Search Results for: dogs

    Hairless Dogs and Crusty Cats

    Think about the shelters you have worked in…..what were the policies and protocols for dogs and cats with demodectic or sarcoptic mange? Did the shelters initiate treatment for these cases or did they transfer them to rescue groups for treatment? Were these cases euthanized if no rescues took them? If the shelter provided treatment, were Read more »

    Other Community Service Programs Addressing Pet Care Inequities

    The inability to access veterinary care is not simply a financial problem. Numerous barriers to veterinary care have been identified and need to be addressed to support vulnerable pet owners. These include vet clinic business hours, clinic location, transportation to clinics, equipment to transport pets in (crates, leashes), cultural/language issues, and veterinarian–client communication. Pets for Read more »

    Module 6: Integration of shelter and community healthcare programs for at-risk pets

    Estimated Reading and Video Viewing Time:  4 hr     Barriers to accessible veterinary care include socioeconomic, transportation, geographic, and knowledge-based barriers. These barriers may force owners to make decisions that are not in the best interest of their pet’s well-being, including surrender to a shelter or even euthanasia. There is a compelling and urgent Read more »

    What is Change and Why is it Hard?

    Many times, solving problems requires making changes in a shelter policy or protocol. A change is the project, initiative or solution put forth to improve the way work gets done, solve a problem, or take advantage of an opportunity. Change is hard because it implies loss of something familiar and the replacement may be outside the Read more »

    About the Author

    Dr. Cynda Crawford is a Clinical Associate Professor of Shelter Medicine and Director of the Professional Certificate in Shelter Medicine Program at the University of Florida. Dr. Crawford’s expertise includes diagnosis, management, and prevention of infectious diseases in dogs and cats in sheltering facilities. Her current focus is tracking and responding to respiratory disease outbreaks Read more »

    Create the Clean Break

    The cornerstone for stopping further spread of infection is creation of a clean break. This is defined as protection of unexposed animals and new arrivals from exposed or infected animals by housing them in a segregated area. As housing choices for “clean” animals are likely limited due to need for isolation and quarantine space, the Read more »

    Biosecurity and Environmental Decontamination

    Biosecurity and effective sanitation should be practiced at all times, but is paramount during a disease outbreak. Signage should be placed on entrances to the isolation room, quarantine room, and clean rooms indicating what animals are in the room, no movement of animals in or out, and what staff can enter. Visibility is enhanced by Read more »

    Putting It All Together

    Let’s return to where we started with the respiratory disease outbreak in the dogs at Gatorland Animal Services. Dr. Wright reached out to the UF Shelter Medicine Team for assistance with diagnosis and implementation of the disease outbreak management strategy. As part of the lessons learned, she created flowcharts for responses to outbreaks caused by Read more »


    Diagnosis is essential for successful control and resolution of disease outbreaks. Timely diagnosis substantially impacts how many dogs and cats remain healthy and adoptable. No diagnosis or late diagnosis increases the number of sick and exposed animals due to improper management and ultimately the number of animals euthanized. Diagnosis directs the management strategy for interruption Read more »

    Isolation of Sick Animals

    Prompt removal of sick animals from the general population is the single most important step in controlling a communicable disease outbreak. This significantly decreases opportunities for transmission to other animals and reduces the infectious dose in the environment. Leaving sick animals in the general population guarantees the spread of infection to others and perpetuation of Read more »