Use of Prophylactic Antibiotics in Survival Surgery
Approved March 22, 2001 (Download)
Background: Antibiotics should not be used to cover deficiencies in aseptic technique for animal surgical procedures. Aseptic procedure is founded upon the following basic tenets: 1) Use of sterile instruments and supplies; 2) Disinfection of operative site and use of sterile drapes; 3) Surgeon hand disinfection, sterile gown and gloves.
Policy: Prophylactic antibiotics should not be administered in survival surgery procedures on animals, unless there is a specific indication for their use. Justifiable indications can include: 1) Contaminated or dirty operations; 2) Chronic implantation of biomaterials; and 3) Animals showing signs of sepsis. When indicated, antibiotics should be administered as prescribed by veterinary services and approved by the IACUC. A single dose providing an effective tissue level during the intra-operative period has been found to be more effective at preventing surgical infections than starting the agent after surgery and continuing it for 5 to 7 days. The agent should be administered 1 to 4 hours preoperative. A second dose should be considered if the surgery exceeds the effective duration of the particular agent administered. The prophylaxis should employ agents found to be effective based on culture and sensitivity testing of similar cases. Where there is continued risk of contamination, or in animals showing signs of infection, antibiotics may be continued beyond the operative period if prescribed by veterinary services.