Minutes from the Royal Canin 1st International Shelter Convention : incubation period & consequences.

I was recently in France, attending to the Royal Canin 1st International Shelter Convention. A great event for two reasons : 1/ it was in South of France (and who would not want to be in South of France beginning of June, such a beautiful weather !!! ) ; 2/ it was an opportunity to meet people involved in shelters from all over the world and discuss with them about the challenges they face ( see pictures from the event here )

I learnt a lot. I learnt a lot about topics that I think need to be shared with our online community. Today therefore, let’s speak management of infectious diseases.
 
On the incubation period
 
Indeed, infectious diseases are certainly what make shelter environments so challenging. The first talk of the conference offered a good review of the most problematic diseases. And based on the notes I took, I build up the following table on those diseases’ incubation period (=the period between exposure to an infection and the appearance of the first symptoms). 
Incubation period for the most problematic diseases encountered in shelters

What it means for animal shelters

 

Why do I find this relevant information ? Because when you give it some thoughts, 

you quickly realize that the quarantine (=period during which we observed if the animal is gonna get sick) should merely be a concept in shelter environments.

 

Indeed, length of the quarantine should be based on the incubation period of the considered disease (because if they are not sick after this period, they were probably not infected when entering the shelter). But at the same time, we also know that the longer the animals stay inside the shelter, the more risks to develop infectious diseases. That is especially true for cats, their high susceptibility to stress making them more fragile in shelters. 

 

Rule of thumb in animal shelters : you want the animals to move in your system as fast as possible. Because the faster they are adopted, the less risk they have to potentially get infected. 

 

That’s all for today but stay tuned, more posts on their way to tell you more about what I learnt !

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