Dogs that can sniff out C.diff cases?

According to new reports, dogs can easily indicate the presence of the superbug — with up to 83 percent accuracy. Click here to read the reports.

What are your thoughts on this? Would it be useful to have animals on hand to identify C.diff cases?

  • Hello Corinne,

    I read this with great interest because of the huge problem C. Difficile associated illnesses can pose for healthcare.  Patients that contract illnesses associated with C. Difficile bacteria are typically already sick, complicating their treatments and can make a patients condition life threatening.  Yet, I wonder about the value of having an animal sniff this out.  I think we can all assume C. Difficile bacterial spores are already present in a patients stool based upon a patient's illnesses and treatment plans.  

    I believe the most practical way is to have thorough protocols in place and staff trained on how to handle patients at risk for contracting C. Difficile associated illnesses.  Too often we see knee jerk reactions that can include excessive use of bleach or sporicidal compounds on all surfaces.  Reality, C. Difficile spores are most often transmitted from patient to patient via the hands of healthcare workers, so hand hygiene is the first and most important component of controlling the spread of C. Diff.

    As for the C. Diff sniffing dog, I can't see bringing this dog into a hospital to sniff out something we know is already there.

    We have assembled our own guidelines on how to deal with C. Diff from the cleaning side as this remains a significant problem.

    Best Regards,

    Mike Tarvin, Vice President

    Multi-Clean, Inc