Management of Symptomatic Animals

The following extra precautions must be taken whenever handling sick animals. Such preventive measures are essential and required to protect the Centre population.

  • Quickly identify sick animals, document and maintain the entire case record, including all medical notes, throughout the animal’s stay in the animal centre.
  • Don Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) when handling or being in the presence of sick animals (or any animal of unknown health status), eg. disposable gloves, disposable gowns and impermeable shoe covers. Remove before leaving the room. More on PPE.
  • Isolate sick animal immediately in designated isolation room wherever possible. The number of staff caring for these animals should be limited.
  • Clearly post the animal’s cage with the specifically diagnosed or suspected condition, and any precautionary measures (such as specific PPE or specific cleaning procedures) required.
  • Notify your Animal Centre Manager immediately in person or by phone, who will then notify the Regional Manager and the Department of Shelter Health and Wellness by e-mail. For other facilities, ensure there is a designated reporting procedure to be followed.
  • Perform or request appropriate diagnostics.
  • Draw up a treatment plan in consultation with your veterinarian and/or the Department of Shelter Health and Wellness, to outline a course of action, such as treatment or euthanasia. All decisions must be based on the individual resources of the Animal Centre or other facility.
  • Clean and disinfect using appropriate cleaning and disinfection protocols and appropriate cleaning and disinfecting agents as developed with your veterinarian or Department of Shelter Health and Wellness.
  • Dispose of any contaminated waste:
    • Bottles, used syringes (not sharps) into Disposal Container (e.g. cardboard boxes with yellow bag liner)
    • Sharps into Disposal Container
    • Impermeable shoe covers, gowns, gloves into regular garbage
    • Contaminated laundry into clear plastic bags
    • Euthanized animals should go into cadaver bags

Contact your local waste management company for their appropriate disposal methods.

  • Wear protective gloves and disposable gown or lab coat when disposing of animal bodies.

Clearly identify all animals with mild conditions such as diarrhea that may be a source of infection; do not walk or socialize these animals in common areas that cannot be easily disinfected. It may not be practical or warranted to isolate animals with mild conditions such as diarrhea, but all efforts to limit spread of infectious agent must be carried out.

Train your volunteers to perform a visual health check before socializing with any animal, and notify Centre staff before handling the animal if any sign of disease is noted.

* All resources must be considered when deciding course of action.
* Euthanasia may apply at any point during the treatment course as per discussions with the Animal Centre Manager, Supervisor or veterinarian.

Suspected Infectious Disease (Non-Zoonotic)

zoonotic disease flowchart

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