Types of Wounds and the Prevalence of Bacterial Contamination of Wounds in the Clinical Practice of Small Animals

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Abstract

Skin wounds are a common presentation in small animal practice. The successful management of wound healing in dogs and cats requires knowledge of the physiology of the wound healing process and the application of an appropriate therapeutic intervention. Many wounds are colonised by bacteria or show signs of clinical infection. Infections can delay wound healing, impair cosmetic outcome and increase healthcare costs. Because of a lack of papers giving an overall prevalence of bacteria in different types of wounds, 45 samples were taken from patients treated at the Small Animals Clinic, Section of Surgery, Orthopaedics, Roentgenology and Reproduction of the University of Veterinary Medicine and Pharmacy in Košice during the years 2017 — 2018 to determine the types of wounds and the prevalence of bacterial contamination of the wounds. Samples were obtained by using cotton-tipped swabs and then cultivated on Sabouraud’s plates in the Institute of Microbiology and Gnotobiology of the University. All 45 animals used in this research were first subjected to an anatomical and clinical exam to determine the patient’s health condition and the status of the wounds. Of these 45 samples, 9 were negative. Of the remaining 36 samples, 12 were cultivated and tested to give only the genera of the bacteria present, whilst 24 were tested more extensively for a specific diagnosis of the species. The most common wound was due to a bite from another animal; these made up 12 out of the 45 cases (26.67 %). There were 10 cases of dehiscence of old wounds (22.22 %), whereas there were only 2 cases of surgical wound complications (4.44 %). There were 5 puncture wounds or fistulas (11.11 %), 4 lacerations (8.88 %), 1 degloving injury (2.22 %), 1 seroma (2.22 %), 1 foreign body (2.22 %), 1 crushing injury (2.22 %), 1 case of contusion and necrosis (2.22 %), 1 cases of dermatitis with resulting pruritic lesions (2.22 %), and 1 cutting injury from a tight wire collar (2.22 %). Five cases (11.11 %) were wounds of unknown aetiology. The most commonly found bacteria was Staphylococcus intermedius, which was found in 14 out of the 45 wounds (31.11 %). From this study it appears that the first consideration for treatment of infected wounds should be a treatment plan which will have a high efficacy against Staphylococcus spp. However, despite the high prevalence of Staphylococcus spp., our results revealed that they are not present all of the time.

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