Animal Health Technology (AHT) and Veterinary Medical Assistant (VMA) students get hands-on experience in the NAIT Animal Health Clinic, which provides basic veterinary services for dogs and cats owned by NAIT staff and students, including:
- spays and neuters
- teeth cleaning
AHT students provide the services under instructor supervision, while VMA students take on reception duties,in addition to helping the AHT students with their role. AHT and VMA students use current veterinary software in the clinic.
In addition to the Animal Health Clinic, the AHT program also has:
- A lab where students study anatomy samples and practice restraint of small animals, birds and pocket pets (e.g. rodents and rabbits).
- Dental and veterinary X-ray units.
- A portable digital X-ray unit used on horses.
- Phantoms (task trainers that can be X-rayed) to train students in X-ray placement and technique.
All Animal Health students complete shifts at NAIT’s Canadian Animal Blood Bank clinic, and AHT students gain large animal experience through a local stable and ranch and the University of Alberta farm.
Animal care standards at NAIT
All laboratories and clinical procedures involving animals at NAIT are approved by the NAIT Animal Care Committee. This committee functions under the mandate of the Canadian Council on Animal Care to ensure that animals are treated well.
The Animal Care Committee is responsible for overseeing all use of animals within the institution. This includes:
- animal demos in the classroom
- any procedures that are performed on or with animals for any class/course that NAIT provides
NAIT’s Animal Health Clinic is inspected and approved by the Alberta Veterinary Medical Association and all X-ray and anesthetic equipment is inspected regularly to meet veterinary facility standards.