Puppies sold at Petland linked to outbreak in Ohio, 6 other stat - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

Puppies sold at Petland linked to outbreak in Ohio, 6 other states

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CINCINNATI (FOX19) -

Puppies sold at Petland stores have been linked to an infection outbreak in Ohio and six other states, leaving nearly 40 people sick.

CDC officials say some of the puppies coming from Petland stores have carried the Campylobacter Infection, which can be spread to humans.

In the past few months the Care Center animal hospital has been seeing a rise in Canine Influenza, but now there is a new concern after an outbreak of the Campylobacter Infection. Dr. Chantel Raghu said it's not uncommon for dogs in shelters or pet stores to spread the bacteria.

"Dogs can get it from other dogs especially dogs that come from pet shops, crowded environments, or kennels that type of thing," said Raghu.

The illness causes diarrhea, stomach pains, and vomiting. If left untreated it can be fatal in dogs. The bacteria can be spread to other dog and to humans.

"It's typically a fecal oral transmission, meaning if you happen to accidentally ingest some of the dog's feces, that's how you can spread it to people," said Raghu.

The CDC says 39 people were infected, and 12 of those infected worked for Petland (and 27 others either recently purchased a puppy at Petland, visited one, or visited a home where the animal came from the store).

Petland released a statement saying, in part, that:

"The CDC has not identified any failures of Petland's operating system that would lead to any Campylobacter Infection."

Raghu says that anyone bringing a new puppy into their home needs to be cautious.

"If they are going to be adopting a dog from a shelter or buying a dog from a pet shop they should definitely look for a dog that isn't having diarrhea," Raghu said.

Raghu says if you or your dog is experiencing diarrhea or vomiting you should get medical attention right away. The symptoms usually occur two to five days after being exposed to the bacteria.

The CDC warns everyone to wash their hands after touching dogs, their feces, or their food.

The entire statement from PETLAND is below:

Each year nearly 1.3 million Americans are infected with Campylobacter.  The most likely form of infection comes from consuming chicken.  Campylobacter also lives in the digestive tract of most dogs regardless of where the dog was obtained.  According to the CDC, "regardless of where they are from, any puppy and dog may carry Campylobacter germs."

Until recently, no studies have focused on the threat of a transfer of campylobacter from dogs to humans. According to the CDC, the only way a human can contract campylobacter from a dog is by dog fecal matter (poop) being placed in the human's mouth.

12 million Americans visit Petland stores each year. Petland is America's family pet store where the human-animal bond is on display everyday. Petland is the place where future veterinarians, zookeepers, and other animal care professionals start their life-long love of the animal world.

Today the CDC posted an update of 39 cases of humans with campylobacter. These 39 people completed several different questionnaires and one commonality was that they had visited a Petland store in the past week or worked there. The questionnaires were not consistent and didn't ask the same questions related to type of food the dogs ate or other contact with dogs. Petland immediately provided the CDC with complete access to our stores, our staff, our consulting veterinarians, our operating procedures and our pets.

The CDC has not identified any failures of Petland's operating system that would lead to any campylobacter infection. Petland reinforces proper hand sanitation 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.

Petland takes the health and welfare of our pets, our customers and staff very seriously.  In a 2016 study, less than 1.2% of puppies purchased from Petland incurred any sort of medical issue requiring medical hospitalization. In addition, health warranties offered by our stores typically provide for veterinary treatment for various bacterial, viral and congenital issues.

According to the CDC, symptoms typically appear within 2-5 days of being exposed to the bacteria. It is transmitted from feces to mouth. Symptoms typically include diarrhea, nausea, intestinal cramping and vomiting.

As with the risk of salmonella with reptiles, we again stress the importance of proper hand sanitizing when handling pets and when handling their food or waste. It is also important not to let any dog lick your mouth or any open wounds.

If you have a specific personal concern relating to the possibility of contracting the bacteria, please call our help line at 877-658-5155.

We look forward to our continued work with the CDC and will provide any further updates as they become available

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