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October 9, 2013

Parasite outbreak detected at SPCA|

The Susquehanna SPCA pet shelter off state Route 28 just south of Cooperstown has been temporarily closed because of an outbreak of the parasite Giardia.

The shelter is now being disinfected and the approximately 65 dogs and cats there are all being treated, said Liz Mackey, the organization’s executive director.

So far, she said, only three of the pets have been found to have the parasite in their systems.

She said the shelter will reopen on Oct. 15 if it is determined that all of the animals in its care are free of Giardia. The dogs and cats are now being treated with antibiotics.

The presence of the protozoan parasite may have resulted from flooding that hit the shelter this summer, she said.

The parasites can spread from pets to humans. The symptoms of infection in humans include diarrhea, abdominal pain and cramping.

In the meantime, the Susquehanna SPCA has suspended pet adoptions.

“We will make appointments as we can,” Mackey said. “But we would rather wait (before completing adoptions) until everything is checked out and everything is disinfected. We don’t want them to bring it home to their animals or their families.”

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