When you go to Urgent Care do you ever feel like you might get even sicker from the people who are waiting there with you?
At The Pet Doctor, we understand those concerns. We are committed to keeping our patients healthy.
We often care for pets who are sick with contagious diseases. The Pet Doctor has a written protocol in place to help prevent the spread of infectious disease between our patients. There are a lot of steps that we implement daily in order to keep your pets safe.
One practice team member is assigned each day to care for the needs of contagious patients. They alone are responsible for ward cleaning, patient treatments, supplemental client communication, and assistance of attending veterinarian.
Depending on the disease being contained, the assigned staff member will not be involved in the medical care of patients who are susceptible to that disease in order to prevent nocosomial (caught while in the hospital) infections. For example, the staff member who is caring for Parvo isolation will not be involved in the care of unvaccinated puppies.
Contagious, zoonotic (disease that can be spread from animal to human), or quarantined patients are handled in the same manner. The veterinary technician or assistant assigned to the patient will be informed that a patient is to be handled with this status. Practice team members who believe they have additional risk factors may inform the veterinarian and be excused from this responsibility. Factors such as pregnancy status, previous experience, and concurrent medication are considered in assigning a staff member.
The attending veterinarian will provide treatment orders to be placed on a form kept just inside the isolation staging area doorway. The patient will be released from the isolation area only upon the orders of a veterinarian. In the case of rabies suspects, only practice team members with current rabies protective titers or practice team members with extensive aggressive patient handling experience will be assigned these cases..
A list of potentially infectious, contagious, or zoonotic diseases justifying the isolation protocol may be found in the Hospital Procedures Handbook or in Kirk’s Current Veterinary Therapy most recent issue.
The Pet Doctor has organized the hospital in such a way as to contain the spread of infectious disease.
We have a dedicated Isolation room for patients who have a contagious disease. These patients are kept separate from healthy elective patients.
This room has solid walls and stainless steel kennels that we are able to totally disinfect.
Our Isolation room is even ventilated with airflow out of the building in order to prevent the spread of aerosolized illness
Any item that is used in our isolation room is never used in any other area of the hospital.
Equipment stored/used there: dedicated supplies for disinfection, covered waste receptacle, footbath, fabric towels and shallow tray, bandage scissors, infusion pump, IV stand, mayo stand
Supplies stored/used there: Plastic waste bags, paper towels, cadaver bags, selection of syringes and needles, sterile lube packets, thermometer, stethoscope, cotton swabs, and tongue depressors, IV catheter selection, bandaging materials, IV fluids and administration supplies, stainless food bowls, cat litter pan, litter, disposable gowns, gloves, masks.
We even monitor the traffic flow through the clinic of patients who might be carrying an infectious disease. Only one dedicated exam room is utilized for potentially infectious cases. If the receptionist or assistant feels the patient is potentially infectious, they are escorted in from the front door directly to the room. The patient may be admitted directly to the isolation area.
If we are suspicious of a contagious disease prior to the patient’s arrival, the patient is not even allowed to walk on the floor in the reception area.
The reception area, path from the door, and the exam room will be cleaned and disinfected immediately after the patient is admitted to isolation or released with its owner. If the patient had been handled in any other areas of the hospital, these will be immediately disinfected as well.
An exam room will be labeled if an infectious disease exposure is suspected. That way no susceptible pets will be placed in the same room until a thorough cleaning is performed.
Antibacterial, virucidal solution and spray will be used with paper towels. All equipment used in the examination of the patient will be cleaned and disinfected as well. Porous or non-cleanable items must be discarded. The mop head used to apply this solution to flooring will be removed and soaked in a bleach solution before washing, moved for use in isolation room only, or discarded entirely.
All potentially infectious waste is placed in plastic trash bags, (isolation room waste is double bagged) before being taken out.