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Evaluation of antimicrobial administration in critically ill dogs on the fecal flora: Dynamics of antimicrobial resistance over time.


Antibiotics have saved millions of lives since their discovery and have enabled major progress in human and veterinary medicine. These essential therapies face unprecedented challenges from the development of bacterial antimicrobial resistance, due in part to our extensive use of antibiotics helping cause resistant bacteria. Antimicrobial stewardship is now an essential focus for human and veterinary medicine, with the World Health Organization terming antimicrobial resistance a “serious threat to global public health”.  Studies suggest that countries with decreased veterinary sales of antibiotics have lower amounts of resistant bacteria. Antibiotic resistance may develop in bacteria at the infection site, and also within the fecal flora. To date most research on antibiotic resistance in veterinary medicine has focused on food-producing animals. However, during the same period, the status of companion animals in household has evolved. A recent study reported that nearly 50% of dog owners now sleep alongside their dogs.

These close relationships may enable exchange of organisms between humans and dogs, and may enable passage of genes encoding antibiotic resistance between bacteria. Advances in sequencing and technology now enable us to study all of the bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract - the gastrointestinal microbiome.

Eligibility: Any dog seen by the Cornell University Hospital for Animals Emergency and Critical Care Service diagnosed with septic peritonitis or pyometra.

Compensation: While there is no direct benefit to you, your dog will benefit from the availability of additional diagnostic information that may help to inform their treatment. Other dogs will benefit from your involvement in the study through identification of the changes that occur in bloodstream biomarkers over time. This information will enable us to design further studies designed to determine the best way to safely deliver antibiotics and limit development of resistant bacteria. Ultimately, this will benefit all dogs by decreasing development of antibiotic resistance.

Owner Responsibilities: If you agree to let your dog participate in this study, it will be your responsibility to bring your dog back to the CUHA Critical Care service on days 7, 14, 28 and 60 following his/her admission to the CUHA for a  fecal collection. You are welcome to collect a fresh sample of feces the day of the visit and bring it in the provided sample cup.

Principal Investigator: Julie Menard, DVM, DACVECC

Contact/Schedule an Appointment: Please call the clinical trials coordinator at 607.253.3060 or email

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