Disinfectants: Choose Wisely For Safe Treatment
When choosing disinfectants, keep in mind the diseases you are targeting and the age of the animals you’re caring for. In the cattery and kennel, viruses are always a concern, but we must never forget to prevent ringworm in pregnant moms and babies. Often this requires two different disinfectants: one for the adult area and another safe for use around babies and newborns. Let’s summarize some common disinfectants to help you make the best choice.
When to Use bleach:
Bleach is typically where we all start and is excellent against Parvovirus. Bleach is effective at 1 oz per gallon. Bleach does not penetrate organic matter. It will sterilize the surface of smeared stool or fat, but will not penetrate it to get to the virus underneath.
At 4 oz per gallon, bleach will kill fungi - but with a price. Humans and puppies can get skin irritation and “moth eaten puppy coats” at that level. Bleach at 4 ounces per gallon also pits stainless steel, dissolves cement from stone, and roughens concrete floors by dissolving the surface.
Disinfectants to Attack Fungi:
kills fungal spores and is an excellent disinfectant around nursing puppies and kittens. Use in a spray bottle for daily cleaning in nest boxes, especially in catteries where fungal (ringworm) is the number one concern for kittens. Excellent against bacteria and most viruses, but it is not effective against Parvovirus. Chlorhexidine is also a good choice to disinfect instruments.
Disinfectants to Attack Parvo:
penetrates organic matter making it effective in a Parvovirus outbreak. It is safe to use around puppies or kittens and is great for rock runs where we need to penetrate soil surfaces. Use once a week to be sure to penetrate areas that are difficult to clean. Trifectant/Virkon is a great choice to kill bacteria, fungi, virus and Parvovirus.
is excellent against all viruses and bacteria as well as fungi and fungal spores. It is very safe and used in foggers for aviaries, kennels, and catteries to get ahead of respiratory issues. It will kill bacteria, fungi, virus and Parvovirus and will also penetrate organic matter. Safe to use around food, in water, and in nurseries, and can be used with a fogger or hose-end sprayer. OXINE® can be put into a water system at 1:400 to prevent slime build up. Fogging is also done at 1:400 and is especially helpful for respiratory outbreaks or in pet shops where birds are often present.
Disinfectants that Work on Most Organisms:
is a quaternary ammonia compound that will cover most organisms with prolonged exposure time to disinfectant. Contact time for Parvovirus is over 10 minutes and not generally used to control Parvovirus. KENIC Ken’L Lan 128 Germicidal Disinfectant
is similar to Roccal®-D in that ammonia compounds disinfect with 10 or more minutes of contact time. It has a great deodorant effect. Take caution when using around cats as residue can cause eye ulcers. It can also be hard on equipment due to it needing a long exposure time.
Treatment Options for Cloth Surfaces:
Health Guard™ Laundry Additive & Disinfectant
disinfects the laundry without harming your washer. It kills bacteria, fungi and virus when used in a washing machine. Works well for odor removal as well as cleaning and disinfecting carpet or upholstery. Safe to use on items that will be around mom and her babies.
Fading Puppy Snydrome:
When using disinfectants it is important to follow the correct directions for dilution. Toxins are a major cause of fading puppy or kitten syndrome. Neonatal skin is thin, and chemicals are readily absorbed through the skin causing Fading Puppy or Kitten Syndrome
. Breathing chemical fumes causing URI is also a concern.
Use caution when cleaning the whelping or queening box
- Avoid pine oils and phenols (Lysol®) as well as bleach or quaternary ammonium (Roccal®-D).
- Use gentle cleaners with little odor and baby safe disinfectant around puppies and kittens.
The ultimate goal is to have healthy moms and babies!
- Dr. B
The materials, information and answers provided through this website are not intended to replace the medical advice or services of a qualified veterinarian or other pet health care professional. Consult your own veterinarian for answers to specific medical questions, including diagnosis, treatment, therapy or medical attention.
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