Isolation Area Management

  As discussed earlier in Intake Procedures, and Personal Protective Equipment, staff must wear appropriate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) during the intake process, and while carrying out daily husbandry duties. If at any time, an employee suspects that an animal is carrying a disease, they must follow the procedures as outlined:

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  • Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) must be worn by all personnel entering an isolation area that is housing a potentially infectious animal. At a minimum, this consists of gloves, disposable gowns and impermeable shoe covers that are only worn in the isolation area.
  • Depending on the diagnosis and the mode of transmission of the disease, masks and eye protection may also be required. This information will be included in the infection control plan.
  • Gloves must be discarded after a single use.
  • Masks must only be reused by the same person. If the eyewear or mask becomes contaminated with body fluids such as urine or feces, it must be replaced with a clean article.
  • Designated Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) must be removed before leaving the isolation room.
  • Contaminated items (e.g. dishes, litter pans, toys and laundry) must be bagged prior to being removed from the isolation area, to be cleaned and disinfected, or disposed of.
  • Waste must also be bagged prior to being removed from the isolation area. Bags should then immediately be discarded in the dumpster.
  • Waste from an isolation room must be treated as potentially infectious and be disposed of properly.
  • Hands must be washed immediately after leaving isolation.

Dogs in Isolation

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  •   Dogs that are housed in isolation should not be walked, nor allowed to urinate or defecate in public areas or areas used by other animals.
  • If a dedicated area for walking is not available and the dog needs to be taken out of the primary isolation area to urinate and defecate, a separate run should be designated for each dog in isolation (i.e. if there is more than one animal in isolation, they cannot all use the same run). The run selected should be as far as possible from runs being used by other animals.
  • Personnel must wear appropriate PPE when moving the dog to the run. Avoid moving the animal through other areas of the Centre as much as possible.
  • Carry the dog or transport it on a gurney if possible; this is ideal in order to minimize the risk of contamination of the floor and clinic environment. The designated run should be prominently labelled, cleaned and disinfected daily.
  • When a dog must travel a common hallway, all surfaces that the dog comes into contact with must be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected as soon as possible.
  • When an animal housed in isolation absolutely must be taken elsewhere in the Centre for essential procedures (e.g. radiographs or surgery), this should be done at the end of the day, or during a time when there is the least animal and personnel traffic.
  • Appropriate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) must be worn by all personnel involved with the procedure.
  • Other animals should be kept out of the procedure area.