Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) Best Practices for Small Animal Veterinary Clinics

Infection control is an important aspect of veterinary practice.

These guidelines are available in accessible pdf format.  The can be freely downloaded in their entirety, or you can download different sections/chapters individually by clicking on the corresponding text in the table of contents below.  If you require assistance, please email


Infection Prevention and Control Best Practices, 2020 (complete, 9.1 MB)

Table of Contents

          Section 1: Introduction

Basic Principles of Infection Prevention and Control

– General concepts
– Rationale for routine practices – The chain of transmission
– Hierarchy of infection control measures


The Infection Prevention and Control Program


– Passive surveillance
– Active surveillance
– Syndromic surveillance

Antimicrobial Stewardship

Section 2: Routine Practices

Hand Hygiene

– When to perform hand hygiene
– Hand washing with soap and water
– Alcohol-based hand sanitizers
– Skin care
– Compliance

Personal Protective Equipment

– Personal protective outerwear
– Additional personal protective equipment

Patient Care and Handling

– Isolation facilities
– Wound care and bandages
– Feeding of raw meat diets and treats
– High risk admissions

Hospital-Associated Infections and Other Infectious Syndromes

– Bloodstream infections
– Catheter-associated urinary tract infections
– Other sources of HAIs
– Management of specific infectious syndromes

Cleaning, Disinfection, Sterilization

– Cleaning
– Disinfection
– Sterilization

Laundry and Waste Management

– Laundry management
– Waste management

Section 3: Special Procedures


– Surgical environment and suite design
– Personnel considerations
– Equipment considerations
– Perioperative antimicrobials
– Surgical site management
– Surgical site infection surveillance

Dental Procedures

Blood Donation

Rehabilitation and Physical Therapy

– Patient assessment
– Hydrotherapy
– Dry rehabilitation therapy

Section 4: Additional Considerations

Safety of Clinic Personnel

– Bites and scratches
– Sharps
– Clinic laboratory
– Necropsies
– Vaccination of personnel
– High-risk personnel
– Training and education of personnel

Client Visitation

Non-Patient Animals

– Boarding / day care
– Staff pets
– Clinic pets
– Blood donor animals and colonies
– Research and teaching animals


Reportable Diseases

Clinic Design

Vector Control

– Ticks
– Other ectoparasites


Management of Rabies Suspects
Surgical Safety Checklist
Clinic IPC Audit Checklist