Restriction is used proactively to protect other hospitalized animals from exposure to infectious diseases by temporarily isolating a patient until it can be discharged or transferred to the TC. Cage Restriction is initiated to contain a potential pathogen that has not yet been identified. The objective is to limit contact with the pathogen, by limiting the number of individuals in contact with the patient, limiting patient movement in the clinic, and carefully restricting the use of equipment and supplies to an individual stall.

Use of Restriction and Communication

  • Cage Restriction status requires mandatory clear communication between the attending clinician, and the patient care area supervisor along with the HWC Operations Manager
  • When the presence of a pathogen has been identified or is strongly suspected by a clinician, cage restriction is not a substitute for movement of the animal to isolation in the TC or discharge from the HWC.
  • Persons in contact with patients with an antimicrobial resistant infection shall wear examination gloves and a long-sleeved apron when handling the patient or materials that have been in contact with the patient.
  • Hands should be thoroughly washed immediately after handling the animal and after glove removal.
  • A space on the floor will be marked off by red tape in front of the animals’ cage to provide a visible barrier and mini-isolation.
  • All waste and contaminated items should be disposed of in a biohazard bag to be placed in trash for incineration. Sharps items should be placed in an appropriate sharps container.
  • The patient will be removed from its cage only when necessary. Patients requiring further diagnostics, surgical procedures, or ongoing treatment should be transferred to the TC. 
  • Clinical area supervisors should be alerted to the status of the patient and will coordinate transport to minimize contamination and ensure use of protocols.  The area supervisor will ensure the cage and cart (if used) is properly cleaned and disinfected.
  • Animal technicians are to use an appropriate disinfectant and cleaning equipment that is assigned to this patient when cleaning the cage. To reduce contamination, the cleaning equipment must not be used to clean other areas.
  • Restriction cages are “off limits” to visitors. Only personnel immediately concerned with the restricted patient shall be allowed entry.