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PICO question

In calves <14 days old which are moderately to severely dehydrated (5–9%) or acidaemic (base excess -5 to  -15 mM), does intraperitoneal fluid therapy result in comparable or superior clinical improvement when compared to intravenous fluid therapy?


Clinical bottom line

Category of research question


The number and type of study designs reviewed

Two papers were critically reviewed (one randomised clinical trial and one case series)

Strength of evidence

Weak evidence relevant to the topic question

Outcomes reported

Statistically significant differences were not found between treatment groups (administration of intravenous fluids [n = 27] or intra-peritoneal fluids [n = 28]) in the clinical trial, and findings relevant to the topic question were not reported in the case series of 18 calves


These studies provide insufficient evidence that intraperitoneal (IP) fluid is comparable to, or  provides superior clinical improvement, when compared to intravenous (IV) fluid therapy in moderately to severely dehydrated (5–9 %) or acidaemic calves (base excess -5 to -15 mM) aged < 14 days of age


How to apply this evidence in practice

The application of evidence into practice should take into account multiple factors, not limited to: individual clinical expertise, patient’s circumstances and owners’ values, country, location or clinic where you work, the individual case in front of you, the availability of therapies and resources.

Knowledge Summaries are a resource to help reinforce or inform decision making. They do not override the responsibility or judgement of the practitioner to do what is best for the animal in their care.


Open Access Peer Reviewed