To evaluate the efficacy of synovial fluid culture in obtaining the causative organism from dogs with suspected septic arthritis.
In this retrospective evaluation, synovial fluid cytology and microbiology submissions from dogs with suspected septic arthritis from March 2007 to August 2011 were reviewed. Synovial fluid cytology consistent with joint sepsis was identified. Cultures of synovial fluid from dogs with clinical histories and abnormalities consistent with septic arthritis were used to evaluate the efficacy of bacterial isolation.
Results of bacterial culture of synovial fluid
In total, 36 dogs met the inclusion criteria. Initial aerobic cultures of joint fluid yielded bacterial growth in 44% of these dogs. All anaerobic cultures were negative. In 19% of the dogs with positive cultures, antibiotics had been administered prior to arthrocentesis compared with 10% of dogs with negative cultures. There was no association between culture efficacy and the administration of antimicrobial treatment prior to synovial fluid culture or recent surgery involving the affected joint (P = 0.637 and P = 0.106, respectively).
Culture of synovial fluid from dogs with suspected septic arthritis has a low yield, necessitating a more effective means of identifying bacteria from suspected septic joints in dogs.
Authors: V. F. Scharf et al. Read full text.