Definitions were gotten from Wikepedia
As a therapy dog owner and handler, I always was very concerned about spreading germs to my patients. So, before each visit, I would bathe my dog in a all natural shampoo. i.e. no perfumes
or dyes. Then, the minute before I walked into the room where the patient was, I sanitized my hands.
Well, evidently, my caution was right. I was reading an article in Dog World that says Therapy dogs may carry germs. Those germs they talked about were MRSA
and C. difficile
. The vancomycin
I will explain first.Enterococci
are bacteria that are normally present in the human intestines and in the female genital tract and are often found in the environment. These bacteria can sometimes cause infections. Vancomycin
is an antibiotic that is often used to treat infections caused by enterococci
. In some cases, enterococci
have become resistant to vancomycin
and are called vancomycin
. Most VRE
infections occur in people in hospitals.
The next one is MRSA
-resistant Staphylococcus aureus
) is a type of bacteria that is resistant to certain antibiotics. These antibiotics include methicillin
and other more common antibiotics such as oxacillin
, penicillin and amoxicillin
. Staph infections, including MRSA
, occur most frequently among persons in hospitals and healthcare
facilities (such as nursing homes and dialysis centers) who have weakened immune systems.MRSA
infections that occur in otherwise healthy people who have not been recently (within the past year) hospitalized
or had a medical procedure (such as dialysis, surgery, catheters) are known as community-associated (CA)-MRSA
infections. These infections are usually skin infections, such as abscesses, boils, and other pus-filled lesions.
The last one is C. difficile
. Clostridium difficile
) is a bacterium that is related to the bacterium that cause tetanus
. The C. difficile
bacterium has two forms, an active, infectious form that cannot survive in the environment for prolonged periods, and a nonactive, "noninfectious
" form, called a spore, that can survive in the environment for prolonged periods. Although spores cannot cause infection directly, when they are ingested they transform into the active, infectious form.
So, if you have a therapy dog, or even take your dog to work and you have a friend or relative in the hospital, remember to sanitize your hands and bathe your dog after each visit. I know you can't bathe your pet if you have multiple visits in a day, but you can carry hand sanitizer
and do your hands. I also carry those Clorox cloths and wipe down any area my dog touches. Plus, I have the patients use the hand sanitizer, too.
Just some information to make it safer for you and the patients, and your loving buddy.
Labels: germs, therapy dogs