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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.
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