Aseptic and Sterile Technique

The information contained in this document is extremely important to prevent secondary bacterial infections in our ill puppies. These techniques should always be used when dealing with medical treatments.

Secondary Bacterial Infection

A secondary bacterial infection is an infection by a microorganism that follows an initial infection by another disease. Parvo puppies already have a suppressed immune system due to their bodies already trying to fight off parvovirus This makes them incredibly susceptible to bacterial infections that healthy puppies would easily be able to fight off.

They can easily die from these infections so it is extremely important we use proper technique to prevent them.

Syringes and Needles

  • Always use a newly unpackaged sterile syringe and needle for IV and SQ medications.
  • The needle of all syringes may not touch anything but the medication before being given to a puppy. It must be capped at all times.
  • If it takes more than three poke to give a puppy its medication (because the puppy is squirming too much or you otherwise fail to give the medication) please use a new, sharper needle.
  • Do not leave needles in medication vials. This allows a direct route for bacteria to enter.

Catheters, Fluid Lines/Ports and Fluid Bags

  • Catheters should never be left open or come in contact with any surface/item. This leaves a direct open passage for bacteria into the bloodstream, and can result in an extremely difficult to treat secondary bacterial infection.
  • If necessary clean fluid line ports/catheter caps with an alcohol swab before administering medication through it and clean any rarely used medication bottles with alcohol before pulling up medication (dust settles on top of them and we want to keep the medication sterile).
  • Fluid lines should never be uncapped without a capped needle or come in contact with any surface/item. Once again, uncapped lines provide easy access for bacteria to enter fluids, which will sequentially infect our puppies. If a line is contaminated by contacting any surface/item or is found uncapped, you must discard and use a new sterile bag and line.
  • Fluid bags expire.
    • Plain LRS/Normasol-R fluid bags expire after 7 days.
    • Fluid bags with Dextrose expire after 3 days.
    • Always label bags with the date the bag was opened, your initials, exactly which medications were added, and whether it is to be used for SQ or IV.
    • SQ bags - we reuse the line twice so always label if it is 1st use of line or 2nd

Specific Items

The following things must always be kept sterile:

  • Needles
  • Syringes
  • Medication Vials
  • Catheters
  • Fluid bags
  • Fluid lines