SAUKVILLE, Wis. — The Wisconsin Humane Society has stopped accepting dogs from the public and is transferring animals to other shelters while investigating the source of bacteria that caused staff to euthanize two dogs.
An 11-year-old Pomeranian and a 1-year-old Shepherd mix were euthanized Wednesday after testing positive for “strep zoo” at the humane society’s Ozaukee campus, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported . The dogs were housed in the same ward and put in an isolation unit once symptoms arose. They were treated with oral antibiotics but had no improvement.
One of the dogs was at the Milwaukee campus before being transferred to Ozaukee. Authorities are encouraging people to wait to surrender dogs or to take them to the Racine or Green Bay facilities.
However, it’s not an outbreak so the public doesn’t need to worry about their pets, said Angela Speed, a spokeswoman for the humane society.
Strep zoo is different from dog flu and canine cough. The respiratory illness can cause coughing, nasal discharge, vomiting, labored breathing and coughing blood. It’s spread through the air, bodily fluids and contaminated surfaces. The illness can’t be prevented with a vaccine, but can be treated with antibiotics if it’s caught early.
These are the Wisconsin Humane Society’s first cases of strep zoo. The humane society is working with University of Wisconsin experts and other shelters that have dealt with strep zoo.
The Humane Animal Welfare Society of Waukesha County stopped taking dogs for several weeks in 2008 after seven died from the illness.
Information from: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, http://www.jsonline.com