Channel 2 news reported this evening that several dogs have died at the Paulding County animal shelter. UGA determined the cause to be 'strep zoo' - a deadly a fast-acting bacteria. Strep zoo is typically reported in horses, and just recently, in dogs in other states. This illness has never been seen in dogs in Georgia, and prompted Paulding County to shut the shelter down until no new infections have occurred for 1 week. According to the shelter's report to Channel 2, there have been no new infections since Sunday.
Strep zoo is an infectious bacteria that will spread from dog to dog. Although it would be exceedingly rare, it can spread and pet owners should make themselves aware of the symptoms. DVM360 lists the symptoms as:
Anorexia (refusal to eat)
Depression (you'll notice that your pet is not him- or herself)
If caught in time, step zoo can be treated with penicillin. Paulding County has treated their remaining dogs with penicillin and sanitized the whole facility to prevent further infection.
More updates will be provided as information is available.