UK Registered Charity 1122246 This website would not be possible without the kind help of Tony Martin of the “AV Martin Charitable Foundation”

Single case scenario

This situation can be extremely distressing for the owner and clinician. The most important advice is to keep the sepsis in context. It may not be a clinic acquired infection. The clinician should deal with the patient appropriately. To ensure that there are no other cases the clinician should review the results of any post-operative infection audit carried out or in the absence of an audit review the case records of all recent surgeries. An attempt should be made to identify the source of the infection and effective therapy should resolve the case

A significant event meeting/ audit should be held so that everyone involved can discuss the case in a no blame atmosphere & see what, if anything could have been done to avoid this & what changes in practice procedures or protocols are needed as a result.

Unless a specific risk point is identified, no further hygiene action is needed. Should the assessment conclude a possible contamination from the practice, the process detailed below for Cluster outbreaks may be needed.

Careful client management and honest open discussion is important to ensure they understand the wider implications of the infection. The must be alerted to the zoonotic risks depended on the type of bacterium identified.

Staff must be alerted to the case and they must be instructed in the zoonotic risks

Cluster scenario

In the face of an outbreak, the practice must implement a systematic review of all cases involved. Rapid identification of risk areas is important.

Staff and client must be appraised of risks to their own and family/contact safety. The practice should involve the services of an Occupational Health Organisation to evaluate the carriage or colonisation risks for individual members of staff. Under no circumstances should a practice submit swabs from staff or clients for evaluation. Staff that return positive results may need to undergo treatment via their GP, this action will be undertaken by the Occupational health team.


Whilst awaiting results, the practice should undertake a thorough deep clean and keep a close monitor on post-operative sepsis. Any sepsis cases close to an outbreak are best evaluated with culture and sensitivity.

Animal welfare organisations are very conscious of the risk to dog’s health from MRSA and other multi-resistant bacteria and, potentially, to the humans with which they live. They are very supportive of the efforts made by the Bella Moss Foundation to publicise those dangers and educate the public and veterinary profession about how those risks can best be controlled. Education is the key issue and material produced by the foundation is really good training value for all who work in veterinary practices including veterinary surgeons, veterinary nurses and other animal care assistants. The scientific seminars in which the foundation has been instrumental have also been excellent for spreading current information on the management and risks of resistant bacteria

Chris Laurence MBE QVRM TD MRCVS Previous Veterinary Director Dogs Trust http://www.dogstrust.org.uk/ and currently Trustee of RSPCA http://www.rspca.org.uk

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