Veterinary Assistant School

Career Diploma in
Veterinary Assisting

Veterinary assistant schools are an essential training ground for aspiring veterinary assistants. The Ashworth College Veterinary Assisting school provides in-depth instruction in the behavior, care and treatment of animals to prepare you for a worthwhile career. The course includes a one-year membership in the National Association of Veterinary Technologists of America (NAVTA), a professional trade organization for veterinary technologists and veterinary assistants.

  • Prerequisite: None
  • Study Method: eBook (Online Textbook, Lessons & Exams)
  • Program Length: As few as 6 Months

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  What You'll Learn

Ashworth College offers one of the few veterinary assistant school programs that covers veterinary anatomy and animal behavior, laboratory procedures, emergency care, nutrition and more 100% online. The Veterinary Assisting course is comprised of 22 comprehensive and engaging lessons that bring the subject alive at your computer.

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Lesson 1: A Day in the Life of a Veterinary Assistant  

Follow an animal care specialist's typically busy day in an animal hospital - and get a sense of what accomplishments are possible in your own work with animals.

Lesson 2: Emergency Medicine  

How to admit, treat, test, and comfort animals with illnesses or emergency injuries.

Lesson 3: Job Opportunities  

Technical and administrative opportunities in animal hospitals, shelters, research facilities, pet stores, zoos, wildlife programs, livestock management, breeding, farms, ranches, guide dog programs, and other areas.

Lesson 4: The Physical Examination  

Dealing with patients and owners; administering tests and recording results; giving vaccinations; taking histories; "nose-to-tail" exam procedures; getting various animal patients to cooperate.

Lesson 5: What the Animal is Trying to Tell Us  

How sick, injured, and healthy animals communicate their conditions via body language and symptoms.

Lesson 6: Ethics and Professionalism  

The moral and legal obligations of veterinary professionals; principles of conduct; relationships with colleagues and peers; advertising guidelines; giving advice to owners.

Lesson 7 and 8: Veterinary Anatomy and Physiology  

Anatomical divisions, positions, and locations; cells and tissues; eyes and ears; the skeletal, muscular, nervous, circulatory, lymphatic, respiratory, digestive, endocrine, urinary, and reproductive systems.

Lesson 9: Behavior and Physical Restraint  

Housetraining; preventing destructive behavior in dogs and cats; problem resolution services; restraint techniques for various kinds of animals; mechanical devices.

Lesson 10: Pathology, Preventive Medicine and Disease  

Inflammation and response to injury; pathogens; the immune response; husbandry; vaccination and preventive medication; sanitation; pre-disposition to disease; epidemiology; food hygiene; zoonotic diseases.

Lesson 11: Laboratory Procedures: Part A  

Hematology; collecting and handling blood specimens; evaluating blood cells, platelets, coagulation, and hemostasis; examining bone marrow; automated hematology; hematopoietic disorders; diagnostic parasitology.

Lesson 12: Laboratory Procedures: Part B  

Blood chemistry; sample collection; liver, kidney, pancreas, muscle, electrolyte, protein, and other assays; cytologic exams, equipment, and procedures; urinalysis; immunology and serology tests; quality control; accuracy and reliability.

Lesson 13: Parasitology  

Common external and internal parasites that affect domestic animals; methods of characterizing parasites; common therapeutic methods for treating parasites.

Lesson 14: Diagnostic Imaging  

Radiography; x-ray anatomy; radiographic equipment, darkroom techniques, and safety; fluoroscopy; contrast studies; diagnostic ultrasound; endoscopy; colonoscopy.

Lesson 15: Anesthesia  

Anesthesia fundamentals; the six key steps of anesthesia; anesthetic monitoring; inhalation anesthetic techniques.

Lesson 16: Surgical Nursing  

Basic surgical terminology; preoperative and postoperative considerations; aseptic technique; preparing the operative site, surgical team, and instruments; sutures.

Lesson 17: Emergency and Critical Care  

Managing specific wound types, healing, contamination, infection, and closure; managing bandages, splints, and casts.

Lesson 18: Dentistry  

Fundamental concepts and terminology in the practice of veterinary dentistry.

Lesson 19: Nutrition  

Fundamental concepts and terminology in the practice of veterinary nutrition.

Lesson 20: Nursing of Dogs and Cats  

Sample collection; drug administration; catheterization; general nursing care; respiratory and nutritional support; grooming; skin, nail, anal sac, and ear care; rehabilitation.

Lesson 21: Nursing of Horses and Food Animals  

Grooming; hoof picking; fly control; feeding; watering; nasogastric intubation; bedding; exercise; collecting blood samples; administering medications to horses, cattle, goats, and sheep; bandaging; monitoring patients.

Lesson 22: Nursing of Orphaned and Wild Animals; Special Situations  

Examining, caring for, and restraining wildlife; returning captive animals to the wild; marine mammals; husbandry and care of rodents; neonatal puppies, foals, and calves; considerations in geriatric patients.

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  What You Get

Complete your Veterinary Assisting course online on your terms. Start on your schedule, study at your own pace and get personal guidance as you need it. We’ve removed the obstacles so you can achieve your dreams as a veterinary assistant.

Our course combines a balance of theoretical concepts and practical application. Your tuition includes:

  • Comprehensive eBook (online textbook)
  • Career search & time management guides
  • Open-book, online exams
  • Dedicated academic support and tutoring
  • Participation in the Student Community
  • Career Services powered by CareerBuilder®
  • One-year NAVTA membership. Benefits of NAVTA include a digital copy of the NAVTA Journal, access to members-only education and support, and special discount offers.

Graduates of our veterinary assistant school programs receive a personalized career diploma and may attend our annual graduation ceremony. You will also receive your NAVTA membership. NAVTA provides direction, education, support and coordination for its veterinary technologist and veterinary assistant members and advocates for the competent care and humane treatment of animals.

  • Online Veterinary Assistant Programs eBooks


  • Online Veterinary Assistant Programs Diploma


  • Graduation Video


Love working with animals? Begin your Veterinary Assisting course today. Speak with an Admissions Advisor at 1-800-957-5412 or enroll online now.