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  • Author or Editor: Terri L. Hathcock x
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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association


The purpose of the prospective study reported here was to evaluate surgical preparation of canine paws. Three combinations of surgical scrub solutions and antiseptic solutions were used: (1) 7.5% povidone-iodine scrub/10% povidone-iodine solution; (2) 2% chlorhexidine acetate scrub/2% chlorhexidine diacetate solution; and (3) tincture of green soap/70% isopropyl alcohol. The control was warm (38 to 42 C) tap water.

Four microbial colony counts were used to evaluate surgical preparation of 4 paws of 8 dogs. Specimens were obtained from the paws for a baseline microbial flora count. After surgical scrub was performed, additional specimens were obtained for bacteriologic culturing. Antiseptic was applied followed by collection of another specimen for bacteriologic culturing. A final specimen was obtained following a 24-hour period under a sterile occlusive bandage.

The 3 scrub solutions and the tap water control resulted in lower colony counts following scrubbing of the paws; however, only the 3 antiseptic solutions resulted in further colony count reduction after their application. Evaluation of residual colony counts isolated from specimens taken after a 24-hour period under a sterile occlusive bandage revealed chlorhexidine and povidone-iodine scrub/antiseptic combinations to be similar in antibacterial activity, with significantly (P ≤ 0.05) lower colony counts than those from specimens of paws treated with either the tincture of green soap/isopropyl alcohol combination or the tap water control. The lack of a significant difference between the bacterial counts immediately after surgical preparation with povidone-iodine and chlorhexidine and their respective 24-hour residual counts, indicated no particular advantage to surgical preparation and occlusive bandaging 24 hours prior to surgery. However, with their residual activity, either of these antiseptics under a bandage could help keep bacterial counts low after surgery in the absence of heavy wound drainage.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association