UPDATE: Shelter dogs had Strep Zoo

June 3, 2009 5:53:00 PM PDT
Dog adoptions were put on hold at two local animal shelters while officials investigated what appeared at the time to be a deadly case of canine flu. Tests came back, however, positive for what's called 'strep zoo', also known as Streptococcus zooepidemicus, a bacterial infection.

Doctors say its easily treated with penicillin.

The shelters at East Erie Avenue and West Hunting Park and the Rutherford Memorial Animal Hospital were quarantined during the investigation.

Two of six dogs that fell ill died; the other 4 had to be euthanized.

"What (we're) seeing is dogs that appeared healthy and within 12 to 24 hours some have respiratory distress. And blood from nose and mouth," said Dr. Rachel Lee, a SPCA Investigative Veterinarian.

Dog adoptions at the two shelters were stopped after the outbreak. Cats were unaffected by the illness so their adoptions continued.

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