Skip to Main Content
This Is Auburn Auburn University Libraries LibGuides

Veterinary Medicine: CAB Abstracts

CAB Abstracts -- Tips

Phrase search is the default. Put AND between concepts or use the Multi-field Search.

Use Map Term to Subject Heading to find the best search terms.

Once you know the best Subject Headings, switch to the Multi-field Search for a more intuitive search interface.

CAB Abstracts -- Overview

CAB Abstracts is the most comprehensive database for veterinary medicine. In addition to its coverage of animal health and veterinary medicine, CAB Abstracts also covers agricultural biotechnology, animal production & genetics, dairy science, and genetics. CAB Abstracts includes over 3 million records for articles and conference proceedings from 1910 to the present.

Why search CAB Abstracts?

It may be easier to search PubMed or VIN, but CAB Abstracts covers more of the veterinary medical literature. For a comprehensive search related to veterinary medicine, CAB Abstracts is essential -- in addition to PubMed or MEDLINE.

More veterinary journals

More international veterinary journals

Conferences in veterinary medicine

Coverage from 1910 to the present

What you need to know to use CAB Abstracts?

CAB Abstracts is not like Google

There is a learning curve to use the OVID interface.

Phrase search is the default -- dogs diabetes will search "dogs diabetes" as a phrase -- not as dogs AND diabetes

Need to use AND, OR, and parentheses in the Advanced search. Alternatively, you can use the Multi-field Search.

The most recent results are listed first -- in reverse chronological order, not by relevance.


You will need to look through more results to find what you are looking for

CAB Abstracts covers many more articles and conference proceedings than does PubMed. The overall quality of a CAB search is usually lower than PubMed search, but the upside is that you will find many more publications that PubMed ignores.


The "Three Concept Approach" often gives good results -- Enter a term for each of the following:

  • Species
  • Disease or condition
  • Another aspect ... such as diagnosis, treatment, etiology, surgery, pathology, immunology, genetics, drug name, etc.

dogs AND diabetes AND diagnosis  


The Search History is ....

  • Hidden at the top left of the results page. Click the triangle to open.
  • A way to re-execute previous searches.
  • A convenient way to combine previous searches with AND or OR.


Subject Headings are valuable search terms

It is useful to find and use the best Subject terms. Check the "Map to Subject Terms" box in the Advanced Search to look for Subject Headings. Another way to find Subject Headings is to look at the records for the best results your have found and see what Subject Headings are listed.