Completes four-year project to enhance understanding of infectious diseases across the region

The Vaccination Guidelines Group (VGG) of the World Small Animal Veterinary Association (WSAVA) has produced a set of regional Guidelines to support companion animal veterinarians in Latin American countries. They offer evidence-based recommendations for the vaccination of cats and dogs against the most prevalent infectious diseases in the region.

The Guidelines, which have recently been published as an online supplement in the WSAVA’s official journal, the Journal of Small Animal Practice, include an overview of the veterinary profession and veterinary education in the region, together with an evidence-based review of companion animal infectious diseases in Latin America, including rabies virus infection and canine visceral leishmaniosis.

The culmination of a four-year project by the VGG, the Guidelines were produced following visits by the VGG team to Argentina, Brazil and Mexico; the analysis of a questionnaire completed by 1,390 respondents in five Latin American countries; discussions with key opinion leaders in the region and a comprehensive review of the published scientific literature.

In addition to the Guidelines, responses to 70 frequently asked questions are provided, together with the latest information on local product availability, licensed duration of immunity and the incorporation of vaccination as one element of an annual health check program. The latest document complements similar Guidelines produced by the VGG for Asia and the WSAVA Global Vaccination Guidelines, which offer evidence-based best practice recommendations on vaccination for companion animal veterinarians globally. All are available for free download from the WSAVA’s website.

The WSAVA’s VGG is a team of experts from around the world focused on providing evidence-based scientific advice to the global veterinary profession on optimum vaccination practice for dogs and cats. It is chaired by Dr Richard Squires, Associate Professor in Companion Animal Medicine, James Cook University, North Queensland, Australia.

Commenting on the release of the new Guidelines, Dr Squires said: “We hope these new Guidelines will be of great practical value to companion animal veterinarians in Latin America and of interest to many others. They represent the culmination of four years of VGG effort under the outstanding leadership of Emeritus Professor Michael Day, who sadly died before their full publication. The Guidelines will be translated into Portuguese and Spanish to maximize their accessibility for practitioners in the region. We are grateful to MSD Animal Health for supporting the work of the VGG since its formation in 2006.”

The WSAVA represents more than 200,000 veterinarians worldwide through its 113 member associations and works to enhance standards of clinical care for companion animals. Its core activities include the development of WSAVA Global Guidelines in key areas of veterinary practice, including pain management, nutrition and vaccination, together with lobbying on important issues affecting companion animal care worldwide.

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