Strep zoo causes PACC to limit animal intake

Staff at the Pima Animal Care Center have limited intakes after a dog tested positive for strep...
Staff at the Pima Animal Care Center have limited intakes after a dog tested positive for strep zoo.(Pima Animal Care Center)
Published: Jan. 12, 2023 at 3:21 PM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - The Pima Animal Care Center is only taking in animals on an emergency basis after a dog tested positive for streptococcus equi zooepidemicus, also known as strep zoo.

The emergency-only admissions through the end of business hours on Thursday, Jan. 19 to minimize the number of animals exposed to the infection.

Emergency intake covers a pet in medical distress, an aggressive pet and any situation involving an injury to a human or an animal.

Adoptions and fosters are still open, but PACC will not be offering dog-to-dog meet and greets until Friday, Jan. 20.

PACC’s medical team is currently treating all dogs in the shelter with antibiotics and is doing additional testing to find out which strain of the disease is present.

By aggressively treating the strep zoo outbreak, the shelter will be able to return to normal more quickly, according to Dr. Jennifer Wilcox, PACC’s Director of Veterinary Services.

Strep zoo can be devastating in shelter populations, and the impacts of the contagion can be lessened or avoided through adoption and keeping animals in their homes with their families,” Wilcox was quoted as saying in a news release.

Anyone who has adopted or fostered a dog since Jan. 5 is asked to evaluate he dog carefully and come to the PACC to get medication if the animal is showing signs of respiratory illness, such as coughing, discharge from the nose and depression.

The PACC clinic is open between noon and 6 p.m. on weekdays and 10 am. to 5 p.m. on weekends.

All adopters or fosters are urged to keep their new pet away from other animals for two weeks.

PACC officials say the dog who is infected is responding well to treatment.

Strep zoo is a bacteria that is normally found in farm animals and guinea pigs. When dogs become infected with strep zoo, it may cause severe pneumonia.

There is no vaccine for strep zoo and there are few visible symptoms. Signs include fever, depression, vomiting, labored breathing, vomiting, coughing blood and discharge from the nose.