Bacterial contamination of gloves worn by small animal surgeons

Meagan Walker and others, University of Guelph, Ontario

Surgical site infections may occur in anything from less than 1% to more than 18% of surgical procedures in small animal practice, according to different studies. They are a cause of significant morbidity and mortality, will increase treatment costs, extend hospitalisation periods and create frustration for both the owner and clinical staff. The surgeon's own skin surface is one possible source of contamination and while it is customary to wear surgical gloves, these may provide an imperfect barrier The authors investigated possible bacterial contamination of gloves in 39 surgical procedures. Bacteria were found on 16 of the 78 gloves used in 12 out of 39 procedures. There was no significant difference in the frequency of left and right handed gloves affected, or any correlation with the dominant hand, the type of procedure or its duration. Although the role of glove contamination in surgical wound infections isn't fully established, the authors recommend additional hygiene measurers in high risk operations or those like total joint arthroplasty where infections could have disastrous consequences. These would include double gloving with periodic glove changes or removal of the outer glove at key points in the procedure.

Canadian Veterinary Journal 55(12), 1160—11 62

Effect of stress on physiological variables during hospital visits

Ryan Bragg and others, Colorado State University

Variations in the vital signs of temperature, pulse rate, respiratory rate and blood pressure may indicate a significant pathological process or they may simply reflect a fleeting physiological response to stress. The authors measured those variables in healthy dogs during visits to a veterinary hospital and in the animal's home environment. They found that the dogs' blood pressure, rectal temperature and pulse rate were all higher when the animal was in the clinic and those animals were also panting more forcefully. The results confirm that dogs, like human patients, are susceptible to what has become known as ‘white coat syndrome' and this effect should be taken into account during any initial examination.

Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 246(2), 212-215

The medical consequences of cat bite injuries in human victims

Nikola Babovic and others, Allegheny General Hospital, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Cat bites are an occupational hazard for veterinary surgeons and nurses handling fractious animals and bacteria from the feline mouth can be inoculated deep into the tissues of the affected part. A study summarised in Veterinary Medicine 109(8), 254-255 describes the medical outcomes in a retrospective series of 200 patients. Of these 30% required hospitalisation for intravenous antibiotic therapy and, in many cases, surgical irrigation and wound debridement. Long term complications included abscess formation, tendon or nerve involvement and loss of joint mobility Risk factors for those requiring more aggressive therapy included erythema, swelling, pain and the location of the wound over a joint or tendon.

Journal of Hand Surgery 39(2), 286-290

Efficacy and safety of tranexamic acid as an emetic in dogs

Hitoshi Kakiuchi and others, Azabu University, Kanagawa, Japan

Dogs will often consume potentially harmful substances such as pharmaceuticals, chocolate or tobacco and in these cases the use of emetics is recommended to remove that substance from the patient's body Tranexamic acid is a substance that has been used as an emetic but is also known to have antifibrinolytic effects, for which it is also used to control unwanted bleeding. The authors carried out a study in 10 healthy dogs to investigate the safety and efficacy of ascending doses of tranexamic acid. Their results suggest that when administered intravenously, the drug induced emesis in a dose dependent manner The antifibrinolytic effect was also predictable and would resolve within 24 hours of treatment.

American Journal of Veterinary Research 75(12), 1099-1103

Gastrointestinal perforation associated with endoscopy in cats and dogs

Sara Irom and others, Great Lakes Veterinary Specialists,

Cleveland, Ohio

Endoscopy is a minimally invasive diagnostic procedure that is extremely useful in investigations of gastrointestinal diseases in canine and feline patients. Complications occurring as a result of the procedure are rare but may include gastrointestinal perforation. The authors examined the records in six cats and one dog in which this problem was identified. These comprised 1.6% of the cat and 0.1% of the dog patients that underwent endoscopy during the 17 year period of the study The authors suggest that possible risk factors for gastrointestinal perforation may include small intestinal infiltrative disease in cats and pre-existing gastrointestinal ulceration in both species.

Journal of the American Animal Hospital Association 50(5), 322-329

Comparison of carprofen and tramadol for postoperative analgesia after enucleation in dogs

Cherlene Delgado and others, University of Wisconsin, Madison

Enucleation is a common procedure for treating intractable eye pain in dogs but the operation may also lead to further pain and the risk of self trauma. The authors compared the analgesic effects of carprofen and tramadol when given two hours prior to surgery and 12 hours later in 43 dogs undergoing enucleation which had also received hydromorphone premedication. They found that six out of 21 dogs in the tramadol group and one out of 22 in the carprofen group required rescue analgesia. In conclusion carprofen with opioid premedication may provide more effective postoperative analgesia than tramadol in dogs undergoing this procedure.

Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 245 (12), 1375-1381

DOI: 10.1080/17415349.2015.1030007

• VOL 30 • May 2015 • Veterinary Nursing Journal