HWC Handling and Housing Patients with Infectious Diseases

Alert:  A primary goal of the HWC is to prevent admission of any pet with a confirmed infectious disease or exhibiting signs of an infectious disease.  Your goal is to isolate the patient and any potential contamination; then facilitate the patient being discharged or transferred to the Terry Center.

Handling and Housing Patients with Infectious Diseases

Identified at the time of first contact by receptionist in the Client Waiting area:

  • Politely ask the owner to remove the pet from the client waiting area and let them know that a member of the service will meet them at their vehicle shortly.  Ask them to please avoid contact with other animals until a service member can evaluate the situation and provide direction.
  • Contact a member of the service to assess the situation and communicate with the client.

Identified after admission:

  1. Immediately contain persons, equipment, and patient; within the contaminated area.
  2. Contact the HWC Nursing Supervisor or HWC Operations Manager
  3. Supervisor is in charge of
    • Developing a strategy for all personnel to decontaminate and exit the area.
    • Ensure area, equipment, supplies are appropriately cleaned and disinfected.
    • Ensure patient is appropriately transported through hospital for discharge or transfer to the Terry Center
    • Ensure appropriate disinfection of any potentially contaminated areas
  4. Boots, gloves, and impervious gowns shall be worn throughout the process.
  5. Bedding and trash are discarded in a biohazard container
  6. Area is stripped, degreased, and disinfected.  All non-porous equipment is to be left in the area    to be cleaned and disinfected.
  7. Step 6 is performed two times. Coveralls are not necessary for the second disinfection cycle.
  8. Cultures are taken if potential for contamination is a high probability.
  9. Area is isolated and marked “Do Not Use” if applicable.


  • The animal must be transported on a cart, dedicated to that animal.
  • PPE is required for all patient handling
  • Hand washing is a crucial step in preventing the spread of infectious disease.
  • All specimens must be labeled with an appropriate biohazard disease risk sticker.
  • If the specimen is negative no other reporting is required than the appropriate addition of the information to the medical record.
  • If the specimen is positive: The clinical microbiology laboratory will notify the clinician, senior clinician, technician supervisor and hospital epidemiologist.
  • The attending or senior clinician will contact the owner to inform them about the situation. A script is available for discussion with client (Script under construction).