AAHA, AAFP release new fluid therapy guidelines

AAHA teamed up with the American Association of Feline Practitioners (AAFP) to release the AAHA/AAFP Fluid Therapy Guidelines for Dogs and Cats on May 1.

The guidelines provide veterinary professionals with expert-reviewed best practices and practical recommendations to choose and administer fluids, which ensures that all hospital staff members are aligned with the latest information.

According to Tracey Jensen, DVM, DABVP, contributing author of the guidelines, the new guidelines open the door for more hospitals to begin offering fluid therapy, which she said holds several key benefits for patients, clients, and hospitals.

"Our hope is that we have removed the barriers for veterinarians who currently are not embracing fluid therapy to do so now," Jensen said. "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."

Kate Knutson, DVM, AAHA president, commended the fluids committee for its work on the guidelines. The finished product sets the standard for fluid therapy in the veterinary industry, she said.

"AAHA's release of another set of guidelines continues to set the bar for standards in veterinary medicine," Knutson said. "The fluids committee did a great job of distilling medical information into a concise and easy to understand document. 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 offer a free web conference for those interested in learning more about the guidelines. The conference will be available July 1-14, 2013, and participants can visit the AAHA web conferences page for registration information.

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