Bacterial contamination of clipper blades in small animal practice

Rebecca Mount and others, Dermatology for Animals, Albuquerque, New Mexico

Clipping of hair is a necessary preliminary to a range of common procedures carried out in companion animal practices. Surgical patients are at a significant risk of developing nosocomial infections and contaminated clipper blades have been identified as potential fomites capable of transferring infectious bacteria between patients. The authors evaluated the prevalence of contaminated blades in US veterinary practices and the effectiveness of various blade-cleaning solutions. Bacterial cultures were attempted from clipper blades submitted by 60 different practices, of which 52% were found to be carrying bacteria. There was a significant association between the likelihood of bacterial contamination and the category of cleaning product used in the practice but there was no apparent link between bacterial carriage and the frequency of cleaning, storage location or the type of practice using the equipment. The study confirms that veterinary practices should consider improperly disinfected clipper blades as a potential source of nosocomial pathogens.

Journal of the American Animal Hospital Association 52(2), 95-101

Usage of veterinary services by animal shelter managers

Barb Laderman-Jones and others, Placer Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, Roseville, California

Shelter medicine is emerging as a distinct specialty within the veterinary profession yet little is known about the knowledge and attitudes of welfare shelter managers to the services that veterinary staff can provide. The authors surveyed the opinions of those responsible for running 1371 animal shelters across the US, of whom 39% responded. There was an appreciation of the importance of veterinary services and each identified at least one infectious condition that had caused problems in the shelterThe managers understood the value of surgical diagnostic and therapeutic services but were less aware of the availability of advice on disease prevention and behavioural issues.

The Veterinary Journal 210(1), 68-76

Effects of travel and storage on bacterial culture results on canine urine

Carly Patterson and others, Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas

Around 14% of dogs are likely to experience a urinary tract infection at some stage in their lives and the gold standard test for diagnosing such a condition is quantitative bacterial urine culture. The authors investigate the effects of sampling handling on the results of culture tests. Urine samples were spiked with Escherischia coli bacteria and then tested following different time delays, stored at different temperatures and in different types of transport tube. Samples tested after storage at 4° C had lower bacterial counts than those stored at higher temperatures but the bacterial count fell if the sample was kept for 24 hours.

Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 248(2), 183-187

Daily management of chronic kidney disease in cats

Jessica Markovich and others, Tufts University North Grafton, Massachusetts

Diet has been recognised as a significant factor in slowing the progression of chronic kidney disease in cats. The authors investigated the dietary choices made by owners of 1089 cats with CKD, along with the medications given to manage the condition. Therapeutic diets formulated especially of this condition were used in feeding 51% of the respondents' cats, while 52% of owners reported their cats had a poor appetite and had to be coaxed into eating on most days. Most cats were receiving subcutaneous fluids and oral medications but only 22% were given phosphorus-binding supplements.

Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery 17(12), 979-983

Effects of Manuka honey gel on healing of wounds to the lower legs of horses

Andrea Bischofberger and others, University of Sydney, Australia

Manuka honey gel has been shown to alter the early stages of second intention healing of equine skin wounds but the mechanism of action is unclear. The authors studied the impact of honey gel on experimental full thickness wounds to the distal limbs of 10 standard bred horses. Their results show that Manuka gel resulted in a more organised granulation tissue bed in the early stages of repair. Wound inflammation was reduced, blood vessel formation was accelerated, and there was an increased rate of collagen formation. However there were no observable effects on tissue concentrations of the growth factors TGF-betal and TGF-beta3.

Australian Veterinary Journal 94(1/2), 27-34

Rectal temperatures in healthy indoor cats

Julie Levy and others, University of Florida, Gainesville

Body temperature readings are one of the most common procedures for assessing the health of cats. The reference range for rectal temperature measurements in cats is usually given as 37.7 to 38.1° C at the lower end to 39.2 to 39.5° C at the higher end. The authors measured the rectal temperatures of 200 healthy cats housed indoors. They found the temperatures were lower than the published reference range, measuring from 36.7 to 38.9° C. Use of the previously published figures could lead to overdiagnosis of hypothermia in cats and the underdiagnosis of mild pyrexia.

Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery 17(11), 950-952

Veterinary Nursing Journal • VOL 31 • August 2016