Pet shop puppies that have been dosed with a "prophylactic" dose of antibiotics to combat the possible spread of Campylobacter jejuni, which causes diarrheal diseaseare, are in fact spreading an antibiotic-resistant version of the bacteria. More than 100 people have now been linked to pet store puppies infected by Campylobacter jejuni.
Senior author Mark Laughlin, a veterinarian with CDC’s division of foodborne, waterborne and environmental diseases, said investigators were taken aback by the scale of antibiotic use in the [pet shop puppy] industry.
“We were surprised to see the large number of different types of drugs and the large number of courses that the dogs were exposed to. These are pretty young animals on the whole,” he told STAT.
Initially the CDC thought it might be able to trace the infections to a single source — one breeder or commercial breeding facility where the bacterium had spread. But as the investigators learned more about the byzantine world of the breeding and distribution of dogs sold in pet stores, it became clear there wasn’t a single source.
In effect, the system was creating the problem. “These dogs were coming from a large variety of sources,” Laughlin said.
Price wasn’t impressed. “If your system requires a constant or regular dose of antibiotics to keep the animals healthy, your system’s broken. You’ve designed a system that makes sick animals,” he said.
Wellington agreed. “Antibiotics should only be used to treat illness, not to compensate for poor practices — whether it’s trucking dogs long distances and having poor hygiene in the process along the way,” he said. “These are lifesaving medicines that should only be used to treat sick animals or sick people.”
A reminder that the AKC not only depends on puppy mill registration dollars, but that they also give a "special deal" to pet shops that they do not give to the "good breeders" they claim to support.