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Vein-catheter related infections in hospitalized dogs
Hospitalized dogs often need intensive care and therefore the majority of them require intravenous medications applied by vein-catheters. How common are infections related to these catheters, when do they occur and which bacteria are most commonly isolated?

In a prospective clinical trial conducted at the Small Animal Clinic of the Free University of Berlin, the incidence of vein-catheter related infections (>5 colony forming units and clinical signs of thrombophlebitis) and underlying factors was evaluated in 103 dogs with a variety of diseases (mammary gland tumors (n = 23), gastroenteritis (n = 20), pyometra (n = 20), polytrauma (n = 20), and orthopedic diseases (n = 20)). The influence of age, body weight, hemostasis, underlying disease and duration of indwelling vein-catheter on the incidence of catheter related complications was analyzed. Bacterial cultures of vein-catheters were performed after 24 hours and 48 hours by semiquantitative methods. Furthermore each patient underwent a complete physical examination and ultrasonography of the cephalic vein.

The duration of indwelling catheter was the most important influence factor for the occurrence of catheter associated complications.
In the group of patients with an indwelling catheter time of 24 hours, no clinical abnormalities of the veins were found, whereas in the other patient groups (in-dwelling catheter time of 48 hours), 72.3 % had local signs of venous inflammation. In 10.8 % of those dogs, abnormalities suggesting of thrombophlebitis were observed.

Sonography of the veins revealed vessel abnormalities in 50 % (indwelling catheter time of 24 hours) and 89 % of the patients (indwelling catheter time of 48 hours), respectively. After 48 hours of catheterization, catheter associated infections occured in 24 % of dogs, whereas after 24 hours no dog had a catheter associated infection.

Staphylococcus spp. (n = 10), Acinetobacter spp. (n = 7), Bacillus cereus (n = 6), and Escherichia coli (n = 3) were isolated most frequently.

The prevalence of catheter-related venous complications correlated with the duration of catheter placement, the age and the body weight of the patient but there was no correlation with the underlying disease and coagulation activity detectable.

Source: Theis, A., Stockhaus, C., LubkeBecker, A., Kutzer, P., Wieler, L.H., Brunnberg, L. (2002): Vein-catheter related infections in hospitalized dogs. In: Kleintierpraxis, 2002, Vol 47, Iss 8, pp 473-481





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