Traveling Dog Lady: A to Z Challenge: Q is for Quarantine #atozchallenge

Saturday, April 19, 2014

A to Z Challenge: Q is for Quarantine #atozchallenge

Back before the A to Z Challenge began, I thought I'd have trouble with the letter Q, so I asked readers to submit questions (Q for Questions).  My clever friend, Kathi, not only asked a Question... she included another Q-word:  Quarantine!

Here is Kathi's Question:

How do you quarantine a pet for an extended (2 weeks to a month) period of time when you have other pets in the house?

What's funny about Kathi's question is that she has actually had to do this, more than once, with her foster-fail kitty, Linus, so she knows the answer better than I do!  LOL!

Linus was born with a deformed jaw and had to have several surgeries, couldn't eat normally, and a whole slew of other abnormalities.  (Isn't it funny that I have a dog named Charlie Brown, and my friend Kathi has a cat named Linus?!  LOL)  Linus was a motherless kitten so Kathi initially fed him with a bottle until he was old enough to be adopted out by the animal rescue league she volunteers for.  But, not so fast!  Instead of being ready for adoption, Linus was ready for... surgery.  Several of them.  Each surgery required not only recovery like any animal, but he had to be kept away from the other two cats in the house for an extended period of time.  The way it was done was to keep him confined in a room with a securely-closable door, keep a separate litter box, feed him there, and keep enough water there.  Not an easy task for a young kitten who wants to run, jump and play -- and who shares a home with two other feline friends who also want to play!

Quarantining a pet in a multi-pet household is not easy.  I've had to do it many times, but thankfully only for a few days, perhaps a week at the very, very most.   There's something to be said for living in an older home with many rooms and doors that shut, rather than the preferred "open floor plan" they talk about on TV!  You can shut the animal in a room with all of his or her belongings.

Visit and interact with the quarantined pet often.  Dogs and cats both like human companionship and they may need a cuddle or two if they're not feeling well.  Be sure you have a room that you don't mind getting a little "icky" as surgery recovery generally includes oozing messes, sometimes vomiting or diarrhea if the animal reacts to anesthesia and stuff like that.  On the other hand, don't use a bathroom unless it's an extra bathroom you can afford to be without for a couple of weeks.  While it's convenient because the water is there, and you can pick up messes easier, keep the litter box there, etc., you don't want people having to go in and out all day long to use the facilities.

Above all, remember to re-introduce the quarantined pet to the household slowly after the vet gives the thumbs' up.  He or she will probably smell different to the other pets, and he/she may be unsure about territories that could have changed during the quarantine period.  Play time should be returned to slowly as well, since kitty or puppy could have been sitting still a lot and needs to rejuvenate the unused muscles slowly to avoid injury.

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