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Vet Appidemic: UC Davis’s VetPDA and Abbott’s IV Fluids

Thanks to those who contacted us! I get it… we’re long overdue for a new installment of the Veterinary Appidemic. If you want the master list of app topics, check out our Apps & Downloads section.

In this edition, we’re covering two popular veterinary medical math apps useful for both technicians and veterinarians: UC Davis’s VetPDA Calcs and the simple Abbott IV Fluid Therapy app.

Both are cheap (one is free!) and they each have their use in various types of veterinary practice. New to this? Check out the Veterinary Appidemic intro post »


VetPDA Calcs by UC Davis

Since the early 2000’s, the University of California, Davis has been at the forefront of veterinary app development. VetPDA was their proprietary application for practicing veterinarians and students that included everything from calculators to laboratory information to their teaching hospital directory. Parts of it were only available to UC Davis students and faculty, and some of it was open to veterinary public.

VetPDA was originally built for the popular devices at that time: Palm and Dell handheld computer platforms. But m uch like the hardware it ran on, this program has since been discontinued.

What remains is VetPDA Calcs – an excellent calculator application available for iOS-using veterinary professionals (iPhone, iPad, iPod).

VetPDA Calcs is a simple and clean app that contains 22 of the most useful calculators for small animal and equine professionals. It was last updated in 2012 but is still supported by the fine folks at UC Davis.

The app lists the 22 calculators in a simple alphabetical order interface with quick access to what you need. The calculators range from Alveolar-arterial gradients, to CRIs, to temperature conversions, to anesthesia drug calculators, to echocardiogram values, to energy requirements, to fractional excretion of sodium.

There are also several fluid therapy calculators built in, including one for equine veterinarians and one that calculates maintenance fluid requirements using animal surface area – important for those tiny patients.

Frequently overlooked is the built-in “Blood Gas Analysis” tool that assists your interpretation of common blood gas values. This is especially useful for the budding veterinary student!

Price: $4.99

Conclusion: Overall this is an affordable and useful app for veterinarians, students, and technicians that contains a filtered list of the important calculators for a busy veterinary professional. It is from a trusted resource (UC Davis) and all the calculators have information sheets describing how and when to use them. The one and only problem? It has no Android counterpart.

Download & Further Information: App Website, available on iOS only.


Abbott Animal Health IV Fluid Volume Calculator

Abbott Animal Health has built an app to aid veterinarians and technicians with canine and feline crystalloid fluid therapy. The app is FREE for download on both Android and iOS devices. Win!

It doesn’t do much but what it does, it does fairly well. Abbott’s app offers information in a clean and simple interface that is very usable on small screens.

The app allows you to develop a fluid therapy plan by taking into account all the important considerations (patient weight, percent dehydration and any ongoing losses). It then walks the user through a few steps, finally yielding results in both per 1 hour and per 24-hour formats.

It also has a built-in maintenance fluid calculator. This is where my only complaint lies: when determining metabolic energy needs, the application uses the shortcut formula ([30 x kg patient] +70) for its calculations. Some would argue that this could result in significant errors in fluid dosing for very large or very tiny patients. For this reason, I’d stick to the UC Davis app for exact maintenance fluid calculations.

Dig deeper into the app and you find a dehydration estimator tool and Abbott’s guide to fluid therapy supplies, including catheters and accessories.

Price: Free (thanks Abbott!)

Conclusion: This is a very simple and easy-to-use fluid therapy app that helps veterinarians or technicians develop or double-check their fluid therapy plan. I’d like to see a change in their surface area calculation to satisfy the superdorks among us. As a free application that is available on both Apple and Android devices, it’s otherwise hard to complain.

Download & Information: Available on iOS and Android in the app stores.

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