Outbreak of Pet Store Puppy-Related Infection Reported in 12 States
Yet another reason to be extremely wary of adopting a puppy from a pet store: over the past year, there has been an outbreak of Campylobacteriosis (an infectious disease caused by the Campylobacter bacteria) in 12 states, stemming from Petland store locations.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, as of mid-September 2017, upward of 55 cases of the illness in people have been reported, which have led to 13 hospitalizations. Those infected, the CDC noted, should be treated by a doctor and make sure they get plenty of fluids and rest.
The infection, which is spread from animals to humans via contact with contaminated feces, can cause diarrhea, abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, and fever, among other symptoms, and can last anywhere between two to five days. This process begins roughly 24 to 72 hours after a person has ingested the bacteria.
“Many of the people sickened in this outbreak were Petland employees, while others had either bought a Petland puppy, shopped at Petland, or visited someone who had purchased a puppy from Petland,” the CDC reported, adding that the stores are “cooperating with public health and animal health officials to address this outbreak.”
Dr. Shelley Rankin of the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Veterinary Medicine told petMD that “all mammals have some form of Campylobacter bacteria in their gut already, but some strains are pathogenic,” meaning they can carry the disease that can appear in both animals and humans.
When it comes to this particular outbreak, Rankin said it’s important to look at the source of the puppies: the breeder(s). These types of illnesses can start in these facilities, she said, and it can be difficult to eradicate the cycle.
In this situation, Rankin said what likely happened is that adult dogs at one or more breeding facilities were fed a food source that was compromised, which contaminated the environment and then was passed along to the puppies during the birthing process.
If you believe you have been in contact with a dog who has the strain of Campylobacter bacteria, make sure they recieve veterinary treatment. Additionally, the CDC suggests you use disposable gloves when coming in contact with the dog’s poop, disinfect any area that may have been contaminated, and wash your hands thoroughly after handling.
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