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Identifying high-risk patients

Questions to ask when making appointments*

Click here for a sample checklist.

  • How old is the patient? 
  • What is the patient's vaccination history?
  • Recent history:
    • Has the pet been to a boarding kennel, dog park, day care facility, animal shelter, or other similar venue in the past month?
    • Traveled to another area or country?
    • Are other pets in the household ill?
  • Has the patient experienced any acute:
    • Vomiting?
    • Diarrhea (defined as three or more loose stools during the past 24 hr) or episodes of bloody diarrhea?
    • Coughing?
    • Sneezing?
  • Has the patient experienced a fever (if known)?

*If the patient is acutely coughing, sneezing, vomiting, or having diarrhea, ± a fever, the pet should not enter the reception area. Evaluate such animals before entry into the building or immediately transport them to a dedicated examination or isolation room depending on practice policy.

*If the hospital records indicate that the pet has a multidrug-resistant infection, the pet should not enter the reception area.

* Patients fitting these criteria should not enter the reception area. Meet owners outside and escort them in via a separate entrance or use a carrier or gurney to transport the pet through the reception area if necessary. Use alternative waiting/examination locations or use of barrier precautions based on the initial risk assessment. Clean and disinfect any waiting or examination locations occupied before using those areas again for other animals.

These guidelines are supported by a generous educational grant from Virox Animal Health™.