Bad news for puppy lovers as they might be causing people all over the United States to get sick.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention has seen 30 cases in 13 different states where people have been infected with Campylobacter jejuni. They explain, “Most people infected with Campylobacter infection develop diarrhea (often bloody), fever, and stomach cramps 2 to 5 days after being exposed to the bacteria. The illness usually lasts about a week and most people recover without antibiotic treatment.” They add, “Antibiotics are needed only for patients who are very ill or at high risk for severe disease, such as people with severely weakened immune systems.” So far, there have been four hospitalizations but no deaths.
Out of the 30 that were sick, 24 were interviewed. They found that 21 of the 24 had contact with a puppy, 15 of those 21 had contact with a puppy from a pet store, 12 of those 15 were links to Petland (a national pet store chain), and 5 of those 12 were Petland employees.
The CDC states that symptoms for puppies with this bacteria include “appearing lethargic (sluggish or tired), not eating, having diarrhea, and breathing abnormally.” They add that a healthy dog can also spread germs to people and other animals. They say, “If your dog becomes sick soon after purchase or adoption, take your dog to a veterinarian promptly and inform the pet store, breeder, or rescue organization about the pet’s illness. Thoroughly clean the area occupied by your pet by using a water and bleach solution.” They also stress the importance of choosing a pet that is “bright, alert, and playful.”
The CDC mentions tips to help pet owners stay healthy. They are:
- Adults should supervise hand washing for young children.
- If soap and water are not readily available, use hand sanitizer
- Wash your hands after cleaning up urine, feces, or vomit from your puppy or dog. Clean up any pee, poop, or vomit inside the house immediately. Then disinfect the area using a water and bleach solution.
- Don’t let dogs lick around your mouth and face.
- Don’t let dogs lick your open wound or areas with broken skin.
- Take your dog to the veterinarian regularly
- Always eat and drink in designated areas away from places where animals are kept