Health Experts Ask for Ban on Puppies in Aged Care Homes

Health Experts Ask for Ban on Puppies in Aged Care Homes

A Canberra nursing home has faced two potentially lethal Campylobacter gastroenteritis outbreaks. After the same, health officials have been suggesting prohibition of puppies from aged care facilities.

On Tuesday, a paper had been presented in Canberra at a Communicable Diseases Conference, which revealed that the two separate gastroenteritis outbreaks infected 15 people in the nursing home. The outbreak had occurred last year between April and June.

A group of experts tried and found the cause, which was most probably a healthy puppy, four-month-old. The puppy had been excluded from the medical facility. And now, it is being said that only trained adult dogs would be allowed to visit the aged care homes.

Human and canine faecal samples were tested by the investigating team after the outbreak. Both the samples showed campylobacter jejuni. There is evidence that Campylobacter species are extensively shed by puppies.

High rates of Campylobacter social immaturity, their carriage and shedding have been asking for puppies not to be taken as aged care companions. Elderly residents are highly susceptible to infection and poor outcomes, which also make puppies in care facilities concerning.

"While infection control practices were generally appropriate, the facility's animal policy did not adequately address potential zoonotic risk", said the report.

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