To assess what information sources veterinarians use to select drug dosages for treating exotic animals and how they implement this information.
936 veterinarians from Europe, Asia, Australia, Africa, and the Americas.
An anonymous, online survey was used to collect data on information sources used for dosage decisions by veterinarians treating exotic species. Logistic regression models were built to identify associations between individual characteristics and primary outcomes.
Respondents reported their single most common source for establishing drug dosages as formularies (682/936 [72.9%]), followed by scientific journals (96 [10.3%]), other textbooks (68 [7.3%]), colleagues (47 [5.0%]), or continuing education notes (38 [4.1%]). Over two-thirds of the respondents (645, 68.9%) consulted a specific exotic animal formulary for establishing drug dosages in most situations. Of the 936 respondents, 407 (43.5%) reported that they sometimes (318 [34.0%]) or never (89 [9.5%]) checked the source of a dosage in a textbook or a formulary, 503 (55.3%) reported that they sometimes (399 [42.6%]) or never (104 [11.1%]) searched the original publication on a dosage, and 486 (51.9%) reported that they would base their dosage decision on the abstract of an article if they had no access to the full-text. Several respondents’ reported characteristics were significant predictors of primary outcomes.
Considering our findings, we recommend authors of formularies and textbooks should focus on evidence-based information and state clearly when information is anecdotal. Tailored strategies to educate veterinarians treating exotic animals on the importance of primary sources are also recommended.