Dog ate chocolate?

ask a vet

Reusing thermometers

Species: Dog
Breed: Lhasa Apso
Age: 5-8 years
I took my Lhasa Apso, Monroe, to Banfield at PetSmart today. He is having issues with sutures working their way through his incision (2 months old). In the preliminary exam, the tech took his temperature, using one of those digital white plastic thermometers, with the metal end. When she was finished getting the reading, she grabbed a gauze pad, put some alcohol on it, and rubbed the dirty end of the thermometer for a couple of seconds. She then put the thermometer back into the drawer with other instruments, to be used again. I told her I thought this was highly unsanitary, and that they should be using disposables. She shrugged it off. I mentioned it to the vet, her response was "this is my first day, I don't know what their procedure is". Am I freaking out over nothing?


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

This is a tough situation for me to comment on as I don't know all of the facts.

In some practices they will clean off the thermometer and then put it in a container that is holding disinfectant. In other places, a disposable thermometer cover is used. However, these can be frustrating to work with and can make the insertion of the thermometer more uncomfortable for the dog.

Is it possible that when she put the thermometer in the drawer there was a disinfectant container in the drawer?

I would agree that if the thermometer was just being wiped with alcohol and then put back in the drawer that doesn't sound like a good idea. With that being said, the chance of spreading disease is extremely small. Most diseases that are spread through the feces of dogs are spread by fecal-oral transmission so as long as the dogs are not licking the thermometers the risk is small.

If you are concerned it may be worthwhile to write a politely worded letter to the manager or owner of the clinic with your concerns and ask if they could consider changing their practice.

I hope this helps!

Dr. Marie.

---This question was asked in our Ask A Vet For Free section.---


Do you have a pet website? Interested in learning more about SEO for Wix?


Check out our dog age calculator and cat age calculator.

Want to receive pet coupons, vet advice and info on new pet products in your inbox?

* indicates required

We'll only send you great stuff, never spam. Unsubscribe any time.

Disclaimer: Although Dr. Marie is a qualified veterinarian, the information found on this site is not meant to replace the advice of your own veterinarian. AskAVetQuestion.com and Dr. Marie do not accept any responsibility for any loss, damage, injury, death, or disease which may arise from reliance on information contained on this site. Do not use information found on this site for diagnosing or treating your pet. Anything you read here is for information only.

Search for similar questions:

ask a vet

Popular questions...

Homeopathic seizure control. I have adopted a dog Jack aged 7. He has seizures which last about 3-5 minutes and... (8183 views)

Sedative after heartworm treatment? Hello Dr. Marie, I have a 2 and a half year old boxer/lab that is being treated... (14541 views)

Two gerbils fighting. i have a gerbil that i got and i put it with my other gerbil and they were fiting... (9042 views)

Trouble moving. Firts, I am owner of 3 dogs~ Last Saturday we found a small tick on buddy. He... (12326 views)

Dog doesn't drink much and burps. We recently adopted our boxer mix from a vet and she appears to be in very good... (22480 views)

Walking on tip toes. my dog got hit with a car about 4 months ago she suffered no broken bones but when... (12235 views)

Dog won't walk. my dog has almost stoped walkin and jus crawls around,unless it like to get food of... (16353 views)

Ear margin dermatosis. Hello, I have a 5 year old over-weight beagle. He's had these small dry crusty... (71777 views)

Do cats get pink eye? My cat had a "pink eye" this weekend while I was away, according to the pet sitter. ... (5987 views)

Vulva dermatitis. Good Morning Doctor: My 6 year old Golden(Honey) has an infection around her female... (27190 views)

See all questions...

Dr. MarieDr. Marie is a veterinarian who practices in a busy animal hospital in Ottawa, Ontario. She created Ask A Vet Question as a resource for good, accurate veterinary advice online. Dr. Marie treats dogs, cats, hamsters, guinea pigs, and rats. She has been a vet since 1999.

Is an online vet visit just as good as a trip to your veterinarian? No! But, many times, asking an online veterinarian a question can help save you money. While Dr. Marie can't officially diagnose your pet or prescribe medications, she can often advise you on whether a vet visit is necessary. You can also ask Dr. Marie for a second opinion on your pet's condition.