Fecal shedding of Clostridium difficile in dogs: a period prevalence survey in a veterinary medical teaching hospital.

A. L. Struble, Y. J. Tang, Philip H Kass, P. H. Gumerlock, B. R. Madewell, J. Silva

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The goal of this study was to determine the fecal prevalence of Clostridium difficile in dogs who were patients at a veterinary medical teaching hospital. Stool specimens collected from 152 dogs (in- and outpatients) were analyzed for the presence of C. difficile. An additional 42 stool specimens were collected and examined from dogs recently housed at local animal shelters. Following culture on selective medium, C. difficile was identified by a latex agglutination test, and the presence of the toxin A and B genes was determined individually by polymerase chain reaction. Clostridium difficile was isolated from the feces of 28 of the veterinary hospital patients (18.4%); isolates from 14 of these patients (50.0%) were toxigenic. Diarrhea was a clinical finding in 5 (35.7%) of the dogs carrying toxigenic isolates of C. difficile, whereas diarrhea was noted in only 2 of 14 dogs (14.3%) shedding nontoxigenic isolates. Three of 14 dogs (21.4%) shedding toxigenic isolates of C. difficile were receiving antibiotics at the time of stool collection, whereas 5 of 14 dogs (37.5%) shedding nontoxigenic strains of C. difficile were receiving antibiotics. The carriage rate of C. difficile was significantly higher for animals categorized as inpatients of the veterinary hospital. The carriage rate also provided evidence for an increased risk for fecal shedding with increasing age. Clostridium difficile was not isolated from any of the 42 dogs recently housed at local animal shelters. This study confirms the presence of toxigenic C. difficile in dogs at a veterinary teaching hospital.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)342-347
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of veterinary diagnostic investigation : official publication of the American Association of Veterinary Laboratory Diagnosticians, Inc
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 1994


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • veterinary(all)

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