“It resistant to antibiotics and can pass from canines to their owners,” a top veterinarian confirmed to Animal Lovers.
There is a new canine illness making the rounds at animal shelters and it’s killing our furry, four-legged friends. The bacterial infection, known as “strep zoo,” is a potentially lethal respiratory illness, does not respond well to antibiotics, and can be spread to humans!
Two dogs have tested positive for the rare disease at a Wisconsin animal shelter. The pups, which were housed at the Wisconsin Humane Society campus in Ozaukee, did not respond to treatment and were euthanized.
Here’s the real deal from LiveScience:
The shelter is investigating the source of the infection, and plans to test other dogs that show symptoms of the respiratory illness, WHS said.
“Strep zoo” is caused by the bacteria Streptococcus equi subspecies Zooepidemicus. It’s typically found in horses, but can cause infections in cows, sheep, goats, pigs, dogs and cats, according to Medscape.
It’s a contagious diseases that is believed to be spread through the air, or through contact with bodily fluids or contaminated surfaces. In animals, symptoms including coughing and coughing up blood, nasal discharge, vomiting and labored breathing, according to WHS.
Strep zoo is more likely to spread in shelters because of the relatively large number of dogs and their close living spaces, WHS said.
It’s rare for humans to catch strep zoo, but there is at least one reported case of a person getting the disease from a dog, which occurred in Ireland in 2010. Humans can also catch the disease from horses, or from eating or drinking unpasteurized dairy products, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
To limit the potential for the disease to spread, WHS has temporarily stopped accepting dogs from the public at two of its locations where the sick dogs were housed.
Another possible outbreak of strep zoo recently occurred in Arizona, where more than 30 dogs at a single shelter showed symptoms of the respiratory infection, and one dog tested positive, according to ABC 15 in Phoenix.
Let this be a warning to all the dog owners out there. We need to be on the lookout for any signs of illness, especially if it’s affecting their breathing or producing a lot of mucous. And, if you can possibly avoid it, keep your dog away from any shelters, dog hotels, or recently-adopted pups.
Have you ever had a sick dog to take care of?