Drug-Resistant Bacteria Passed on to People by Pet Store Puppies
A new study cautions that pet store pups may infect adults with a bacterium for which there is no standard antibiotic therapy. According to researcher Dr. Mark Laughlin, "these outbreaks imply that pet store pups are a source of widely drug-resistant C jejuni infections in the United States." He works at the CDC's Division of Foodborne, Waterborne, and Environmental Diseases as an epidemic intelligence service officer.
"Data show that these widely drug-resistant C jejuni strains have been circulating for at least 10 years, with no known origins other than dogs," stated Laughlin.
The CDC began to notice an increase in C jejuni infections among persons who had contact with pet store pups in the summer of 2011.
The CDC evaluated 137 cases from January 2016 to February 2020, with 31 instances dating back to 2011. In the week leading up to getting sick, 97 percent of the patients indicated they had contact with a dog, and 88 percent claimed they had interaction with a puppy from a pet store. 88 percent of the cases were caused by the extremely drug-resistant C jejuni.
The illnesses did not come from a specific breeder, transporter, distributor, shop, or chain, according to the researchers.
Because transmission generally happens through contaminated food or water or contact with infected excrement, C jejuni can spread among pups in crowded situations, according to Laughlin.
He claims that pets, such as cats and dogs, can transmit C jejuni and other viruses that might make you sick.
"That's why, while obtaining or caring for a pet, it's critical to consider your and your family's health," Laughlin added. "Choose a puppy or dog that is bright, alert, and lively when you're looking for one."
Sluggishness or exhaustion, not eating, diarrhea, and irregular breathing are all signs of sickness in dogs. Even a seemingly healthy dog, according to Laughlin, may transfer diseases to humans and other animals.