Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Veterinary Medical Terminology 101: Fomite

Photo via comedy_nose
Fomites - they are everywhere! Fomite isn't a term that is exclusive to veterinary medicine, however. I chose this word because a doctor I used to work with was what one might call a fomite vigilante. She persisted that we reduce possible fomites as much as possible in the vet clinic I worked at and for good reason.


So what is a "fomite"? I'm sure you're curious now. Here is the definition according to the dictionay:

"An object that may be contaminated with infectious organisms and serve in their transmission."

Almost anything can be a fomite really. Your hairbrush, chapstick, clothes, hair tie, toothbrush... etc. You know when you were a kid and your mom told you not to share you drink, brush, and other stuff with friends? Well that's because she didn't want you to get lice or sick with the flu.

The same thing goes for animals. Fomites in a veterinary setting are present everywhere. Towels, bowls, bandage scissors, brushes, etc. The list is endless really.  Even the cage doors were considered fomites and we were required to clean them regularly. Your veterinary hospital should take a lot of care in cleaning everything that they use. Sometimes, it felt like that's all we did - clean and disinfect.

I'm not sure how many people out there borrow their neighbor's dog or cat brush, but it may be something you'd want to reconsider after reading this.

17 comments:

  1. Good point about borrowing things. Ann I have just started giving Pip a tiny pinch of ground up charcoal biscuits and her breath seems to have improved. At 15 we can't do any teeth cleaning as she has heart problems. Can you advise on the use of activated charcoal? Have a terrific Tuesday.
    Best wishes Molly

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I can't say that I've ever heard of using charcoal for teeth, but I don't think that it's going to hurt any if it's a small amount. I would think too much might interfere with absorption of nutrients maybe? I wonder if it helps with bacteria and stuff that is in the mouth.

      Delete
  2. Never heard that term before, but will definitely bear it in mind in future!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Great post! THANKS! Sadly this mites are really everywhere. Think I will never share my brush with my staff ;o)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lol - good idea Easy, who knows what kind of stuff they may be harboring.

      Delete
  4. Thanks for the information. With so many super bugs now in our environment, it is important to remember that our animals are just as prone to fall ill as we are. Purrs and hugs from the kitties at www.thecatonmyhead.com, Lily Olivia, Mauricio, Misty May, Giulietta, Fiona, Astrid, Lisbeth and Calista Josette

    ReplyDelete
  5. I never share my brush, I won't even let Humom use it..BOL xx00xx

    Mollie and Alfie

    ReplyDelete
  6. That is a good thing to know. We don't really have anyone to share with except ourselves so we are probably all right. Thanks for the info.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think you kitties will be OK sharing with each other ;)

      Delete
  7. That sounds icky and dangerous. Good reminder.

    ReplyDelete
  8. fomite...I kinda like that word, too bad it isn't a good thing lol

    ReplyDelete
  9. I didn't really know what those little boogers were called, but I knew they were out there!

    ReplyDelete
  10. We don't share anything and when Tigger visits we always make sure the bowls are steralised when he eats the leftovers of Austin's food! Never heard of fomites before. Thanks for the info :)

    ReplyDelete
  11. Oh, my mom loves this word!! Well, she did until she worked at the shelter anyway... Those stupid fomites are out of control there =P

    ReplyDelete
  12. Good post, i'd never heard of fomites before.

    Sheba.

    ReplyDelete
  13. This is a brand new word for me...Thank you! I can't imagine how much cleaning is necessary at a vet's office...It's got to be a never-ending thing

    ReplyDelete

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...