Journal of Small Animal Practice

Cover image for Vol. 57 Issue 12

Edited By: Nicholas Jeffery

Impact Factor: 0.976

ISI Journal Citation Reports © Ranking: 2015: 59/138 (Veterinary Sciences)

Online ISSN: 1748-5827

Author Guidelines

The Journal of Small Animal Practice publishes original research on all aspects of small animal medicine and surgery. The target audience is primarily veterinarians in all types of small animal practice, including academic and other referral practice. Manuscripts submitted for publication are subject to peer review. If accepted for publication, the copyright in all forms/languages becomes the property of the British Small Animal Veterinary Association. Authors are advised to review the following instructions carefully when preparing manuscripts. Failure to conform to these guidelines may result in the manuscript being returned.

Preference is given to reports on studies on prospectively, or previously-collected, data that were subject to analytical methods formalised prior to acquisition or retrieval of that data. This priority will be given to studies with a pre-planned protocol whether the results are inconclusive or not. Reports on outcomes of series of cases treated by novel methods will be accepted for review and do not necessarily require extensive statistical analysis. Review articles are usually commissioned by the Editor but non-commissioned reviews may be considered provided they add materially to the current published literature, either by the inclusion of different or extra studies and/or by the conclusions drawn. Reports of single or small numbers of cases will be considered if the case(s) are exceptional, or the report contributes materially to the published literature; these criteria will be strictly applied. Any author wishing to make a submission should send a covering letter with their manuscript, emphasising the particular reason(s) why the article should be considered for publication

Authors of all types of manuscript format should refer to the EQUATOR guidelines to ensure inclusion of appropriate information.

Manuscripts submitted to, or published in, other refereed English or foreign language journals will not be considered for publication.

The work described in any paper or case report should conform to the UK legal framework pertaining to animal welfare, ethics and data protection. Prior to acceptance of a manuscript, the authors must certify that all relevant legal and ethical requirements have been met with regards to the humane treatment of animals described in the study. Where required, the author(s) must specify in the Materials and Methods the ethical review committee approval process and the international, national, and/or institutional guidelines followed. Manuscripts and authors that fail to meet these requirements and studies that involve unnecessary pain, distress, suffering, or lasting harm to animals will not be considered for review. The Editor retains the right to reject manuscripts on the basis of any of the above welfare, legal, ethical or clinical concerns; in case of doubt prior to submission authors should contact the Editor-in-Chief.


All manuscripts should be submitted online at Full instructions and support are available on the site and a user ID and password can be obtained on the first visit. Support can be contacted by clicking the Get Help Now link which appears at the top right of every ScholarOne Manuscripts page (formerly known as Manuscript Central). If you cannot submit online, please contact the appropriate editorial assistant in the Editorial Office at
All other communications should be sent to The Editor, Journal of Small Animal Practice, BSAVA, Woodrow House, 1 Telford Way, Waterwells Business Park, Quedgeley, Gloucester GL2 2AB, UK;

The contact author must ensure that all individuals or groups that have materially contributed to the presented information are either included as co-authors or acknowledged appropriately as outlined in the Vancouver conventions (ICMJE: ). If an article is accepted for publication the primary author will be required to provide a statement signed by all the co-authors agreeing to publication and confirming their role in the production of the paper. All co-authors listed on the manuscript should have made significant contribution to the work and reviewed and approved the manuscript. It would be expected that single case reports would as a rule contain no more than 3 authors. JSAP recognises the importance of collaborative work in generating large case numbers and will look favourably on larger author groups where multi-centre work is being presented. Important: To enable double-blinded review contributors should be named on the title page or uploaded separately as a supplementary file, and information that could identify authors should be redacted in the submitted manuscript.

Acknowledgements of those playing more minor roles should be made on the title page or as a separate supplementary file and not be included on the manuscript. Acknowledgements to groups and grant-awarding bodies are required. Personal acknowledgements will only be accepted if accompanied by consent from the individual named. If statistical analysis is included, the statistician/epidemiologist involved in the paper must be named as an author or included in the acknowledgements. This person must be willing to discuss the statistical methods with the reviewers if necessary.

Authors are required to disclose any possible conflict of interest, this may include financial support including consultancies, speaker's fees; any gift, income, funding or other material benefit, unsolicited or otherwise, from a commercial company or individual, even if it was not restricted to the project described in the submission. If in doubt please ask the editor for guidance about declaring a possible conflict. If the author does not have a conflict of interest, please include the following statement: 'No conflicts of interest have been declared'.

Manuscripts should be headed with the full title, which should describe accurately the subject matter. JSAP operates a system of double-blinded review. Therefore, authors should avoid including within the text the name of the institution at which the work was performed and initials of the authors; institution names must be removed from illustrations to maintain anonymity.

All material published in JSAP must adhere to high ethical, welfare and data protection standards. Work performed outside the UK must still comply with the UK Veterinary Surgeons Act or would reasonably be expected to gain a UK Home Office licence if performed in the UK.

For a series of cases that have been treated in a similar manner authors should consider whether the information is best presented as a Case Report or as an Original Article. On the whole, the decision depends on how important it is for readers to see the clinical details for each individual animal.

Title page
A title page is needed for all manuscript types, it must contain the title of the paper, names and qualifications of all authors, affiliations and full mailing address including e-mail addresses, and contact telephone number of corresponding author. No author details are to be submitted in the manuscript. In addition details of any acknowledgements should be given on the title page. The title page must also contain details of the source(s) of support in the form of grants, equipment, drugs or all of these.

Original Articles
Each paper should comprise the following sections:

Structured Summary – concise, <250 words, divided, under separate headings, into Objectives, Methods, Results, and a brief (2 sentence) statement explaining the impact of the work on small animal primary care or referral clinical practice. The Summary should not contain non-standard abbreviations or acronyms.
Keywords – maximum of five, for use as metadata for online searching
Introduction– description of closely related work which has lead up to the current study plus statement of rationale and objectives.
Materials and Methods – clear description of experimental and statistical methods and procedures (in sufficient detail to allow others to reproduce the work, or provision of references that contain appropriate method descriptions)
Results – stated concisely, and in logical sequence, with tables or figures as appropriate. Avoid duplication between tables, figures and text. Use text to draw attention to details that might not be readily apparent in figures and tables.
Discussion – concise and focused with emphasis on new and important implications of the results and how these relate to other studies.

Case Reports
1. Traditional Case Report

There is limited space available for inclusion of traditional case reports in JSAP. Reports of single or small numbers of cases will be considered for publication in JSAP if they are exceptionally unusual or the report contributes materially to the literature. A case report should not exceed ~1500 words and must comprise:

Summary (maximum 150 words);
Keywords – for use as metadata for online searching.
Introduction - brief overview of the subject
Case Histories – containing clinical detail.
Discussion – describing the importance of the report and its novel findings.

To be considered for publication in JSAP a single case report must

Describe a substantially novel presentation (ideally including clear pathological diagnosis);
Describe a technique or treatment that would substantially alter management and prognosis of the described condition (in this case ideally more than one case should be reported); or Be the undisputable first clinical report or first case(s) of diseases in a particular location where epidemiology is a factor (e.g. Ebola in a dog in the UK)

2. Challenging case narrative
The content of these reports will follow those of traditional case reports but also include interpolated commentary describing the rationale for decision-making at all stages and may include Q&A components as part of the explanation of choices made during case management.

3. Image in small animal practice
Some case reports may best be presented as annotated images that will fit onto a single printed page of the journal. These can be submitted as high quality images of a lesion, or of images that highlight the important clinical aspects of the case. Particularly striking images may be published on the front cover of the journal issue for that month. A series of annotations (~ 2 paragraphs) must accompany the image.

Any author wishing to make a submission must send a covering letter with their manuscript, emphasising the particular reason(s) why the report should be considered for publication.

Letters To The Editor
Letters describing original material items of interest, or replies to previously published material, may be published in JSAP and may be peer-reviewed prior to publication. Letters commenting on recently published papers will be considered and the authors of the original paper will be invited to respond. Submissions should be made online but can also be sent to the Editor at

Viewpoint pieces, essays or ‘special articles’
Submission of a variety of types of article is encouraged, specifically articles that highlight gaps in knowledge, controversies, oversight or optimal clinical strategy. These can take many forms but may comprise word counts of up to 3500 and accompanying figures, tables etc. These will be expected to contain author opinions that are based on cited evidence in published literature and similar material.

Writing should conform to UK English, and acceptable English usage must be presented within the manuscript. Where abbreviations are used, the word or phrase must be given in full on the first occasion. Abstracts should not contain any abbreviations or acronyms. If you are not a native English speaker, it is recommended that you have your manuscript professionally edited before submission. Click here for a list of companies suggested by Wiley-Blackwell that will edit your manuscript for a fee.

All Manuscripts must be double-spaced for the purpose of peer reviewing.
All units of measurement should be given in the metric system or in SI units. Temperatures should be in °C.

Drugs should be referred to by Recommended International Non-Proprietary Name, followed by proprietary name and manufacturer in brackets when first mentioned, eg, fenbendazole (Panacur; Intervet).

Anatomical terminology should conform to the nomenclature published in the Nomina Anatomica Veterinaria (1983) 3rd edn. Eds R. E. Habel, J. Frewein and W. O. Sack. World Association of Veterinary Anatomists, Ithaca, New York.

Whilst there is no specified maximum length for submitted manuscripts, it is expected that authors will be concise. It is expected that manuscripts of original research reports will be less than 5000 words in total (excluding abstract and references) and review articles less than 6000 words. Case reports must not exceed 1500 words. Authors should indicate the word count at the beginning of the manuscript.

Tables and Figures
The minimum number of tables and figures necessary to clarify the text should be included and should contain only essential data.

Note: Tables and Figures must not be submitted within the manuscript (main document) file, but must be uploaded as separate files. Image files submitted during the peer-review process must be in digital format, not a format for publication. For the peer-review process to be completed, please submit files in RGB format.

Statistical analysis
Authors must describe the rationale for statistical testing; for prospective studies this will be clearly apparent and inseparable from the research question. For analysis of retrospective data the rationale and hypothesis must be clearly stated, along with the pre-defined study question and analytical methods. Authors should consider whether statistical analysis aids in interpretation of data and is not necessarily required in any but prospective studies.

Image Guidelines for JSAP

General Considerations
The purpose of an image in a scientific publication is to demonstrate a feature that cannot be as effectively described with text. Select images that illustrate the point you are trying to make. Images should be cropped to a level that focuses on the illustrated feature, while still including a minimum of features that allow anatomical region identification for the reader. Images should be presented in the colour scale they were originally obtained. For most diagnostic imaging modality images, this will be a greyscale image without any colour hue. The label of an image should not exactly replicate the text passage it was indexed in, but should be more specific than the text.

Image format
Figure legends must be given at the end of the manuscript. Sufficient information should be included to allow the figure to be understood without reference to the text. Poor quality images may be removed from a manuscript and where critical to the content may lead to rejection of a manuscript.

All illustrations (line drawings, photographs, and photomicrographs) are classified as figures. Figures should be numbered using Arabic numerals, and cited in consecutive order in the text. Each figure should be supplied as a separate file, with the figure number incorporated in the file name.

Preparation of Electronic Figures for Publication: Although low quality images are adequate for review purposes, publication requires high quality images to prevent the final product being blurred or fuzzy. Submit EPS (line art) or TIFF (halftone/photographs) files only. MS PowerPoint and Word Graphics are unsuitable for printed pictures. Do not use pixel-oriented programmes. Scans (TIFF only) should have a resolution of 300 dpi (halftone) or 600 to 1200 dpi (line drawings) in relation to the reproduction size. EPS files should be saved with fonts embedded (and with a TIFF preview if possible).

For scanned images, the scanning resolution (at final image size) should be as follows to ensure good reproduction: line art: >600 dpi; half-tones (including gel photographs): >300 dpi; figures containing both halftone and line images: >600 dpi.

More advice on figures can be found at Wiley’s guidelines for preparation of figures: Check your electronic artwork before submitting it:

To ensure high-quality reproduction, symbols should be clear and even throughout and of sufficient size, that when reduced for publication, each item will still be legible. Letters, Numbers and Titles belong in the legends for illustrations, not on the illustrations themselves. However the A, B, C legends will be transposed onto image by typesetters. When symbols, arrows, numbers or letters are used to identify parts of the illustrations, identify and explain each one clearly in a key. Symbols and arrows identifying specific structures must “touch” these structures, and not be beside them. The symbol size should be sufficiently big to display well on a 4” x 3” format.
Where possible, dot plots (jittered if necessary) are preferred to box-and-whisker or bar charts, especially when animal number is <30.

hese should be limited to those containing data important to understanding and interpreting results and reducing or clarifying the text.

Type each table (single line spacing) into a separate document. Number tables consecutively in the order of the first citation in the text and supply a brief title for each. Give each column a short or abbreviated heading. Place explanatory material in footnotes, not in the heading. Explain in the footnotes all non-standard abbreviations that are used in each table.

Checklist for authors
  • Area of interest (particularly when arrowed!) is visible on printed image
  • Arrows used to point out areas of interest if unusual/ difficult to see
  • Image is of sufficient size to clearly show lesion – normally recommend image at least 1.5-2 column width
  • Radiographs and other diagnostic images correctly orientated (standard viewing orientation eg DV images presented with left on right side etc)
  • Radiographs presented greyscale (not colour tinted)
  • All personal info of client etc removed from images
  • No ungloved hands to be visible in surgical images
  • Ensure graph axis and lines are labelled and if multiple lines that symbols are easily distinguishable
  • Identify statistical measures of variations such as standard deviation and standard error of the mean
  • Ensure that each table is cited in the text
  • If you use data from another published or unpublished source obtain written permission and acknowledge fully.
  • Data in table legible
  • Tables not to cross 2 pages

These guidelines were prepared in conjunction with those published in Veterinary Dermatologywhich were written by Dr Joan Rest and Professor M. D. McGavin.JSAP gratefully acknowledges their permission to incorporate their guidelines. Additional information on production of high quality images for diagnostic imaging modalities was provided by Dr Tobias Schwartz.

The JSAP takes the Harvard form of reference style. When references are cited in the text, the name of the author and the year should be in brackets, e.g., (Smith 1980). If the author’s name is an integral part of the sentence, the date only is placed in brackets, e.g., as reported by Smith (1980). For more than two authors, (Smith et al. 1980) should be used. Where several references are quoted together, they should be placed in chronological order as they are referred to in the text but alphabetical of the first author's name. The reference list at the end of the paper should be set out as follows:

Staudte, K. L., Hopper, B. J., Gibson, N. R.,et al. (2004) Use of ultrasonography to facilitate surgical removal of non-enteric foreign bodies in 17 dogs.Journal of Small Animal Practice 45, 395-400

References to books should be listed as follows:
Ford, R. B. (1995) Canine hyperlipidaemia. In: Textbook of Veterinary Internal Medicine. 4th edn. Eds S. J. Ettinger and E. C. Feldman. W. B. Saunders, Philadelphia. pp 1414-1419

Conference proceeding abstracts should be listed as follows:
Hill, J. R. (2000) Nodular cutaneous dirofilariasis in a cat. Proceedings of the International Society of Veterinary Dermatopathology. August 30 to 31, San Francisco, USA. pp 6-7

Websites should be listed as follows:
Author’s names and initials (or organisation name), year, website address and the date on which it was accessed. For example:
Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (2003) [accessed 24 February 2005]

*Please note that the final formatting of references e.g. capitalisation of author’s names, will be performed by the typesetter

All articles submitted to the journal may be pre-reviewed by the editor and/or the editorial board to ensure they conform to the above guidelines and all submitted manuscript may undergo rapid screening review prior to, or in place of, full peer review. Manuscripts that fail to meet the above requirements may be rejected or will not be sent for review; authors may be asked to resubmit in an appropriate format. JSAP reserves the right to reject any manuscript.

Manuscripts that enter the peer review process will be examined by at least two expert reviewers. Those approved by the reviewers are accepted for publication subject to the authors addressing all editorial and production concerns. Manuscripts are processed in the order they are received. However, at the editor’s discretion, papers of particular merit may be ‘fast-tracked’ for early publication; original articles will take precedence over case reports.

Authors should allow up to three months for initial scientific and editorial assessment of submitted manuscripts, but manuscript progress can be tracked online.

Clinical research assessment and guidance panel
The protocol for proposed studies can be submitted for peer review by a panel convened for this purpose. This panel may offer suggestions for changes in study design and analysis. Upon approval of the study design and analysis plan there will be an assumption that, if the study is carried out according to the approved protocol, the finished article will be accepted for publication. Nevertheless, each such submitted article will be subject to – an accelerated - peer-review.

The Editor’s decision is final. However, authors who wish to appeal any decision on their submitted manuscript may do so by e-mailing jsap with a detailed explanation of their concerns. If there are concerns regarding the Editor those concerns should be addressed to BSAVA,

The corresponding author will receive an e-mail alert containing a link to a website. A working e-mail address must therefore be provided for the corresponding author. The proof can be downloaded as a PDF (portable document format) file from this site. Acrobat Reader will be required in order to read this file. This software can be downloaded (free of charge) from the following website:

This will enable the file to be opened, read on screen and printed out in order for any corrections to be added. Further instructions will be sent with the proof. Corrections must be returned to the typesetter at within 3 days of receipt; authors are requested to fax corrected proofs or minor corrections can be advised by email ensuring that the journal title, paper reference number and corresponding author name are quoted in the body of the message. Authors should note that corrections should be marked as clearly as possible and kept to a minimum.

OnlineOpen is available to authors of primary research articles who wish to make their article available to non-subscribers on publication, or whose funding agency requires grantees to archive the final version of their article. With OnlineOpen, the author, the author's funding agency, or the author's institution pays a fee (currently $3000) to ensure that the article is made available to non-subscribers upon publication via Wiley Online Library, as well as deposited in the funding agency's preferred archive. For the full list of terms and conditions, see Any authors wishing to send their paper OnlineOpen will be required to complete the payment form available from our website at:

Authors will be provided with a PDF offprint of their paper. Electronic offprints are sent to the first author at his or her first email address on the title page of the paper, unless advised otherwise. Consequently, please ensure that the name, address and email of the receiving author are clearly indicated on the manuscript title page if he or she is not the first author of the paper. Additional offprints/reprints can be ordered at prices shown on the offprint order form sent with the proofs.


It is a condition of publication that authors grant the British Small Animal Veterinary Association (BSAVA) the right to publish all articles including abstracts.

If your paper is accepted, the author identified as the formal corresponding author for the paper will receive an email prompting them to login into Author Services; where via the Wiley Author Licensing Service (WALS) they will be able to complete the license agreement on behalf of all authors on the paper.

For authors signing the Copyright Assignment Form (CAF)

If the OnlineOpen option is not selected the corresponding author will be presented with the CAF to sign. The terms and conditions of the CAF can be previewed below:

Terms and Conditions: Copyright Assignment Form. Please do not complete this PDF until you are prompted to login into Author Services as described above.

Note to Contributors on Deposit of Accepted Version

Funder arrangements

Certain funders, including the NIH, members of the Research Councils UK (RCUK) and Wellcome Trust require deposit of the Accepted Version in a repository after an embargo period. Details of funding arrangements are set out at the following website: Please contact the Journal production editor if you have additional funding requirements.


Wiley has arrangements with certain academic institutions to permit the deposit of the Accepted Version in the institutional repository after an embargo period. Details of such arrangements are set out at the following website:

For authors choosing OnlineOpen

If the OnlineOpen option is selected the corresponding author will have a choice of the following Creative Commons License Open Access Agreements (OAA):

Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License OAA

Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial -NoDerivs License OAA

To preview the terms and conditions of these open access agreements please visit the Copyright FAQs hosted on Wiley Author Services

If you select the OnlineOpen option and your research is funded by The Wellcome Trust and members of the Research Councils UK (RCUK) you will be given the opportunity to publish your article under a CC-BY license supporting you in complying with Wellcome Trust and Research Councils UK requirements. For more information on this policy and the Journal’s compliant self-archiving policy please visit:

For RCUK and Wellcome Trust authors click on the link below to preview the terms and conditions of this license:

Creative Commons Attribution License OAA

To preview the terms and conditions of these open access agreements please visit the Copyright FAQs hosted on Wiley Author Services and visit

Data Sharing Policy

JSAP expects that data supporting the results in the paper will be archived in an appropriate public repository. Whenever possible the scripts and other artefacts used to generate the analyses presented in the paper should also be publicly archived. Exceptions may be granted at the discretion of the editor for sensitive information such as human subject data or the location of endangered species. Authors will be able to complete a data accessibility statement to be published with their paper. Further guidance is available at here.

Wiley’s Data Sharing Service

Wiley’s Data Sharing Service provides a free, streamlined and efficient process for authors wanting to archive and share their data. Wiley have partnered with Figshare to integrate the data upload process alongside the manuscripts submission process in ScholarOne. Once accepted for publication, data files will be transferred automatically and deposited to the figshare data repository from Wiley’s ScholarOne submission site, without charge or further work.

Figshare is a repository where users can make all of their research outputs available in a citable, shareable and discoverable manner. It is a non-domain specific repository which makes it suitable for a wide variety of data types. On publication your data is made publicly available on Figshare under a CCO license.

JSAP's Data Citation Policy

In recognition of the significance of data as an output of research effort, this journal expects authors to cite data in the same way as articles. This is appropriate for data held within institutional or more general data repositories. It is not intended to take the place of community standards such as in-line citation of GenBank accession codes. If citing or making claims based on data, please refer to the data in the text and provide a formal citation in the reference list. We recommend the format proposed by the Joint Declaration of Data Citation Principles: Authors; Year; Dataset title; Data repository or archive; Version (if any); Persistent identifier (e.g. DOI).

The British Small Animal Veterinary Association presents two annual awards relating to articles published in JSAP:

Dunkin Award
This award is presented to the author of the most valuable article published in JSAP by a small animal practitioner during the 12 months to the end of the preceding September. The aim of the award is to encourage the publication of high quality research performed by a small animal practitioner. To qualify for this award, the first author of the paper should be a practitioner working outside of academia. The award will be presented to the first author, regardless of who the other authors are. Priority will be given to first opinion practitioners. Priority will be given to original papers, but case series may be considered. Authors will be invited to confirm their eligibility for this award when submitting their paper.

PetSavers Award
This award is presented to the author of the best clinical research paper published in JSAP during the 12 months to the end of the preceding September.

The Awards Committee, which compromises the Presidents of the BSAVA, RCVS and BVA together with the chairmen of the BSAVA’s Scientific and Publications Committees, meets every October to consider nominations for Awards. The Committee cannot make nominations itself and therefore relies on the BSAVA membership putting forward names for consideration. The awards are presented at the BSAVA’s annual Congress.