VET 211

Animal Diseases I

Summer 2009 Syllabus

It is the responsibility of the student to read and fully understand this syllabus, as well as continue to check the website and email for updates and any notification of changes in the class. All communications with students will be through student vccs email addresses and this syllabus or the course Blackboard site.

This course is designed to acquaint the veterinary technician student with the more common disease conditions of the individual body systems of companion animals: the dog and cat. The etiology, diagnosis, treatment, prevention, public health significance and the role of the veterinary technician will be covered.

Instructor: Dr. Suzy Aller

Contact information:

    Office- room 110 LD Building 703-450-2623

    Office hours- by appointment, call or email to schedule a time, or available during online chats


    FAX  703-450-2665 (goes to Science Division office)


1.  Required: Common Diseases of Companion Animals 2nd edition (Aleice Summers) Mosby Elsivier 2007

ISBN 978-0-323-04740-1

2. Recommended: You may either buy the following book (over 2700 pages) or use the online link instead to access a copy of it.

The Merck Veterinary Manual 9th edition (Cynthia M. Kahn, editor and Scott Line, Associate editor), published by Merck & Co. in partnership with Merial Limited 2008  ISBN 0-911910-50-6

The entire text is available online at this link: Merck Manual online

3. We will be using Clinical Textbook for Veterinary Technicians 6th edition by McCurnin and Bassert which you already have from previous courses.

4. A good resource for disease terms that you already have from a previous course is Medical Terminology by Romich 2nd edition

Course objectives:

-List the major etiological agents of infectious and noninfectious diseases in small animals

-Recognize the diseased animal by alterations in normal behavior and physical appearance

-List, by systems, the typical signs of disease displayed by affected animals

-Describe the common laboratory tests and techniques involved in diagnosis

-List the common zoonotic agents and their significance

-Describe a program for the optimal prevention and control of disease in companion animals

-Describe the technician's role and the client education involved for the major diseases


25% Vaccination protocol paper (more information below)                   
25% Mid-term Exam (Exam 1)            
25% Final Exam (Exam 2)                    
25% Writing assignments from lessons (submit weekly via Blackboard) and task list


a) Give students the opportunity to familiarize themselves with current vaccination protocols for dogs and cats. 
b) Provide students with the chance to practice their critical thinking and writing skills 
c) Require students to use their research skills both on and off the Internet 

For this project what you will do is write up your hospital's vaccination protocol, review current vaccination recommendations as stated by the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA), the American Association of Feline Practitioners (AAFP), and the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), then evaluate your hospital's protocol.  Specify the type of vaccine recommended, the schedules for inoculation, and the recommended route and site of inoculations. In addition, you will need to make recommendations for changes to bring your hospital's protocols up-to-date.  If you work in a facility that does not provide small animal vaccinations, you will need to find a small animal clinic that is willing to let you review their protocols. You should discuss optional (non core) vaccines as well. For a grading rubric of the paper click here.

Make sure that you list at least three different references.  At least one reference must be web based. All papers must be typewritten and submitted via Blackboard.

Plagiarism will not be tolerated. This includes using cut and paste for writing assignments. Please put answers to the writing assignments in your own words. Students caught representing other individual's work as their own may receive an F for the course.  Please refer to pages 59-60 of the student handbook [Student Handbook].

Extra credit

Extra credit will be given for photos of clinical cases that can be used for teaching purposes. This means that if you have an animal with an interesting lesion that you can photograph and submit for use in the course, then extra credit will be given. You must have written permission of the owner of the animal and your mentor (or veterinarian in charge) as otherwise photographing and publishing without permission is a breach of client-patient-doctor confidentiality.

Important dates

Last day to drop without grade penalty July 8

Writing Assignments lessons 1-7 due June 26- submit via Blackboard

Midterm (Exam 1) last day to take July 6 (available 6/22-7/6)

Vaccination protocol paper due July 14- submit via Safe Assign in Blackboard

Writing assignments (submit via Blackboard) and task list (submit via mail) all due by August 2

Final (Exam 2) last day to take August 6 (available 7/22 to 8/6)

***Note- many testing sites close early in the summer and may not even be open in August. Please check with your testing center for hours and dates of operation and plan accordingly.

***Note: There are no separate oncampus visits for this course. Any activities may be coordinated with Vet 132 visits.

Other important course information:

Currently any new information or links to documents will be posted under "NEW information" at the end of this syllabus. 

Chats are pending- to be announced and will be conducted using E-meeting.

Should any student have any mitigating circumstances (death in the immediate family, illness, or other personal circumstances) that may inhibit their completion of the class, they should notify the instructor immediately and provide documentation so appropriate accommodations can be made for completion of the course.

If there are any questions regarding this syllabus, please contact the instructor by email or phone.

Have fun this summer!





 1- 5/18 Factors influencing disease

Environmental Control of Infectious Diseases


Submit all writing assignments via Blackboard
 2- 5/25 Infectious Diseases


 3- 6/1 Skin Diseases  


 4- 6/8 Diseases of the Ears and Eyes   Friendly Reminder: Assignments for lessons 1-7 (through Nervous System) due 6/26
 5- 6/15 Diseases of the Musculoskeletal system


Reminder: Assignments for lessons 1-7 (through Nervous System) due 6/26
 6- 6/22 Diseases of the Nervous system Don't mean to be a nag just one last Reminder: Assignments for lessons 1-7 (through Nervous System) due 6/26

Midterm exam ready when you are 6/24-7/11)

 7- 6/29 Take the Midterm Exam (Exam 1)- covers up through Nervous system

Diseases of the Respiratory System

 Last day to take exam 

          July 11

 8- 7/5 Diseases of the Blood, Lymphatic, and Cardiovascular Systems Last day to take exam 

          July 11  

  9- 7/12 Diseases of  the Digestive system


Submit Vaccination Protocol Paper via Safe Assign Due July 14
 10- 7/19 Diseases of  the Reproductive and Urinary Systems

Diseases of  the Endocrine System


REMINDER--All remaining writing assignments due August 2

Final exam ready when you are

 11- 7/26 Diseases of the Immune System

Zoonotic Diseases

All writing assignments due August 2


  12- 8/2  

Take the Final Exam (Exam 2)- covers material after the midterm

Last chance-All writing assignments due August 2

Last day to take the final exam August 6

  8/10 End of the semester- grades logged in  

Additional or NEW information:

This is where you would look when you are notified that there is something new posted.

Click here for the task list.

Click here for the study guide to Exam 1, also known as the midterm.

Click here for the study guide to Exam 2, also known as the final.