Objectives: To systematically review available evidence to determine when small animals at risk of thrombosis should be treated with antiplatelet agents and anticoagulants, which antiplatelet and anticoagulant agents are most effective, and when multimodal therapy is indicated. Design: Standardized, systematic evaluation of the literature, categorization of relevant articles according to level of evidence (LOE) and quality (Good, Fair, or Poor), and development of consensus on conclusions via a Delphi-style survey for application of the concepts to clinical practice. Draft recommendations were presented at 2 international veterinary conferences and made available for community assessment, review, and comment prior to final revisions and publication. Settings: Academic and referral veterinary medical centers. Results: Databases searched included Medline via PubMed and CAB abstracts. Twelve Population Intervention Comparison Outcome questions were devised and generated corresponding worksheets investigating indications for use of antithrombotic drugs in small animals. Seventy-eight studies were reviewed in detail. Most studies assessed were experimentally controlled laboratory studies in companion animals (56 LOE 3) with smaller numbers of LOE 2 (1), LOE 4 (5), LOE 5 (6), and LOE 6 (4) studies assessed. Only 5 randomized controlled clinical trials were identified (LOE 1, Good–Fair). The 12 worksheets generated 21 guidelines with 17 guideline statements that were refined during 3 rounds of Delphi surveys. A high degree of consensus was reached across all guideline recommendations during the Delphi process. Conclusions: Overall, systematic evidence evaluations generated 2 strong recommendations, 19 weak recommendations (formulated as suggestions), 9 situations where the evidence was insufficient to make strong recommendations, and 8 situations where no relevant evidence was retrieved to aid guideline generation. Numerous significant knowledge gaps were highlighted by the evidence reviews undertaken, indicating the need for substantial additional research in this field.
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