Portland Community College | Portland, Oregon

Course Number:
BMZA 220
Course Title:
Veterinary Procedures and Treatments for Zoo Keepers
Credit Hours:
Lecture Hours:
Lecture/Lab Hours:
Lab Hours:
Special Fee:

Course Description

Examines the critical importance of observation plus veterinary treatment techniques for zoo animals. Includes preventative health care and identification of health problems, restraint, immobilization, and transport, administration of prescribed medication, and care of geriatric and neonate animals. Department permission required. Prerequisites: BMZA 106. Audit available.

Intended Outcomes for the course

Upon successful completion students should be able to:

  • Observe captive animals with an emphasis on determining their physical well-being and recognizing signs of health problems.
  • Safely handle, restrain and transport animals under the direction of zoo or laboratory veterinary or curator staff.
  • Safely and effectively work with captive animals at each stage of life from neonate to gerontology.
  • Effectively administer prescribed medications and follow basic prophylactic animal care protocols.
  • Assist veterinary staff with animal management during examinations and procedures to maintain captive animal health.

Course Activities and Design

The format for this course is traditional lecture presentations plus laboratory experience to provide necessary skills in animal restraint and preventative health care. Lecture will be presented utilizing a variety of multimedia and interactive presentations. Laboratory experiences will be largely hands-on, team based, collaborative experiences involving instruction primarily at the Rock Creek campus and possible field trips to zoological facilities.

Outcome Assessment Strategies

  • Participation in and contribution to all class and team discussions and activities, including lecture discussions, lab activities and observations, and field trips.
  • Completion of all scheduled quizzes.
  • Completion of one topic summary at the end of the term, including an oral presentation and a written handout.

Course Content (Themes, Concepts, Issues and Skills)

Themes, Concepts and Issues:

  • Nutrition of zoological species
  • Toxicology as it relates to zoological species
  • Recognition of clinical signs of disease
  • Medical record keeping
  • Physical examination techniques
  • Physical restraint issues, logistics and techniques
  • Chemical restraint issues and logistics
  • Arthritis
  • Anxiolytic medications
  • Analgesic medications
  • Dentistry of zoological species
  • Surgery of zoological species
  • Pharmacology and compounding as they relate to zoological species
  • Drug dose calculations
  • Drug measuring and handling
  • Oral medication administration techniques
  • Medication administration using darting equipment
  • Immunology and vaccinology as they relate to zoological species
  • Pediatric issues with zoological species
  • Geriatric issues with zoological species
  • Diagnostic test methods in zoological medicine
  • Blood collection techniques
  • Crisis management, including animal escape and disaster preparedness
  • Euthanasia
  • Gross necropsy techniques and specimen collection protocols
  • Parasitology as it relates to zoological species
  • Disinfection principles and techniques
  • Animal quarantine issues and procedures
  • Animal transport issues and procedures
  • Zoonotic diseases
  • Program animal medical management
  • Integrated pest management in zoological facilities
  • Mixed-species exhibit issues
  • Reproduction and contraception of zoological species
  • Training of animal behaviors for medical purposes

Process Skills:

  • Facilitate animal health care by making careful observations of animal health and well-being and communicating those observations to team members, under the direction of facility veterinary and curatorial staff.
  • Perform routine and basic examination procedures, collect biological samples, administer medications, and fulfill treatment plans as directed by veterinary staff.
  • Serve as a valuable and educated member of the veterinary health care team, by becoming aware of issues related to provision of veterinary care to zoological species.