To investigate how first opinion small animal veterinary surgeons in the UK handled chemotherapeutic agents, a questionnaire was distributed at the 2014 British Small Animal Veterinary Association congress and by internet. Chemotherapy was regularly offered by 70.4 per cent of the respondents. Gold standards defined according to available guidelines for safe handling of antineoplastic drugs were poorly followed by general practitioners with only 2 per cent of respondents complying with all of them. Dedicated facilities for preparation and administration of cytotoxic drugs were variably available among participants. The level of training of staff indirectly involved in handling chemotherapy was appropriate in less than 50 per cent of practices. No association was found between demographic characteristics of the sampled population and the decision to perform chemotherapy. The results of this study raise concerns about the safety of the veterinary staff in first opinion practices involved in handling chemotherapy.
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