Petland puppies linked to multi-state outbreak - KWES NewsWest 9 / Midland, Odessa, Big Spring, TX: |

Petland puppies linked to multi-state outbreak

(Source: WOIO) (Source: WOIO)

The CDC is investigating a bacterial infection outbreak believed to be transmitted to people from puppies sold at the national pet store chain Petland. 

On Monday, 39 Campylobacter cases were confirmed in seven states, including in Ohio.

"Campylobacter is a bacteria that can cause diarrhea in a number of species: dogs, cats, people, chickens, other species," said St. Francis Animal Hospital Dr. Dalia Bloze. 

Dr. Bloze said Campylobacter outbreaks happen when dogs are under stress. 

"If they're underweight or if they're in overcrowded conditions or if they're in unsanitary conditions or if they weren't quarantined properly," she said. 

The main symptom for puppies is diarrhea.

"If a puppy has diarrhea you always need to go to a vet because that can be serious. Puppies can be dehydrated, they can get very sick and a vet can usually treat it without specifically finding out if it's Campylobacter because there's many things that can cause diarrhea in dogs," said Dr. Bloze. 

Campylobacter can be transferred to people who get feces on their hands and then in their mouth. 

Human infection symptoms include diarrhea, abdominal pain, fever, headache, nausea and/or vomiting.

The CDC has linked 39 cases to this outbreak. Twelve people work at Petland, 27 others either bought a puppy or visited the pet store.

Petland sent Cleveland 19 News a statement about the outbreak:

"The CDC has not identified any failures of Petland's operating system that would lead to any campylobacter infection. Petland reinforces proper hand sanitization before and after playing with any of our puppies with the many sanitation stations in each store and has strict kennel sanitation procedures and protocols put in place by consulting veterinarians.

The CDC stated that 'regardless of where they came from, any puppy and dog' can carry the germ. However, Petland is the only national source of puppies that can trace a puppy from its new owner back to its original kennel.  Petland is proud of our commitment to quality controls and record keeping and we are happy to help the CDC in this new endeavor.   

Last week the CDC advised Petland to 'continue to do what we are already doing' and to continue to educate customers and staff to sanitize their hands after handling our puppies."

It's estimated each year nearly 1.3 million Americans are infected with Campylobacter. Most people recover within three to five days without treatment. Those who have more serious cases can be treated with antibiotics. 

Even though this outbreak came from puppies, most people get this type of infection from eating raw or undercooked meat. It typically isn't spread from one person to another.

Although it's rare, the CDC says about 76 people die every year from Campylobacter.

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