Veterinary Assistant

Program: VETA
Credential: Ontario College Certificate
Delivery: Full-time
Length: 2 Semesters
Duration: 1 Year
Effective: Winter 2018
Location: Orillia


Students focus on the acquisition of the knowledge, skills and attitudes required to assist veterinary professionals in the practice of Veterinary Medicine and also in animal care settings. Students learn the handling and restraint of animals as well as basic animal husbandry and clinical procedures. Emphasis is on companion animals. Students also learn a variety of basic diagnositic laboratory techniques, surgical support procedures and receptionist and client relation skills. Students learn and reinforce their skills and knowledge through a combination of lecture and hands on laboratory practice in the on-site veterinary hospital.

Career Opportunities

Graduates may find a range of occupations as a member of veterinary health care team, including employment in veterinary clinics, zoos, wild-life centers, pet stores, animal shelters, and grooming facilities.

Program Learning Outcomes

The graduate has reliably demonstrated the ability to:

  • provide humane and ethical care for the basic and specialized needs of a variety of domestic, exotic and wildlife animals within the scope of regulations, laws and statutes governing animals and the Veterinary Profession;
  • recognize and stress the importance of using environmentally friendly practices and supplies within the work environment;
  • identify and interpret animal behaviours and body language in order to restrain and manage companion animals in clinical settings;
  • perform basic clinical procedures on animals such as assessing vital signs and administering medications, including common chemical restraints as required, under the supervision of a veterinary professional;
  • prepare and maintain the surgical area and supplies, ensuring asepsis and assist during surgical procedures;
  • produce standard radiographs of diagnostic quality;
  • collect and process samples for diagnositic laboratory work and perform basic diagnostic tests;
  • perform client relation skills, including animal care counseling, reception and basic bookkeeping duties through the use of current word processing software as well as veterinary specific software;
  • apply basic entrepreneurial strategies to identify and respond to new opportunities.

External Recognition

Georgian College is accredited by the Canadian Council on Animal Care as a "Good Animal Practice" facility.

The Program Progression

Winter Intake 

  • Sem 1: Winter 2018
  • Sem 2: Summer 2018

Admission Requirements

OSSD or equivalent with

  • Grade 12 English (C or U)
  • Grade 11 or 12 Biology (C or U)

First-year enrolment is limited, satisfying minimum entrance requirements does not guarantee admission.

Mature students, non-secondary school applicants (19 years or older), and home school applicants may also be considered for admission. Eligibility may be met by applicants who have taken equivalent courses, upgrading, completed their GED, and equivalency testing. For complete details refer to:

Applicants who have taken courses from a recognized and accredited post-secondary institution and/or have relevant life/learning experience may also be considered for admission; refer to the Credit Transfer Centre website for details:

Additional Information

Students are required to provide proof of pre-exposure rabies vaccination in the form of a current and effective rabies titre within the first eight weeks of beginning the program.

Graduation Requirements

11 Mandatory Courses
1 Communications Course
1 General Education Course

Graduation Eligibility

To graduate from this program, the passing weighted average for promotion through each semester, and to graduate is 60%. Additionally, a student must attain a minimum of 50% or a letter grade of P (Pass) or S (Satisfactory) in each course in each semester unless otherwise stated on the course outline.


Mandatory Courses
VETA 1002Front Office and Reception 1
VETA 1003Clinical Procedures 1
VETA 1004Laboratory Procedures/Imaging
VETA 1005Pharmacology for Veterinary Assistants
VETA 1006Front Office and Reception 2
VETA 1007Clinical Procedures 2
VETA 1008Surgical Assisting
VETA 1009Kennel and Hospital Duty
VETA 1010Success in Veterinary Assistant and Beyond
VETA 1011Basic Veterinary Anatomy and Physiology
VETA 1012Veterinary Medical Terminology
Communications Courses
Select 1 course from the communications list during registration.
General Education Courses
Select 1 course from the general education list during registration.

Information contained in College documents respecting programs is correct at the time of publication. Academic content of programs and courses is revised on an ongoing basis to ensure relevance to changing educational objectives and employment market needs. The college reserves the right to add or delete programs, options, courses, timetables or campus locations subject to sufficient enrolment, and the availability of courses.