Small Animal Isolation Policy

VTH Policy #Bio407

Implementation Date: 4/2013

Date of Last Revision: 5/15/2023

Next Review Due: 5/2026


Reviewed by VTH Administrative Team: N/A

Reviewed by VTH Board: N/A


Reviewed by Legal Counsel: N/A

Reviewed by Biosecurity Subcommittee: 2/6/2020; 5/15/2023

Subject to modification by the Biosecurity Subcommittee of the CVM Occupational Health and Safety Committee without approval.


This policy describes the types of cases and procedures for using SAC Isolation (SAC 147).


I. The following patients must be housed specifically in the isolation ward:

    1. Animals diagnosed with or suspected to have:
      1. Parvovirus, or with an inconclusive Parvovirus test, or any suspected viral diarrhea.
      2. Canine Distemper
      3. Feline Panleukopenia
      4. Viral upper respiratory disease such as Parainfluenza, Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis, Calicivirus
      5. Salmonella
      6. Rabies
      7. Tularemia
      8. Other contagious disease spread by aerosolization of respiratory secretions.

II. The following patients may be housed in other VTH areas (e.g. ICU, IMC, wards):

  1. Animals diagnosed with or suspected to have:
      1. FIV-Feline Immunodeficiency Virus
      2. FeLV-Feline Leukemia Virus
      3. FIP-Feline Infectious Peritonitis
      4. Unvaccinated animals
      5. Bacterial enteritis (Campylobacter, Clostridium)
      6. MRO-Methicillin Resistant Organisms
      7. Leptospirosis
  2. Do not place potentially contagious animals housed in ICU and IMC, in divider cages, since these types of enclosures do not seal off well from the other half of the cage.
      1. Place patients producing liquid secretions in lower-level cages to prevent infectious fluids from contaminating cages below.
      2. Place contagious animals in cages away from other ICU and IMC patients.
      3. Affix a sign indicating the patient’s contagious status to the cage door.

III. Nursing care of isolation patients:

Student and Staff responsibilities for isolation patients:

  1. Complete or review the SAC Isolation module
  2. The ECC veterinary technicians have primary responsibility for treatments of patients in isolation.
  3. The student and clinician on the case must fill out a patient care flow sheet complete with their names and phone numbers.
  4.  Remote video surveillance with audio is available for monitoring patients in SAC Isolation ward, ICU, and IMC.
  5.  ECC veterinary technicians with primary patient responsibility will round with ECC veterinary technicians, clinicians, and students to ensure continuity in patient care.
  6.  ER staff/students shall remotely monitor isolation patients and provide care as needed.
  7.  ECC technicians on-call will provide after-hours care as needed.
      7.1 ECC faculty will contact on-call ECC veterinary technicians and students as needed.
  8.  ECC faculty will call in the student with primary patient responsibility as needed.
  9.  ECC personnel shall enter isolation if an emergent situation arises.
  10.  All medications and needed supplies must be present (scissors, thermometer, stethoscope, etc.) in isolation and must stay in isolation until the animal is gone and the room is disinfected.

Procedure (if applicable)

Follow procedures below, when entering isolation EVERY TIME for ANY reason.

  1. Obtain all needed supplies before entering the SAC Isolation treatment or cage rooms.
  2. Don PPE in the prep/clean room prior to entering the Isolation treatment room. Plastic foot covers may be necessary for those whose shoes do not fit into isolation suits.
  3. Limit the number of people entering the isolation treatment and cage rooms to those necessary for the treatment of the patient.
  4. When removing waste material from the room, double bag the material and seal the outer bag before removing.
        4.1 Use separate biohazard bags for both trash and laundry and label them appropriately.
  5. Do not remove instruments or supplies from the isolation room to other parts of the hospital until appropriately decontaminated. See VTH policy #Bio408 SAC Isolation and Cleaning.
  6. Decontaminate any equipment borrowed for use in isolation before its return. VTH policy #Bio408 SAC Isolation and Cleaning.
  7. The clinician(s) and students overseeing the patient are responsible for cleaning the cage and treatment rooms during the patient’s isolation stay.
       7.1 List needed supplies on the dry-erase board.
             7.1.0 ECC Technicians will order and restock supplies. 
  8. Wash your hands prior to leaving the isolation treatment room.
  9. Remove PPE as you are stepping out of the room when leaving the isolation treatment room.
    Hang reusable PPE on the hook inside the treatment room
    Reused PPE shall be disposed of and replaced every 24 hours.
    Soiled, non-reusable PPE shall be disposed of in the biohazard trash receptacle within the isolation ward.

Definitions (if applicable)

SAC – Small Animal Clinic
ICU – Intensive Care Unit
ER – Emergency Room
IMC – Intermediate Care Ward
ECC – Emergency and Critical Care (includes ICU, ER, and IMC)

PPE- Personal Protective Equipment - Personal protective equipment may include items such as gloves, safety glasses and shoes, earplugs or muffs, hard hats, respirators, or coveralls, vests and full body suits.

Decontamination – the process of cleansing an object or substance to remove contaminants such as microorganisms or hazardous materials, including chemicals, radioactive substances and infectious diseases.

Veterinary Teaching Hospital (VTH) – The collective clinical services of the Large Animal Clinic, Midwest Equine, the Small Animal Clinic, and the Veterinary Medicine South Clinic.

Keywordsdecontamination, PPE, Distemper, Parvo, Leukopenia, Feline, Canine, Virus, Vaccine, Vaccinate, contagious, exposure, enclosure, lepto, waste, isolate   Doc ID123939
OwnerJenny C.GroupUofI College of Veterinary Medicine Teaching Hospital
Created2023-02-08 17:19 CDTUpdated2023-05-30 10:36 CDT
SitesUniversity of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine Teaching Hospital
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