Parasitological procedures, skills, and areas of knowledge used by small-animal practitioners in North America. Academic Article uri icon


  • We designed a study to assess veterinarians' competency regarding parasitological procedures, skills, and areas of knowledge currently used in small-animal practice. The outcome will help us refine our curriculum on the basis of the parasitological working knowledge and skill sets that small-animal practitioners are using today. A questionnaire was developed and sent to small-animal practitioners. Their responses provided general information on practice characteristics, parasitological procedures used, and client education. Parasitological procedures included those to diagnose helminths, protozoa, and ectoparasites. We focused on three questions: "Do you perform or request this procedure?" "Where is this procedure performed?" and "What is your frequency?" The respondents were 478 small-animal practitioners. We performed descriptive analyses of practice characteristics along with bivariate and multivariate analyses. These analyses revealed the clinical competence of parasitological diagnoses performed or requested by small-animal practitioners. The results showed that more involved or time-consuming methods such as fecal flotation using centrifugation and the Baermann test are more often sent to a diagnostic laboratory and are requested more often by veterinarians in larger practices (i.e., those that employ more veterinarians). The outcomes also suggest that the main diagnostician may not fully understand the tests available at the diagnostic laboratory, which has an impact on decision making for management, treatment, and prevention of parasites and ultimately client education. In addition, small-animal practitioners who have been in practice longer and practices that employ five veterinarians or fewer (i.e., smaller practices) offer more client education.

published proceedings

  • J Vet Med Educ

altmetric score

  • 0.25

author list (cited authors)

  • Mauldin Pereira, M., Snowden, K., Little, S. E., & Krecek, R. C.

citation count

  • 5

complete list of authors

  • Mauldin Pereira, Mary||Snowden, Karen||Little, Susan E||Krecek, Rosina C

publication date

  • December 2014