Prevalence of and risk factors for intravenous catheter infection in hospitalized cattle, goats, and sheep

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Background: Intravenous catheter (IVC) use in hospitalized ruminants is a common procedure. Limited information is available describing complications associated with IVCs. Hypotheses: Prevalence of IVC infections in hospitalized ruminants is >50%. Intravenous catheters maintained for >5 days are more likely to be infected than those maintained for <5 days. Intravenous catheters placed non-aseptically have a higher risk for infection than those placed aseptically. Animals: Thirty-four cattle, 39 goats, and 33 sheep were hospitalized in a university teaching hospital. Methods: Prospective observational study. The IVCs from cattle, goats, and sheep admitted for medical and surgical procedures were randomly selected and submitted for bacteriological culture and susceptibility testing. Results: Prevalence values (95% confidence interval) of infected catheters were 61.8 (45.5, 78.1), 51.3 (35.3, 66.7), and 42.4% (25.2, 58.8) in cattle, goats, and sheep, respectively. Coagulase-negative Staphylococcus spp was the most frequently isolated bacterium. Catheter type/placement technique was a significant (P =.03) predictor of IVC infection in goats but not in cattle (P =.65) and sheep (P =.47). Antibiotic use and reason for catheter placement were not significant predictors of IVC infection in all species. Catheters maintained for >4 days had a higher likelihood of being infected than those maintained for <4 days in all species. Conclusions and Clinical importance: Clinicians should consider replacing catheters maintained for >4 days to reduce IVC infection.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Veterinary Internal Medicine
StateAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2019


  • antibiotic
  • aseptic
  • bacteria
  • coagulase-negative Staphylococci

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • veterinary(all)


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