19 Mar 2013

Ban puppies from rest homes - researchers

2:50 pm on 19 March 2013

Health researchers are calling for a ban on puppies in aged care facilities because of the potential for disease outbreaks.

A paper presented to a Communicable Diseases Conference in Canberra looks at two gastro outbreaks at an ACT aged care facility in April and June last year.

An apparently healthy four-month-old pet puppy was identified as the potential source of infection for up to 15 people.

The name of the nursing home and whether anyone died from the gastro outbreaks is not known, the ABC reports.

The research identified puppies as a health risk because of the high rate of campylobacter carriage and the susceptibility of elderly residents to infection.

It recommended the puppy be excluded from the aged care home until it was a year old, and that puppies not be considered as aged care companion dogs.

It says specially trained adult dogs are suitable for use as companion animals for the elderly.