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Table 5 Comparison of recommendations for preoperative preparation from three major small animal surgery textbooks

From: Observational study of patient and surgeon preoperative preparation in ten companion animal clinics in Ontario, Canada

Recommendation Slatter 2002[10] Fossum 2007[9] Tobias & Johnston 2012[11]
Clip hair right before surgery (√)d
Patient prep with CH or PI (√)c
Patient prep with any other agent (√)a X X
Contact time for patient prep (depending on agent) >2 min 2-3 min 0.5-2 min e
Apply antiseptic in a center-to-periphery circular pattern -
Surgeon prep with CH or PI scrub (√)f
Surgeon prep with ASHR (√)b
Surgeon prep with any other agent - - -
Contact time for surgeon prep (soap & water, first scrub of day) 5 min 5-7 min -
Contact time for surgeon prep (soap & water, any scrub) 2-5 min 2-3 min -
Contact time for surgeon prep (ASHR) - 1.5-2 min -e
Surgeon prep technique described -e
Wear mask during surgery (√)g
Wear headcover during surgery (√)h
Wear gown during surgery
Gowning technique described -
Gloving technique(s) described -
Notes Formerly required ACVS reading Current required ACVS reading Current required ACVS reading, not available at time of study
  1. √ = recommended, (√) = recommended with caveats, X = not recommended, - = no specific recommendation/not described, prep = preparation, CH = chlorhexidine, PI = povidone iodine, ASHR = alcohol-based surgical hand rub, ACVS = American College of Veterinary Surgeons.
  2. ause of chloroxylenol described, but not recommended for use in cats.
  3. bASHR reportedly superior to CH or PI but not as commonly used.
  4. cCH or PI in alcohol preferred.
  5. devidence is inconsistent.
  6. efollow manufacturer’s recommendation for specific product.
  7. fboth agents significantly decrease bacterial load on hands, but ASHR is preferred.
  8. gmask use helps prevent direct contamination during talking, no effect on environmental bacterial load.
  9. huse of headcovers controversial, but hair carries higher bacterial load so makes sense to cover.