The importance of infection control in an animal centre

Remember Freddy? Freddy joined the GTHS after being found on the streets in our community. Odds were against this fella with a severely broken pelvis, FIV+ condition, terrible dental disease and to boot, a highly contagious and fungal infection called Ringworm.

When animal care professionals hear the word Ringworm in an animal centre, it can strike fear into their hearts. It is highly contagious and can have a devastating impact on regular operations. Therefore, when Freddy tested positive, everyone went on high alert, and outbreak protocols were initiated. Through teamwork, long hours and dedication, the outbreak was contained, and Freddy is well on his way to recovery.

We dream of the day when Freddy is home and surrounded by love from his new family or person. We believe in you buddy!

At GTHS, we take all precautions to prevent an outbreak, and it begins at the time of intake. Animals enter through a back entrance with their first stop being in a room called medical intake. Here, we give the animal a thorough examination, including a woods lamp (a very neat blacklight light that fluoresces fungal spores) test that determines the presence of Ringworm. Although effective, the woods lamps test does not always catch all instances of the condition, so our residences then spend a period of time in isolation before moving up for adoption.

Did you know?

There are three strains of Ringworm that can affect pets. Only one can be identified by a woods lamp, and luckily, it’s the strain that is contagious! The other two strains can be determined by doing a culture where a sample is collected on a piece of clear tape, and is observed under a microscope using a special stain, like Dr. Anick Amaro is doing in the picture below.