Increase Seen in Deadly Disease Transferable to Humans by Dogs
By Mel Fabrikant Friday, March 28 2014 @ 11:03 AM EDT
Veterinarians from BluePearl Veterinary Partners are urging dog parents to make sure their pets are vaccinated and precautions are taken after a report issued by veterinarians at the University of Florida’s College of Veterinary Medicine identified a significant increase in the amount of leptospirosis cases they have seen.
Leptospirosis is a dangerous bacterial infection that can cause kidney and liver failure, as well as death. It is also zoonotic, which means it can be transferred from animals to other animals and also from animals to humans.
Leptopsirosis usually spreads by contact with another animal’s urine or body fluids.
Dogs can get the bacterial infection by sniffing an infected animal’s urine or drinking water out of an unclean source that has been exposed to the infected animal’s urine or body fluids.
“This disease is a nationwide problem,” said Dr. Jennifer Welser, chief medical officer of BluePearl Veterinary Partners.
While rats are one of the most common carriers, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, animals capable of carrying and passing along the disease also include, buffaloes, cattle, dogs, goats, horses, opossums, raccoons, sheep and swine.
“In several of our locations, we have seen more cases than usual, especially for this time of year.” said Welser. “This is just another reason why it is so important for people to make sure they are seeing their family veterinarian for regular checkups and making sure they’re following the prescribed vaccination plan provided by their veterinarian.”