Woods, Lakes and Streams
Is Your Dog at Risk for Leptospirosis and Lyme Disease?
Leptospirosis is a canine disease spread from the contaminated urine of wild animals such as raccoons, opossums, mice, skunks, rats, deer, foxes and squirrels. The bacteria from contaminated urine makes its way into lakes, streams and puddles and can remain in soil for up to six months.
Symptoms appear four to 12 days after exposure and may include fever, lethargy, loss of appetite, vomiting, muscle pain, diarrhea and frequent urination. Leptospirosis mainly affects the kidneys and liver and is treated with antibiotics. If not treated soon enough, it can cause significant infection before the antibiotics are started. Humans can also be infected.
Dogs that spend a lot of time in water are most at risk. Ask yourself: Does my dog have access to standing water, including puddles? Do we live in an area where racoons, skunks or rats live?
Does your dog roam near woods or farmland? Lyme disease is also associated with dogs that spend time outdoors, especially in wooded areas. It is transmitted by the bite of an infected tick. These parasites are found in tall grass, marshy areas, thick brush and woods, where they can attach to your dog (and you) as you walk by. The tiny ticks can be difficult to detect and can also carry Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever and Ehrlichiosis.
Lyme disease is often “silent” but can include lameness, swollen joints, fever, weakness and kidney failure. Check your dog for ticks regularly and ask us about safe ways to remove ticks from your pet as quick removal reduces the risk of infection. Dogs usually respond to antibiotic treatment; however, prevention is best. Call us to discuss the best way to protect your dog against Leptospirosis and Lyme disease!
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