Angus the Superbug Dog!
Teresa Zurberg says her two-year old English Springer Spaniel Angus’ sense of smell is above and beyond anything we can even comprehend. Listen as she talks with Marcie and Lovey about Angus job at Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH), where he is a member of the hospital’s Infection Fighting Team. Teresa trained Angus to detect Clostridium difficile, or C. diff, a superbug often found in hospitals that attacks people whose immune systems have been weakened by antibiotics. Teresa shares how Angus enthusiastically detects this superbug so its spores can then be eradicated, helping to reduce infections!
Dog-nut & animal lover par excellence! Ex-Army Medic, Cardio Tech, Dog handler certified in protection, narcotics and explosive detection, and Canada's 1st Nose Work judge.
Hi everyone - Meet Angus!
Angus is a field-bred English Springer Spaniel that we got from a breeder in Montana in July 2014. Coming from a line of prized hunting dogs, we knew that we wanted to put his nose to work eventually.
In December 2014 we approached the Director of Quality & Patient Safety at Vancouver Coastal Health to see if they were interested in training a dog to detect a bacterium called Clostridium Difficile.
Clostridium Difficile is a bacterium that can cause an inflammation of the bowel and has been linked to the death of several patients throughout the world.
Previously an article was published by the British Medical Journal about a project in two hospitals in the Netherlands that showed the use of a C. Difficile detection dog with good results.
After a couple meetings we decided, rather than finding patients with C. diff as in the BMJ study, to try to see if Angus can find C. Diff on the surfaces in the hospital environment.