Puppies from the national pet chain store Petland reportedly caused Campylobacter infections, according to an outbreak advisory from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The infection results in diarrhea, stomach cramps, fever, nausea and vomiting in affected people.
After the CDC’s advisory, Petland issued a statement saying that it had not received any accounts of sick employees or customers before the warning, USA Today reports. The CDC said that 12 of the infection cases are Petland employees, and 27 others came into contact with a puppy from the store.
The outbreak has spread across seven states, including Florida, Kansas, Missouri, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee and Wisconsin. Petland said,
The only information we have is the limited information shared with us from the CDC.
Elizabeth Kunzelman, director of public affairs with the pet company, said that the CDC has not informed them of the specific store locations in question, or the dates of the reported infection. Petland had been made aware of the outbreak by health officials, but did not know of any confirmed connections to their puppies.
Petland gave CDC access to five Ohio stores for testing, and gave the agency a tour of their kennel in the Chillicothe store, Kunzelman said. “Petland has resources ready to deploy once we are given case specific information from the CDC.” She added that the company will keep requesting for the data that was used to compile and put forth the CDC public notification.
Campylobacter is spread via direct contact with dog feces, but cannot be transferred from person to person. The infection affects over 1.3 million persons annually, according to the CDC. Pet owners are advised to wash their hands often, to contact a veterinarian immediately if a puppy appears sick or lethargic, and to refrain from letting puppies lick their faces to prevent infection.
Petland is based in Ohio, but has stores all over the world. It has been the “retail pet industry leader in the area of animal care for 45 years,” according to the company website.