Is there EVIDENCE that dogs can reliably detect c-diff?
Yes, and the significant evidence is that we have a dog doing it right now.
Is this company affiliated with Vancouver Coastal Health?
We are a private company and have consulted and worked in Vancouver with their c-diff detection team and DO NOT claim any association with VCH.
Can I see your records?
We keep several types of database records, all very detailed. The dog's daily training record in an essay style. The search and alert records are in chart style for detailed surveillance reports. And, yes, it's an open book.
How's it work?
Dogs can smell things pretty well and c-diff has a distinctive odour. Want more, then see this page about the training program
Really? He can 'SEE' c-diff?
Not with his brown eyes, but with his nose. He is trained to tell us when he smells the odour molecules of c-diff, which may look like this representation.
Does the dog screen patients?
No. We don't see a value in using dogs as a point-of-care diagnostic tool. The team looks for c-diff on surfaces, equipment, vehicles, and lockers. Any place where there is a risk of indirect contact.
Can we use your dog to check room disinfection procedures?
How do you confirm / verify?
We take a swab with Hardy Diagnostic's Banana Broth. It's fragile and temperature sensitive so we use a COLD travel case with 2 dozen vials.
What does PHAC recommend for locating c-diff?
PHAC is silent about how to find the spores other than taking a swab and doing the lab work. A lot has changed; now you can instantly break the chain of infection by finding and destroying c-diff at contact points.
Will your dog(s) be disruptive or cause harm?
Some dogs would certainly be disruptive; our dog is calm and can pass the Alberta Service Dog Standard for Public Access. One thing he does not do in the test is to walk at heel- we encourage him to be a searcher not a passive walker.
How long does it take to sweep a room?
Imagine a 40x40 space filled with the equipment and people you would normally see in a health care setting. If there is a reservoir of c-diff our dog will find it. Allow him a few minutes.
No it's not magic or mysterious, it's what dogs do. We simply improve his skill with months and months of special training.
Can we see a sample demonstration?
Yes, we can conduct a blind test of the dog's ability to locate c-diff. You'll smile when you see our dog in action, and a half hour is often enough.
Does your dog wear booties?
Our dogs don't wear PPE. Our dogs have the same chance of acquiring HAI that you do. He stays healthy and we have protocols which minimize risk. An associated question was asked about his introducing new risk. This has been studied in Germany and the answer is not likely with routine practices and a healthy dog.
Do you hold a license from PHAC?
Public Health Ontario asked this question. No, a license is not required because the c-diff positive and c-diff negative samples we use in training do not contain pathogen or toxin.
How much does it cost?
We negotiate a modest rate per day. It usually works out to a fraction of your traditional costs.
What do we get for our money?
You can now find find c-diff on surfaces. An amazing feat! You will see a natural short-term improvement in HH compliance. You can use this new resource to develop a plan for improved HH.
Do you know the difference between may and will?
I am aware of the power of using the word may and its use as a disclaimer, you know, "This device may save your life". So no, when we say 'will' we really mean it, as in "If c-diff is nearby, we'll find it"