It’s like unprotected sex; many vets sickened by animals they treat

Erstwhile veterinarian Gonzalo starts a year of clinical rotations today.

This is the time when veterinary students mysteriously diagnose themselves with whatever ailment the animals have.

ace-venturaApparently in some cases it’s true.

Almost one in two vets contract infections from animals they treat because of bad hygiene practices, a study has found.

Research by the University of Sydney’s Veterinary Science department shows poor infection control has led to 44.9 per cent of vets contracting an infectious disease during their career.

More than 75 per cent of the 344 veterinarians questioned used masks, gowns or gloves when performing surgery, dental work and post-mortem examinations.

However, about half (40 to 70 per cent) didn’t use adequate protection when treating animals with respiratory, neurological, gastrointestinal and dermatological disease.

“Our profession appears to have a complacent attitude towards the use of personal protection,” said the study’s author, Dr Navneet Dhand.

“Not using appropriate protection when necessary is just like having unprotected sex with a stranger and thinking that it will be alright.”