency

Applicants will be required to present evidence of English proficiency if:

  1. Your first language is not English, and
  2. You have had less than four years of full-time secondary or post-secondary school demonstrating satisfactory academic progress in an English-language school system

The following are acceptable English proficiency tests and their related competence levels. Results must not be dated more than 2-years prior to application:

Test Competence Level
International English Language Testing System (IELTS, ielts.org) Minimum overall score of 6.5 with no band less than 6
Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL, toefl.org) Internet Based: minimum total score of 89 with no individual scaled score of less than 21
Computer Based: minimum score of 250
Paper Based: minimum score of 600 with a score of 5
Canadian Academic English Language Assessment (CAEL, cael.ca) Minimum overall band score of 70
Michigan English Language Assessment Battery (MELAB, isa.umich.edu/eli/testing/melab) Minimum overall score of 85 including composition score of 83 and oral score of 3
Pearson Test of English (PTE, pearsonpte.com) Minimum overall score of 60 with no score less than 60 in the individual components
Advanced Level of English Language Certificate Program (ELCP, eslguelph.ca) Successful completion of the University of Guelph's Open Learning Advanced Level ELCP (levels 9 and 10) is also considered an acceptable form of testing

Fees

Conventional Delivery

Approximate Year 1 Costs In CAD
Tuition & Fees (2 semesters, including textbooks) $8,446
Residence (double room) $2,649
Meal Plan $3,190
Personal Living Expenses $3,000
Total Cost $17,285
Fee Breakdown Year 1 Costs In CAD
Tuition (2 semesters) $3,306
Student Organization Fees $390
Additional Program Fees $1,992
Accreditation Fee $60
Rabies Immunization $750
Building Fee $84
Student Dental Insurance $165
Student Health Insurance $165
Insurance $4
Textbooks (approximate) $1,530
Total Costs $8,446
International Fee Approximate Year 1 Costs In CAD
Tuition & Fees (including textbooks) $17,960
Residence (double room) $2,649
Meal Plan $3,190
Personal Living Expenses $3,000
Total Cost $26,799

Alternative Delivery

Approximate Year 1 Costs In CAD
Tuition & Fees (3 semesters, including textbooks) $6,601
Residence (double room) N/A
Meal Plan N/A
Personal Living Expenses $3,000
Total Cost Total Varies
Fee Breakdown Year 1 Costs In CAD
Tuition (3 semesters) $2,202
Student Organization Fees $64
Additional Program Fees $1,329
Accreditation $40
Rabies Immunization $750
Building Fee $42
Student Dental Insurance $165
Student Health Insurance $165
Insurance $4
Textbooks (approximate) $1,490
Total Costs $6,601
International Fee Approximate Year 1 Costs In CAD
Tuition & Fees (3 semesters, including textbooks) $16,416
Residence (double room) N/A
Meal Plan N/A
Personal Living Expenses $3,000
Total Cost Total Varies

Estimates based on 2020-2021 fees

Facilities

  • Anatomy Lab
  • Radiography Suite
  • Dentistry Suite
  • Microbiology and Hematology Labs
  • Small Animal Surgery Suite
  • Pharmacy
  • Nursing Rooms
  • Dairy, Beef, Sheep, Swine, and Horse Barns
  • Small Animal Kennels
  • Vet Tech Building Student Lounge
  • Assigned Student Lockers
  • Classrooms
  • Student Residence
  • Cafeteria
  • Gymnasium
  • Library and Resource Centre
  • Study Lounge

Visit

We regret that due to COVID-19, we cannot host you on campus at this time. We are pleased to offer you 3 options to connect with us virtually:

  1. RC Connect Info Sessions

    • One-on-One Microsoft Teams meeting with our Student Recruiter
    • Learn about your academic program(s) of interest and have your questions answered
    • Sessions are typically 45 minutes in length
  2. Open House Events

    • These events will offer an opportunity to meet program staff, answer your individual questions, and enjoy a campus overview. Specific academic program Open House sessions are being offered as highlighted. Book a session(s), that fit your schedule and academic interest(s)!
    • Sessions vary in length
  3. Campus Tours

  • To get to know our campus and facilities, we invite you to view our short virtual tour of the Ridgetown Campus

How To Apply

Ontario Colleges Application Codes:

  • Conventional Delivery: R206*
  • Alternative Delivery: R306**
  • Complete your Ontario Colleges application online at ontariocolleges.ca
  • February 1, 2021 was the last day to apply to the Veterinary Technology program
  • First round offers of admission will go out in early March for the Veterinary Technology program
  • The deadline to accept your offer of admission is May 1 unless otherwise stated

Connect with us

If you have question about this program or would like to schedule a virtual meeting with us, please contact:

Stacia Pepper, Recruitment Co-ordinator
519-674-1500 x63256
rcampus@uoguelph.ca
virtual meeting

Tiffany Fernihough

"I chose Ridgetown because I was looking for a school that provided small class sizes, numerous opportunities for practical learning through experience, and I enjoyed the small-town feel of Ridgetown. Ridgetown Campus has well exceeded all my expectations and I couldn’t be happier about my choice!"

Tiffany Fernihough

Whitby, ON