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Puppy faeces needed to monitor antibiotic-resistant bacteria
Researchers are keen to learn how the places puppies are walked might effect the levels of antibiotic-resistanct bacteria in their guts.
Study to assess importance of the environment 

Puppy owners are being urged to send researchers samples of their pet’s faeces so that it can be monitored for antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

The One Health Selection and Transmission of Antimicrobial Resistance (OH-STAR) project is investigating how antibiotic-resistant E.coli might move between the environment, animals and humans.

Organised by the University of Bristol, the project seeks to find out if antibiotic-resistant bacteria in animals are an important source of antibiotic-resistant bacteria in people. It also hopes to reveal where animals get their antibiotic-resistant gut bacteria.

As part of the study, the team is collecting and analysing faecal samples from puppies which are not being walked in public places. They are then comparing the samples from the same puppies a month or so later when they have started going outside.

Researchers are keen to learn how the places puppies are walked might effect the levels of antibiotic-resistant bacteria in their guts. Project leader Dr Matthew Avison explains:

“Puppies might get their gut bacteria from their mothers, from the environment in which they are exercised, from other pets in the household, or from their owners. It may well be a combination of all these.

“We want to identify the importance of the environment as a source of antibiotic-resistant bacteria because dogs might be bringing these bacteria into the home. At the moment, we just don’t know.”

Masters student Kezia Wareham, who is keen to recruit as many puppies as possible, added: “We are excited to be able to work directly with puppy owners to help answer these important questions. If you have a young puppy and would be able to provide us with some poo, please do get in touch.”

The project is open to owners of puppies aged 12 weeks and under from North Somerset, Bristol, Bath and North-East Somerset, and surrounding areas. Puppy owners will be asked to complete a simple questionnaire and provide two faecal samples from their puppy.

For further information, contact the OH-STAR team, email:

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Campaign highlights ‘devastating impact’ of smoking around pets

News Story 1
 Leading vet charity PDSA has launched a campaign highlighting the ‘devastating impact’ that smoking can have on pets. The launch coincides with National No Smoking Day (14 March 2018) and aims to raise awareness of the risks of passive smoking and how to keep pets safe.

“Recent studies highlight that this is a really serious issue, and we want pet owners to know that they can make a real difference by simply choosing to smoke outdoors away from their pets,” said PDSA vet Olivia Anderson-Nathan. “We want pet owners to realise that, if they smoke, their pets smoke too.”  

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News Shorts
AWF named charity of the year

The Animal Welfare Foundation (AWF) has been chosen as charity of the year by the Veterinary Marketing Association (VMA). AWF is a vet-led charity, supported by the BVA, which aims to improve animal welfare though research funding, supporting veterinary education, providing pet care advice and encouraging debate on welfare issues.

VMA has pledged a range of support, including raising awareness and funds at their awards ceremony, which takes place on Friday 16 March, as well as offering marketing support through VMA marketing workshops.