August 8, 2016
Categories: Shelter Medicine, Surgery and Sterilization

APEX, N.C. — Whether they are performing spay and neuter procedures in a private practice, spay-neuter clinic, mobile clinic or veterinary school, veterinarians can now reference newly updated and expanded professional guidelines that encompass all aspects of the spay-neuter process. The Association of Shelter Veterinarians’ 2016 Veterinary Medical Care Guidelines for Spay-Neuter Programs were recently published, thanks to the work of a 20-member task force comprised of veterinarians with expertise in spay-neuter practice, anesthesiology, surgery and small animal internal medicine.

Spay-neuter programs vital to veterinary medicine and communities

“The ASV recognizes that one of the most important things we can do for cats and dogs in our communities is to ensure that spay-neuter services are widely available and accessible to the animals that are most at risk of contributing to shelter impoundment,” states Brenda Griffin, DVM, MS, DACVIM, University of Florida, member of the Association of Shelter Veterinarians, and of the Task Force to Advance Spay-Neuter. “We developed these professional guidelines to provide support to veterinarians working in spay-neuter programs and to promote consistent, high-quality care in all veterinary practice environments providing spay-neuter services.”

Spay-Neuter Guidelines: grounded in science, practical in application

The Spay-Neuter Task Force initially convened in 2006 and published their first set of guidelines in 2008, covering recommendations for preoperative care, anesthetic management, surgical care, and postoperative care. By 2014, the advent of new scientific information that could benefit patients and practices necessitated a guidelines update. The task force’s work to revise the guidelines culminated in 2016, when they were published “open access” in the July 15, 2016 issue of the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association.
“The Task Force integrated the latest scientific information and evidence available into its recommendations for spay-neuter practice in the new edition of the guidelines,” notes Dr. Griffin. We also included a section dedicated to general recommendations for patient care and clinical procedures as well as recommendations for operations management of high-volume spay-neuter programs to address management, staff, and clinic issues.”
“The new spay-neuter guidelines are designed to enhance the quality of patient care in all settings where surgical sterilization is performed,” notes Dr. Griffin. “We encourage practitioners everywhere to download and share them.”
About the Association of Shelter Veterinarians (ASV)
The Association of Shelter Veterinarians (ASV) is the professional organization or shelter veterinarians, consisting of over 1,500 members and 28 student chapters from around the globe. The mission of the ASV is to advance and support the practice of shelter medicine in community animal health and well-being.

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