Worms & Germs Blog

Tag Archives: Clostridium difficile

Polar bears and Clostridium difficile

Posted in Other animals
And now for something completely different. We’ve studied Clostridium difficile in my lab for years and we probably have one of the world’s most diverse collections of this important bacterium. We have thousands of isolates from people, pets, livestock and many different wildlife species (as well as from meat, vegetables and water).  Most of the… Continue Reading

Clostridium difficile, hospital visitation and dog risk

Posted in Dogs
A reader has been trying to post a question about an older post on C. difficile in visitation dogs. Here’s the question and my answer: Do the dogs have a risk of getting sick from the C. difficile bacteria?  I understand from the post that they can ingest and shed it in their feces, but the post never… Continue Reading

Do you know what’s in your dog’s ‘bully stick’?

Posted in Dogs
I mean that two ways. 1) Do you know what a bully stick actually is? 2) Do you know what’s in it? A recent study headed up by Dr. Lisa Freeman, published in this month’s Canadian Veterinary Journal (Freeman et al., CVJ 2013;54:50-54), looked into this by asking people what they thought bully sticks were… Continue Reading

C diff sniffing dog

Posted in Dogs
About 500 people have sent me this article over the past week, so I guess I should get around to making some comments. The article entitled "Using a dog’s superior olfactory sensitivity to identify Clostridium difficile in stools and patients: proof of principle study" (Bomers et al 2012) is in the Christmas edition of BMJ, an edition… Continue Reading

I have Clostridium difficile…Should my dog be tested?

Posted in Dogs
I get this question surprisingly often. In one way, that’s good because it shows increasing awareness of the potential for interspecies transmission of microorganisms. In some situations, when a person has an infection, the pet should be considered in case it was the source of the infection and/or in case it’s at risk of becoming… Continue Reading

Antibiotics, pets and Clostridium difficile

Posted in Clostridium difficile, Dogs
Clostridium difficile is a high-profile bacterium, being an important cause of illness and death in people. It can also be found in various animal species, including dogs and cats. In a study we published earlier this year (Lefebvre et al, Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, 2009), factors associated with acquisition of Clostridium difficile… Continue Reading

Preventing infections in the home

Posted in Cats, Clostridium difficile, Dogs, MRSA/MRSP
There is a nice, concise commentary in the most recent issue of the Canadian Medical Association Journal about preventing infections in the home. It covers three important organisms: MRSA, Clostridium difficile and vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE). An excellent aspect of this particular commentary is its relatively low-key approach, with an emphasis on routine, basic practices such… Continue Reading

Clostridium difficile in the household environment

Posted in Cats, Clostridium difficile, Dogs
Another study we presented at the recent European Conference of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases was about Clostridium difficile in the household environment. In the study, we collected samples from various locations and surfaces in households, as well as five fecal samples (one per day) from pets, and tested them for C. difficile. Some of… Continue Reading

Your mother was right! Wash your hands

Posted in Birds, Cats, Clostridium difficile, Dogs, Horses, MRSA/MRSP, Other animals, Other diseases, Parasites, Pocket pets, Reptiles, Salmonella, Toxoplasmosis
You may notice a recurring theme in many of our posts and on virtually all of the information sheets on the Worms & Germs Resources page: an emphasis on handwashing. There is increasing emphasis on hand hygiene (i.e. hand washing and use of alcohol hand sanitizers) education in hospitals because the hands of healthcare workers… Continue Reading


Posted in Clostridium difficile, Diseases, MRSA/MRSP, Other diseases, Parasites, Rabies, Salmonella, Toxoplasmosis
If you are looking for an interesting website to play around with, you should try HealthMap. This is a website created by the Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology that maps infectious disease reports from various sources. You can search by region and see what disease problems have been reported recently, or select specific… Continue Reading

“Clostridium” in dogs and cats: what’s in a name?

Posted in Cats, Clostridium difficile, Dogs, Other diseases
People often ask me questions about “Clostridium” in dogs and cats, with the impression that “Clostridium” is a specific disease. Actually, Clostridium is a large bacterial genus (a group of related bacteria), which includes species that range from harmless to deadly. Some of the more important species are described below: Clostridium perfringens: This is a common bacterium… Continue Reading

Should I have my pet tested for Clostridium difficile?

Posted in Cats, Clostridium difficile, Dogs, Other diseases
I often get asked about testing of healthy pets for Clostridium difficile. This bacterium is an important cause of disease in people. While most common in people in hospitals, cases of C. difficile infection are occurring more in people in the general population. Also, C. difficile can be found  in various animals, including dogs and… Continue Reading

Clostridium difficile in dogs

Posted in Clostridium difficile, Dogs
Clostridium difficile is a bacterium that is an important cause of disease in people and has been getting a lot of press lately in this area. Associated with that has been a lot of questions about C. difficile in dogs. Here are some facts to ponder: C. difficile is thought to be a cause of… Continue Reading

Information Sheets for Pet Owners

Posted in Birds, Cats, Clostridium difficile, Dogs, MRSA/MRSP, Other diseases, Parasites, Pocket pets, Rabies, Reptiles, Salmonella, Toxoplasmosis
INFORMATION SHEETS FOR PET OWNERS INFORMATION SHEETS specifically for KIDS, for VETERINARIANS, for PHYSICIANS and for PUBLIC HEALTH PERSONNEL are also available on the Worms & Germs RESOURCES page! Click on the highlighted topics below for information sheets. Topics that are not highlighted are in development and coming soon. Sheets for other animal species and diseases are… Continue Reading

Research Posters

Posted in Clostridium difficile, Dogs, Horses, MRSA/MRSP, Other animals, Other diseases, Parasites, Pocket pets, Rabies, Reptiles, Research posters, Salmonella, Toxoplasmosis
2012 International Clostridium difficile Symposium Clostridium difficile in the environment of a community hospital 2012 International Conference on Equine Infectious Diseases IX Staphylococcus delphini and methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus pseudintermedius in horses 2011 ASM-ESCMID Conference on Methicillin-resistant staphylococci in animals Miconazole susceptibility of MRSA and MRSP Livestock associated MRSA in community hospitals in Ontario Equine hospital MRSA surveillance… Continue Reading