Dangerous “Strep Zoo” Making The Rounds in Arizona Pets

Lori Ennis
by Lori Ennis
Officials in Arizona say that at least one dog has died from Streptococcus Zooepidemicus, and over 30 others show similar symptoms.

In Maricopa County, Arizona, animal control officials have shared that at least one dog passed away at their East Valley campus because of complications from the highly-contagious Streptococcus Zooepidemicus, also called ‘Strep Zoo.’ The upper-respiratory infection is going around in that shelter, and officials say that at least 30 more animals are showing symptoms.

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If Strep Zoo is caught in its early stages, it is often treatable and doesn’t result in death. The Animal Care and Control officials are waiting for the results of another dog’s death to see if that was also a result of Strep Zoo. The 30 dogs showing symptoms are being treated as if they have it.

The Maricopa County Animal Care and Control (MCACC) is recommending to anyone who recently adopted from the East shelter to have their dog tested for the infection, and to treat with antibiotics immediately if positive. Because the infection is so contagious, if positive, dogs should not be near any other pets until fully treated.

Strep Zoo can be transferred from dog to dog, as well as dog to cat, and it’s even been transferred to humans who have immunocompromised systems. Sadly, the infection is worse when the animal is in a stressful situation, as many dog shelters can be, and that’s why it’s not uncommon to see in a shelter condition.

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The MCACC is adopting larger breed dogs out for free through the end of this week so they can clear up space as a precaution. Symptoms of the infection look like a cold in humans: cough, nasal discharge, difficulty breathing. They also include vomiting and coughing blood, though, and it needs to be treated as soon as discovered.

The MCACC also recommends that owners in the area walk dogs but clean their leashes after each walk and/or use multiple leashes.

Lori Ennis
Lori Ennis

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