Including current published evidence is vital as part of evidence-based decision making in veterinary practice. Sometimes there is no published evidence which is relevant or applicable to the clinical situation.
This can be either because it refers to patients with experimentally induced conditions, from a referral population or who lack the co-morbities often seen outside of the experimental context. The Veterinary Clinical Trials Network is unique. It is a rapidly expanding network of veterinary practices, with whom we are working to establish methods for running prospective, pragmatic, practical clinical trials in veterinary practice.
Data is extracted from the patient record using an XML Schema. The data extracted is already captured by the Practice Management Software (PMS) system as part of the consultation, no extra information is required, and the extraction method is automated. This improves participation as it minimises the time input required from vets and vet nurses. Other data is obtained directly from owners of the animals involved.
By working with a large number of first opinion veterinary practices we are able to include enough patients to ensure that our trials are suitably powered, and the participants will be representative of the wider vet-visiting pet population. The research generated from this clinical trials network will help strengthen the evidence base to aid decision making by veterinary practitioners.