Common Sources of Pre-, Peri- and Post Surgical Site Infections (SSI) in Dogs during Clinical Students’ Surgical Practice

Main Article Content

A. S. Yakubu
N. N. Pilau


Surgical site infections (SSI) are important complication of Veterinary surgery. Pre, intra-, and post-surgical procedures are considered to be associated with SSI. An attempt to characterize veterinary SSI in small animal surgery practical was made. 15 dogs were grouped into 5 groups (with each group consisting of 3 dogs), in which skin-defect correction, caudectomy, cystotomy, orchidectomy, or ovariohysterectomy were performed by veterinary students under the guidance of qualified surgeons. Blood samples were obtained pre- and post-surgery. 120 swabs were taken from the following sites; students’ or surgeons’ hands (pre-/post-scrubbing), surgical tables, dog skin, random areas on surgical packs, kennels, and floors of surgical theatre. The microorganisms isolated were as follows; Staphylococcus aureus, Klebsiella spp, Micrococcus luteus, Enterobacter spp, and Bacillus subtilis, with Klebsiella being the highest. Leukocytosis, neutrophilia, monocytosis, increased bands, leukocytopenia, neutropenia, and lymphopenia were observed, with all being signs of infection. This study showed that the sources of SSI were numerous, including the followings; the dogs’ skin microflora, the students’ hands, surgical theater, surgical team, and the kennel. Proper scrubbing techniques should be adopted and maintained. The sterile field created should be kept and proper disinfection of the kennel should be ensured before returning the dogs after surgery.

Students, wet-lab procedures, infections, wounds

Article Details

How to Cite
Yakubu, A. S., & Pilau, N. N. (2020). Common Sources of Pre-, Peri- and Post Surgical Site Infections (SSI) in Dogs during Clinical Students’ Surgical Practice. Journal of Advances in Biology & Biotechnology, 23(3), 16-24.
Original Research Article


Sanni BD, Elisha IL, Hassan AZ, Adeyanju JB. Complications from students'small animal surgical laboratories. Nigerian Veterinary Journal. 2003;24(2):57–62.

CDC Surgical Site Infection (SSI). Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Georgia, Atlanta, USA; 2014.
[Accessed December 12, 2019]

Nelson LL. Surgical site infections in small animal surgery. Veterinary Clinics: Small Animal Practice. 2011;41(5):1041–1056.

Verwilghen D, Singh A. Fighting surgical site infections in small animals: Are we getting anywhere?. Veterinary Clinics of North America Small Animal Practice. 2015;45(2):243–276.

Cheadle WG. Risk factors for surgical site infections. Surgical Infections. 2006; 7(Suppl. 1):S7–S11.

Lieber B, Han B, Strom RG, Mullin J, Frempong-Boadu AK, Agarwal N, Kazemi N, Tabbosha, M. Preoperative predictors of spinal infection within the National Surgical Quality Inpatient Database. World Neurosurgery. 2016;89:517–524.

Mukagendaneza MJ, Munyaneza E, Muhawenayo E, Nyirasebura D, Abahuje E, Nyirigira J, Harelimana JDD, Muvunyi T Z, Masaisa F, Byiringiro JC, Hategekimana T. Incidence, root causes, and outcomes of surgical site infections in a tertiary care hospital in Rwanda: a prospective observational cohort study. Patient Safety in Surgery. 2019;13(1):10.

NPC. 2National Census. Federal Republic of Nigeria Official Gazette, National Population Commission (NPC); 2006. Abuja, Nigeria.

Gatley JM. The prevalence of Leptospira serovars causing infection in dogs in South Africa, M.Sc. Thesis, University of Pretoria, South Africa; 2009.

Ruangpan L, Tendencia EA. Bacterial isolation, identification and storage. Pages 3 – 11. In: Laboratory Manual of Standardized Methods for Antimicrobial Sensitivity Tests for Bacteria Isolated from Aquatic Animals and Environment. Aquaculture Department, Southeast Asian Fisheries Development Center, Tigbauan, Iloilo, Philippines. 2014;7.

Lichtman MA, Kaushansky K, Kipps TJ, Pichal JT, Levi MM. Williams Manual of Hematology. Eight Edition, McGraw Hill Professionals, New York, USA; 2011.

Cullimore DR. Practical Atlas for Bacterial Identification. Second Edition, Tailor and Francis Group LLC. Florida, USA; 2010.

Kshikhundo R, Itumhelo S. Bacterial species identification. World News of Natural Sciences. 2016;3:26–38.

Seitas R, Espinosa W, Sallent A, Cusco X, Cugat R, Ares O. Comparison of pre and postoperative hemoglobin and hematocrit levels in hip arthroscopy. The Open Orthopedics Journal. 2015;9:432-436.

Mahmood E, Knio ZO, Mahmood F, Amir R, Shahul S, Bilal M, Baribeau Y, Mueller A, Matyal R. Pre-operative asymptomatic leukocytosis and postoperative outcome in cardiac surgery patients. PLoS ONE. 2017; 12(9):1-11.

Awad SS. Adherence to surgical care improvement project measures and post-operative surgical site infections. Surgical Infections. 2012;13(4):234–237.

Davis PJ, Spady D, DE Gara C, Forgie SE. Practices and attitudes of surgeons toward the prevention of surgical site infections: a provincial survey in Alberta, Canada. Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology. 2008;29(12):1164–1166.

Anderson ME, Foster BA, Weese JS. Observational study of patient and surgeon preoperative preparation in ten companion animal clinics in Ontario, Canada. BMC Veterinary Research. 2013;9(1):194.

Thu LT, Dibley MJ, Nho VV. Reduction in surgical site infections in neurosurgical patients associated with a bedside hand hygiene program in Vietnam. Infections Control and Hospital Epidemiology Journal. 2007;28(5):583–588.

Uçkay I, Harbarth S, Peter R, Lew D, Hoffmeyer P, Pittet D. Preventing surgical site infections. Expert Review of Anti-Infective Therapy. 2010;8(6):657–670.

WHO WHO Guideline on Hand Hygiene in Health Care: A Summary. World Health Organization, Geneva, Switzerland; 2009. Available:
[Accessed January 8th, 2020]

Barie PS. Surgical site infections: Epidemiology and prevention. Surgical Infections. 2002;3(S1):S9–S21.

Reichman DE, Greenberg JA. Reducing surgical site infections: A review. Reviews in Obstetrics and Gynecology. 2011;2(4):212–221.

Roberts DE, Mcclain HM, Hansen DS, Currin P, Howerth EW. An outbreak of Klebsiella pneumoniae infection in dogs with severe enteritis and septicemia. Journal of Veterinary Diagnostic Investigation. 2000;12(2):168–173.

Turk R, Singh A, Weese JS. Prospective surgical site infection surveillance in dogs. Veterinary Surgery. 2015;44(1):2–8.