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Strep throat?—probably not correct to blame the dog

We occasionally receive phone calls from veterinarians inquiring about testing options for dogs from households where recurrent Streptococcal pharyngitis (Strep throat) has been diagnosed in humans.

Strep throat in people is caused by Group A Streptococcus. Older scientific studies utilized culture methods that did not differentiate group A Streptococcus from group G Streptococcus (the canine commensal). These studies formed the basis for the implication of dogs as potential culprits for transmission of this disease to humans. The Infectious Diseases Society of America ( claims there is currently no credible scientific evidence to support Group A Streptococcus colonization of dogs or their role in these recurrent human infections, and therefore we do not recommend canine throat cultures in these situations.

Shulman ST, et al. Clinical Practice Guideline for the Diagnosis and Management of Group A Streptococcal Pharyngitis: 2012 Update by the Infectious Diseases Society of America. Clinical Infectious Diseases. 2012; 55 (10): e86-102.