Animal Health Care

Course CodeVAG100
Fee CodeS2
Duration (approx)100 hours
QualificationStatement of Attainment
Learn Animal Health Care Online

This course is suitable for anyone wanting to work with animals, for example -

  • in veterinary clinics
  • pet shops
  • rescue centres
  • boarding kennels and catteries
  • pet grooming
  • farms
  • wildlife parks
  • And more.

The course provides a vocational pathway towards employment in animal based jobs.



Lesson Structure

There are 12 lessons in this course:

  1. Introduction to Animal Health Care
    • animal welfare and control
    • veterinary services
    • code of practice
    • transporting animals
  2. Common Health Problems
    • causes of ill health
    • injury
    • conditions
    • nutritional problems
    • living organisms
    • parasites
    • common conditions in family pets
    • dogs
    • cats
    • caged birds
    • aquarium fish
    • mice
    • common conditions in wild animals
    • reptiles
  3. Animal Behaviour
    • communication in dogs
    • scent
    • barking
    • body language
    • handling cats
    • bird language
    • types of behaviour
    • time orientation
    • space orientation
    • territorial behaviour
    • aggression
    • horse psychology
  4. Signs of Ill Health
    • vital signs
    • the healthy animal
    • signs & symptoms of diseases
    • recognising ill health
    • diagnosis of diseases
    • taking smears
    • taking tissue samples
    • diagnosis and control of different types of diseases including
    • viruses
    • bacteria
    • protozoa
    • parasites
    • mites
    • fleas
  5. Veterinary Facilities
    • first aid kit
    • record management
    • enclosure for animals
    • environmental requirements
  6. Safety Procedures
    • duty of care
    • lifting heavy weights
    • reducing back injury
    • protective equipment
    • dealing with chemicals
    • skin penetrating injuries
    • risk categories
    • separating animals
    • disposal of dead/infected tissues
    • dangerous non-animal wastes
    • storage and handling of medicines
    • handling larger animals
  7. Administration of Animal Health
    • animal insurance
    • quarantine
    • importing animals
    • managing a veterinary office
    • telephone usage
    • record keeping
    • filing information
  8. Animal First Aid
    • types of wounds
    • cuts
    • punctures
    • tears
    • treating and cleaning wounds
    • granulating wounds
    • stitching a wound
    • bone and joint problems
    • broken bones
    • tendon injury
    • poisoning
    • restraining animals during first aid
    • restraining cats
    • restraining dogs
    • restraining horses
    • restraining cattle
    • restraining sheep
  9. Preventative Health Care
    • diet
    • insect control
    • dip
    • vaccinate
    • avoid stressing livestock
    • vaccination
  10. Routine Health Treatments
    • de-sexing
    • castration
    • vasectomy
    • spaying
    • tubal ligation
    • castration of cats
    • dogs
    • pregnancy
    • gestation periods
    • euthanasia
    • anaesthesia and analgesia
    • preparing an animal for surgery
    • sterilising equipment
    • castrating a colt
  11. Health Problems in Domestic Pets
    • burns
    • urinary tract infections
    • shock
    • electrolytes
    • ticks
    • reptiles
    • fish problems
  12. Rehabilitation Care
    • animal nursing
    • planning a recovery


  • Describe the scope of services offered by animal care services, including veterinary practices.
  • Describe common health problems in various animals, including injuries & diseases
    • causes of ill health
    • problems in family pets
  • Explain the natural behaviour of different types of domestic animals in different situations.
    • natural behaviour of animals
    • problems in wild animals
    • behaviour in domestic animals
  • Identify common signs of ill health in different animals.
    • vital signs
    • the healthy animal
    • signs & symptoms of disease
    • diagnosis & control of diseases
  • Describe the purposes of different facilities used in veterinary practice.
    • the first aid kit
    • enclosures for animals
  • Determine safety procedures for a veterinary practice.
    • workplace safety
    • health & safety for veterinary practices
  • Describe different administration procedures in a veterinary practice.
    • animal insurance
    • legal considerations
    • managing a veterinary office
  • Describe/select first aid procedures/treatments for different animals in response to common health problems in animals.
    • types of wounds
    • treatments
  • Describe requirements for maintaining good health in domestic animals, including nutrition & preventative medicine.
    • preventing ill health
    • vaccinations
  • Develop an understanding of routine treatments for healthy animals.
    • desexing
    • managing a pregnancy
    • euthanasia
  • Develop a broader awareness of health problems and their treatment in domestic pets.
    • ticks
    • Australian animals
    • birds
    • reptiles
    • fish
  • Develop skills in caring for animals prior to, during or after treatment.
    • planning a recovery
    • animal nursing

What You Will Do

  • Contact several bodies/organisations that are concerned with animal welfare, and obtain any literature or other information which you can, regarding issues such as the following:
  • Find out what restrictions placed by local councils upon the keeping of pets.
  • Find out what the legal requirements placed upon farmers or pet owners, with respect to animal welfare
  • Find two different types of domestic animals which you can observe (ie. different species).
  • Observe each on two different occasions, for at least 15 minutes each time.
  • Make notes of their behaviour.
  • Note any similarities between behaviour on the different occasions, and between the different types of animals.
  • Describe methods used for controlling/restraining animals during an examination
  • List as many things as you can that might cause an animal's temperature to go too high
  • Contact a state government veterinary/agriculture department, and find out anything you can about health risks to humans from domestic & farm animal diseases in your country.
  • Try to determine what animals are the biggest threat; what diseases are a more serious threat, and what controls are in place to minimise such problems.
  • List any animal diseases which may be also contracted by man, which you are aware of.
  • Research exotic diseases in your country or region and take notes
  • Design a standard "Patient record" card/form for use by a general practice veterinarian.

Learn to Care for the Health and Well being of all Animals

Animal health care is an important industry; employing far more than just veterinarians.This course provides a fundamental understanding of how to care for the health of animals, on the farm, but also pests and wildlife in any situation. The knowledge and skill that you develop throughout this course can help you in any situation where you need to care for animals, from the role of a pet owner to farmer, zookeeper, veterinary assistant or animal refuge worker.


This is a method of confining an infected animal away from other animals which it might infect, until the infection has been treated/destroyed/cured.

A limited period of quarantine can be a good practice to carry out with new animals when they come onto a property, so any disease they are carrying will not spread.

Quarantine can be carried out by placing animals in a paddock or pen well away from other animals.

One person should care for the quarantined animal(s) to cut down the chance of the disease spreading. Ideally they should not handle other animals during this period, and should wear special overalls and boots which can be thoroughly disinfected (or burnt) when the animal(s) come out of quarantine. If the person cannot be spared, they should follow simple rules to cut down the chance of infecting other stock. 

The livestock farmer, veterinarian or animal attendant must take care to wash their hands thoroughly after they have been with the quarantined animals. They should put on a special pair of overalls and boots when dealing with the quarantined animals, and change into other clothes when they returns to the other animals. They should always feed the animals in quarantine after other stock, so that any infection on a farm workers clothes and boots are not transferred from the quarantine area. In the case of outbreaks of Foot and Mouth or Anthrax, the area containing the infected animals is designated "in quarantine", and no animals can be moved out of the area. This helps to contain the disease and stops it spreading to "clean" areas.

Is this the Right Course For You?

Understanding about animal health is not just understanding about illnesses. It is also about -

  • understanding potential health issues
  • recognising how to prevent conditions
  • understanding how to cure conditions
  • minimising the risk of conditions developing

This course is suitable for you if you want to -

  • Understand that prevention is a good starting point to prevent conditions from arising
  • Develop and expand your knowledge of animal health and care
  • Improve your job and career prospects working with animals
  • Work with Animals

If you need any further information -

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