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An Investigation of the Relationship of Wound Infection and Exposure to Household Pets: A Pilot Study

By Rhodora Neu

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Statement of Problem  In most industrialized countries, pets are becoming a big part in households engaging and sharing human lifestyles. In fact, it is estimated that 14%-62% of pet owners allow their dogs and cats on their beds. However, pets can also carry and transmit pathogens to people causing public health risks. Little is known about public knowledge and practices associated to pet related diseases, otherwise known as zoonotic diseases. The closeness of pet owners and their animals could pose a potential risk for transmission of at least 30 infectious agents. Zoonoses are diseases communicable from animals to humans.    Sources of Data  Data was collected from a convenience sample of prospective, new patients at a Wound Care Center in Southern California. A copy of the wound culture results was collected. Participants completed an Exposure to Pet Survey Questionnaire that included demographic data, type of pet in the household, frequency of time spent with the pet based on six items, and hand hygiene.    Conclusions Reached  The independent variable did not have significant correlation with the dependent variable (p=.137). A large-scale study is suggested to further investigate this hypothesis. However, hand washing showed a strong correlation with frequency of pet engagement (p=<.01), and suggests an inverse relationship with documented wound infection.


Katie Carroll

Date 2015
Pages 63
Publisher California State University San Marcos
Department Nursing
Degree Master of Science
Language English
University California State University San Marcos
Cite this work

Researchers should cite this work as follows:

  1. Animal health and hygiene
  2. Animal roles
  3. Animal welfare
  4. Cats
  5. Dogs
  6. Exposure
  7. Health
  8. Infections
  9. Mammals
  10. pathogens
  11. Pet ownership
  12. Pets and companion animals
  13. transmission
  14. Wounds and injuries