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  2. Principles of Surgery (EU22)
  3. Peri-operative antibiotics and post-operative infection

Peri-operative antibiotics and post-operative infection

The risk of post-operative infection is increased by various factors:

  • The age of an animal: very young or very old animals are more susceptible to infection
  • Pre-existing systemic disease
  • Administration of corticosteroids or other immunosuppressive drugs
  • Stress, shock or hypothermia
  • Poor surgical technique with failure to adhere to good surgical technique
  • Use of immunosuppressed strains of animals (e.g. nude or scid mice)
  • Presence of foreign material e.g. indwelling cannula
  • Virulence of bacteria in the environment and scale of any bacterial inoculum into the animal
  • Operations with a high risk of compromised aseptic technique e.g. surgery on the gastro-intestinal tract


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Updated on 12th May 2020

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