Choice of Disinfectant. Greyhounds are very sensitive to the effects of phenolic disinfectants so products containing any derivative of phenol, chlorophenol, chlorocresol or chloroxylenol must be avoided (e.g. Jeyes Fluid). The GBGB recommends the use of Anigene (formerly Trigene and Distel) or Virkon.
Hand washing. Hand washing with plain soaps or detergents suspends microorganisms and allows them to be rinsed off; hand washing with antimicrobial-containing products kills or inhibits the growth of bacteria.
Protective clothing is a physical barrier to infection which can be easily replaced. Boiler suits and rubber boots are the simplest. Dirty overalls can be washed at 60°C after removing any obvious soiling. Attention should be paid to the grips on the boot soles where matter can be trapped.
Decontamination. Before disinfection, contaminated surfaces should be cleaned. Tables, floors, cages, walls, and doors should be physically cleaned of obvious matter. They can either be scraped when dry, or wetted first to loosen hardened matter. Small hand-held steam cleaners are available for stubborn areas.
Disinfection of floors and surfaces, as well as of the utensils and bowls in daily use, is the basis of reducing the amount of germs in the environment, and this will decrease the risk of disease.
Individual food and water bowls should be provided as these provide an easy method of disease transfer. Food bowls must be kept clean and not left in the kennels where the food and saliva may dry on the bowl. Fresh water must be available at all times. Shared water bowls in the paddocks should be avoided – each greyhound is supplied with a clean bowl and fresh water, to be removed when the dog is removed.
Muzzles should be washed and then dipped in a disinfectant solution after each use.
Race jackets and bedding should be washed at 60°C (or the hottest allowable for the material). Clean bedding should always be provided.
Ventilation. Adequate ventilation is important in removing stagnant air. Dogs kept in poorly ventilated kennels do tend to cough more due to the build-up of dusts and ammonia fumes.
High risk areas (including vans) where groups of dogs congregate in small areas are ideal for spreading disease. For this reason vans should be included in the routine disinfection procedure.
Isolation. All dogs with suspected infectious diseases should be kept in an isolated area of the kennel – this means a separate building with its own doors and airspace. The number of staff members entering the isolation area should be kept to a minimum, ideally being dedicated just to the care of the isolated animals. Upon entry into the isolation area, outerwear should be removed and disposable shoe covers placed over the shoes or a footbath filled with disinfectant should be placed by the exit and used when leaving the area. New dogs brought into the kennels should be isolated in the same manner for seven days and observed for any signs of ill-health. Veterinary attention should be sought if in doubt.
At times of increased disease risk a foot bath with the approved disinfectant at the entrance to the kennel block will encourage cleanliness. The solution must be changed daily as organic matter inactivates some disinfectants and can be a source of infection. An ideal method is to have a plain water bath to remove the gross soiling, then the disinfectant in a second bath. A stiff-bristle boot brush should be provided, and a nearby hose point for washing off mud.