vet1acm animal care




Credit points: 15

This subject addresses La Trobe's Sustainability Thinking Essential. Sustainability Thinking entails deep appreciation of how the choices we make affects the natural, economic, social, political and cultural systems — now and in the future.

Subject outline

This subject introduces students to the care and management of a range of common animal species, and the challenges for sustainability practice in animal care identifying the complex interactions between social, environmental and economic issues. Subject content includes animal husbandry in companion animals and a range of other common species. The areas of nutrition, behaviour, and preventative health care of dogs and cats are covered consistent with the requirements of veterinary nursing practice. Students will consider the importance and application of professional codes, animal welfare legislation, animal ethics, the human-animal bond, cultural context and genetics within the veterinary nursing context. Students are also introduced to the important role of the veterinary nurse in educating and guiding clients in the care of their animals. During their work integrated learning placement, students will assist with the care and management of animal patients.

SchoolSchool of Life Sciences

Credit points15

Subject Co-ordinatorDimuthu Wijesinghe

Available to Study Abroad StudentsNo

Subject year levelYear Level 1 - UG

Exchange StudentsNo

Subject particulars

Subject rules

Prerequisites Must be admitted in one of the following courses: Bachelor of Veterinary Nursing (SBVN) or the Bachelor of Agriculture and Technology (SBATE)


Incompatible subjectsN/A

Equivalent subjectsN/A

Special conditions All students must attend the 3 days of Safe Animal Handling and Restraint Workshops held in Week 1, to be allowed to safely undertake this subject. This is a core subject for BVN students, and SBATE students are able to choose it as an elective, subject to quota being reached.

Learning resources


Resource TypeTitleResource RequirementAuthor and YearPublisher
ReadingsAspinall's complete textbook of veterinary nursing, 3rd ednPrescribedAckerman, N (Ed)Elsevier
ReadingsBSAVA textbook of veterinary nursing, 5th ednPrescribedTurner, L, Cooper, B & Mullineaux, E (Eds) (2011)British Small Animal Veterinary Association

Graduate capabilities & intended learning outcomes

01. Explain the role of professional codes, animal welfare legislation, ethics, cultural context and the human-animal bond in animal care and management decisions

Students learn about professional codes, legislation, ethics cultural context and the human-animal bond in their reading activities, which they apply in a practical context during placement. Case study discussions during workshops also allow students to apply theory to practice.

02. Explain the husbandry requirements of a range of healthy animal species

Student groups educate each other on animal husbandry requirements, and this is assessed in formal role plays with a staff member playing the client. In addition, student groups develop client educational materials (a video and handout) on a non-dog and cat species of interest.

03. Advise clients on common companion animal training and behaviour problems

Students undertake client advisement role plays during workshops. In addition, they design and develop a handout for clients.

04. Design and communicate animal care and management plans

Students design and develop a handout and video for clients, about a specific species management plan.

05. Evaluate the challenges for sustainable practice in animal care and management

Students will explore sustainability frameworks, legislation and animal welfare best practice across the globe via animal care and management case studies through pre-workshop readings and video links. Pre-workshop readings will provide guidance to students on how to critically analyse the social, environmental and economic aspects of each case study. During workshops, student teams evaluate a number of case studies, and will aim to measure and evaluate current practice from a sustainability perspective. E.g. control of wild cat populations, control of wild rabbit populations, intensive farming practices, live animal export.

06. Explain how individual and collective choices can positively influence the sustainability of animal care and management

Short videos will provide real-life example initiatives designed to improve outcomes in animal care and management e.g. welfare in livestock operations

Subject options

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Start date between: and    Key dates

Epping, 2019, Semester 1, Blended


Online enrolmentYes

Maximum enrolment sizeN/A

Enrolment information

Subject Instance Co-ordinatorDilhani Premaratna

Class requirements

WorkShopWeek: 10 - 22
One 3.0 hours workshop per week on weekdays during the day from week 10 to week 22 and delivered via face-to-face.

Placement - Off SiteWeek: 10 - 22
One 1.0 hours placement - off site per week on weekdays during the day from week 10 to week 22 and delivered via face-to-face.
"For SBVN students. WIL placement preparation sessions, on campus initially and then at Lort Smith"

Field TripWeek: 10 - 22
Two 6.0 hours field trip per study period on weekdays during the day from week 10 to week 22 and delivered via face-to-face.
"SBATE students enrolled in this subject will undertake two excursion days during semester with a number of site visits to properties with animals"

Unscheduled Online ClassWeek: 10 - 22
One 1.0 hours unscheduled online class per week on any day including weekend from week 10 to week 22 and delivered via online.
"Delivered as reading material, quizzes, video clips."


Assessment elementComments%ILO*
10 x 5 minute Pre-workshop online Quizzes (850 words equivalent)2% each Weeks 2-12 2001, 02, 03
Critique on Sustainable Practices in Animal Management (1200 words)Students write a critique on a case study area of animal management, in which they examine the current interaction of social, environmental and economic issues from a sustainability perspective. They then go on to consider how their own and others personal choices may positively impact this area in the future.3001, 05, 06
1 x 10 min Individual Client advisement role play (1000 words equivalent)Individual exercise 10 minutes role play Student to play the role of a veterinary nurse giving nutritional and preventative health care advice for a common healthy small animal companion animal Academic staff member to play the customer (animal owner) 1502
Animal training and behaviour handout (600 words)Individual assessment; students prepare a handout on a common companion animal training and behaviour problem relating to dogs or cats1503
Group - 5-minute team video presentation (500 words equivalent /student)Groups of 4 students, prepare and deliver a 5 min educational video about care and management advice to clients for a species of interest other than cats or dogs2002, 04