Focus: Infection Control

Dogs in Vancouver hospital can sniff out C. diff

September 3, 2019

Two springer spaniels at Vancouver General Hospital can identify contaminated areas where bacteria is lurking, according to an article on the Vancouver Sun website.

The dogs have identified C. diff on medical equipment and in linen carts, hospital beds, waiting areas, and staff lockers.

The dogs started working at the hospital three years ago and they alerted staff 391 times to odors from C. diff., according to the study published today in the Canadian Journal of Infection Control.

The dogs found C. diff scents in places no one thought about, like inside toilet paper dispensers. “Now we are thinking about whether this is a toilet paper dispenser design issue that needs to be fixed or whether it’s the quality of the toilet paper or both,” said the study's author.

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