In a setting like an animal centre, sickness can travel fast if not dealt with appropriately. In this week’s Pet Health Corner, we talk about the process our centres go through when taking in or encountering sick animals. Find more helpful information like this on our website: ShelterHealthPro.com!
What is the process for sick animals at intake?
Whenever sick animals come into our centre, there are certain precautions we take to make sure they, and the rest of the animals in our care, are safe.
- The first thing we do is identify sick animals and document them so we make sure we have a full case record, including all medical notes, throughout the animal’s stay in the animal centre.
- Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). To make sure our staff are also protected while caring for sick animals, they put on PPE, eg. disposable gloves, disposable gowns and impermeable shoe covers. More on PPE.
- Isolation. To help ensure the sick animal doesn’t get any other animals sick, they are place in a designated isolation room, with a small, dedicated group of staff to care for them.
- Clear communication. The next step is our staff clearly post a note on the animal’s cage with the specifically diagnosed or suspected condition, and any precautionary measures (such as specific PPE or specific cleaning procedures) required, so any other staff coming in can take care of the animal well.
- Draw up a treatment plan. Working with the veterinarian and/or the Department of Shelter Health and Wellness, staff then outline a course of action.
- Clean and disinfect. To clean the space the animal was using when sick, staff use appropriate cleaning and disinfection protocols and appropriate cleaning and disinfecting agents as developed with their veterinarian or Department of Shelter Health and Wellness.
Disposal of any contaminated waste:
- Bottles, used syringes (not sharps) into biosecurity containers (e.g. cardboard boxes with yellow bag liner)
- Sharps into designated sharps containers – See poster
- Impermeable shoe covers, gowns, gloves into regular garbage
- Contaminated laundry into clear plastic bags
Shelter Health Pro
Shelter Health Pro is an online resource that presents information from researchers and shelter professionals in an accessible format.
The website has lots to offer for veterinarians, shelter health professionals, kennel operators, breeders, and volunteers.