Animal Health Care VAG100

Kickstart your career in animal health care

In this course, you'll build a solid foundation in the principles of general animal health and well being. Study the signs of ill health, first aid, and safety procedures. Useful for farm hands, pet owners, wildlife rehabilitators, volunteers, and more.

Course Duration: 100 hours

Course Structure

There are twelve lessons in this course.

  1. Introduction to Animal Health Care
    • nature and scope of veterinary services
    • private veterinary practices
    • other veterinary services; laboratories, quarantine, agriculture departments, pharmaceutical companies, educational, etc
    • other animal services; breeders, holiday care, etc.
    • animal welfare and control
    • veterinary services
    • code of practice
    • terminology
    • transporting animals
  2. Common Health Problems in farm animals and pets
    • causes of ill health
    • injury
    • conditions
    • nutritional problems
    • living organisms
    • parasites
    • family pets common conditions
    • dogs
    • cats
    • caged birds
    • aquarium fish
    • mice
    • wild animals common conditions
    • reptiles
  3. Animal Behaviour
    • communication in dogs
    • scent
    • barking
    • body language
    • handling cats
    • bird language
    • types of behavior
    • time orientation
    • space orientation
    • territorial behavior
    • aggression
    • horse psychology
  4. Signs of Ill Health
    • vital signs
    • the healthy animal
    • signs and 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
    • types of facilities; clinic, hospital, mobile facility, emergency facility,etc
    • first aid kit; aids for diagnosis, instruments, medicines, preparations, etc
    • 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
    • preventing ill health
    • balanced diet
    • insect control
    • dip
    • vaccination
    • Comparing natural active immunity, artificial active immunity, natural passive immunity, and artificial active immunity
    • tetanus antiserum
    • types of vaccines
    • alternatives to vaccination
    • avoid stressing livestock
  10. Routine Health Treatments
    • desexing
    • 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
    • scope of rehabilitation
    • planning a recovery
    • animal nursing
    • the hospital pen
    • monitoring temperature, pulse, respiration
    • enclosures

Enrol Today

Ready to get started? Click on the orange enrol now button.

Have questions? Click here to email our course counsellors.

How To Manage Animal Poisoning

Poisoning can occur due to any toxic chemical, natural or unnatural, being absorbed into the animal’s body.

Chemicals can be absorbed through the mouth, the skin, or even breathed into the lungs. Poisons may come from many different sources, including air pollution, gas leaks, chemical spills, pharmaceuticals, pesticides, food, plants or animals. Small animals are generally more likely to react adversely than larger animals; though large animals can, and still are killed, by toxic chemicals.

Many of the same things that can poison people can also poison animals; and often similar treatments should be applied to animals as would be applied to people; for instance:

  • remove the chance of any further exposure
  • wash off any residues
  • drink lots of water to dilute any chemical in the body, and to eliminate toxins by urination

If you suspect severe poisoning, a veterinarian should be consulted immediately.

Various treatments may be used in severe cases, such as:

  • causing the animal to vomit (this is of use in most poisoning cases)
  • pumping the stomach
  • administering a neutralizing agent

Vomiting can often be stimulated by giving the animal a large dose of salt (eg one or two full tablespoons) placed on the back of the tongue. Pouring warm salt water, or mustard mixed with water down the back of the throat can also stimulate vomiting.


There are many different chemicals that can poison animals; and commonly cause problems.

Domestic chemicals such as fly sprays, and cleaning kill a large number of pets. Automobile anti-freeze is sweet tasting, attracts animals, and can be deadly. Obvious chemicals such as garden chemicals and rat poison can also kill.

Chemicals that might normally be tolerated (eg a flea collar) may cause serious, even deadly poisoning when an animal is under anaesthetic, or suffering from a serious illness. Prevention is obviously the best control in all of these situations. Dangerous chemicals should be kept away from domestic animals and wildlife. Keep chemicals locked up; use them with caution, and clean up spills immediately they occur.

Poisoning from Grazing

Poisoning can occur in grazing animals by eating inappropriate or toxic plant tissues. Often these situations only arise when the plants available to eat are limited to those that contain toxins.


Lush growth in Fescue grass can contain toxins. Accelerated growth of pasture can increase levels of nitrate to a point that becomes toxic to some animals. Ryegrass that has been eaten low to leave only stubble can pose a problem, as dry, stubble of rye can contain a neurotoxin which animals might not cope with. When animals ingest decaying vegetable matter (eg Hay that has started to decompose), they may ingest bacteria that causes botulism

Various symptoms can result from these types of problems. The obvious and immediate action is to change the animals feeding.

Other Forms of Poisoning may include:

  • Chocolate (Theobromine)
  • Snake bite
  • Eating or exposure to other poisonous animals (eg. Cane toads, Toad Fish etc)
  • Gas poisoning (eg. Chlorine, Carbon monoxide)
  • Mineral poisoning (eg. Cobalt, Lead, Zinc, Sulphur, Copper, iron)
  • Algae
  • Insects

Praise for this course:

"I have found the course to be a great deal of help with trying to get into the animal industry. I have also found my tutors comments of great help. Would highly recommend this course for anyone wanting to get into the animal industry or for anyone wanting to learn more about our furry friends."
Dyane Haubus, Australia

"I cannot praise the animal health care course highly enough. I have learned a great deal, far beyond my expectations."
G. Kite, Maldives

"I have animals, I am a dog training instructor. I am planning to commence a business providing in-home care to a variety of animals. So I wanted to upgrade my knowledge of animal health. I enjoyed the course and feel I have learned a lot."
Beverley Bell, Australia

Enrol Now!

Fee Information (S2)
Prices in Australian Dollars

PlanAust. PriceOverseas Price
A 1 x $781.66  1 x $710.60
B 2 x $416.96  2 x $379.05

Note: Australian prices include GST. 

Select a payment plan:

Courses can be started anytime
from anywhere in the world!

All orders processed in Australian dollars.