« Big 3 »… Rhymes with Micheal, Denis and Scottie. Dwayne, Lebron & Chris. Tony, Manu & Tim.
Sounds pretty obvious, right ? I’m a NBA fan, clearly !
But I’m also a veterinarian working with kennels and catteries.
When I mention the « Big 3 » in my lectures, it has nothing to do with basket-ball unfortunately.
It usually has something to do with infectious diseases…
Why did I ever came up with a « Big 3 » ? Because when I visit a kennel or a cattery, I’m often asked the following :
« Hey doc, do you think I do a good job at cleaning and disinfecting ? »
To answer this question, I always need to verify 3 things.
#1 I need to make sure you clearly understand the difference between « cleaning » and « disinfecting ».
You wonder what I mean here ?
You may think these two words refer to the same thing – many people do, don’t worry -.
Then, you MUST read this blog I wrote on this topic .
After reading this, you will understand how crucial a point this is.
And then we can move to the second step of the procedure.
#2 I need to verify that it is the RIGHT disinfectant you are using… and this is where my « Big 3 » comes in.
Lots of different disinfectants are indeed available on the market.
However, not all of them are actually efficient against the most problematic pathogens we will find in catteries and kennels.
By « problematic », I essentially mean « resistant in the environment. »
Those are the ones you want to control with sanitation obviously.
In catteries : consider the feline parvovirus (aka panleuk virus) | the feline calicivirus | the spores of ringworm.
In kennels : consider the canine parvo essentially.
This is therefore my « Big 3 » : Ringworm | Parvo | Calici (that’s the given nickname of the Calicivirus, nothing to do with Games of Thrones here).
When you build a sanitation plan, those are the 3 pathogens you always need to have in mind when selecting your disinfecting product.
Bu the procedure is not over, we still need to check step #3 !
#3 I need to make sure you use the product (disinfectant here) properly.
Which means you need to respect the product dilution. The contact time required for the product to be efficient on the surfaces. And check if it requires rinsing after using.
When you do all this properly, your sanitation protocol is excellent.
You will find more info on all this in this e-book I wrote on sanitation in animal shelters (the same logic applies to kennels and catteries).
The most common mistake I see in kennels and catteries is that people are not using the right product… and/or they are not using it properly.
Good news : it is something easy to correct. And it can help you win big !
Key Take-Away here: always remember the Big 3 !