Even when there is evidence available, frustratingly, it can be difficult to access. This may particularly be a problem for veterinarians outside of academic institutions, and accessing information can be expensive.
It has been argued that there is a lack of formally published evidence for veterinary medicine (Cockcroft and Holmes 2003; Lanyon 2014), especially in comparison with the very large evidence-base for human medicine. The veterinary profession does not have the same level of centrally managed health care as human medicine (such as the National Health Service in the UK or similar structures in other countries), nor does veterinary medicine have the same level of investment in clinical research.
Much of the clinical evidence is instead generated in private practices and may be hidden away in individual practice management systems and clinical records, which are not routinely translated into formal research publications. There is currently recognition in the veterinary profession that a greater investment in research is required to create a better evidence base to inform clinical decision-making (Lanyon, 2014).
“… case-based research in the ‘real world’ of veterinary clinics has no funding base to support it” Lanyon (2014)
“… the primary difference between evidence-based medicine and evidence-based veterinary medicine is that, in the latter, the emphasis must be necessarily placed on poorer sources of evidence.” Kastelic (2006)