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BSAVA launches new Shelter Medicine manual


Shelter medicine is a newly emerging clinical discipline in veterinary medicine. It is a recognized speciality in the United States and interest is growing across the rest of the world. Shelter medicine encompasses vital aspects of physical and psychological health and welfare, infectious disease management, epidemiology, diagnostic testing and population control. The challenge of being a good shelter medicine clinician is balancing the health and welfare needs of the individual with that of the larger population from which it originates. The aim of this manual is to introduce the reader to a new way of thinking when approaching cases in the shelter environment.

BSAVA Manual of Canine and Feline Shelter Medicine

The manual is divided in three sections:

  • Principles of shelter medicine and population health

  • Prevention, management and control of disease in the shelter medicine

  • Working with people in the shelter environment.

Each section also has a number of Quick Reference Guides that provide specific practical information on a number of subjects. There is an extensive resources section at the back of the book, which supports the manual content.

The first section covers the principles of shelter medicine, describing how to approach problems and be an effective decision maker within the shelter context. It includes the concepts of ‘herd health’ and epidemiology, which are more usually applied in a large animal context.

The second section covers the prevention, management and control of infectious diseases and the management of behaviour in the shelter environment. The major infectious disease syndromes are presented by affected body system rather than by pathogen, for ease of use in clinical situations.

The third section of the manual encompasses the ‘people aspect’ of shelter medicine. Providing clinical care for animals in shelters has to be done alongside the people working there and with an understanding of the objectives, policies and values of the individual organization that runs the shelter.

The editors say, “We are delighted to have been given the opportunity to create the first edition of the BSAVA Manual of  Canine and Feline Shelter Medicine and feel this will provide useful information for anyone who undertakes clinical work whether it be in private practice or in a charity setting. We would like to thank the many contributors to this manual for their knowledge, hard work, inspiration and patience during the production of this book. Many of them work in hugely challenging clinical environments and they work tirelessly to protect the health and welfare of thousands of animals in their care”.

The BSAVA Manual of Canine and Feline Shelter Medicine: Principles of Health and Welfare in a Multi-animal Environment is available from the BSAVA website or by phone: 01452 726700. The online edition is available from:

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