WSAVA adds nutrition to five vital assessments

May 01, 2011
By staff

DUNDAS, ONTARIO — The World Small Animal Veterinary Association (WSAVA) crafted a set of global nutrition guidelines consistent with those released last year by the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA).

The nutrition guidelines are listed by WSAVA as the fifth vital assessment in a standard physical exam—temperature, pulse, respiration and pain.

The group hopes that creating the guidelines will encourage veterinarians to begin making a nutritional assessment and specific dietary recommendation for every patient at every visit.

"We believe a sound nutritional recommendation from a veterinarian is crucial, because pet owners are exposed to a myriad of nutritional myths that if acted upon can actually be harmful to their pets," says WSAVA President Jolle Kirpensteijn, DVM, PhD, Dipl. ACVS, Dipl. ECVS.

WSAVA still is working toward getting the guidelines published, but the full 25-page document can be found on the group's website at