Staff Manual


The first of its kind in the nation, Austin Pets Alive!’s Parvo Puppy ICU provides shelters an alternative to euthanasia for puppies that contract parvovirus.

By placing puppies that contract parvo in quarantine and providing consistent care and treatment to puppies that have contracted parvovirus, this ICU saves a highly adoptable segment of the euthanasia list: puppies!

As a Parvo Staff Member with Austin Pets Alive!, you will be responsible for the following:

  • Calculating drug dosages

  • Intaking and discharging patients, including bathing them out of the ward.

  • Administering medications orally, subcutaneously, and intravenously

  • Placing catheters and drawing blood

  • Communicating verbally and in writing with volunteers, other programs, peers, and managers

  • Communicating with other shelters to approve/deny incoming parvo dogs

  • Keeping up ward cleanliness and organization

  • Ensuring each animal is treated with respect and care and is not neglected through our own fault

  • Performing other duties as assigned

This documentation is designed to be used by Staff, but it links out to documentation which is shared by Staff and Volunteers (the protocols are not different, so the documentation is not different either). This document, therefore, contains links as well as Staff-specific information.

Important Emails and Phone Numbers

For privacy reasons, see this Google Doc for contact info.

Critical Documentation

The following pieces of documentation are critical to understand. Please click the links to get more details about each. These can be performed by volunteers and staff.

Common Abbreviations and Terminology

See Drug Charts and Terminology.

Commonly Used Medications

See Drug Charts and Terminology.

Intaking Dogs

See Intake Protocol.


See Standard Treatment, SQ Treatment, IV Treatment, and the Medical Volunteer Curriculum for a complete enumeration.

Parvo Testing

See Parvo Test.

Discharge Protocol

See Discharge Protocol.

Advanced Documentation

The following pieces of documentation are important, but they are more advanced elements of ICU operations. These can be performed by experienced volunteers or staff.

Crashing Puppy Protocol

See Crashing Puppy Protocol.

IV Catheter Placement

See How to Place and IV Catheter.

Panleuk Kittens

See Kittens and Panleuk.

Negative Dog Protocol

See Negative Dog Protocol.

Deceased Puppy Protocol

See Deceased Puppy Protocol.

Facilities Documentation

The following pieces of documentation are specific to staff. Please click the links to get more details about each. These should generally only be performed/understood by staff.

Daily Tasks/End of Shift Checklist

See Daily Tasks/End of Shift Checklist


See ICU Maintenance.

Staff-Specific Documentation

The following pieces of documentation are specific to staff. These should generally only be performed/understood by staff.

Parvo Requests

Other shelters who want to send dogs to be treated in our ward must submit a Parvo Space Request. This form includes the main information we need before accepting a dog, including test manufacturer, size, and vaccines. After the other shelter submits the form, they will then send medical records to the parvo-space-requests@ email.

When looking over medical records pay special attention to:

  • Vaccine dates (if none, request that they administer and send updated records)

  • Parvo test manufacturer and date

  • Any notes of symptoms that could be a secondary illness (especially URIs)

We do not accept dogs who’s parvo test was taken 48+ hours before the transport date, so you should request that they retest them, or offer to do so when they arrive for $20. Make sure to clarify that if the dog tests negative we cannot accept it and they will have to go back with the transporter. If the shelter has trouble finding transport and it passes 48 hours since the request was made, contact them and request a retest before transport.

Transport arrival time is between 10 am-4 pm with the exception of Austin Animal Center and Palm Valley Animal Center. They have until 6 pm to arrive.

For a list of responses see ‘Canned Email Responses’.

Treatment Shifts

There are 2 treatment shifts each day, at 8am and 7pm, that usually run between 2-4 hours. During these shifts, dogs will get medications following their Treatment Sheet as prescribed by the vets, get fresh food and water, and have their blankets replaced.

To prevent the spread of Distemper, all dogs in a group are treated before moving on to the next. Wash hands between every dog. Any scrubs that get touched by dogs should be changed before going onto the next dog, and your top should be changed before going to the next group. If you need to interact with a dog for any reason in a group that you’ve already finished, you must fully change your scrubs and shoes. The groups are usually treated in numerical order, but if there is a change it will be written on the layout map in the ward.

At the end of every treatment shift, a Parvo Shift Report is sent out. This will usually be filled out by a Medical Team volunteer, but if not the staff on shift should fill it out. This goes out to all of the parvo team, the vets, the Medical Managers, and Reception, to keep everyone in the loop with how the animals are doing.

Treatment Structure/How to Give Medications

  1. Draw up and label all patient's medications and (if IV) Heparin flush if not already prepared. Get an alcohol swab if giving any injectable medication.

  2. Perform your brief exam - check gums, paw temperature, attitude


  1. Replace the needle on the fluid line of a plain LRS bag.

  2. Wipe the injection port with alcohol swab.

  3. Insert the needle on an area in the dog’s upper back in between shoulder blades at an angle parallel to the dogs spine.

  4. Unclamp the line, and watch the drip chamber to ensure fluid flow. If the fluid doesn't flow, the needle is stuck on skin or muscle. Move the needle around a little until fluid flows.

  5. Administer medication in the following order: Metoclopramide, Baytril (after at least 20mLs have been given), Polyflex, Cerenia

    1. Polyflex and Cerenia are given towards the end of the bolus because they sting/burn.

  6. Reclamp the fluid line, remove needle from the dog, and recap it.

  7. Pinch the skin that the needle was inserted into to prevent fluids from leaking out.

  8. Leave used needle attached to the line


  1. Fill out IV Pump Chart.

  2. Reset pump.

  3. Check for swelling below or above the catheter site. Compare with the opposite limb.

    1. Swelling above IVC - Replacement needed.

    2. Paw swelling - Loosen vet wrap and tape

  4. Clean IVC port with alcohol swab

  5. Clamp the upstream fluid line and flush the catheter to check for patency. Only 0.5-1mL needed.

    1. If mild to moderate resistance when flushing, IVC may have blown.

    2. If completely resistant to flushing (unable to push any flush), there is likely a blood clot.

  6. Administer anti nausea medications first

  7. Administer antibiotics slowly, over 2-3 minutes.

  8. Flush catheter when finished with meds - residual Heparin in IVC will prevent clots

  9. Unclamp the fluid line when finished

  10. Check pump bag for sufficient fluid for 12 hours

  11. Check VTBI, Rate, and rate units (ml/hr)

    1. Especially if Hetastarch was administered via pump, check VTBI & Rate

  12. Hit the "start" button if the pump was stopped


  1. Hold the dog's head from the top and tilt the head back.

  2. Gently fold the upper lip over the teeth as you open the mouth. Place your thumb on the roof of the dog's mouth.

  3. Drop the pill or capsule as far back over the tongue as possible, then immediately close the mouth and blow on the dog's nose which will encourage them to swallow.

Parvo Treatment Sheet Protocol

After a dog gets bathed out or passes away, their charts should be scanned using the HP scanner near the parvo desk.

Sheets should be scanned with intake form first, then each treatment sheet in chronological order, and the IV Pump Log at the end. Treatment sheets should be scanned with a horizontal layout. The file should be named “ParvoNotes_ANIMALNAME_SHELTERLUVID” and sent as a PDF.

Email to melissa.keys@ and medicalreception@ within 24 hours of discharge. Do not throw away the treatment sheets afterwards, place them in the box labeled "Records" that sits above the canned food in Ward 1. These are kept for 6 months.

After sending the pdf, use it to fill out a ‘Parvo Discharge’ form. This is how we keep track of things like survival rate and intake count.

Parvo Volunteers

Because we are working in a shelter environment, to save money and time we have volunteers to assist during the treatment shifts. There are two volunteers teams, the Medical Team, which administers medications to the dogs following the dog’s treatment sheets, and the Care Team, which feeds the dogs, changes bedding, and does general cleaning.

To keep everyone on the same page, please forward emails you receive from volunteers such as shift changes, availability changes, etc that don’t have parvo.manager@ CCd to the Parvo Manager.

Interested Volunteers

We have a few email templates to help respond in a consistent and informative manner to people who are interested in volunteering in the parvo ward. Make sure to answer any questions they have if they are not in the templates, and to adjust them as needed.

To respond to people inquiring about volunteering use the ‘Interested Volunteer Email Template’

When starting on volunteer on medical team training use the 'Medical Team Training Links Email Template'

Only use the parvo.manager email when emailing volunteers.


Volunteers are required to sign up for shifts through Givepulse. The parvo manager will send out a reminder for the volunteers to sign up once a week.

Volunteer Training

The majority of volunteers who come into the parvo ward do not have previous medical experience with animals, so we have a curriculum to teach them what they need to know. Most training is done by staff, but occasionally an experienced volunteer can step in.

Medical Team training is done over 6 shifts, and usually takes 3 weeks to complete. The curriculum can be found at Medical Trainee Curriculum.

Care Team has a less intensive training, which involves showing them where we keep food/blankets, how to do the laundry, how to force feed, and having them shadow you while changing out a few beddings before letting them go on their own.

Essential Volunteer training is one shift, held daily between 1 and 4 pm. The staff will show the volunteers how to enter the ward, dispose of trash, dishes, laundry, floors, kennel cleaning, and how to exit the ward.

Read over the rest of the Parvo Program Wiki which is the main resource for volunteers so you can be prepared to train when needed.


A subsection of the Parvo volunteer team is the Post-Parvo Bathers. Their job is to bathe dogs out of the ward at a scheduled time so staff can focus on the needs of more critical animals. The job description for this position is here.

When someone is interested in becoming a Post-Parvo Bather, respond to them with the Interested PPV Bather Response, add them to the group, and to the Parvo Bather Schedule contact list. If help is needed with bathe out, you can email and plea.


MWI - Main supplier of medications and medical equipment. Login and go to ‘Lists’ then ‘Parvo’ for a list of our supplies.

Zoetis - Supplies Cerenia

Medical Clinic Supply Order Form - Non-medical needs (paper products, household supplies, etc)

You can see a list of our regular supplies that we need on the Parvo Inventory Checklist.

Orders from the ‘Medical Clinic Supply Order Form’ should be submitted before noon on Thursday. These items will need to be picked up from the Davenport building on arrival.

Use your best judgement to decide what we need when ordering inventory. Items that we go through quickly like Metoclopramide and LRS should have more extras then a less common medication like Sucralfate.

Always enter the ‘PO Number’, put ‘PARVO ICU'

Save the order receipt and email it to parvo.manager@ and medmanager@ with the subject ‘(supplier) Parvo Order (date)’.

Some items, such as Parvo Tests or backordered medications, can only be ordered by the Medical Managers. Include these things in the body of your email when you send the order receipt.

Wet dog food can be found in the Walk In Cooler in truckport and Dry dog food can be found in Cool Box #3 right outside of Truckport. The Cool box #3 has a combination lock. Ask the parvo manager for the combination code if unknown. Dog food can also be grabbed from the donation pile in front of Building C, but make sure dry food has small kibble, and that neither type of food is for a special diet.

Basic Employee Guidelines

Violation of any of these policies may result in a write up.

Clocking In/Out and Timecards

Clocking In/Out is done through our HR system, Paycor. Upon hiring, you will be given a username, and create a profile. You will clock in at the beginning of your shift, and clock out at the end. If you forget to clock in/out, email the manager with the date and time to fix it as soon as possible. Timecards are submitted every other Monday, so it is important to make sure to check and approve your card on Sunday.

Calling in Sick

If you are sick and cannot make it into work it is your responsibility to let a manager know 2 hours before the start of your shift. If you are scheduled for a shift where you are the only staff on duty and there are 1 or less Medical Volunteers scheduled, it is still your responsibility to make sure that all parvo dogs get treated on time IF a manager or other employee cannot cover your shift. Calling in sick should be reserved for true illnesses. A doctor’s note may be required.


Tardiness is defined as not being present and ready to work 15 minutes after the scheduled start time. 3 tardies in a 30 day period may result in a write up.

No Call/No Show

This is defined as not showing up to work and not notifying the proper personnel 2 hours after your scheduled start time. No call/no show is a fireable offense the first time.

Shift Changes

All shift changes must go through the manager. No exceptions. Additionally, any technicians needing to leave early or come in late must be approved by the manager, even if they are not on site. The clinic should also be alerted of this if you leaving will leave the ward unstaffed.

Be aware that overtime is by the week, not by the pay period, and this may effect your ability to get approval to switch shifts. If you are full-time and work 50 hours the first week of the pay period, and 30 the second week, it will be considered as 10 hours of overtime even though you only worked the regular 80 hours of the pay period.

Vacation Time/Days Off

You are required to submit a time-off request within Paycom (if using PTO) and in an email to the manager at least two weeks before the date. The manager is under no obligation to approve time off requests for the dates requested by the employee and should cooperate with employees to find mutually convenient and acceptable dates. Holidays are still work days as long as there are puppies in the ward.

Immediate Fireable Offenses

  • Causing harm to or mistreating an animal as defined by management.

  • No Call/No Show

  • Stealing

  • Verbally or physically abusing staff, volunteers, or the public while on duty or representing Austin Pets Alive.

  • Dishonesty

Canned Email Responses

Parvo Request who is not a partner with APA!

We recently received your request to transfer a dog to our Parvo ICU ward. Before we get a little more information about the dog, I need some information about the rescue or organization that you work with. Can you please provide the following?

  • Organization name

  • Organization website

  • City & Zip code

  • Contact person -

  • Contact email

  • Contact phone number

The APA transfer agreement is attached. Please complete the last page and send a copy of it completed back to us.

( make sure to attach the ‘Transfer Partnership Agreement (2).pdf to the email template).

Parvo Request w/ no Form Response

Thanks for reaching out to us about your parvo case. In an effort to streamline the approval process for parvo dogs, we have created this online questionnaire:

We also require that you email a copy of all supporting medical records, including vaccines and positive parvo test with brand listed, to us at the following email: As soon as we have both the submitted form and supporting medical records, we will process your request as quickly as possible.

Accepting Parvo Dog

We can take. Transport must get here by 4, let us know transporter contact info and ETA, and have them stay in their car upon arrival and call our clinic at 512-466-0720.

If No Vaccines

We can take. Transport must get here by 4, let us know transporter contact info and ETA, and have them stay in their car upon arrival and call our clinic at 512-466-0720. If you could vaccinate before transportation and send us updated records with that it would be appreciated.

If Not IDEXX Test

We will need to retest here on an IDEXX Snap for $20, and if positive we can accept. Transport must get here by 4, let us know transporter contact info and ETA, and have them stay in their car upon arrival and call our clinic at 512-466-0720.

If Tested >48 Hours Ago

Because it’s been 48 hours since the initial test, we’ll need them to be retested, or we can test here for $20, and if positive we can accept. Transport must get here by 4, let us know transporter contact info and ETA, and have them stay in their car upon arrival and call our clinic at 512-466-0720.

Interested Volunteers

Interested Volunteer Email Template

Parvo Staff Acknowledgement.pdf
Parvo Staff Acknowledgement.docx