Objective—To determine whether dogs that visited human health-care facilities were at greater risk of acquiring certain health-care–associated pathogens, compared with dogs performing animal-assisted interventions in other settings, and to identify specific behaviors of dogs associated with an increased risk of acquiring these pathogens.
Design—Prospective cohort and nested case-control studies.
Animals—96 dogs that visited human health-care facilities and 98 dogs involved in other animal-assisted interventions.
Procedures—Fecal samples and nasal swab specimens were collected from dogs at the time of recruitment and every 2 months for 1 year and were tested for methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), Clostridium difficile, and other selected bacteria. Information was also obtained on facilities visited during animal-assisted interventions, dog diet, dog illnesses, and antimicrobial use within the home. At the end of the study, dog handlers were asked about the behavior of their dogs during visits to health-care facilities.
Results—Rates of acquisition of MRSA and C difficile were 4.7 and 2.4 times as high, respectively, among dogs that visited human health-care facilities, compared with rates among dogs involved in other animal-assisted interventions. Among dogs that visited human health-care facilities, those that licked patients or accepted treats during visits were more likely to be positive for MRSA and C difficile than were dogs that did not lick patients or accept treats.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results suggested that dogs that visited human health-care facilities were at risk of acquiring MRSA and C difficile, particularly when they licked patients or accepted treats during visits.
Objective—To investigate individual- and community-level contextual variables as risk factors for submission of calcium oxalate (CaOx) uroliths or magnesium ammonium phosphate (ie, struvite) uroliths for dogs to a national urolith center, as determined on the basis of urolith submission patterns.
Sample Population—Records of 7,297 dogs from Ontario, Canada, with CaOx or struvite uroliths submitted to the Canadian Veterinary Urolith Centre from 1998 through 2006.
Procedures—Data were analyzed via multilevel multivariable logistic regression.
Results—Individual-level main effects and interactions significantly associated with the risk of submission of CaOx uroliths rather than struvite uroliths included age, sex, breed group, neuter status, body condition, dietary moisture content, diet type, sex-neuter status interaction, sex-age interaction, body condition-age interaction, and breed group—dietary moisture content interaction. In addition, median community family income and being located within a major urban center (ie, Toronto) were significant risk factors for submission of CaOx uroliths, compared with submission of struvite uroliths.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Individual-level and dietary factors for dogs affected the risk of submission of CaOx uroliths, relative to that of struvite uroliths. Interactions among these variables need to be considered when assessing the impact of these risk factors. In addition, community-level or contextual factors (such as community family income and residing in a densely populated area of Ontario) also affected submission patterns, although most of the variance in the risk for submission of CaOx uroliths, compared with the risk for submission of struvite uroliths, was explained by individual-level factors. (Am J Vet Res 2010;71:1045–1054)
OBJECTIVE To determine pet-related management factors associated with the carriage of antimicrobial-resistant Salmonella spp and Escherichia coli in a population of pet dogs.
SAMPLE 138 dogs from 84 households in Ontario, Canada.
PROCEDURES From October 2005 through May 2006, dogs and households in Ontario, Canada, were recruited to participate in a cross-sectional study. Fecal samples were submitted for culture of Salmonella spp and E coli, which provided 515 bacterial isolates for antimicrobial susceptibility testing. Multilevel logistic regression models with random effects for household and dog were created to identify pet-related management factors associated with antimicrobial resistance.
RESULTS Bacterial species, feeding a homemade diet or adding homemade food to the diet, feeding a raw diet or adding anything raw to the diet, feeding a homemade raw food diet, and feeding raw chicken in the past week were significant risk factors for antimicrobial resistance in this population of dogs.
CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE In this study, several potentially important pet-related risk factors for the carriage of antimicrobial-resistant Salmonella spp and E coli in pet dogs were identified. Further evaluation of risk factors for antimicrobial resistance in dogs may lead to development of evidence-based guidelines for safe and responsible dog ownership and management to protect the public, especially pet owners who are immunocompromised.