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Vets use ‘lightning’ to strike superbugs

Vets are using lightning to ‘zap’ superbugs affecting dogs. Veterinary practices across the country are turning to a process that creates a ‘thunderstorm effect’ to produce ozone, which is 3,200 times more powerful than chlorine bleach, to launder blankets and cloths used for cleaning treatment tables and floors.

Ozone is created naturally during thunderstorms when lightning changes the make-up of oxygen. The revolutionary new system which replicates this process, known as OTEX differs from conventional wash systems as it kills superbugs including MRSA and Clostridium Difficile (C.Diff) using mostly cold water. Thermal wash has been proven to be ineffective against some bacteria such as C.Diff.

Dogs are as susceptible as humans to the killer bugs MRSA and C.Diff. Experts say it can be passed from pet to owner and vice versa. Among those harnessing ozone in the battle against superbugs is Bristol University’s School of Veterinary Science.

According to the Bella Moss Foundation, a charity which supports and promotes research into MRSA and pets, cases have been rising steadily since 2004. Jill Moss, President of the Bella Moss Foundation and member of DEFRA's Darc committee on MRSA in animals, said: ‘We have seen an increase of cases since 2004 and it seems that EMRA 15/16 which is the dominant hospital strain is affecting all species of animals.’