Course Content and Outcome Guide for BMZA 220

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

  • Participate in and contribute to all class and team discussions and activities.
  • Complete homework assignments and projects.
  • Complete all scheduled examinations and quizzes.

Course Content (Themes, Concepts, Issues and Skills)


  • Under the direction of the zoo veterinary staff make careful observations of animal health and well being and apply appropriate veterinary techniques when appropriate.


  • Recognize differences in appearance, behavior or appetite which might indicate a deviation from a wellness state.
  • Familiarity with safe techniques to handle, restrain and transport animals when required.
  • Competence with Veterinary procedures including administration of medication, venipuncture, and routine physical examinations and treatments to maintain a healthy population.
  • Differences in the structure, function and behavior of the animals at various stages in their life cycle from neonate to geriatric status.


  • Captive animals notoriously attempt to not demonstrate any physical weakness which in nature might reduce the chances of survival.
  • Maintaining healthy captive populations through preventive measures whenever possible.
  • Treat potentially dangerous exotic animals in a safe environment for both the keeper and the animal.


  • Keen observational abilities plus ability to document possible abnormalities.
  • Safely handle, restrain and transport exotic species
  • Under the direction of the veterinary staff perform routine physical procedures, administer medication, conduct physical therapy and conduct venipuncture.