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Efficacy of application of an alcohol-based antiseptic hand rub or a 2% chlorhexidine gluconate scrub for immediate reduction of the bacterial population on the skin of dogs

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  • 1 Lauderdale Veterinary Specialists, 3217 NW 10th Terr, Stes 302–306, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33309.
  • | 2 Lauderdale Veterinary Specialists, 3217 NW 10th Terr, Stes 302–306, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33309.
  • | 3 Department of Veterinary Clinical Medicine, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Illinois, Urbana, IL 61802.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE To compare the efficacy of application of an alcohol-based antiseptic (80% ethyl alcohol) hand rub (ABAHR) with that of a 2% chlorhexidine gluconate scrub (CGS2) for immediate reduction of the bacterial population on the skin of dogs.

ANIMALS 50 client-owned dogs with no evidence of skin disease.

PROCEDURES On each dog, 2 areas of hair on the ventral aspect of the abdomen were clipped with a No. 40 blade and cleared of debris. A direct contact plate holding tryptic soy agar with polysorbate 80 and lecithin was gently pressed (for 2 seconds) on each skin site (preapplication sample). The CGS2 and ABAHR were each aseptically applied to 1 skin site on each dog. A direct contact plate was subsequently applied to each site in a similar manner (postapplication sample). All plates were cultured, and bacterial isolates were identified and quantified by the number of CFUs per plate.

RESULTS Application of the CGS2 and ABAHR significantly decreased skin bacterial colony counts, compared with findings for preapplication samples. The number of CFUs per plate or postapplication percentage reduction in CFUs per plate did not differ between treatments. There were no adverse skin reactions associated with either application.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE Results indicated that applications of ABAHR and CGS2 were equally effective at immediately reducing the bacterial population on the skin of dogs, and there was no significant difference in percentage reduction in colony counts between the 2 applications.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE To compare the efficacy of application of an alcohol-based antiseptic (80% ethyl alcohol) hand rub (ABAHR) with that of a 2% chlorhexidine gluconate scrub (CGS2) for immediate reduction of the bacterial population on the skin of dogs.

ANIMALS 50 client-owned dogs with no evidence of skin disease.

PROCEDURES On each dog, 2 areas of hair on the ventral aspect of the abdomen were clipped with a No. 40 blade and cleared of debris. A direct contact plate holding tryptic soy agar with polysorbate 80 and lecithin was gently pressed (for 2 seconds) on each skin site (preapplication sample). The CGS2 and ABAHR were each aseptically applied to 1 skin site on each dog. A direct contact plate was subsequently applied to each site in a similar manner (postapplication sample). All plates were cultured, and bacterial isolates were identified and quantified by the number of CFUs per plate.

RESULTS Application of the CGS2 and ABAHR significantly decreased skin bacterial colony counts, compared with findings for preapplication samples. The number of CFUs per plate or postapplication percentage reduction in CFUs per plate did not differ between treatments. There were no adverse skin reactions associated with either application.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE Results indicated that applications of ABAHR and CGS2 were equally effective at immediately reducing the bacterial population on the skin of dogs, and there was no significant difference in percentage reduction in colony counts between the 2 applications.

Contributor Notes

Dr. Maxwell's present address is Department of Small Animal Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32608.

Drs. Bennett and Mitchell's present address is Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences and Veterinary Teaching Hospital, School of Veterinary Medicine, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA 70803.

Address correspondence to Dr. Maxwell (Emaxwell@ufl.edu).