AAHA, AAFP release fluid therapy guidelines for veterinarians

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May 02, 2013
By dvm360.com staff

To provide guidance for veterinary practitioners, the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) and the American Association of Feline Practitioners (AAFP) have released the AAHA/AAFP Fluid Therapy Guidelines for Dogs and Cats for use by veterinary professionals.

Released May 1, the fluid therapy guidelines are designed to provide practitioners with practical recommendations for choosing and administering fluids. Fluid therapy can positively impact patient outcome in a number of different scenarios, is easy to implement and does not require significant capital investment, say guidelines developers.

“Our hope is that we have removed the barriers for veterinarians who currently are not embracing fluid therapy to do so now,” says contributing author Tracey Jensen, DVM, DABVP, in an AAHA release. “There are many conditions and situations where the patient can benefit from fluid support. We see this as a win-win-win: A win for the patient by receiving better medical care; a win for the client with quicker resolution of illness, decreased anesthesia risk and overall decreased veterinary expense; and a win for the practitioner with increased positive case outcome.”

Because fluids are essential for life and support vital organs for longevity, many medical conditions can be more thoroughly and quickly treated with appropriate fluid therapy, saving the client money and adding years to their pet’s life, developers say.

“The fluids committee did a great job of distilling medical information into a concise and easy to understand document,” says Kate Knutson, DVM, 2013-2014 AAHA president. “AAHA will continue creating guidelines such as this one to provide clarity and support for practitioners in their quest for optimizing medical results.”

AAHA will be offering a free web conference covering the new guidelines. It will be available July 1-14, 2013. Interested participants can visit aahanet.org/webconf for registration information.