To characterize clinician preferences and justification for preferred methods for managing canine idiopathic acute diarrhea (IAD) and compare results to evidence-based literature.
284 surveys from veterinarians in small animal first-opinion practice.
Veterinarians were asked to complete a survey (61 questions) including background demographic information, practice type and location, duration in practice, and management questions for canine IAD pertaining to nutritional, probiotic, antimicrobial, antidiarrheal, benign neglect, and other therapies. The survey was available between May 5, 2021, and August 30, 2021.
Respondents reported that their preferred first-line therapy for canine IAD included dietary modification (41.3% of respondents), probiotics (20.1%), antimicrobials (21.2%), antidiarrheal medications (13.0%), and benign neglect (4.3%). The percentage of respondents who reported each therapy as either extremely effective or very effective for canine IAD varied by treatment, as follows: antimicrobials (75.2%), dietary modification (59.13%), antidiarrheal medications (42.5%), probiotics (35.5%), and benign neglect (6.52%). Perceptions of effectiveness, efficiency of treatment, and clinician justification for use were variable among treatments. Reported practice styles were occasionally in disagreement with evidence-based methods of canine IAD management.
Current clinical management of IAD is not consistently in agreement with evidence-based recommendations. The results of this study underscore the continued need to evaluate veterinary prescribing practice trends compared to evidence-based recommendations and promote dissemination of new information.