quinebaug valley community college

Veterinary Assistant

Veterinary Assisting is a rewarding career in a growing field. Veterinary assistants support licensed veterinarians and veterinary technicians in providing health care to animals in a variety of settings including animal hospitals and clinics, animal shelters, laboratories and zoos. Tasks are varied and include cleaning and maintaining holding areas and equipment; restraining and handling pets; preparing and sanitizing surgery suites; feeding, exercising and grooming; and clerical and administrative work. The job also requires lifting and holding animals, some office skills, clinical procedures, and record keeping.

Program Description

Students will learn how to care for small animals, recognize signs of illness and disease, safely handle and restrain animal patients, exam room procedures, pharmacy protocols, legal issues, veterinary computer programs, facility maintenance and front office procedures.

The program consists of 132 hours of classroom instruction followed by 90 hours of clinical rotation and is comprised of the following sections:

  • Veterinary Assistant I: Fundamentals (42 hours): Introductory Topics and Concepts in Veterinary Assisting
  • Veterinary Assistant II (60 hours): Diagnostics and Treatment shows the practical applications of the veterinary assistant’s daily tasks. Includes blood analysis, urinalysis, radiology, and other diagnostic and treatment skills. There are classroom and lab-based study sessions.
  • Veterinary Assistant III (30 hours): Surgery and Dentistry includes an introduction to surgical preparation, anesthesia, and dental skills round out the course. A working knowledge of how to prepare instruments, scrub patients for surgery, and assist in dental procedures is the focus of the final classroom sessions.
  • Veterinary Clinical Rotations: The student is expected to complete the clinical task list and attend 90 in-clinic hours.

Required textbooks/materials

  • Elsevier’s Veterinary Assisting Textbook, 4th Edition (ISBN 978-0323681452) by Margi Sirois (approximately $110)
  • Elsevier’s Veterinary Assisting Workbook, 4th Edition (ISBN 978-0323681636) by Margi Sirois (approximately $40).
  • Any solid color scrubs (top and bottoms) and sip-resistant sneakers are required to be worn during clinical hours.

Time Commitment

  • 132 lecture/lab. Attendance is required and students are allowed only two absences.
  • 90 clinical

Admission Requirements
Students must be at least 16 years old at the start of class. COVID-19 vaccination may be required to attend clinical, site dependent.


  • Instructor: Lesley Coviello, CVT
  • Meeting Dates: TBD
  • Meeting Days: Tuesday & Thursday
  • Meeting Time: 6:30 – 9:30 p.m.
  • Location: Danielson (TRAD)
  • Cost: TBD
  • Registration deadline: TBD
  • Click here for registration options, contact us via email , or call 860-932.4005.

*Course schedule includes time to complete the 90 hour clinical requirement after lecture/lab portions are finished.

Payment Information
• Eligible for payment plan and tuition assistance

Refund Policy
A 100% refund will be granted up until five (5) business days before the start of your class as long as the request is made during normal business hours.

Employment Outlook

Employment in this occupation is expected to grow much faster than average, and the number of annual openings will offer very good job opportunities.