Evaluation of surgical scrub and antiseptic solutions for surgical preparation of canine paws

Steven F. Swaim From the Scott-Ritchey Research Program for Research on Diseases of Small Pet Animals and Departments of Small Animal Surgery and Medicine (Swaim), and Pathobiology (Riddell, Hathcock), College of Veterinary Medicine, Departments of Botany and Microbiology, College of Life Sciences and Mathematics (Geiger); and Research Data Analyses (McGuire), Auburn University, AL 36849.

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Kay P. Riddell From the Scott-Ritchey Research Program for Research on Diseases of Small Pet Animals and Departments of Small Animal Surgery and Medicine (Swaim), and Pathobiology (Riddell, Hathcock), College of Veterinary Medicine, Departments of Botany and Microbiology, College of Life Sciences and Mathematics (Geiger); and Research Data Analyses (McGuire), Auburn University, AL 36849.

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Dorothy L. Geiger From the Scott-Ritchey Research Program for Research on Diseases of Small Pet Animals and Departments of Small Animal Surgery and Medicine (Swaim), and Pathobiology (Riddell, Hathcock), College of Veterinary Medicine, Departments of Botany and Microbiology, College of Life Sciences and Mathematics (Geiger); and Research Data Analyses (McGuire), Auburn University, AL 36849.

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Terri L. Hathcock From the Scott-Ritchey Research Program for Research on Diseases of Small Pet Animals and Departments of Small Animal Surgery and Medicine (Swaim), and Pathobiology (Riddell, Hathcock), College of Veterinary Medicine, Departments of Botany and Microbiology, College of Life Sciences and Mathematics (Geiger); and Research Data Analyses (McGuire), Auburn University, AL 36849.

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John A. McGuire From the Scott-Ritchey Research Program for Research on Diseases of Small Pet Animals and Departments of Small Animal Surgery and Medicine (Swaim), and Pathobiology (Riddell, Hathcock), College of Veterinary Medicine, Departments of Botany and Microbiology, College of Life Sciences and Mathematics (Geiger); and Research Data Analyses (McGuire), Auburn University, AL 36849.

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Summary

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.

Summary

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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