Criteria for immediate admission to the Isolation Unit
- Horses with any 2 of the following 3 signs: diarrhea, fever, neutropenia.
- Horses with a primary complaint of diarrhea that is not physiologic.
- Horses with a disease on the Equine Infectious Disease list marked “Isolation”.
- If the Isolation stalls are full, a patient presented with diarrhea can be refused admission if a pathogen is suspected. If a pathogen is not suspected, the patient’s status must be discussed with the hospital epidemiologist or chair of the Infection Control Committee before being placed in a Restricted stall.
- Restriction status, at no time, should be used to accommodate a lack of availability of an isolation stall.
Criteria for transferring hospitalized horses to the Isolation Unit
- Horses that develop 2 of the following 3 signs: diarrhea, fever (>39.2°C; >38.9°C if received NSAID in previous 24-hour period), and neutropenia (<2000 cells/µl)
- A positive Salmonella culture is obtained.
- A positive Clostridium difficile toxin test is obtained.
- Any nosocomial pathogen is obtained.
- A clinician should move any patient to isolation when there is a high index of suspicion of Salmonella, or an infectious disease even without the confirmation of diarrhea.
- A patient diagnosed with a disease on the Equine Infectious Disease list
Use of Isolation Unit
- Once a patient is housed in isolation it may not be transferred to a stall in the main building under any circumstances.
- The senior clinician is responsible for informing all personnel that may have contact with an animal about the nature of the infectious disease(s) to be encountered.
- If a zoonotic pathogen is isolated from an animal, or if a zoonotic infection is highly suspected, the number of staff, clinical personnel and students having contact with the patient should be minimized.
- If the pathogen is zoonotic, a log must be placed on the isolation unit that documents individuals who have had contact with the animal.
- A patient that has had diarrhea and tested positive for Salmonella spp. necessitating its removal to an isolation stall shall remain in isolation for the duration of its stay.
- The isolation stalls are “off limits” to visitors. Only personnel immediately concerned with the isolated patient shall be allowed entry.
- “Outside” clothing, if removed, shall be hung on hooks in the room adjacent to the stall.
- Disposable coveralls assigned to that patient shall be worn in the stall and removed and hung in the adjacent room when leaving the Isolation Unit.
- Disposable boots and gloves (and hair covers, if hair hangs below collar) shall be worn in the stall.
- Patients with salmonellosis or which test culture positive for Salmonella spp should not be exercised outside the isolation facility.
- The client will be informed and educated about Salmonella when any patient tests positive for Salmonella regardless of the clinical status.
- If an animal in isolation is to be discharged to a client’s property at the request of the client, but against the advice of the clinicians, the discharge comments must clearly state that:
- The patient is discharged against Veterinary Health Complex (VHC) advice.
- The patient may present a zoonotic risk potential to humans.
- The patient may present an infectious disease risk to other animals on the property.