Hygiene rules in different situations of care at the pet clinic

Hygiene rules in different situations

of care at the pet clinic

Hygiene rules are much stricter than for the care of pets at home. Indeed:

  • animals are often sick or must be anesthetized or operated, which makes them more fragile
  • there is a large concentration of animals in space and time, which increases the risk of contaminations
  • in a clinic, there is a greater risk of presence of Multiresistant germs to antibiotics. An exotic animal infected with one of them would be very difficult to treat
  • many exotic animals are likely to be achieved by a zoonosis and contaminate the staff

Those risks are maximum with reptiles and hygiene must be very strict.

Care to hospitalized animals:

General care to healthy or sick animals not by a zoonotic disease:

  • When: 
    • giving any care to a pet
    • cleaning or disinfecting a cage, an aquarium or terrarium,
    • preparing or giving food or water
  • How
    • professional clothing, with nude forearms
    • nails short and clean
    • tied-back hair
    • No rings, no bracelets, no  jewelry on the hands and the forearms
    • before the care:
    • after the care: antiseptic hygien of hands: washing or rubbing (washing and rubbing for reptiles)

Care to animals sick or suspected to be hit by a zoonosis:

  • When: 
    • giving any care to a pet surely or suspected to be sick of zoonosis
    • cleaning or disinfecting a cage, an aquarium or terrarium, of a pet surely or suspected to be sick of zoonosis
    • preparing or giving food or water to a pet surely or suspected to be sick of zoonosis
  • How
    • professional clothing, with nude forearms
    • nails short and clean
    • tied-back hair
    • No rings, no bracelets, no  jewelry on the hands and the forearms
    • before the care:
      • antiseptic hygien of hands: washing or rubbing
      • body: wear a protective clothing: single use surgical or plastic gown
      • hair: wear a protective cap
      • face and eyes: wear a mask for nose and protective goggles or a full-face protective mask
      • after the care: antiseptic hygien of hands: washing and rubbing: the rubbing is better for most of germs, but washing is the only possible for anaerobic bacteria and protozoans who make spores
  • Example of complete protocol to clean and disinfect the terrarium of a reptile suspected to be contamined by a zoonosis (for example salmonellosis)

Surgical preparation:

Preparation of the staff

  • professional clothing, with nude forearms
  • nails short and clean
  • tied-back hair
  • No rings, no bracelets, no  jewelry on the hands and the forearms
  • in the operate room: a single-use mask and a protective cap
  • before the preparation of the animal for surgery: antiseptic hygien of hands
  • before the surgery for the surgeon and the help-surgeon:
    • surgical preparation of the hands
    • for a surgery which needs a high degree of sterility (bone surgery…) wear a sterile gown with an aid: your body must not touch the outside of the gown (video demonstration of gowning methode)
    • put sterile gloves with one of the three possible techniques:

      • with a sterile gown, use the close-gloving technique. The second one can use the assist-gloving technique
      • with nude forearms, use the open-gloving technique

Aseptic preparation of the operating site: 

  • in the Preparation Room:
    • for the mammals, cut the hair on a large area around the site of the incision
    • for the birds, the area of incision should be plucked
    • for all, do the first washing of the surgical site, with a povidone-iodine or chlorhexidine soap
  • In the surgery room
    • do two other washings of the surgical site
    • apply a disinfectant with the same molecule than the soap (they are incompatible together): povidone-iodine 1% or chlorhexidine 0.05%