An online survey of small animal veterinarians regarding current fluid therapy practices in dogs and cats

Katrina Hopper, Alejandro Garcia Rojas, Linda S Barter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Scopus citations

Abstract

OBJECTIVE To determine common fluid therapy practices of small animal practitioners and identify fluid therapy–related knowledge gaps that may benefit from improved educational efforts, targeted research, or both. DESIGN Online survey. SAMPLE 1,496 small animal veterinarians PROCEDURES An online survey was provided to members of the Veterinary Information Network between December 23, 2013, and January 30, 2014. The survey consisted of 24 questions investigating the administration of crystalloid and synthetic colloid solutions, but not blood products, and focused primarily on the choice of fluid type, frequency of administration, type of patient treated with fluids, treatment with fluids subcutaneously versus IV, and potassium supplementation of fluids. Only responses from practicing small animal veterinarians were included. Not all respondents answered every question, and some questions allowed > 1 answer. RESULTS Balanced crystalloid solutions were the most common fluid type in all clinical scenarios described. The most common maintenance IV fluid rate reported by respondents (762/1,333 [57%]) was 60 mL/kg/d (27 mL/lb/d); calculation of fluid administration rate by means of body surface area was infrequent. Challenges of fluid therapy included determining the appropriate rate (572/1,496 [38%]) and fluid type (497/1,496 [33%]) and determining the need for potassium supplementation (229/1,496 [15%]). CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE Small animal veterinarians tended to favor isotonic balanced crystalloid solutions for IV fluid therapy, compared with other common choices such as isotonic saline (0.9% NaCl) solution. Despite its ubiquity, respondents found many aspects of fluid therapy to be challenging, suggesting the need for easy to use, evidence-based guidelines.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)553-559
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of the American Veterinary Medical Association
Volume252
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • veterinary(all)

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