VM-502 Communication Skills Course


Pullman Campus:



Orientation Lecture--February 26


Small Group Sessions--Thursdays March 5 through April 16

(with the exception of spring break)


Final Case--April 23


Video Review--April 30




Group Assignments

Lab 1 Group Assignments 1-3 pm

Lab 2 Group Assignments 3-5 pm




Core Document (Pullman)


Recommended Reading



Appointment Books

Round One

  • Sam [Samantha] Schmidt, 509-229-2313; Sylk, 9 year old bay Arabian mare; Farm Call; suspected vaccination reaction
    • What are potential complications or adverse outcomes from vaccinations?
    • How do you determine severity of those complications based on history and timeline?


  • Laura [Lou] Lawson, 509-563-3113; Joey, 8 year old neutered male Springer Spaniel; Veterinary Teaching Hospital Oncology Service appointment; lump on leg
    • What are differentials and diagnostic approaches to superficial masses?
    • What historical information could be helpful in making a diagnosis?
    • Who can seek medical care for a veterinary patient (owner, trainer, etc.) and under what circumstances?


  • Donna [Don] Drake, 509-366-3249; Holstein Heifers; farm call; for routine pregnancy checks and check cow with diarrhea
    • What are causes of diarrhea in cattle?
    • Are any of those causes a potential concern for human health?
    • What are important factors in determining biosecurity protocols on farms?


  • Cary Gordon, 509-244-2536; Chickens-2 Araucana and 2 Barred Rock; Farm Call; Feather picking/Bullying
    • What are components of backyard chicken husbandry?
    • What are causes of chicken aggression?
    • What do you need to understand about small-scale chicken operations to help clients manage a healthy flock?


  • The Kittredges, 509-727-4213; Sasha, 2 year old spayed domestic short hair cat; private practice appointment; behavior and wellness
    • What are important history questions for cat wellness and behavior appointments?
    • What are the indications and considerations of declawing adult cats?

Round Two

  • Kathy [Ken] Lawrence, 509-326-2013; Dan, 5 year old neutered male Jack Russell/Heeler mix; private practice appointment; aggressive behavior
    • What are the causes of inter-dog aggression?
    • How would you identify triggers based on information a client can give you?


  • Tucker [Tania] Jones, 509-282-5130; Buck, 12 year old buckskin Quarter Horse gelding; farm call; colic
    • What are the common causes of colic in horses?
    • What are important risk factors and/or preventative measures that can be associated with colic?


  • Nathan [Nancy] Harrison, 509-686-6377; Nummers, recently purchased hedgehog; private practice appointment; general care
    • What are the husbandry needs of hedgehogs, chinchillas, turtles, and lizards?
    • What are ways that petting zoos and pet stores impact public health?
    • Are there any animal welfare considerations for multiple pet households?


  • Maria [Marty] Lewis, 509-287-6430; Burnie, 13 year old neutered Australian Cattle dog; private practice appointment; declining health
    • What are the impacts/outcomes of end-stage liver disease in dogs?
    • How do you help clients make end of life decisions?


  • Elmer [Elma] Hohol, 509-546-6876; Limousine Heifers; Farm call; low pregnancy rates
    • What are causes of low pregnancy rates in herd production animals?
    • What factors are important in management that might affect weight gain and pregnancy rates?













Logan Campus:


Orientation Lecture--February 22


Small Group Sessions--Thursdays starting March 1 through April 12 (with the exception of spring break)


Final Case--April 19


Video Review--April 26













Primary Resources:

  • The Core Document (required reading)
  • Gray, C., & Moffett, Jenny. (2010). Handbook of veterinary communication skills. Chichester, West Sussex; Ames, Iowa: Wiley-Blackwell. Animal Health Library Open Reserves SF610.5 .H364
  • Adams C, Kurtz S. (2017) Skills for Communicating in Veterinary Medicine. Oxford, UK: Otmoor Publishing and Parsippany, NJ: Dewpoint Publishing.