As we shared recently, our county is experiencing an outbreak of Leptospirosis.
Leptospirosis is a bacterial infection spread through the urine of infected animals, typically wildlife. Dogs don’t even need to make direct contact with wildlife to get the disease—simply drinking water or ingesting dirt that’s contaminated with the urine of common backyard animals like squirrels, raccoons, and foxes is enough to make your dog very sick. This means that even something seemingly as benign as an outdoor or public water dish can present a risk to your pet’s health.
It’s important to understand that this disease is not only transmissible from wildlife to dogs and from infected dogs to healthy dogs, but it is also zoonotic, which means that if your dog catches it, the human members of your family could as well. There are currently hundreds confirmed and suspected canine cases in L.A. County.
Symptoms for both dogs and humans are similar and can include:
- Muscle tenderness
- Jaundice (yellowing of skin and eyes)
- Abdominal pain
Preventing exposure to Leptospirosis is critical at this time, especially for senior dogs and those with chronic illness. We are now following UC Davis standards for vaccination and are now recommending the leptospirosis vaccine for all dogs. Additionally, the leptospirosis vaccine is a requirement for our grooming and medical boarding services.
You can vaccinate your dog at OCVMC by requesting an appointment online or calling us at (424) 275-2198 for more information.