Vets across the globe must “place the role of recommending small animal nutrition back into the hands of the experts”, according to the WSAVA.

Vets across the globe must “place the role of recommending small animal nutrition back into the hands of the experts”, according to the WSAVA.

WSAVA president Jolle KirpensteijnThe call comes as the association publishes guidance on nutritional assessment for dogs and cats to help small animal vets worldwide.

The guidelines have been welcomed by BSAVA and praised by one small animal practitioner for “cranking it [nutrition] back up the agenda”.

Speaking to Vetsonline, WSAVA president Jolle Kirpensteijn said: “It is important to realise that well-being is the number one concern for any vet anywhere in the world – what sometimes is forgotten that nutrition is such an important part of animal well-being.
 
“These guidelines definitely explain why nutritional assessment should be part of the routine physical examination.”

The association has now included nutrition in its list of vital physical signs small animal vets must cover in every pet exam – alongside temperature, pulse, respiration and pain.
  
The 25-page Nutritional Assessment Guidelines document describes methods of extended examination and how to creation action plans for outpatients and hospitalised animals.

It stresses the importance of ongoing body condition and muscle mass condition scoring, and gives step-by-step advice on determining and altering the feeding and environmental factors that can influence an animal’s nutritional intake.

Commenting on the guidelines, Glamorgan-based vet Mike Jessop said he was pleased that nutrition “had been cranked up the agenda”.

“The issue does not get shouted up enough,” he said.

“If we get nutrition right from day one you don’t get pet obesity and this is where we’re going wrong. There is a tendency to think of nutrition as retail and selling which tends to be pushed by manufacturers, as opposed to looking at it as prevention and well-being.”

He urged practitioners to focus on nutrition at the start of a patient’s life, and expressed concern that some pet owners and vets, “seem to be moving towards this crazy world of using nutraceuticals to supplement diet”.
 
Welcoming the publication of the guidelines, BSAVA spokesman Mark Johnston said: “BSAVA supports any project that raises the profile of correct nutrition both in this country and abroad.”

He said BSAVA had long recognised “the proper feeding of companion animals is a science”, with the organisation publishing its first nutrition manual in 1995.
 
The WSAVA Nutritional Assessment Guidelines can be downloaded via the association’s website.

View your activity >

Leave a Reply

Be the First to Comment!

Notify of
avatar

wpDiscuz