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Thompson Rivers University
Thompson Rivers University

VTEC 1593: Anatomy and Physiology 1


Students are introduced to the anatomical framework and functioning of the interconnected body systems of domestic animals in this first of two anatomy and physiology courses. Emphasis is shared between anatomical structure and the body’s homeostatic measures, depicting the mechanisms that balance and maintain the body’s normal ranges. In each system, students investigate clinical examples as they pertain to veterinary care, highlighting body landmarks and exploring the anatomical pathology of commonly encountered diseases.

Learning outcomes

  1. Apply directional terminology associated with anatomy.
  2. Describe the role of cells and tissues in the whole animal.
  3. Name major bones of the animal body and describe how they grow and heal.
  4. Identify the major ligaments and joints of the animal body and describe their role in locomotion.
  5. Describe the major divisions of the brain and nervous systems.
  6. Use appropriate and safe techniques and to administer routine eye diagnostics tests and to apply eye medications.
  7. Use appropriate and safe techniques to examine, clean and medicate cat’s and dog’s ears.
  8. Describe the anatomy of skin including specialized structure such as the hoof.
  9. Identify the structures of the organs of special senses and describe how they function.

Course topics

Topic 1: Introduction and Directional Terms

Topic 2: Cell Anatomy and Physiology

Topic 3: Tissues - Living Communities

Topic 4: The Skeletal System

Topic 5: The Integument and Related Structures

Topic 6: The Nervous System

Topic 7: Sense Organs

Required text and materials

The following materials are required for this course:

  1. Colville, T. P., & Bassert, J. M. (2024). Clinical Anatomy and Physiology for Veterinary Technicians (4th ed.). Elsevier.
    Type: Textbook. ISBN: 978-0-323-79341-4
  1. Colville, T. P., & Bassert, J. M. (2024). Laboratory Manual for Clinical Anatomy and Physiology for Veterinary Technicians (4th ed.). Elsevier.
    Type: Textbook. ISBN: 978-0-323-79342-1

The following textbook would have been purchased in VTEC 1101. Students who don't already own the required textbook, will need to purchase it. To do so, please contact Enrolment Services at or 1.800.663.9711 (toll-free in Canada), 250.852.7000 (Kamloops, BC), and 1.250.852.7000 (International).

  1. Bassert, J.M. (2022). McCurnin’s clinical textbook for veterinary technicians (10th ed.) Elsevier.
    Type: Textbook. ISBN: 9780323722001

Optional materials

The following textbooks are optional for this course:

  • Gilbert, S. G. (1989). Pictorial anatomy of the cat. University of Toronto Press. ISBN 0-295-95454- X
  • Aiello, S. E., & Moses, M. A. (Eds.). (2016). The Merck veterinary manual (11th ed.). Merck & Co. ISBN-13: 978-0911910612 (This textbook is available online at: Merck Manual, Veterinary Manual)


Please be aware that should your course have a final exam, you are responsible for the fee to the online proctoring service, ProctorU, or to the in-person approved Testing Centre. Please contact with any questions about this.

To successfully complete this course, you must achieve a passing grade of 60% or higher on the overall course and 50% or higher on the mandatory Final Exam.

Assignment 1: Anatomical Planes and Directional Terms 5%
Assignment 2: Skeletal System 10%
Assignment 3: Skeletal System - Joints 10%
Assignment 4: The Integumentary and Related Structures 5%
Assignment 5: Sense Organs 5%
Assignment 6: Sense Organs - Eye and Ear Exam 10%
Quiz 1: Cell Anatomy and Physiology 2%
Quiz 2: Skeletal System 3%
Quiz 3: Integumentary and Related Structure 5%
Quiz 4: The Nervous System 5%
Final Exam (mandatory) 40%
Total 100%

Open Learning Faculty Member Information

An Open Learning Faculty Member is available to assist students. Students will receive the necessary contact information at the start of the course.

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