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Leptospirosis at Brooklyn Dog Runs Linked to Pet Deaths. Should Your Dog Get Lepto Vaccine?



Don’t let your pet drink water from puddles or other standing water, or eat mud in dog runs or parks. Standing water and soil can carry Leptosporosis, a fast-moving, and potentially fatal illness that is transmitted through water and soil contaminated by rat urine.

According to amNew York, at least two healthy dogs in Brooklyn have died in the past two weeks after contracting Leptospirosis – bacteria that is spread through the urine of infected animals, which can get into water or soil and can survive there for weeks to months.

Doctors suspect that the dogs contracted the disease from one of North Brooklyn’s dog runs in Greenpoint and Williamsburg. Throughout the Northeast, dog runs and parks have been awash in mud and stagnant puddles during June’s heavy rains. These conditions also bring out rats, which spread the bacteria.

The Center for Disease Control website states:

“leptospirosis is treatable with antibiotics. If an animal is treated early, it may recover more rapidly and any organ damage may be less severe. Other treatment methods, such as dialysis and hydration therapy may be required.

The time between exposure to the bacteria and development of disease is usually 5 to 14 days, but can be as short as a few days or as long as 30 days or more.”

Should you vaccinate your dog for leptospirosis?
While a vaccine for leptospirosis exists, the CDC website notes “there are many strains (types) of leptospires, and the vaccine does not provide immunity against all strains.”

Dr. Jill Elliot, Benny’s homeopathic vet, recommended that we do not vaccinate him for leptospirosis.

She said there are at least eight strains of leptospirosis, and the vaccine does not protect against all of them. And, she noted, this is one of the vaccines to which many dogs may have a reaction.

However, if there was a local outbreak, she would recommend giving the leptospirosis vaccine. And, if you live in Brooklyn, she said, definitely have your dog vaccinated.

Photo via amNewYork Blog

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