Vet techs who want to successfully care for injured wild birds or even work at an avian sanctuary may want to find a vet tech program that offers a course in avian or exotic care. Such courses focus on recognition of disease, administration of medication and specific care and management, such as bandaging and wrap placement. Lab work may be fundamental in some programs while, in distance-learning education, students may have to gain their experience while under the guidance of a veterinarian. Many success stories about injured birds, whether juveniles or adults, being rehabilitated and released back into the wild exist. It only takes an inspiring story or hands-on experience to motivate students to consider avian care or to take a vet tech course to learn more. Below, we list six vet tech programs with courses in avian care.
St. Petersburg College offers an online associate degree in veterinary technology, which is available to students in nearly all states except five. The advantage of this program is that students can then go on to complete the bachelor's of applied science in veterinary technology offered online through the school. Both programs are accredited through the accrediting arm of the American Veterinary Medical Association. In the last term of the three-year online associated degree vet tech program, students take the two-credit ATE 2722, Avian and Exotic Pet Medicine (ATE 1211, Animal Physiology is a prerequisite). In ATE 2722, they learn about avian and exotic management, medicine, pet husbandry and physiology. Thirty-two contact hours or the equivalent are completed during this class. Students must be working in a vet hospital at least 20 hours a week to be eligible for acceptance in the online program.
Tucson, Arizona's Pima Community College, accredited through the American Veterinary Medical Association, offers an associate of applied science degree in veterinary technology. As part of the 47-credit core curriculum, students take the two-credit VET 211, Veterinary Nursing Procedures: Avian, Exotic, and Lab Animals. The class focuses on care and management, health problem assessment, nursing procedures, preventative health care and restraints. Prerequisites include VET 111, 120, 131, 150 and the core prerequisites are VET 121 and 200.
Ridgewater College, with campuses in Wilmar and Hutchinson, Minnesota, offers an associate of applied science degree in veterinary technology that is approved through the accrediting branch of the American Veterinary Medical Association. In their third semester, students much choose one of the following two electives: VNTE 2230, Radiographic and Imaging Techniques or VNTE 2350, Avian, Exotic and Lab Animal Care. The VNTE 2350 class is three credits and concentrates on care and practice, common diseases, handling techniques, husbandry, nursing procedures and preventative health care. Prerequisites include CHEM101, VNTE 1116 and VNTE 1135. The school also has an exchange program with Hansenberg College in Kolding, Denmark and notes that its performance rate on the Veterinary Technician National Exam is above average.
Hillsborough Community College in Plant City, Florida offers a 73-credit associate degree in veterinary technology that is accredited through the American Veterinary Medical Association. Fifty-five of those credits are in vet technology with the remaining in general education. In the fourth term of the core curriculum, one of the classes students take is ATE 2722, Avian and Exotic Pet Medicine, which is one credit. Students also take four credits total of veterinary work experience during the program and, upon completion of their degree, should be prepared to sit for the Veterinary Technician National Exam, the national certifying exam.
Eastern Florida State College, in Cocoa, Florida, has an associate degree in veterinary technology available that features 15 credits in general education and 58 credits in veterinary technology learning. Among its offerings is the two-credit ATEC 2722, Avian and Exotic Animal Medicine. This class is ranked level 3, which is considered advanced learning and should be considered as students plan their sequence of courses. Students also complete four one-credit courses in work experience. A C or higher in all courses is needed to graduate from the program. The school is accredited through the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
SUNY Ulster, in Stone Ridge, New York, offers an associate of applied science degree program in veterinary technology that is 71 credits in length and includes general education and core curriculum coursework. As part of the core instruction, students take VTS 258, Exotic Animal Care and Diseases, which focuses on behavior and vital signs, nursing procedures, medicine administration and recognition of diseases in birds and other animals including rabbits, reptiles and rodents. Students must test negative for tuberculosis prior to taking the class and can only enroll upon completion of prerequisites VTS 150, 151, 152, 155, and MAT 152 and with advisor approval. The program is accredited through the American Veterinary Medical Association and prepares students to seek state licensure.