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Thompson Rivers University
Thompson Rivers University

VTEC 2345: Exotic, Lab and Large Animal Wetlab


Students will come onsite to TRU to complete essential practical skills involving large, exotic, and lab animals. Practical skills include safe handling procedures, herd health medicine, husbandry, nutrition, and routine medical techniques such as physical exams and diagnostic imaging. Hands-on opportunities are provided for students to perform routine medical procedures typically carried out in a veterinary facility, zoo, or ranch setting. Students focus on safety for themselves and their patients.

Note: This is a 5-day lab located at TRU. There’s an additional lab fee of $714.63, which is included in your registration.

Learning outcomes

  • Implement biosecurity standards.
  • Update and maintain large animal medical records.
  • Differentiate between ruminant and simple stomach animals; understand their health care differences.
  • Differentiate between prey and predator animal behaviours and psychology.
  • Demonstrate use and maintenance of large animal equipment—including knots, halters, ropes, chutes, trailers, barns, birthing equipment, etc.
  • Ensure personal and animal safety while performing procedures on large animals and wildlife.
  • Demonstrate Essential Skills on large animal species, including:
    • Physical exams
    • Body condition scoring
    • Parental, enteral, and topical medications on ovine, caprine, bovine, porcine, and equine
    • Hoof trimming
    • Equine bandaging
    • Equine radiography
    • California Mastitis Test
    • Low stress restraint
  • Demonstrate herd health management, including aging, feeding regimes, and grooming.
  • Demonstrate handling, caring for, and performing basic technical procedures on common lab animal species and pocket pets.
  • Explain appropriate husbandry and some common technical procedures for avian and reptiles.

Course topics

  • Module 1: Safety — Large Animal
  • Module 2: Equus — Horses and Donkeys
  • Module 3: Equine — Handling and Clinical Procedures
  • Module 4: Small Ruminants
  • Module 5: Bovine
  • Module 6: Camelids
  • Module 7: Orientation — Lab, Ethics, and Research
  • Module 8: Exotic and Lab Animal Workplace Safety
  • Module 9: Lab Animal Anesthesia
  • Module 10: Exotics and Wildlife
  • Module 11: Murine (Mouse)
  • Module 12: Rats
  • Module 13: Avian (Birds)
  • Module 14: Rabbits (Lagomorph)

Required text and materials

There is no required textbook for this course.

Additional requirements

Kit List⁠—Items Students Will Need to Bring with Them:

  • 1 pair clinic shoes
  • 1 pair gum boots or farm boots that can go in a boot wash
  • Scrubs that will be worn for lab animal days and washed at the building
  • Lab coat to wear over the scrubs—Again, this will be washed at the end of each day.
  • Coveralls or overalls—Think hot summer days (find as light of ones as possible).
  • Second set of scrubs or comfy clothes to wear underneath coveralls at the farm
  • Lunch kit—There are fridges and microwaves at both the TRU farm and at the Veterinary Technology building.
  • Sunscreen
  • Hat — Students will be outside in the sun for at least 5 hours a day for 2 days.
  • Stethoscope
  • Name tag (if students have one)
  • Water bottle
  • Dissection kit (if students have one)

Optional materials

The following textbooks used in previous VTEC courses are recommended as referencing tools for this course, however they are optional only.

Students do not need to bring these textbooks with them to the onsite course.

  1. Colville, T. P., & Bassert, J. M. (2016). Clinical anatomy and physiology for veterinary technicians (3rd ed.). Elsevier.
    Type: Textbook. ISBN-13: 978-0-323-29475-1
  2. Colville, T. P., & Bassert, J. M. (2016). Laboratory manual for clinical anatomy and physiology for veterinary technicians (3rd ed.). Elsevier.
    Type: Textbook. ISBN-13: 978-0-323-22793-3

Additional Resource:

Students may also find the following resource useful for looking up any terms in the course with which they are not familiar:


This course is a complete or an incomplete based on completed large, exotic, and lab animal essential skills to meet accreditation requirements.

Note: Safety is paramount when working with all animals. This includes safety of the animals and the people working with them. All students must conduct themselves in a mature and professional manner relevant to the safety and well-being of animals and personnel present. Any behaviour or conduct that endangers animals or personnel can result, at the discretion of the Open Learning Faculty Member, in an immediate failing grade on the assignment and may result in the removal of the student from the course and/or expulsion from the VTEC OL program.

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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