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OBJECTIVE To explore owners’ knowledge of and experiences with antimicrobial treatment of their pets and their perceptions of veterinarian-led antimicrobial stewardship initiatives.

DESIGN Cross-sectional study.

SAMPLE 25 pet owners visiting 1 of 3 clinic types (tertiary care, general practice, or low cost) in the greater Philadelphia area.

PROCEDURES Semistructured interviews were conducted with pet owners to gather responses related to the study objectives. Responses were transcribed and analyzed by means of conventional content analysis.

RESULTS Although participants were mostly unfamiliar with the mechanisms of antimicrobials and antimicrobial resistance, they generally understood what constituted the inappropriate use of antimicrobials. Few pet owners appeared concerned about the risk of antimicrobial resistance, and no owners were concerned that antimicrobials used for people were also used for pets. Overall, pet owners reported closely following veterinarians’ directions when administering antimicrobials at home, and the main reasons for not following directions included difficulty administering the medication and concern about overmedicating the pet. Most (21/25 [84%]) pet owners expressed trust in their veterinarian to meet their pets’ medical needs and prescribe antimicrobials appropriately. However, in situations when it was unclear whether antimicrobials would be effective, most owners nevertheless wanted their pet to receive them. Initiatives to promote the judicious use of antimicrobials, such as microbial culture and antimicrobial susceptibility testing and formal stewardship programs, were generally well received and appreciated by owners.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE Considerable opportunity was identified to leverage the trust that exists between veterinarians and pet owners to promote the judicious use of antimicrobials for pets.

Full access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association


As the primary agents of skin and soft tissue infections in animals, Staphylococcus spp and Pseudomonas aeruginosa are among the most formidable bacterial pathogens encountered by veterinarians. Staphylococci are commensal inhabitants of the surfaces of healthy skin and mucous membranes, which may gain access to deeper cutaneous tissues by circumventing the stratum corneum’s barrier function. Compromised barrier function occurs in highly prevalent conditions such as atopic dermatitis, endocrinopathies, and skin trauma. P aeruginosa is an environmental saprophyte that constitutively expresses virulence and antimicrobial resistance genes that promote its success as an animal pathogen. For both organisms, infections of the urinary tract, respiratory tract, joints, central nervous system, and body cavities may occur through ascension along epithelial tracts, penetrating injuries, or hematogenous spread. When treating infections caused by these pathogens, veterinarians now face greater therapeutic challenges and more guarded outcomes for our animal patients because of high rates of predisposing factors for infection and the broad dissemination of antimicrobial resistance genes within these bacterial species. This review considers the history of the rise and expansion of multidrug resistance in staphylococci and P aeruginosa and the current state of knowledge regarding the epidemiologic factors that underly the dissemination of these pathogens across companion animal populations. Given the potential for cross-species and zoonotic transmission of pathogenic strains of these bacteria, and the clear role played by environmental reservoirs and fomites, a one-health perspective is emphasized.

Full access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association


OBJECTIVE To determine the prevalence of bacteriuria (ie, a positive microbial culture result for ≥ 1 urine sample) in dogs with chronic kidney disease (CKD) and characterize findings of subclinical bacteriuria (SBU), bacterial cystitis, or pyelonephritis in these patients.

DESIGN Retrospective, observational study.

ANIMALS 182 dogs.

PROCEDURES Medical records from January 2010 through July 2015 were reviewed to identify dogs with CKD that underwent urinalysis and urine microbial culture. Signalment, clinicopathologic data, stage of CKD according to previously published guidelines, results of urinalysis and urine culture, and abdominal ultrasonographic findings were recorded. Dogs with positive urine culture results were categorized as having SBU, bacterial cystitis, or pyelonephritis on the basis of these data. Prevalence of bacteriuria was calculated. Associations between CKD stage, presence of bacteriuria, and diagnosis category were analyzed statistically.

RESULTS 33 of 182 (18.1%) dogs (40/235 [17.0%] urine samples) had positive culture results. All dogs received antimicrobials on the basis of culture and susceptibility test findings. Most positive culture results (18/40 [45%] samples) were found for dogs with SBU, followed by dogs with pyelonephritis (16/40 [40%]) and cystitis (6/40 [15%]). Escherichia coli was the most frequently observed isolate (29/40 [73%] cultures from 25/33 dogs). The CKD stage was not associated with presence of bacteriuria or diagnosis category.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE The prevalence of positive urine culture results in dogs with CKD was lower than that reported for dogs with some systemic diseases that may predispose to infection. Prospective research is needed to assess the clinical importance of SBU in dogs with CKD.

Full access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association



To assess the potential contamination of commercial raw dog food products with bacteria of the Enterobacterales order that produce extended spectrum beta-lactamase (ESBL) and carbapenemase enzymes, determine risk factors for contamination, and understand isolate genetic diversity.


A total of 200 canine raw food products.


Products were cultured on selective chromogenic agar following enrichment steps. Whole-genome sequencing was performed for isolates that were confirmed to produce an ESBL. Isolates were characterized by antimicrobial resistance genes, and multilocus sequences typing, and compared to other isolates in the NCBI database for clonality. Preservation method and protein sources were assessed as potential risk factors for contamination with ESBL and carbapenemase-producing bacteria of the Enterobacterales order.


No carbapenemase-producing Enterobacterales (CPE) were identified, but ESBL-producing Enterobacterales bacteria were isolated from 20/200 products (10.0%; 95% CI, 7.3 to 16.5%), all of which were frozen. Pork-derived protein source products were 8.1 times (P = .001; 95% CI, 2.53 to 26.2) more likely to carry ESBL-producing Enterobacterales bacteria than other protein sources. WGS analysis confirmed the presence of ESBL genes in a total of 25 distinct isolates (19 Escherichia coli, 5 Klebsiella pneumoniae, and 1 Citrobacter braakii). Genes encoding CTX-M type ESBL enzymes were the most common (24/25 isolates, 96.0%) with bla CTX-M-27 being the most common allele (8/25, 32.0%).


Frozen, raw food products may serve as a route of transmission of ESBL-producing Enterobacterales bacteria to companion animals. Veterinarians should advise owners about the risks of raw food diets, including potential exposure to antimicrobial-resistant bacteria.

Open access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research