RECOVER evidence and knowledge gap analysis on veterinary CPR. Part 7: Clinical guidelines


  • The authors declare no conflict of interest.

Address correspondence and request for reprints to Dr. Daniel Fletcher, Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine, DCS Box 31, Upper Tower Rd, Ithaca, NY 14853, USA.




To present a series of evidence-based, consensus guidelines for veterinary CPR in dogs and cats.


Standardized, systematic evaluation of the literature, categorization of relevant articles according to level of evidence and quality, and development of consensus on conclusions for application of the concepts to clinical practice. Questions in five domains were examined: Preparedness and Prevention, Basic Life Support, Advanced Life Support, Monitoring, and Post-Cardiac Arrest Care. Standardized worksheet templates were used for each question, and the results reviewed by the domain members, by the RECOVER committee, and opened for comments by veterinary professionals for 4 weeks. Clinical guidelines were devised from these findings and again reviewed and commented on by the different entities within RECOVER as well as by veterinary professionals.


Academia, referral practice and general practice.


A total of 74 worksheets were prepared to evaluate questions across the five domains. A series of 101 individual clinical guidelines were generated. In addition, a CPR algorithm, resuscitation drug-dosing scheme, and postcardiac arrest care algorithm were developed.


Although many knowledge gaps were identified, specific clinical guidelines for small animal veterinary CPR were generated from this evidence-based process. Future work is needed to objectively evaluate the effects of these new clinical guidelines on CPR outcome, and to address the knowledge gaps identified through this process.