Nine people in seven states have been hospitalized for stomach illnesses, which were traced back to puppies sold through Petland stores.
We now know that guinea pigs can pass pneumonia to their human handlers, and several reports from around the country now confirm that puppies housed and sold in one particular pet store chain have passed an infectious stomach disease onto people as well.
The Campylobacter infection was found in 39 people after coming in contact with puppies at Petland stores in seven states, including Florida, Wisconsin, Kansas, and Missouri, the latter of which has topped the list of the worst puppy mills in the country for the fifth year in a row. 12 of the contaminated people are Petland employees, and the remaining victims had either purchased or visited a Petland store in recent weeks, according to a report by USA Today.
No deaths were reported among the people hospitalized for the illness, although nearly all were overcome with fever, stomach cramps, vomiting, and bloody diarrhea. Most cases of campylobacteriosis are caused by consumption or cross-contamination of undercooked meat, although it can be passed from canine to human through dog poop. For puppies living in pens with others, the spread of disease takes little time to reach their playmates, as well as any persons who might dip their hand in for even a brief pet with the pups.
Despite such serious symptoms, the disease cannot be passed back and forth between people.
In order to prevent the spread of infectious diseases from dogs or other animals, veterinarians recommend washing your hands often, resisting the urge to allow a puppy to lick your face or hands, and contacting a vet immediately if you notice a puppy who appears sluggish or ill.
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