Course Number and Title: VET 130 Veterinary Clinical Pathology I
This course, the first of two courses, provides basic background in veterinary pathology covering theory and techniques in hematology, immunology, serology, and clinical chemistry. Practical application of diagnostic laboratory skills, use of common laboratory equipment, and venipuncture is taught in the clinical rotation.
Laboratory coat, scrubs, and non-skid, closed toe shoes
The student must have completed required rabies pre-exposure vaccination series or document proof of protective titer before taking this course. The cost of the series is the responsibility of the student and may not be covered by insurance. Students will be working with live animals. Students are required to travel to the Georgetown campus and off-campus clinical facilities on a weekly basis.
- Describe the various types of specimens tested in the clinical laboratory and the importance of proper collection and handling. (CCC 1, 2, 6; PGC 1, 2)
- Use appropriate safety equipment and procedures according to established laboratory protocol and regulatory compliance. (CCC 6; PGC 1, 2)
- Demonstrate correct and safe use of lab equipment, microscopes, and glassware. (CCC 6, 7; PGC 1, 2)
- Demonstrate proper laboratory techniques in microscopy. (CCC 1, 2, 6; PGC 1, 2)
- Demonstrate proper laboratory techniques in hematology. (CCC 1, 2, 6; PGC 1, 2)
- Demonstrate proper laboratory techniques in venipuncture. (CCC 1, 2, 6; PGC 1, 2)
- Demonstrate proper laboratory techniques in serology. (CCC 1, 2, 6; PGC 1, 2)
- Demonstrate proper laboratory techniques in immunology. (CCC 1, 2, 6; PGC 1, 2)
- Demonstrate proper laboratory techniques in clinical chemistry. (CCC 1, 2, 6; PGC 1, 2)
- Describe the general principles of hematology in the diagnosis of health and disease in the veterinary patient. (CCC 1, 2, 6; PGC 1, 2)
- Describe the general principles of serology in the diagnosis of health and disease in the veterinary patient. (CCC 1, 2, 6; PGC 1, 2)
- Describe the general principles of immunology in the diagnosis of health and disease in the veterinary patient. (CCC 1, 2, 6; PGC 1, 2)
- Describe the general principles of clinical chemistry in the diagnosis of health and disease in the veterinary patient. (CCC 1, 2, 6; PGC 1, 2)
- Adhere to the professional behavior and ethics as outlined in the Veterinary Technician Code of Ethics. (CCC 3, 4; PGC 3)
See Core Curriculum Competencies and Program Graduate Competencies at the end of the syllabus. CCPOs are linked to every competency they develop.
Upon completion of this course, the student will:
- Describe the various types of specimens tested in the clinical laboratory and the importance of proper collection and handling.
- Prepare a specimen for shipment following diagnostic laboratory instructions.
- Handle, label, and store a specimen appropriately to avoid contamination or inaccurate results.
- Complete online and/or hard copy laboratory submission forms appropriately.
- Use appropriate safety equipment and procedures according to established laboratory protocol and regulatory compliance.
- Implement quality control, sanitation, and safety procedures when handling blood and other body fluids.
- Dispose of hazardous waste and other material appropriately.
- Implement OSHA standards in the lab setting.
- Discuss potential zoonotic diseases associated with animal blood and other body fluids, and determine ways to minimize exposure.
- Implement animal use protocol standards and subjective, objective, assessment, and plan (SOAP) notes as appropriate.
- Complete injury reports as appropriate.
- Demonstrate appropriate disposal of supplies using sharps and other biohazard containment.
- Determine appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) for laboratory collection and specimen processing.
- Demonstrate correct and safe use of lab equipment, microscopes, and glassware.
- Use lab equipment as indicated by product specifications.
- Troubleshoot equipment problems as indicated by product specifications.
- Conduct routine quality control, including equipment calibration, as appropriate.
- Demonstrate proper laboratory techniques in microscopy.
- Identify and explain the function of the various parts of the microscope.
- Perform microscopic examination of a prepared blood film.
- Demonstrate proper handling, cleaning, and transporting of the microscope.
- Demonstrate proper laboratory techniques in hematology.
- Calculate red blood cell (RBC) indices and red cell distribution width, and discuss the causes and significance of abnormal values.
- Determine RBC mass, including packed cell volume (PCV), hematocrit (HCT), hemoglobin, and RBC count, and discuss the causes and significance of abnormal values.
- Determine plasma protein concentration using a refractometer, and discuss the causes and significance of abnormal values.
- Perform a white blood cell (WBC) count and platelet count.
- Prepare and evaluate a stained blood smear.
- Use a centrifuge ensuring appropriate speed and time for a variety of samples.
- Identify normal and abnormal morphology of RBCs, WBCs, and platelets in each species as they appear on a blood smear.
- Perform a differential WBC count, and calculate absolute values.
- Identify stopper color coding, and evaluate the use of various anticoagulants for each test.
- Identify blood samples with hemolysis, lipemia, and icterus, and describe how this may affect hematological results.
- Centrifuge and determine a hematocrit sample.
- Identify a variety of normal and abnormal blood cells and discuss their significance.
- Calculate fibrinogen concentration by heat precipitation.
- Perform a reticulocyte count.
- Prepare a blood sample for an automated complete blood count, and discuss results.
- Demonstrate proper technique for a buccal mucosal bleeding time.
- Conduct a variety of automated coagulation testing (e.g., activated clotting time and prothrombin time) using commercially available equipment, and discuss results.
- Discuss the results of a complete blood count (CBC) with emphasis on abnormal findings.
- Demonstrate proper laboratory techniques in venipuncture.
- Identify, evaluate, and select appropriate equipment and supplies to be used for venipuncture in companion and exotic animals.
- Identify the veins and appropriate venipuncture sites in companion and exotic animals.
- Perform venipuncture in companion and exotic animals using a variety of sites.
- Restrain animal for a variety of venipuncture techniques, and ensure appropriate pressure is applied to site.
- Use a butterfly catheter to achieve venipuncture in appropriate species.
- Select the appropriate blood tube for the diagnostic test required.
- Demonstrate proper laboratory techniques in serology.
- Perform a variety of serological examinations, including feline leukemia, parvovirus, and/or heartworm SNAP tests, and interpret results.
- Demonstrate proper laboratory techniques in immunology.
- Perform a variety of immunological assays to detect antibodies or antigens as indicators for infectious disease in companion animals.
- Perform a slide agglutination test (SAT) to aid in the diagnosis of immune-mediated diseases in companion animals.
- Demonstrate proper laboratory techniques in clinical chemistry.
- Prepare a blood sample for chemical analysis using a commercial blood analyzer.
- Input patient data and other information in the computer software system.
- Perform a comprehensive chemistry panel.
- Interpret the results of a chemistry panel with emphasis on abnormal findings.
- Describe the general principles of hematology in the diagnosis of health and disease in the veterinary patient.
- Explain the differences among veins, arteries, and capillaries.
- Discuss the origin of RBC, WBC, and platelets.
- Name the cells in developmental order that will mature into erythrocytes, thrombocytes, plasma cells, and five leukocyte types.
- Describe the major morphological characteristics of normal and defective hematopoiesis.
- Describe the nuclear and cytoplasmic characteristics of blood cells in normal and abnormal conditions.
- Describe the function of blood cells.
- Compare and contrast the blood cell morphology of various animal species, including reptiles and birds.
- Describe the physiological role of hemoglobin and disease conditions that can occur.
- Discuss the role of protein (i.e., albumin) in the blood and disease conditions that can occur.
- Illustrate and discuss normal primary and secondary hemostasis, including intrinsic, extrinsic, and common pathways.
- Explain the role of the liver in hemostasis.
- Discuss the variety of tests used in veterinary practice to evaluate hemostasis.
- Define fibrinogen, and discuss the significance of fibrinogen levels in large animals.
- List the components of a CBC, and determine normal values in the dog, cat, and horse.
- Define reticulocyte, and discuss the importance in anemia.
- Describe the process of collection and preparation of a blood sample for automated hematology analyzers.
- Compare and contrast the commercially available automated hematology analyzers.
- Discuss the most common methods for manually counting blood cells, including the equipment required.
- Define and identify a stress leukogram.
- Define normal and abnormal laboratory values for hematological data and disease states that could alter laboratory values for various animal species.
- Differentiate regenerative and non-regenerative anemia and provide examples of each.
- Determine blood types in animals and their significance in blood donation/transfers.
- Describe the process of collection, preparation, and administration of blood for transfer.
- List the clinical signs associated with anemia and cyanosis, and discuss common causes and treatment recommendations.
- Discuss common congenital and acquired hematological diseases/disorders of animals.
- Describe the general principles of serology in the diagnosis of health and disease in the veterinary patient.
- Compare and contrast an antigen and antibody.
- Define septicemia, viremia, bacteremia, toxemia, and endotoxemia.
- List common blood-borne pathogens in domesticated animal species.
- Discuss various serological testing methods (e.g., ELISA and RIA) to detect diseases in domesticated animal species, and identify those tests that can be done within the clinic.
- Discuss the importance of paired serological testing.
- Recognize viral diseases of veterinary importance where serological testing is indicated.
- Research popular laboratories that service veterinarians (i.e., Antech), and identify serological testing available.
- Discuss genetic testing of animals.
- Describe the general principles of immunology in the diagnosis of health and disease in the veterinary patient.
- Explain the mechanism of humoral and cell-mediated immunity.
- Discuss the basic concepts of the immune process.
- Compare the location and function of IgG, IgM, IgE, and IgA.
- Compare the presence of IgG and IgM in natural infectious diseases and vaccination administration.
- Discuss the importance of colostrum consumption and/or administration in large animal species.
- Define passive and acquired transfer of antibodies in the neonate, and discuss the significance of failure of passive transfer in the neonate (i.e., puppy, kitten, foal, and calf).
- List the various types of antigen-antibody reactions.
- Discuss the basic principles of agglutination, precipitation, direct immunofluorescence, indirect immunofluorescence, and latex agglutination as related to disease processes.
- Define pH, solute solvent, diluent, density, sensitivity, specificity, solution, accuracy and precision.
- Recognize the clinical signs associated with common immunological diseases in animals.
- Explain the Coomb’s test and its application.
- Compare and contrast killed, modified live, and live vaccines.
- Research core vaccinations in the dog, cat, and horse as recommended by AVMA and determine the type of vaccination(s) available.
- Describe the general principles of clinical chemistry in the diagnosis of health and disease in the veterinary patient.
- Compare the different types of chemical analyzers available in veterinary practice.
- List the components of a chemistry and their significance.
- List preanalytical and analytical factors that can affect clinical chemistry testing.
- Interpret abnormal findings on the chemistry, and discuss possible causes.
- Discuss the significance of azotemia (i.e., elevated BUN and CR), and identify causes for pre-renal, renal, and post-renal azotemia.
- Illustrate the steps involved in bilirubin production.
- Indicate normal blood pH, and discuss the role of bicarbonate in maintaining normal blood pH.
- Identify liver enzymes (i.e., ALT, ALP, and AST), and discuss their significance when elevated.
- List the three (3) isoenzymes of ALP.
- Compare and contrast creatinine and creatine kinase (CK).
- Identify electrolytes, and discuss their function and significant when decreased or elevated.
- Compare a screening and function test as it relates to the kidney and liver.
- Adhere to the professional behavior and ethics as outlined in the Veterinary Technician Code of Ethics.
- Work effectively in groups of people from diverse backgrounds and beliefs.
- Demonstrate ethical and professional behavior and conduct.
The grade will be determined using the Delaware Tech grading system:
Students should refer to the Student Handbook for information on the Academic Standing Policy, the Academic Integrity Policy, Student Rights and Responsibilities, and other policies relevant to their academic progress.
Calculated using the following weighted average
Percentage of final grade
Summative: Clinical Skills
Summative: Laboratory Techniques
Summative: Professional Behavior
- Apply clear and effective communication skills.
- Use critical thinking to solve problems.
- Collaborate to achieve a common goal.
- Demonstrate professional and ethical conduct.
- Use information literacy for effective vocational and/or academic research.
- Apply quantitative reasoning and/or scientific inquiry to solve practical problems.
- Apply theoretical information that leads to appropriate action in the application or delivery of veterinary nursing procedures.
- Competently perform a full range of veterinary nursing procedures used in small and large animal medicine.
- Practice behaviors that are consistent with the Veterinary Technology Code of Ethics and employer expectations/requirements.
The College is committed to providing reasonable accommodations for students with disabilities. Students are encouraged to schedule an appointment with the campus Disabilities Support Counselor to request an accommodation needed due to a disability. A listing of campus Disabilities Support Counselors and contact information can be found at the disabilities services web page or visit the campus Advising Center.