Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences, Department of


Date of this Version



Ondrak et al. BMC Veterinary Research (2015) 11:248, DOI 10.1186/s12917-015-0561-z.


Open Access.


Background: Large animal veterinarians carry drugs in their practice vehicles in storage areas that are not typically refrigerated. The most common upper limits of manufacturers’ storage temperatures for United States (U.S.)-approved non-refrigerated drugs are 25 or 30 °C. Because ambient temperatures in many locations in the U.S. exceed these temperatures during the summer, we measured storage area temperatures over 4 months in the summer of 2013 to evaluate the extent to which labeled storage temperatures are exceeded.

Methods: A convenience sample of 12 vehicles from 5 central Texas practices and 12 vehicles from 4 south central Nebraska practices was used. Temperatures were recorded in one drug storage compartment in each vehicle from May 15 – September 16, 2013, at 15-minute intervals using a self-contained, battery operated temperature recording device.

Results: The highest temperatures recorded in a storage unit were 54.4 and 47.7 °C in Texas and Nebraska, respectively. The mean temperature recorded across all 24 storage units was 29.1 °C, with a mean of 26.9 °C in Nebraska and 31.4 °C in Texas. In Nebraska, at least one temperature over 25 °C was recorded on a mean of 111/124 days and a mean of 63 % of total logger readings. In Texas, temperatures over 25 °C were recorded on a mean of 123/124 days and a mean of 95 % of total logger readings.

Conclusions: Temperatures in storage units in participating veterinary practice vehicles exceeded labeled drug storage temperatures a significant portion of the summer of 2013. More research is needed to determine whether these excursions above the manufacturers’ recommended storage temperatures alter efficacy of stored drugs.