Veterinary Science - VLACS
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Estimated Completion Time

1 segment / 18 weeks


As animals play an increasingly important role in our lives, scientists have sought to learn more about their health and well-being. Taking a look at the pets that live in our homes, on our farms, and in zoos and wildlife sanctuaries, this course will examine some of the common diseases and treatments for domestic animals. Toxins, parasites, and infectious diseases impact not only the animals around us, but at times…we humans as well! Through veterinary medicine and science, the prevention and treatment of diseases and health issues are studied and applied.

This course is one of our Career Exploration offerings.

Major Topics and Concepts

  • Discuss what the areas of veterinary science and medicine include and how these areas differ from each other.
  • Learn about the history of veterinary science and medicine.
  • Examine some of the research areas that veterinary scientists are working on today.
  • Investigate the educational and other requirements for veterinarians and veterinary scientists.
  • Discuss some of the ethics in the profession and some of the controversial issues.
  • Learn what the nervous, endocrine, and gastrointestinal systems consist of and what they do for the body.
  • Examine how skeletal and muscle disorders can affect animals.
  • Discuss several infectious diseases that animals can catch from infected animals.
  • Investigate the causes and symptoms of the diseases discussed in the unit.
  • Learn about some of the treatments and preventative measures that veterinary scientists have discovered for these diseases.
  • Discuss why the health of horses, cattle, and swine is important for public health.
  • Learn about several diseases that can affect horses and how they are treated.
  • Examine what mad cow disease is and why it is such a feared disease for cattle.
  • Investigate several diseases that affect cattle and the impact that they have.
  • Discuss some diseases that affect swine and how they are treated.
  • Discuss what exotic animals are and why treating them may take additional education and training.
  • Learn about some of the diseases that affect birds and what treatments are used for these diseases.
  • Learn about some of the diseases that affect reptiles and what treatments are used for these diseases.
  • Examine what roles veterinary scientists may fill in zoological parks and sanctuaries.
  • Investigate what challenges veterinary scientists face when working with animals at zoological parks and sanctuaries.
  • Discuss what toxicology, toxicity, and toxicosis are and how these concepts relate to veterinary science and medicine.
  • Learn how acute toxicosis differs from chronic toxicosis.
  • Discuss how exposure to toxins can occur and what factors affect toxicity.
  • Examine some of the natural forms of poisoning, such as poisoning from certain plants and fruits and bites from poisonous snakes.
  • Investigate some artificial substances that can cause poisoning, such as rodenticides.
  • Learn what parasites are and how they relate to hosts.
  • Discuss several different types of parasites and how they differ.
  • Examine how animals may become infected with parasites and how parasites may be transferred from animal to animal.
  • Investigate some of the different symptoms that animals can experience due to parasites.
  • Investigate some of the different life cycles for common parasites.
  • Learn about zoonoses and why they are a concern to veterinary scientists and public health officials.
  • Discuss Hantavirus and how it is transmitted to humans.
  • Examine the plague and how this zoonotic disease has impacted human societies throughout history.
  • Investigate anthrax and how it can be transmitted to humans.
  • Discuss ringworm and the symptoms of this zoonotic infection.
  • Learn about holistic and allopathic veterinary treatments and how they differ.
  • Discuss the use of acupuncture for the treatment of animal diseases.
  • Examine how hydrotherapy can benefit horses and dogs.
  • Investigate how herbs and botanicals are used to treat animal diseases.
  • Learn about the use of essential oils with animals.

Credits .5

Competency Group Overview

Meets elective credit


  • Exotic animal medicine
    The student will demonstrate understanding of the unique challenges and opportunities of exotic animal medicine by comparing avian and reptilian diseases and treatments, and by analyzing considerations required by captivity in zoos and animal parks.
  • Holistic veterinary medicine
    The student will demonstrate understanding of non-traditional veterinary methods by examining a variety of holistic techniques and approaches used to treat common physical disorders of domestic animals and livestock, and identifying potential benefits and disadvantages of these treatments.
  • Large and small animal medicine
    The student will demonstrate understanding of common diseases, disorders, and treatments of companion animals and livestock by comparing basic physiology, investigating impacts on humans and food supply, and analyzing causes, solutions, and prevention methods.
  • Origin and application of veterinary science
    The student will demonstrate understanding of the history, evolution, and scope of veterinary science by differentiating between historical, current, and potential applications of the science, as well as identifying the education and skills required to practice veterinary medicine.
  • Poisoning, toxicology, and parasitology
    The student will demonstrate an understanding of toxicology and parasitology by a comparative analysis of transmission or access mechanisms, symptoms presented, treatments prescribed, and prevention methods.
  • Zoonotic diseases
    The student will demonstrate understanding of the threat of diseases transferred between animals and humans by identifying potential sources, transmission mechanisms, and historical evidence, and assessing modern research efforts, eradication techniques, and preventative measures.


Recommended for grades 9-12.

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