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:
- Diarrhea (defined as three or more loose stools during the past 24 hr) or episodes of bloody diarrhea?
- 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.